Daily Archives: February 5, 2005

Don Chedi Fair

The first notable thing about Suphanburi compared to Ayutthaya is that it is not a typical tourist destination. This means that farangs are relatively a rare sight, and the possibility of buying important things like museli and banana pancakes is extremely limited. Since eating trendy western food isn’t what I come to Thailand for, that’s really not a problem. Contrary to what many foreign visitors think, the infrastructure in Thailand is for the most part built for Thai people. If a person comes here and only follows the recommendations of a guidebook, that person will miss out on much that the country and its people have to offer. So I was happy to have been invited to Suphanburi.

Don Chedi is located about thirty kilometers from Suphanburi, and at the end of January each year they have a fair or festival. This attracts a huge number of visitors, extremely few of which come from outside Thailand. There are multiple stages with music and performances of all kinds, hundreds of booths and food stalls, rides for children and adults alike, and many tens of thousands of people milling about. Don Chedi itself was the site of a battle in 1592 when King Naresuan defeated a Burmese prince and liberated the Kingdom of Ayutthaya from foreign occupation, a liberation which lasted for nearly two hundred years until Ayutthaya was sacked and burned. If you don’t believe me, look it up. That’s what search engines are for. So, the operative word is Naresuan, and anyone who knows a little about him and displays that knowledge to the Thais will be respected for it.

The Don Chedi Fair includes a major battle reenactment of King Naresuan’s exploits against the Burmese, which was quite excellent. Hundreds of actors in costumes and carrying swords and other weapons take part, and it was very entertaining. Finally Naresuan, riding an elephant, defeats the Prince, also atop an elephant, and the Kingdom of Ayutthaya is saved. Hurray!

After the reenactment, we wandered the fair, stopping at one point to see a daredevil motorbike rider who rode horizontally inside a cylindrical wooden structure, coming right up to the top where we spectators were viewing the event. Of course, in typical Thai style there were no particular safety precautions, and other than fact that the rider wasn’t wearing flip-flops, he looked like any other on the street.

We decided to see the band Carabao, who originally came from Suphanburi. I enjoy the music of that band very much, so it promised to be exciting. Exactly how exciting proved to be interesting, if distressing. What I didn’t know is that concerts by that band now are known to attract a lot of people who come to their shows to fight, and we ended up in the middle of a small riot. We had made our way to the very front, and at one point we jumped the metal barricades to protect ourselves from the fighters and all the things being thrown about. No one appeared to be hurt terribly much, but a few people got clubbed by police and/or arrested and the show ended early. We then stopped by to watch a much tamer song and dance show to calm down before taking the songthiaw back to Supanburi.

The telephone has arrived!

Some great news at last. The telephone company came yesterday to connect up the house. How long has it been now? On the waiting list for at least 5 months for a number. Then about two weeks ago I paid the 3335 baht connection fee. The funny thing is, one of the guys seemed to know me or at least knew everything about me. He was asking me questions like when was the last time I had been back to England and other personal stuff. I just smiled and nodded and pretended like we were old friends catching up on past times. I had no idea who he was. Maybe a parent of one of my old students. Remember that blog I posted last year? It is called Living in a Goldfish Bowl and it is so true. Everyone knows your business in Thailand.

Anyway, I digress. Back to the phone story. So, they came in the morning to connect up the house. They strung a black wire from the road and dangled it between electricity poles all the way to the house. Anyone who has been to Thailand would know about the hundreds and hundreds of spaghetti like black telephone wires that run along roads. Extremely messy. This is partly because half of them are illegal. I know someone who was having an ISDN line put in in order to connect to the internet. The connection box was apparently one kilometre away and the guy that did it for him said he could only run the wire the one kilometre to his house at night! I wonder why.

After they had connected my house I thought I would be able to use the phone straight away. But there were two problems. Apparently there wouldn’t be a signal on the line for a couple of hours and anyway, I had forgotten to buy a telephone! So, that evening I went off to Big C and bought a couple of cheap telephones. I came back home plugged them into the wall outlets and then proceeded to ring myself! Oh, the sweet sound of a phone ringing.

Great. My Internet company now has a telephone line. All I have to do now is get an Internet connection! Then we will be in business. I am so happy that all of this has been completed before the summer holidays. I didn’t really want to keep going to school every day. Now, everything can be done in the office. Just need to get connected to ADSL. I wonder how long that will take?

A Thai Student in England

Ah, Friday again. TIme has gone by so fast here in London. It is almost 10pm here (4.30am Thai time). Today was tiring as it is the last day of my first week back at Uni. For those people who don’t know me. Let me give a little introduction about myself.

My name is Sakdipat Krishanachinda. I am a Thai student in the UK. I’m 19 years of age. I’m currently studying at Kingston University in London. And the most important thing of all. I’m a very close friend of the webmaster. Also, everyone calls me “Game” because in Thailand, everyone has a nickname as their real names are supremely long.

Now, let me do my daily duty as to tell everyone about my day. Today was actually an easier day as I only have one lecture. However, it was a 2 hour lecture and the lecturer went on for hours…… Actually, my lecturer is known to be a Thai person that teaches Accounting and Finance in an English University. Quite impossible but doable. I’ve never had a chance to talk to him yet but in lectures, he always swears though I guess that’s his way of keeping everybody awake. In addition, he kind of has the Thai habbit as when he lectures he likes to make small information into a very long one indeed. By saying this, what is supposed to be an hour session could go on for 2 hours with him talking. hahaha….

Huh, time goes by so fast here. I haven’t kind of done anything yet and it’s already been 6 months since I arrived England. Though this is my only second week to get connected to the internet. Lol,,,,, I’m currently on 56k dial up but by Sunday, I’ll have broadband installed,, hopefully.

I think I shall leave it for today as nothing has really happened though I shall come back and talk about Thailand on my next blog. For now, I’ll have to go and take a bath…..