Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Ten Foot Shoulder and Rice Paddies

Day 153
Phitsanulok to Suhkothai
Time: 3:36
Distance: 58.02 km
Avg Speed: 16.2 kph
Terrain: flat

10 Foot Shoulder and Rice Paddies

We really started the Asia leg of our trip today. The day started early to beat the heat. We missed our free breakfast at the guest house we were staying at so we settled on a brekkie at 7-11. The same 7-11 that is all over the US is even more so here in Thailand. The food is a little different, but they still have slurpees. The city of Phitsanulok took a little while to get out of, but once we reached the city limits we had our very own lane to cruise in all the way to Sukhothai. We were even able to ride side by side for parts of the ride and the cars still gave us a little berth. The landscape was flat as can be. The flat terrain must be quite suitable to rice growing, because there were paddies after paddies of rice in all stages of development. We were able to witness the flattening of the paddies, the seeding of the rice, the various stages of growth, the harvest and the drying of the rice. It was neat to see a whole season within a distance of 58 km.
We finally found a place to stay after running into the hotel’s bar singer in an alley while looking for a different place. She took us over to the hotel and Leslie set about checking it out. The room has two pluses with it: Air Conditioning and a hot water shower. Last nights accommodations only had a fan and a cold water squat shower. The cold shower is still a shocker no matter how hot it is.
We will have to get used to the traffic (lots of it, but polite), the roadside toilets (squat toilets with a bucket flusher) and the heat (hot). That being said, this is where we wanted to be and we feel that all of our past experiences have prepared us for this.
Talk to you in a few.
Remember I mentioned that the girl who showed us the room was a bar singer? We just spent two hours in the hotel restaurant watching two acts, eating some mighty fine rice and drinking too many Singha beers. We both had ordered curry for dinner, and were promptly told ‘No’. We ended up with rice dishes. I think I mentioned that they grow a lot of rice in this area. During our dinner we enjoyed some interesting American covers by ‘Jackey’. This Thai artist took the stage wearing way too tight jeans, Doc Martins with elevator soles and a white cowboy hat with a giant blue sparkly star on it. He covered such artists as The Beetles, Bryan Adams, Eric Clapton, John Denver, Wings, plus many more. Jackey has a lot of material. Our gal then took the stage just as desert arrived along with another round of Singha beers. Oh (that is her name, not an exclamation) took the stage wearing a traditional costume of the mountain people around Chiang Mai. She sang several traditional songs with an upbeat tempo rocking in the background. She managed to get us to participate in a song and after her fourth song gave the stage back to Jackey. We visited for a little while, but when Jackey busted out some Alabama, I flagged down the check, paid the bill, left some money in the stage jar and made a break for it. It was one of those nights that you wouldn’t trade for anything, but you had to wonder at the time if you were going to make it through. All in all it was a lot of fun. Did I mention that Leslie and I were the only two diners in the restaurant tonight?

1 comment:

JennSean said...

WOW! Seriously, that is about all I can come up with after that story!
Ps, can't make this stuff up.