Sunday, April 18, 2010

020107 lucky star tree

2 January 2550 - final day of the Mae Salong tea festival:

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Hilltribe music performances + singing competition tonight:

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Plan was to wait for him to be done with the competition before heading to his village for the night. Cat ears & the super power sound systems with giant speakers that are de rigueur at all celebrations & temple fairs in Thailand don't get along too well, so while the rest joined the audience, the cat passed the hours chatting with two การศึกษานอกระบบ gaan seuksaa nok rabop (non-formal education - ก.ศ.น. NFE) teachers at their fundraising & publicity booth:

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Earlier in the afternoon the cat had met one of them at the Lisu booth at the tea festival fairgrounds. A native of Mae Yao subdistrict like the majority of the cat's Chiangrai friends, he teaches 'participatory action research (PAR) curriculum for people who live in this area' (exact words he carefully wrote in English in the cat's notebook). His school is located in the same Mae Fah Luang district Lisu village that the cat & the other YK popped by 2 years ago, which is also the village that set up the Lisu booth. Before the cat knew it he had secured for it a large discount on the Lisu bag that it was already in the process of buying...& the seller naturally declined to accept the original amount from 'teacher's friend', which made the cat feel 真正否勢 jin jia pai seh (the English word 'embarrassed' doesn't quite bring across the meaning in this context).

The NFE booth 'lucky draw' tree - pay 5 baht to สอย soi (pick) a ดาว dao (star) from the tree...

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...& check against the whiteboard to see if the number within wins you a little prize:

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The 'stars' are tiny folded pieces of shiny coloured paper with numbers written on the inside - such trees appear at funfairs across Thailand & Laos. Prizes are usually snacks - here #1 = เป็บซี่ Pepsi & #2 = มาม่า mama instant noodles.

Along the road outside the fairgrounds:

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Really late by the time the person we'd been waiting for finished his singing - decided that we would find somewhere in town to crash for tonight & head to his village the next day instead...While walking to the other end of town to check if good old (literally) Shin Sane Guesthouse had any rooms left, Mr Dumpling (a similar character as the nephew of Little Horse Elder Brother) passed by on his motorbike & recognised our group. He also told us to try our luck at Shin Sane, where Mr He was more than happy to show us a couple of empty bungalows - he'd received the photo that the cat had passed to his female relative earlier today :)

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