It has been another fun stay at the Mutmee guesthouse in Nong Khai. One day I rented a bicycle and headed out of town for a look around. As I got near the next little village, I could hear loud music thumping from the riverside. I rode up and found myself amongst masses of Thais gathered for some sort of festival. The thumping music was for the Thai singer and go-go dancers onstage. The people dancing around the stage were quite drunk, like they had started drinking the night before drunk. I broke away from that chaos and walked along the river were there many more people. They had dragon boat races going on in the river which were fun to watch. Each boat had about 60 paddlers and they could really fly!
I ate a lot of my beloved bbq street pork but I did dviersify and try some of the fish. I was walking by this restaurant and a great smell was wafting out. A woman was out front grilling all these small packets of fish wrapped in banana leaf. I got one and found inside a piece of fillet with some minced fish( I think) which made the fillet a nice even thickness and also delivered spices. Clever and it was super tasty too. I also enjoyed a whole grilled fish. This fish was light and delicate and with the condiments tasted just right. A whole fish is a bit much for one person but I did a good job of greedily picking it clean.
The cost of living in Nong Khai still looks wond erful by western standards. I met an Austiian guy who told about his trip to the Nong Khai hospital. He had a nosebleed that wouldn’t stop no matter what. Finally his Thai friend convinced him to go to the hosptial. In Austria, if you go to the hosptital without some kind of insurance financial ruin is not far off. They gathered up all their Thai money and Euros and went to the hospital where he was seen to promptly by the doctor. The cost for the doctors visit and some medicine: 110 baht or about $3. I also saw a notice for a smart looking, new 2 bedroom, 2 bath bugalow renting for 80,000 baht/month or about $225. Think about living in Nong Khai, you may never have to wear socks again.
A nice new addition at the Mutmee is the Gaia bar on a raft floating on the river. It is done up very nicely as a place to chill out in the evening. Last night there was live entertainment, the smooth stylings of Pancho, the resident yoga guru. Afterward the Aussie bartender, Mordie, grabbed his guitar for a couple of songs too. For his finale he asked for a couple of song ideas from the crowd. He proceded to seamlessly come up with an instant classic, a tale of incestuous street pork vendors. Oh how we laughed!
I wasn’t able to attend a yoga course with Pancho but did meditate with him one day. It is one one hour of stillness, of both body and mind. I found afterwards I had a feeling of euphoria and increased energy. Interesting!
Well I think it is time for me to pack my bags and head over to Laos for a few days.
Sohk dee der (Good by and take care in Lao)
PS photos at http://bracz.jalbum.net/Nong Khai/