I will be on holiday from Wednesday to April 19th. To This will be an interesting and busy visit.
In Bangkok we will meet up with my friend Khun Voravuth Mala, a great mate since 1988 and now Finance Director of the State Railway of Thailand. His family have always been very kind to me and tolerant of my farang foibles. Any time with Voravuth is pleasant, not least because it is likely to involve lots of excellent food!
We will also meet our cousin Sailom. I first knew him when he was a little three year old running around the village with no trousers on! Now he is about to graduate in computing and has a good job in Bangkok. More importantly he has always been one of the nicest and most polite young guys I have ever met.
Thirdly I will be meeting Ben’s Mum, Jit, and her partner Jok. Jok is a character actor / comedian and has a regular role in a popular Thai soap, so I think an interesting time is on the cards.
After a couple of days in Bangkok we will visit Khao Yai National Park for some wildlife watching. Then off to Jit’s home town, Nakhon Phanom in Isaan. We will be spending a week there before returning to Bangkok. Hopefully we will also get into Laos for a day trip.
I hope we will visit Jit’s village: Ban Ee Oot. I haven’t been there for over a decade. When I first visited in 1988 I was only the second ever foreigner to visit the village. The first was a US airman in the Vietnam war era who came to pay compensation for the air force having dropped a stick of bombs n the village rice fields! When I fist went there I was permanently followed by a crowd of up to 50 children, watching my every move with fascination (including in the loo!). Back then they had just got electricity and running water, but only 1 TV and 1 car in the village. Now everyone has TVS, mobiles, and most have pick ups. This is thanks to money being sent home from work in Bangkok or overseas. I look forward to seeing the changes.
If you are interested I will try to keep twittering and posting to my Facebook page, and I might even blog here.