LEADERS - not followers

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Spontaneity, Planning


And Sunday Scribblings - Where in the World.

(Snapshots from July 6 2009)

Along the road to Nonsang
Coach connection from Khon Kaen
Life-blood lining lakeside route
Sugar cane, rice, banana
Fire-house, Hospital Police
Sugar cane, rice, banana
Shopping, Commerce, Industry
Sugar cane, rice, banana
Getting used to it by now
Sugar cane, rice, banana
Cattle cluster in clearings
Gazing, grazing – Amazing!

Nonsang in ninety minutes
Road-side read-out register
Determines driving distance
Sixty six Clickety-clicks

Packs of hounds at Ubol Rat
Dominate the dam – Damn dogs?
Meanwhile, minutes march on by

Afternoon activity
Dampened by daytime downpour
We pull up to watch rain dry
‘Try not to blink – You’ll miss it!’
Ankle-deep becomes bone-dry
In the twinkling of an eye

Navigating neighbourhoods
Teased by tricky traffic lights
Fast bus flies past slowcoaches
Swerving, speeding – Soon be home
Destination – No distance
Nonsang in next to no time

Chauffeur’s shell-suit, shocking pink
Some say he’s a lady-boy
Long hair, lipstick, jewellery
Mok says ‘Just a fashion phase’

Nonsang ‘city’ limits near
All aboard are in good cheer
Gang of guys gesture greeting
Pointing-out ‘Farang’ – White Man
Shouting, waving, laughing loud
One eating ‘Farang’ - Guava
One drinks ‘Lao Khao’, smokes ‘Ya Soob’
Rice Liquor and Cigarettes
Chews ‘Mark Farang’ – Chewing Gum
While another fills his face
Munching ‘Man Farang Tort’ - Chips
Only one has been abroad
Once went to France – ‘Farang Set’
First time out of his ‘Moo Ban’
Never been anywhere since
That’s village Isan for you
Rice-farming communities
‘Don’t have time for nothing else’

Nose to tail - literally
Mad dogs hog the road – Road dogs?
Making for the market place
To scavenge scraps discarded

Makeshift market stalls offer
Tea-time treats to tempt all tastes
Fast-food fancies, Isan-style
‘Somtam’ – Papaya ‘Pok-pok’
Over there, the daily catch
Falls from flash-flood fishing nets
Over here, a group of girls
Scratching an honest living
These are the real-life ‘Spice Girls’
No time to 'Zig-a-zig aah!'
They specialise in chillies
‘Phrik Kaeng’ provides ‘Girl Power’
(Hard Chillies – Know what I mean?)
Also ‘Phrik’ – ‘Chee Far’; ‘Yoo-Ak’
And best of all ‘Phrik Khee Noo’
(Reach Up To The Sky Chillies;
Sweet Peppers – That pack a punch!
Rat-Shit Chillies; aptly named
I believe some like it hot!)

‘Long’ arrives, and loads us up
Drives us home, the final leg
Six more clicks to Ban Huakua

Through the gates and garden green
All that grows is edible
Tamarind and Mangosteen
Coconuts and Papaya
Pomegranate and Mango
Orange, Lemon, Durian
Chillies, Ginger, Lemon Grass
Banana and Pineapple

All around us; fields of Rice
Now bathed in scorching sunshine
Thirty seven, in the shade
The hot season is April!

Family reunion
Been gone from March to July
Tonight we’ll have a party
Changnoi, Diamond, Mok and I