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?
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.
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.
Last week Khwantippa and myself were invited to join her friends Nong Shompoo and Pee Add to visit Khao Yai National Park, one of the local sites we had not yet been to. The trip is the perfect opportunity to tell you about the slightly lesser-known nature preserve and a suitable vehicle to point out cultural differences, similarities and habits of the Thai middle class. A story in-between, on many different levels.
Mor Lam is a traditional style of country music that is hugely popular in Laos and Isan (North-East Thailand), and is currently growing in popularity globally. Mor Lam events attract large visitor numbers and feature rather extravagant dancing, especially by Kathoeys. Where do their current dancing moves come from and what is with the pieces of carpet, one might ask when visiting such an event. Well, these can be traced back to the video below. How this is still copied today, is illustrated if you continue reading.
Thailand is currently experiencing one of the worst droughts in a long time. While several measures are being considered, in the North Eastern region (Isan) they have a traditional and spectacular way of asking for rain. The Rocket Festival (Prapheni Bun Bang Fai) almost rivals NASA with their rocket launches. Worth checking out this video.