Under the Mango Tree is the first in a series of posts helping to promote Thailand in a positive and fun way. At great expense Beyond The Mango Juice transports and replants a mango tree in a location somewhere in Thailand and our new resident hosts Daw and Dao sit under it to chat away about life in general and what they see before them. The series kicks off with The Killing Fields.
Beyond The Mango Juice can categorically state that Daw and Dao are not involved in the sex industry.
The Killing Fields
sponsored by HD Sauce
Our two lovely ladies are sat outside a rural village shop deep in the heart of Udon Thani Province, Isaan. The two girls have been lifelong friends and worked together for many years in a Samsung mobile phone factory in Chiang Rai. After sharing a bottle of lao khao the two girls settle back to look and discuss what they see before them. In the distance rice workers toil away in the hot afternoon sun.
They reckon Amporn’s back has gone again, a bent spine they say. Too much bending over in her younger days.
Daw patiently waits for a badly limping soi dog to eventually pass by before answering, she replies in a hushed whisper.
Pattaya……. They say her back was caused by Johnny Foreigners not jasmine rice.
Well you wouldn’t get expensive net curtains like she has by packaging phones into boxes.
Twenty metres up the road the soi dog collapses and with a solitary last high pitched whine limps off to meet his maker. The girls are unmoved. They’ve seen death many times before.
The one with the green headscarf. She’s hardly done a stroke since we’ve been here. Over a hour now. Lazy moo.
She looks frightened to bend down. Too much papaya salad I’d say. I reckon she’ll sprint to the nearest toilet soon.
That lao khao has gone right through me. I might have to jadder my bladder soon.
Daw you are so crude at times. Here have some betel.
The sound of splashing water is heard and in the distance a green headed women is seen sprinting across the paddy field to a clump of bushes, only stopping momentarily to pick a giant leaf from a banana tree.
I read about that in the newspaper, the toilet thing. Thaksin Shinawatra won’t like it if he finds out.
Go on. Tell me.
Daw looks to her left and right to check no one else is about, then in a quiet voice answers Dao.
They use those red plastic clapping feet.
Red plastic clapping feet…what are you talking about.
There aren’t any toilets. The men when they want to….you know….pass water. They do it where they stand.
They use the clapping feet to hide their bits, just let it dangle and go.
Never. You’re having me on.
I’m not. Listen. They just go right where they stand. It’s the dribblers that worry me.
Yes dribblers. I once read it turns snow yellow. If it turns the plastic feet yellow, Thaksin will go mad…….What worries me is if they start a round of clapping when somebody is doing one, a young man could seriously damage is …..jewels.
I wouldn’t want to be around when they start clapping yellow ones, the smell must be awful….and the spray…..no….you’re having me on Daw, that’s why I like you so much.
Come on let’s go and get some papaya pok pok. We’ll grab a couple of banana leaves on the way. They reckon they make it real spicy around these parts.
- Thailand is the world’s largest exporter of rice
- Approximately 30 tons of rice was produced in Thailand last year
- Jasmine rice is the most produced strain of rice in Thailand but due to its lower yield rate it is more expensive to buy than other rice strains available on the world market
- In the North East (Isaan) of Thailand a variety of glutinous rice known as sticky rice is the firm favourite amongst the rural people
- Over half of Thailand’s farmable land area is used for rice production
- From 1960 to 2008 Thailand’s yearly rice production increased from 10,000 tons to 28,000. A rise of 180%
- There are many rice ceremonies in Thailand and according to Wikipedia one tradition that is common to central Thailand is a Cat Procession. This involves villagers carrying a cat around and throwing water at it, due to the belief that a “crying” cat brings a fertile rice crop
I hope you’ll join Daw and Dao again sometime in the near future for another read of Under the Mango Tree. Best wishes.
Photographs Daw & Dao and Isaan rice fields by kind permission of tourism thailand
Photograph Mango Tree by mauroguanandi
Photograph Chiang Mai rice fields by echiner 1
© 2010 – 2011, Martyn. All rights reserved.