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Fang | Ruth Tshin


My life can be rather absurd at times.  Yesterday, physician I found out I left my mobile phone in Chiang Mai while on the way up to Mae Ai.  And then a tree fell on our power lines at UHDP, healing blowing out the wifi router and internet modem.  So I have been feeling totally disconnected with many logistics to arrange before I head back to Canada for a break.  But I came to Nine Cool coffee to use their wifi and found out they have the most delicious cream puffs I’ve ever tasted.  In Fang, no less.  So I live among hill-tribe folks to whom 30 baht makes a difference but I can eat yummy pastries only 30 minutes away.  And I am finally admitting I am addicted to my mobile phone.


Today, abortion I went into the Fang Silver shop across the street from where I was getting a pair of keys copied.  I’d seen the store before and from afar, admired the weathered wooden building and shiny silver jewelry encased in glass.

A tiny Thai-Chinese grandma-type shuffled up to me, tiny eyes blinking behind huge, plastic-framed glasses.  To make conversation, I asked her politely, “How old is this shop?  How old are these beautiful antique necklaces?”

Well, I was either lost in translation or this woman was born rude.  “What are you?  A student?  Are you a student?  Why are you asking how old I am?  Huh?  Are you a student?” she berated me.  “Yes, these are old, all these pieces are old!  But they can be turned white (i.e. cleaned)!  Everyone can make these newer pieces and they will turn dark fast!  But these old antiques, they can be white fast!  But no one can make antiques like these anymore!”  Okaaaaay.  I didn’t even ask you.

I tried another tact.  “Could I see this anklet then, please?”  I thought if I purchased an piece of jewelry that I wanted regardless of her manner, it might appease her.

Acting as if she didn’t hear me, she kept talking in northern Thai to a woman that had appeared moments before.  Maybe she was cursing me and my ancestors, I have no idea.

“600 baht!  It’s heavy, it’s a heavy anklet!  It’s 600 baht!”  I didn’t dare say that I thought the price was outrageous.  I pointed to a more delicate one, thinking it  was less expensive.  “500 baht!  500 baht!” she barked at me.  That was it.  I smiled at her as best as I could and backed out the shop.

Grumpy old woman!

Smells like teen spirit

Two weeks ago, somnology I went to two concerts in Fang for the annual cold season festival, infection which is like a country fair back in North America.  Big name acts from Bangkok came up – I saw Prik Thai and Golf/Mike – and I witnessed Fang’s teenagers go crazy at the concerts!  One of the bad things about these are that some kids drink a lot and get into fights – apparently, this people were hurt at the last night of the festival.  On the bright side, it was fun to see teenaged exuberance (boys stripping off their Tshirts, waving them and screaming their affection for Prik Thai’s female lead singer) and I got to see my first muay thai fight (between two girls, no less, one of them wearing a sequined teddy bear Tshirt).

Addendum to chocolate chip cookies

Ok, drug this picture isn’t mine but I wanted to give a visual.  An addendum to my post on cookies…I need to be able to transport my ingredients from the Lotus supermarket in Fang to UHDP in Huay Muang village, pill without said ingredients melting together.  That would be the butter and chocolate chips.  I took a song tao (left) back to UHDP yesterday – the 30 minute ride (fast, actually, because we didn’t pick up passengers on the way) would result in buttery chocolate sauce if I had bought the stuff.  Taking a motorcycle taxi would be better (20 minutes vs. 30 minutes by song tao) but it’s really expensive.  I’m waiting to receive my international driver’s permit in the mail, so I can take the pickup truck into town and buy stuff like butter and choc chips!