Author Topic: Mai mee tung  (Read 265 times)

Offline thaiga

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Mai mee tung
« on: August 10, 2018, 05:57:15 PM »
I wonder has isaan changed that much since 2007, a ramble on part post from the good old stickmanbangkok, note it was posted on april 1  :o  Udon where you can be rewarded with an experience into a part of Thailand that many Westerners find fascinating.

 Visiting some of Miss Udon's relatives, a charming vendor wandered up and asked the kids if they would like to buy some sweets.

" Mai mee tung", they responded.

I pulled put 20 baht and handed it to the vendor, wanting to treat the kids. I expected her to give them one small pack of the noodle like kanom she was peddling. Several packs later and I thought I was going to be asked for 100 baht, not 20. She took the 20, the kids ripped into the kanom, and off she went. 20 baht buys a hell of a lot of sweets! Grandma then chastised me for buying so much, telling me that the kids' teeth would go rotten because of me! No worries Grandma, another set will be on the way before too long.

All of the people I met in the village were lovely, just lovely. They lead hard lives and have few luxuries, but they are never short of a smile. Forget the horror stories you hear of farangs visiting rural Isaan. No-one ever asked for money, for a new appliance, or for a replacement buffalo. I was never asked to pick up the tab or buy bottles of beer or whiskey, although that said, I was only too happy to treat Miss Udon's family to a couple of great meals. And the cost was so inexpensive I wondered how the restaurants could possibly run at a profit.

We'd now spent a couple of days in the village, and had seen Nongkhai, so it was off to amphur meuang, the provincial capital, of Udon. I had planned to spend a day and a night there but as it happened, that turned into merely a few hours.

I have only ever overnighted in Udon Thani once before, way back in 1999 if my memory serves me correctly, and I have to say that I was not left with the most positive of impressions. My over-riding memories from that trip were the stark poverty. There was no shortage of beggars and samlor riders almost pleaded with you to choose them. If there was anything in the way of Western bars or restaurants, I never found them, although I vaguely remember some Western (American) owned steakhouse, but I could be wrong, we're really going back a few years here. Needless to say, I didn't have high expectations for the provincial capital. After all, Korat and Khon Kaen are both bigger and said to have much more going for them, yet neither of those places impress me so why should Udon be any different?

 It didn't take long to see that Udon Thani 2007 has a strong Western influence. Right outside the main shopping centre, the place that everyone seems to gravitate towards, is a strip of beer bars, a transplant direct from Pattaya. Mid afternoon there were more than a few red-eyed Westerners propping up the bars. Tacky. I really cannot work out just why this strip of bars is allowed to operate immediately outside what is almost certainly the most popular entertainment and eating spot in Udon. When Udonites venture into the city centre, that is where they go – and that is what they see.

Wandering around the shopping centre were no shortage of Western guys with their Thai girlfriends / wives.

The people in downtown Udon were friendly, as they were province wide, and the shopping centre was doing a better trade than you see at Tha Mall in Korat or the cramped Fairy Plaza in Khon Kaen. There was a vibrancy about it. People were well dressed and were walking around with purpose, not dawdling about as most seem to do at malls in other parts of the region.

What surprised me the most was that even though I had a lovely lady in tow, I got smiled at by many pretty girls. Can't you see I am already with someone, honey?! That didn't seem to stop them one bit.! I had heard rumours that the Udon locals are a friendly bunch but boy oh boy, that's an understatement! And these were not just the classic Thai smile, a smile born out of politeness or deference, this was the glad eye! I'm serious!

full article how it was then
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.