A wise man once said....

"When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen you may learn something new." Dalai Lama

Monday, 8 June 2009

Fishing, Partying and Things.......Issan Style

Went up to Ban Muang for the weekend and had a fantastic time.

The journey was over night from Pattaya by overnight Bus to Khon Kaen and then on to Ban Muang in our Pick up. Wanna had been up there already for a couple of weeks and I joined her, accompanied by Kevin, Clement and Oi.
What an action packed weekend it turned out to be as well. Arriving in Khon Kaen at 07.30 am Saturday morning we headed straight for a coffee and breakfast. But ended up eating Som Tam and Sticky Rice… Good start.
Proceeded along to Ban Muang which is about 15 kilometers west of KK. We passed through Ban Tum a small village where we turn off the main road to Ban Muang. Its only about 3 kilometers from home. We stopped off to buy some stuff for the house and of course some cold beer. Yes I know it’s only 8.30 am and a beer…. We're on holiday who cares. It was long and cold and went down every well.

At Ban Tum we also managed to take in a practice ‘Cock’ fight. I say practice as the birds had their beaks tied up and the claws well covered. It certainly made for an interesting start to the day. Unusual sort of entertainment after living the night life of Pattatya. Although I am told on good authority that it is possible to go and watch one in Pattaya if you want to and know who to ask.

All Clement wanted to do was gamble on them. It must be the Chinese in him!! However you look at it, it is a cruel sport.
Well on to the house. Showed everyone the farm and relaxed for a while.

With no sleeping being the rule of the tour, what next ?....

Off to a few friends and then popped into Wanna’s Sister ‘Phu’ for a quick hello and another cold beer. Well, how many beers is that?... Lot count already. We sat down and no sooner had we got comfortable than lunch arrived. Another one of the family, Yar, her brother had the day before killed a cow and already the meat was cut up and shared round the family members. He had delivered some to Phu. We were treated to some Goi Nua (chopped up raw beef still fresh and the blood had not congealed. Served with mint and other spices!), delicious. Add a chicken stew and some sticky rice to the meal. We were full within minutes.
Later, keeping the rule of 'no sleeping on tour' and after a quick tour round the village we found ourselves back home and Wanna’s Dad had arrived in our absence. He decided he needed to make sure we had some fish to eat from our pond. How to catch? No rod and reel for him. He got out his net and jumped in the pond. He used a couple of old plastic bottles, the 5 litre type all joined together as floats for himself, so he did not have to constantly swim. (The ponds about 3 meters deep). First attempt at netting produced one fish. Second time two more. Sufficient to feed all of us for an evening Bar B Q.


What followed next…. The village were having a parade as it was the period of the full moon and the time just before the rice planting season. Everyone was out and about. And in keeping with the rule 'no sleeping on tour' we were off again.

Never seen so many people in the place. I guess at least 5-6,000 people. All enjoying themselves so much. It was an amazing atmosphere just standing there watching and feeling the whole show. And show it was with floats, music, dancing and of course food and drink. The pickup trucks were all loaded to the top of the suspension with heavy duty amplifiers and loud speakers and had to carry their over small petrol generators for power. Issan music could probably be hear all the way in Bangkok!!! Deafening and just great.


We even ended up at one stage, bump starting one of the trucks, all part of the fun.

Needed a rest. This is all in one day. Back to the house. No rest... Follow the rules.
Bar B Q was started and everyone got busy preparing food. Wanna prepared the fish. Interesting the preparation of the fish is simple. The fish is basically just washed, salted and placed directly on the Bar B Q. No scaling and only internal cleaning. The logic being that the skin if kept on, stops the fish from going dry over the charcoal. Then, when served the skin is easily removed. It tasted delicious. We also had fresh pork chops and salads etc. Yummy. Now needed a real rest. No to be. Again follow the rules....

How can you sit around when there is a full scale party with live music going on!!! Too true…

Now its 3.00am Sunday Morning. Been a long long day... Wanna, Kevin and I had a small night cap and off to bed…..no sure who will snore the loudest but it doesn’t really matter as we will never wake up to hear each other. But 3.00am is time to break the rules. Sleep, big time.

Kevin off to bed.
(Kevin thanks for some fantastic photos!!!!)
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