Friday, January 22, 2010

Getting Ready

Strange happenings recently are apparently not limited to Massachusetts, there have been strange events here in Isaan. Despite this being the dry season, we have had rain for the past two days. The rain has been like a gentle shower but has lasted for several hours each day. I guess that it just goes to show that weather much like politics can not be counted on or taken for granted. What has always happened in the past will not necessary will be what will always be in the future.

There has been a two day celebration in a village near Tahsang Village marking seven years since the death of one of Duang's friend's mother. Typically the celebration, merit making, is held one year after the death but in this case the family is poor and had to have additional time to save up the money. One of the daughters has recently married a falang, so funds are now available. There are also close ties between the villagers of Tahsang and the family of the deceased.

Someone was needed to transport the Tahsang Villagers back and forth to the celebration. Since Duang told the people that I would not be attending, the family decided to pay Duang's son gas money for the two days. Each trip out to Tahsang Village costs $10 and $10 back. Since I am a falang, many people assume or believe that I can afford to run back and forth to help them without compensation.

Duang and I have fairly well convinced people that we are not a bank readily and willingly capable of loaning them money. We are now working on convincing them that we are not operating a free transportation service.

Yesterday, I obtained the Owner's Manual for the Toyota truck that we picked up in October. It was a condition for buying the vehicle back in July. We had been following up on it since October and yesterday it was finally available. I can't complain though - I imagine that it was a great deal easier as well as quicker to obtain an English language Owner's manual in Thailand than to get a Thai language manual in the United States.

We leave for Laos the day after tomorrow so I have been using this time to prepare the cameras for our trip, to pack my bag, gather travel documents and complete the research for the trip.

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