I’m back home and still sober.
On Sunday we rose at 6 a.m. and Noo immediately called her sister back in the village. The plan was that her sister would get a lift from Noo’s brother on his motorcycle and meet us on the main road (Highway 2) to save us having to make the long diversion to Noo’s village.
Well there are plans and there are Thai plans. We quickly packed our things, including a veritable nursery of roses and were on the road by 6.30. Noo then called her sister again to check to see if she was on her way, only to discover that she was still at home as she had been trouble waking up Noo’s brother! Further calls, as we made our way out of downtown Nong Khai, resulted in the news that the brother had finally woken but that there was no petrol in his bike and he was running around the village trying to borrow some!
By the time we reached the planned pick up point, Noo’s sister was nowhere in sight so we headed off towards the village and we were probably within one kilometre of Noo’s home when we encountered her two siblings racing in the other direction on the back of a bike. We did a sharp U-turn and caught them up. It transpired that there was three of them – Noo’s brother, sister and son – all dressed for an arctic winter. Well it was barely 16 degrees, which was cold, even for me.
We had wasted 30 minutes but it wasn’t the end of the world and I took it all in good spirit; hunkering down for the mammoth drive back to Pattaya.
We slightly lost our way in Korat and ended up on the 2310 going via Chok Chai and thence across country to pick up the 304 to Kabin Buri, but it was a very slight detour and we still made it home by 3 p.m., which included 3 stops, which probably lasted an hour all told.
I enjoyed my little trip to the North East and I enjoyed meeting Noo’s family who seem to be genuinely nice people, and apart from a drunken uncle, who was kept away from me, they did not ask me to put my hand in my pocket to buy anything for them – not even a meal.
The area along by the Mekong riverside is quite pleasant, with cheap, friendly guest-houses, a number of good Thai,Vietnamese and farang restaurants, any number of little coffee houses and even a couple of bars. I could spend time there again. Maybe next time we could also spend a day in Vientiane.
I feel that the trip has cemented my relationship with Noo and she is continuing to exceed my expectations in terms of being a wonderful partner to spend the rest of my life with. We have been together now for about 7 weeks and we have yet to have a serious argument or even a mild disagreement. Frankly, I can’t believe my luck…..
Yesterday and today Noo has been busy in the garden, re-potting all the plants she bought in Nong Khai and even doing a bit of general gardening. The guy who cleans my pool and cuts my grass came by and together they have been tidying and ‘beautifying’ the flower beds. Meanwhile, I returned to my novel and have written over 5,000 words of chapter two. I will continue with this today and will either publish tonight, or more likely tomorrow, all things being equal.