Sunday 2 March 2008

Another Election Day..

Today was a full on day. Thais went to the polls again to vote for their Provincial Senator to represent in parliament. At least I think that's what's going on! We've been on the election campaign trail for a couple of weeks as Hillary, sorry J (my husband) has been one of the organisers gathering people to check off names in 23 areas of a couple of villages and today we had to go round checking on everyone to see if they showed up so they can get paid. Tomorrow we have to go around yet again for about the 50th time to actually pay them, and then hopefully the craziness will end.

I don't think Thais are particularly well known for their organisation skills (yes, horrible generalisation, I know it)'s just been a never ending stream of phone calls changing plans every 5 minutes and telling everyone they're getting paid x amount then reducing it by 50 baht to pay for photocopying. Now you do the math.. deducting 50 baht from a few thousand people to pay for photocopying... ahem *corruption* acough cough! Anyhooo dodo doo...

So now we're home and yes, the karaoke has finally begun, the street stalls have indeed been set up, and our house has been taken over by about 40 kids running and screaming all around our house. Nothing better when one is suffering from PMS... ah sweet heaven. oh oh ooow, J's dad just cracked the shits at them! He's fierce when he wants to be!! ...ok that resulted in about 20 milliseconds of peace...moving on..

We were just treated to some fabulous fireworks though which I love love love! Especially home made ones where the element of danger seems to add to the thrill! Let me talk you through the photos... firstly the view from my bedroom window which over looks the back yard and neighbour's house where the tent is..all the chairs and the speakers are on our side. This was at 5 pm this afternoon. You will please take note of the extraordinarily large speakers in the lower right corner (click for a slightly bigger view)..hmm, whatever could they be for. hmmm, how many metres is that from my place of sleep...hmm, approximately 20 metres!

Secondly, the view from the front upstairs window of street stalls setting up to sell sweets, clothes and fried chicken.

Thirdly, we have the entrance to our front door... I guess business is closed today!

Then, the sparkly, fridge coffin, not yet completely adorned as it's only officially the first day of the funeral (how many first days can you have?!).

Anyone hungry? I haven't actually even been over next door to eat in the last 3'll see why... obviously J's stolen the camera as I only saw this photo for the first time about 5 minutes ago! The guy peeling off the face is about 16. Probably should have warned about content cos I'm feeling ill and avoiding looking at it myself.

So, if you can't do face, how about trotters. Actually I believe this is a bubba cow and the pan on the right are its innards. I'm not a meat eater (I'm in denial that chicken is meat ok) but I do appreciate the fact that it is prepared this way rather then picking it up in plastic covered polystyrene from the sterile supermarket. There's usually a bunch of kids standing around watching the proceedings.

Oh blaspheme, blaspheme... the noise! People who haven't ever lived in Thailand can never truly appreciate the noise in this country. Seriously, there is nothing like it (except perhaps there is in other developing countries!). Our television is so loud it's vibrating. Why? So the parents can hear it over the karaoke 20 metres from our house. Everyone a couple of metres behind me is yelling at each other. Why? Because there are 7 visitors here (fam from another village come for the funeral) and they are yelling over the sound of the television (and the karaoke). The children are high on coke and fanta. I'm getting high off the vibrations from all the noise, I swear.

Oh dear they've switched from karaoke to southern style manora singing. Now, don't get me wrong, I love being exposed to such amazing cultural diversity, but keep in mind, these dudes have been drinking for hours so it kinda takes the beauty out of the sounds that come out of their mouths. Manora music and singing is almost impossible to describe, but I'll give it a whirl. Improvisational droning words the 'singer' thinks up on the spot and adds an Indian "hngg-anngggging" sound for a few seconds after every third word. If only I had a youtube clip of this. I'll keep searching while I have some peace and quiet! ahar har.

Found one, although there's no singing but from the music you'll get the idea.. shitacious clip that is hard to watch but just listen to the first millisecond to get the idea of what I've been listening to for the last hour and will surely go on late into the night.

มโนราห์ 1 - ดูวิดีโอทั้งหมด กดที่นี่

Ok, found another one of singing, but this one is actually awesome and can not compare in any way to what I am actually being subjected to here. These guys are award winners in their craft whereas I am listening to a group of men tanked off their asses (pissed, drunk you know) with the speakers turned up so loud the trees are calling for mercy, the back windows are trembling and all the voices are distorted. So, yeah, a really similar experience. But, get past the first minute of talking in this clip and listen to this southern style Thai singing.. it is just beautiful.
เพลงบอก - ดูวิดีโอทั้งหมด กดที่นี่

4 commentaramas:

Bec said...

One of your better blogs so far imo, absolutely hy-larious. I do like to snort & guffaw when I hear someone (usually a 2 week tourist who has spent the duration of their time at a relaxing 5* retreat) spout the crud about thai people being so serene & calm, I just invite them to spend the night at the MIL's & see how serene & calm real thai life is at 6am with the mil screetching at the kids to get up for school, next doors dogs barking at a motocy passing by & the various neighbours calling out hellos/insults to each other whilst sweeping out their yard. Thankfully I haven't been around long enough to deal with a funeral but up our way even the buddha day gatherings start with music over loud speakers at 5am so you have my sympathies.

Anonymous said...

Great post and reminds me of every single visit we've made to my wife's parents. I swear there is always some festival or celebration going on the requires drinking all day into the night, eating 28 different courses of food, karaoke until 3am and then waking up at the crack of dawn the next day to start all over again. Don't care what anyone says about the noise in Bkk, it's really no worse than anywhere else in Thailand.

Mel said...

Thanks :-D I'm sure there was a time before I became tainted by MILness that I used to post good blogs! Been a while I guess! Yes, I always laugh when people say I must live in a very peaceful village!

It's unbelievable how many parties go on in the villages..between monk initiations, deaths, weddings, new houses, new babies, new job, it's never ending! Hence the reason so many people do party hire (my inlaws included!) great money to be had setting up tents! I just can't comprehend the volume does it not hurt their ears?!

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