Nakhon Ratchasima (Korat)

Korat city. Is a lovely place to visit. Many hotels, shopping centres train station, bus station, Hospitals. University. It just has everything. Pee Mai is on the outskirts of Korat and famous for the Temple. Pee Mai (New Year). I was thinking about going to visit the Temple. I had seen on the local news  Pee Mai was 6 metres under water and completely blocked off.

The lady suggested we could go to her aunties house and stay there with them rather than stay in the city as no one knew how long everywhere would be flooded. As a joke, I asked how big the family was and do they drink Leo the local beer. She answered not as many as my own family and no mountains. I was assured the roads were dry and we could go there.

Apparenty migrating Ducks come to the area for mating. The thais call them (Bhet).

Now in Thailand everywhere you go, you will come across a 7-11 store. You need these stores as european type food and hot coffee can be purchased anytime of the day. I think 7-11 company must look at the population of the villages to decide whether or not to situate a store and assess if it will be profitable. If there is not a 7-11 in the village you can assume its either miles out into the bush or very few people are living in the village.

Most Thai people living in the villages live in wooden type houses on stilts. In some cases they can be over 100 years old if they take care of them. All made from teak wood as at one time Im told when people first lived in Thailand the rules were you marked your area of land by the amount of trees you cut down. This was then declared your land. Of course the trees removed were building materials for your house. Later on when land offices were formed they would come and measure your land and a (shanook) Land certificate was given to show your land boundries you owned. Once they have the land certificate. The farmers go to a bank and borrow money using the certificate as a guarantee. Most of the farmers do it this way then pay back the bank from sales of the products they grow.

Land in Thailand is measured in wah or rai. A wah being approximately 2 sq metres and a rai about 1000 sq metres.

To pronounce the village name, Ban Touy. However having asked a few people from the surrounding areas of the name of her aunties village. Ive been met with a blank look on their faces as to never heard of it. It may be my non tonel voice that causes this problem. As thai language is spoken in tones. Example. Ma can mean come here. Ma can mean a dog. How to understand which one is by the tone in which you say the word. Touy I have tried many different tones. No one has a clue what Im saying.

We arrived at her aunties house which was the old style wooden teak house. You could see the sheen on the wooden floor of years of mop cleaning just with water. The house was in perfect condition and I was informed the house has been handed down by generations of the family. Thai wooden houses are cool through the day and warm at night. Everyone sleeps in the same room its normal here. The toilets are outside with a water pot and plastic bucket for showering. Its nice to feel the cold water on your skin. So refreshing. The water is supplied from a well and I was told you can drink it, its that clean. I did have a drink of the water and no problems at all the next day. Cooking outside and normally covered.

No 7-11 in the village. Just a small store which sold the necceseties. Ice and beer. For food you had to go to the market. (Tarat) in Thai. The town was very quiet and relaxing.

Every thai village has a Wat located in the village for the people to go as most of the people are farmers and the Wat serves as a community for the people. The Buddha temple always have something going on and calenders are marked for the buddha days. If you ever go to a Wat Temple on a Buddha day. You will find all kinds of food available for sale as the people gather there to sell their goods. Ive always wondered why Thailand has so many holidays. It just seems every week its a holiday for something, either goverment of Buddha holidays. I think the main reason is the local people get the chance to sell they goods at large gatherings in all the temples across the country.

Our first meal was fried duck eggs (Kai) with rice (Kow). Twice the size of a hens egg and a yellow to orange colouring yoke. In fact everyday duck eggs on the menu. Some of the people had captured the geese and kept them for the eggs. I approached one farmer with his ducks and he thought I was wanting to eat the duck, he was ready with the knife to kill it. Until I explained it wasn't neccessary. I can buy moo (pork) at the market just the same really. Alough noodle soup with duck was available and delicious. (quitiow bhet).

The village was well known for its black sticky rice. (Coniow). Normally rice is boiled as we know it. Sticky rice is short grain rice soaked over night in water. Then steamed until it becomes soft and sticky. It is really nice to eat, especially the black rice has a different taste from the white rice. (Coniow dam).

To inform the reader. I have actually worked as an Engineer in 25 countries of the world mainly Oil & Gas. Mostly the Middle Eastern countries, European, African and Far East. In this time, I have received all if not  more enoculations (Jabs) to work overseas. In some countries if you do not have them, you cannot go into the country. Especially Nigeria.

However during my visit to Ban Touy, I became very ill. I think it was due to the amount of ground water flooding and the blazing 45 degree C sunlight which was slowly steam cooking me alive. The humidity was very high at the time.  As one day I awoke with a high temperature and all energy completely zapped from my body. I couldn't move any of my limbs  I was that tired. All I wanted was sleep. 

The Thai people took very good care of me. I was given a separate room to sleep in (Rice store). A small 3 inch fan. Someone came in everyday and gave food and water. I was ill for two weeks or more just sleeping everyday until I started to feel better. By this time most of the water had subsided and dried up and the roads became clear. I was eating duck eggs every meal and I think this was the reason I got well so quickly.

I found the tasty eggs were the bar-b-qued eggs. A hole is pierced into the shells. Maggie sauce (soya sauce) is syringed into the egg then cooked on hot coals. Absolutely delicious. They are called 100 year old eggs  Because they resemble eggs a 100 years old by adding the soya sauce.

The time had arrived to say goodbye and return back to Pattaya. We all sat and had a farewell party under the midnight sky. Leo beer and duck eggs cooked again a different style, this time with chilli, oniions, garlic and herbs. (Yam Bhet Kai).

Next day just as I was saying goodbye to everyone. The auntie gave me a gift box. Inside were a dozen duck eggs to take back to Pattaya.

God bless the lady.