Sunday, June 7, 2009

Khon Kaen

Khon Kaen is cool as shit. Not only because I've meet some really cool people here and hung out a bunch, but because the people here are nice in general. This area of Thailand (northeastern) is called Issan. It's old school Thailand. Primarily farming communities and shares more with Laos culturally, then the rest of Thailand. Though capitalism has reached its arms into the most distant of places. Consumer culture in Thailand is still pretty new and has the attention of almost everyone.

So we all (Luke, Saire, Jenny, Elizabeth and myself) took a really nice bus (AC, food, movies) up to Khon Kaen. Buses are really cheap; 6hrs and 340baht is about 10bucks US. We all went to bed when we got here. It was pretty late. The next day we (Luke, Saire, Jenny, Elizabeth, Saxophone and some other Thai girls that I don't remeber the names of and myself)went to a Wat (temple) and to a dammed lake. It was huuuuuge and warm and I swam in it. At the lake there are a ton of huts connected to together for eating. Soo cool. So we chilled and ate and talked and swam. Sarie and I tried to swim out to a pole in the water, but about 2/3s of the way there I got tired, so instead of drowning, we swam back. Oh yeah and at the wat there were HUGE milipedes and lizards and stick bugs. I caught the lizards and took them off the steps. There were some dead ones and I think that they get confused because the stairs are so long and then die from the heat, or starvation. Check out the pictures. A.R.!

That night Luke's old roomie, Piched and his friends made food for us all. There was a shit ton of food, I put on some Lil'Wayne and we drank normal whiskey and some crazy rice whiskey that is really intense. Then we all went to Baan Bar and hung out and had some beers. Saxophone (yes her name is saxophone and her brother and sister's names are trumpet and trombone) and I watched and tennis game where we notified each other when there was a slight view of panties. Hilarious. Then we went dancing. Yes WE went dancing. I danced and it was great and they told me I was good at it. Imagine that. It wasn't like part of the time, it was start to finish. And the funny part is that there was a band playing ska. I don't like ska (thought the thai kids love that shit). It was a good night.

The next day we went to a woman's cooperative were they made textile stuff. I think they grow own cotton too. I wanted to get another bag, because I brought my messenger bag and its dumb. But there was nothing that I liked. We also went to a market downtown and bought some stuff for dinner. Luke made dinner for us all. He always got to eat the food that the thai kids made for him so he wanted to return the favor now that he had time and was leaving soon. After that we went to karaoke. And again, I participated. I sang Akon and did a duet of Willie Nelson with Sam. So good.

Luke and I went to the mall the next day and quickly left and enjoyed some down time at an ex-instructor Adisak's new tea house. Which is free and nice and quiet. We had amazing tea and talked for about 3-4 hours about social movements and life. It was really nice. I'm going to go back soon.

Yesterday we went to one of Luke's homestays which happens to be in a landfill. These people were super friendly though I didn't really understand them. They live there because they don't have a choice and make money by scavenging through the trash to look for recyclables. They have 9-10 hour days and don't have weekends. When we got there Luke's Pah was sleeping because he had worked until 5am. The landfill is apparently growing exponentially and its pretty much full of plastic bags. Plastic is a big deal here. They always give you a straw and you can even get soda in a bag. I'll have to take a picture of it. There was also a small plant there to burn bio-hazardous waste from the hospital, but there was also just a huge pile of it next to the building. I'm still processing it all. Some of the kids in the program that Luke did tried to do a human rights report on it and never finished it because it was so complicated. There is a picture of a super cute puppy that they hand feed. It has a sweater too.

Luke's friends took us out last night because today Luke is leaving for Bangkok. It was fun. Luke leaving is not. But it should still be fun, the kids here are super excited that I am staying and want me to come back.

In other news, I hurt my neck very similar to the way I did last summer. Its not as bad this time, but it still really sucks. And my nose started to get stuffy, though I'm pretty sure that will go away soon. At least I hope so.

That's all for now. I miss everyone who isn't here. But I'll be back before its known.

Also keep an eye out for President Obama. Apparently he's been all over Thailand.

Khon Kaen Gallery

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