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Siam in-between: Livin’ la vida local

Over the last few weeks the frequency of the updates on this blog has diminished, I am well aware. Getting a visa that allows my (Thai) fiancée and I to get married in Belgium has proven to be a daunting task. So much so, that I decided to fly to Thailand a few weeks ago to help get things sorted, locally. One Blue Monday, we found ourselves standing on the side walk outside of the Belgian Embassy, administrative challenges handled, red tape cut … and both of us with two weeks of holiday ahead, wide-open. Why not take the opportunity to experience vintage country-side living before this options disappears?

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Ghost shrines

On the way from Phimai village center to our house, three small river-side buildings draw attention because of the many colorful statues they display. In fact, on my first few visits to the area I assumed that they were shops selling sculptures. After a few lunch-time motorcycle drive-by’s, I started noticing there never was a shopkeeper around. Asking around, they turn out to be shrines to river ghosts who are supposed to live around there. People make offerings to them, hoping for good luck and their wishes to come true. They are definitely not Buddhist, which probably makes them Animist. The Thai fascination with ghosts is a subject for a future post. More pictures are available in this gallery.

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A Saturday in the life of

Lately, we’ve been getting an increasing amount of questions about our daily life, living in Isaan. Some of them seem to imply we live in poverty, others in the bush or even in an alien world. After a few days of feeling under the weather, I was up for a day out-and-about an we decided to hit the city. Perfect for another glimpse.

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Going native

Key to living the Thailand lifestyle is eating local food, sometimes derogatorily referred to as going native by expats. Sure, Western food is readily available in the city and the cost of life is significantly lower when compared to Farangland, but I still stick to my opinion. Let me tell you why.

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Flooded wake-up call

Found myself standing at the kitchen sink with the tap in my hands and water gushing out of the wall, minutes after waking up. Janitor fixed it immediately. In Belgium, I would still be listening to music, in a phone queue. #impressed

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Isaan-style snack shop

Many of the road-side rest stops along the highway in Isaan include locally-styled snack shops, alongside the usual Amazon coffee shop, 7eleven convenient store and gas station. They feature food and snacks from across the North-Eastern provinces of Thailand.