Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My Recent Trip To Udorn

If you ever get out to Udorn Thani, in Eastern Thailand, of a morning you should tell the tuk-tuk driver to take you to the King Restaurant, or maybe it's the King Ocha. It's a Vietnamese place, for some reason there are lots of Vietnamese in Udorn. It's great.

I was there to teach a class, and as usual, my students made me feel welcome. On my free day, two of them took me and another prof up to a World Heritage Site about forty miles away, Ban Chiang, where the locals started smelting copper four or five thousand years ago. Nice to know that the people in the area have always been on the friendly side, all of the evidence shows very little, if any weapons production, at these Thai sites it was all tools and ornaments.

The proscriptions at the museum were just amazing. "No smoking," of course, and "no touching," "no food or drink," those can be seen anywhere. "No bags," okay, and "no photo," we're still on familiar ground. Then came, "no firearms or explosives," and "no cooking," as though "no food or drink" were insufficient, and then came, "no fire making," which I think was gilding the lily a little bit. And "no writing or drawing," with a little hand holding a pencil hovering over a notebook on the sign. That one I'd never seen before, and I've visited a lot of museums in my time.

It's a nice place, Udorn. Lots of Farang "son-in-laws." A good hospital or two. Good, cheap restaurants, low rents. I like it.

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