Saturday 1 March 2008

Village Casino

So, my neighbour died on's now Saturday and I'm a thanking the lord I haven't been subjected to the delightfully raucous sounds of obscenely loud karaoke all week (cos it's all about me, you know). It's gotta be some kind of miracle. Especially since the speakers were delivered on Tuesday. I do believe it may be due to the fact that the entire front yard of our neighbour's house (which is parallel to our backyard with no fence) has become a casino and perhaps they don't want to draw more attention to themselves. I've done a bit of face blotting cos you just never know who reads these blogs and wouldn't want to get anyone in trouble!

Every night at about 7 or 8pm the crowds start gathering. By 10pm there's at least a hundred people gathered in a dozen or so circles getting their game on. Now, officially, gambling is illegal in Thailand, but when there's a death, no one cares and the law overlooks this indiscretion. Hell, the cops come and join the fun! They've put curtains up and everything to make it quite the cosy punting grounds! Most people seem to head back home by about 1 or 2 in the morning but there will still be a sizable group of about 10-20 people still playing when I get out of bed around 7.

It's been 5 days since the death and apparently the party is only starting tonight. This morning I go outside and 3 fat pigs were awaiting death in small cages in our backyard. I left (to go visiting wonderful farang superchic in the next province for coffee, goss and chocolate. ie bliss) before the chop thank goodness, cos there's nothing so bad as hearing pigs meeting their maker. I imagine this part of the party, the part that involves a thousand people coming to eat from sun up to sun up again and drink into the night, singing karaoke, will go for at least 2 more days and his body will potentially be burned about Tuesday. But every funeral seems to set a different time for cremation, so who knows how long it will go for. No little street stalls selling food have been set up yet but that's only a matter of hours I'm sure. Ah, the sense of community at its best!

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