May
26
2008
3

Wet, Dark, Bump

Friday night I was returning to my room on my motorcycle from a visit to a friend. The road was wet from rain. As I made a turn at an intersection I hit a bump. Hitting the bump I hit my breaks. Between the wet road, the turning, the bump, and the breaking, my motorcycle lost traction with the road.

I guess thanks to the rush of adrenaline, I did not at first realize that I’d been all that hurt by my fall. I therefore walked over to my motorcycle, picked it back up, and went on my way. As I was driving I became aware of the blood coming from my hand, the pain in my elbow, the pain on my hip, the blood on my foot (I was wearing sandals).

Driving a little further my legs started shaking. My mind was lacking clarity.

I arrived back at my room. I knocked on my neighbors door. He helped me clean things up. He put iodine on my cuts. And used electrical tape to hold gauze on as bandages until the morning.

I’ve been a bit nervous getting on my motorcycle since then. It is terrifying to think what would have happened if I had had any kind of speed when I went down.

The wounds are healing.

Written by Micah in: Thailand | Tags:
May
08
2008
0

Shelter in the Storm

It can be nice to take shelter under the porch of strangers when it starts raining. It can be even better if they are friendly, your age, and have a guitar. However, if the rain is still coming down hard after an hour and a half, and during that hour and a half whiskey has been going down the throats of your new friends with remarkable regularity, it can start to become not so nice. Last night my limit for floppy drunk limbs flung upon me in friendly gesture was exhausted.

Written by Micah in: Thailand | Tags:
Apr
17
2008
2

Random

So today as I was walking home from buying groceries, a lady I didn’t know stopped me and invited me into her yard. Figuring that a front yard is pretty safe, I accepted the invitation. The reason she gave me for inviting me in was she saw I was new and from out of this country and as a mother she felt the need to invite me in, adding that if her son where in another country she hopes someone would take care of him.

As the conversation progressed I began to wonder if she had a few alterior motives for inviting me in. She asked me several times if I could teach her daughter English in exchange for her daughter teaching me Thai. She also repeatedly commented on her daughters beauty.

I think maybe I need a culture lesson on ending conversations. I ended up sitting there in the front yard for three hours. During that time I met the father, the son (who is my age), and the daughter who just graduated from high school last year. I eventually said I needed to leave. At which point they asked if they could see me home. When I accepted, they drove me the block and a half to my room.

Written by Micah in: Thailand | Tags:
Apr
09
2008
0

Kung!

After a great night of sleep, Randy, his 3 year-old son, and I launched into a full day. We started by squeezing my stuff into the truck. I say squeezing because the bed of the pickup was already close to full with a 100 liter tank and two large oxygen tanks. We did manage to get my two large trunks, my guitar, and my two backpacks to fit somewhere.

That task completed, we drove to the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) where Randy is studying aquaculture. He spent the morning checking out lab equipment he is going to need for his experiment in Ubon. Levi and I looked at fish in the ponds, caught a frog, drank some chocolate milk, and sweated like there was no tomorrow.

After lunch we began the process of loading truck with the lab equipment, concentrated seawater, and the Kung (the Thai word for a creature that I would describe as a cross between a shrimp and a crayfish). We put the (big, heavy) jugs of concentrated seawater in the bottom of the 100 liter tank. On top of them we placed a large tub. After pumping water into the tub and getting the oxygen tanks aerating the water we began to add our 60 or so Kung to the tub.

One of the Kung flipped itself out of the net during the transfer process and fell between the 100 liter tank wall and the tub. I, trying to be helpful climbed up on the tailgate to have a look. My added weight gave enough slant to the tailgate to send the tub from which we were transferring the Kung splashing to the ground. Fortunately the tub did not utterly capsize. But some Kung were lost in the sloshing of the fall. We recovered those that were on the ground, and some (but not all) of those that had landed in a nearby pond.

The loading done we braced ourselves for the 10 hour trip to Ubon. Our first stop we discovered that vibrations had opened the oxygen valve wide open, nearly depleting one of our two tanks of oxygen. We bought some tape, secured the valve, and continued on our way.

The highlight of the trip was a stop at Chokchai farm. I had an amazing burger there.

We arrived in Ubon a little after midnight. By the time we were finished transferring the Kung to their new home. it was almost 2:30. I spent the night early morning at Randy’s house.

Written by Micah in: Thailand | Tags:
Mar
17
2008
3

Motorcycles and Aerobic Dance

Last night Pi Silk took me to a Thai fair. There, for 75 cents I watched a seventeen year old ride a motorcycle around the vertical walls of a cylindrical tank. As he was riding around (necessarily quite fast), he swung his one leg over the bike, so that he was sitting side saddle. He then took his hands off the handlebars and spread his arms like he was flying. He several times turned himself towards the rim of the tank and turned back down just in time to avoid flying over the lip to his death. Wow.

 

Today I hopped on (the back of) a motorcycle to go with two friends to the park to exercise. The plan was to lift weights. The weights in the park had a sign saying that the weights were for members only. Upon inquiry this simply meant you had to call a phone number and make a donation. Nonetheless, we decided not to become members. It was about 6:00. (At 6:00 pm I think every park everywhere in this country plus a few shopping centers have aerobic dance.) We decided to attend the aerobic dance. It is hard to keep both the legs and arms doing the same thing as the leader. After 45 minutes we decided to call it a night, leaving over a hundred others to continue the ritual without us.

 

On the way back I was again seated behind someone on a motorcycle. We were following a guy riding solo. As we were weaving in and out of cars stopped at a red light, we had trouble keeping pace with the guy riding solo. We were a little bit bulkier. At one point my ankle clipped a parked motorcycle. The end.

Written by Micah in: Thailand | Tags: ,

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