Thailand Road Trip: Pattaya to Mukdahan via Sisaket

A Visit With The Girls; Then a Lesson in Infrastructure Development and Mom & Pop Entrepreneurship on Hyperdrive

INTRODUCTION

There’s a difference between sitting around, reading everyone’s hot takes, and waxing poetic about it…and actually doing some original journaling and logging and telling real stories. The latter means getting off your ass, gathering facts or observations firsthand, and putting your own unique spin or analysis on it. That takes effort. And money. It’s more than just paying for your high-speed internet connection and tapping away.

My blogging has often involved activities like gym stuff, diet and cooking stuff, getting off booze, and other personal projects. But I’ve wanted to do something more substantial for a long time. This idea goes back several years to when I first moved out here, then being all interrupted by Covidiocy and a slew of consequent distractions. I’m back and ready to do what I originally intended.

I’m documenting as I go, using the backdrop of wherever I am, to discuss all relevant topics, but in new contexts—be it culture, history, geography, or exotic foreign lands.

The format is a series of raw, minimally edited vlogs combined with hyper-edited transcripts. I take the audio, rework it into something readable, and voilà—you get both the written word and the video. Part one comes out to roughly 5,000 words, with the video being an hour long. however you wish to access it, I hope you enjoy it.

I will get better at it, knowing now how the production process can and will work; whereas, I had no fucking clue when I jumped in the car Tuesday morning, turned on the camera, and talked while driving.

Part two covers what’s happening right now at destination Mukdahan. This is my final day here in the province. Tomorrow, I’ll start the 10+ hour drive back to Pattaya with my friend Far along, skirting Bangkok to the east. That will be part three.

I’m hoping potential members will see this effort and think, “Yeah, I can support this to the tune of a couple of premium coffees per month.” I’m spending money and a lot of time on this. It’s intensive work. Far more so in the doing it than studio work later…so it’s honest, too. If you like it, it’s not a stretch to pitch in. The more the merrier (more trips to more places).

A final thing—I do not and will not script these whatsoever. I go where the wind of change takes me, doing whatever it happens to be. I don’t sit down and plan a bunch of details, contrive, act, and film to create a show. Instead, it’s how it goes, how it really flows. So, enjoy it, and I’ll see you for parts two and three.

Part 1: The Drive Out — Pattaya to Khukhan Day 1; Khukhan to Nikhom Kham Soi Day 2

  1. Sisaket visit with Chili and Wasabi with photos.
  2. Wednesday morning update from a rice paddy hotel in Khukhan.
  3. Road construction everywhere.
  4. How and why can they do it like that and not in potholed and crumbling America?
  5. “The problem with socialism is that eventually, you run out of other people’s money.”
  6. No longer dirt-scratching 3rd world poor. Rapidly developing and infrastructure wise, overtaking America.
  7. What do modern-day road improvements look like, and what’s the balance vis-à-vis a Thai-style entrepreneurial society and culture vs. an employee culture like America?
  8. Zoned out of business.
  9. Why did the monitor lizard cross the road?
  10. But it’s not safe!!! Nope, but it’s something else.
  11. Not in my backyard!!!
  12. Mom & pop gardens.
  13. Wider for safer (but still free and flexible).
  14. Shoes mark the spot.
  15. The video.

I decided it was time to take a road trip. Sisaket visit with Chili and Wasabi with photos.

Picked up a car last night from a guy and hit the road. Not early, but at a reasonable time to get to my destination by late afternoon. Where am I going? Well, it’s going to be a kind of auto tour.

I’m eastbound on Route 359 in Thailand. About 50 kilometers west of Sa Kaeo. That’s about halfway between here and Si Sa Ket Province, where I’m visiting two girls, Chili and Wasabi. The ex is in Chiang Mai. I spoke with her, and she said it’d be fine. So, I’ll spend the night there and take them shopping and to dinner. Should be fun.

I first met these girls when they were 10 and 9 years old and made their shack into a house and home—the nicest in the village. Now, they’re 14 and 13. Life flies, doesn’t it? It’s good for them, though. I’m anxious to see them. It’s been a bit more than a year since I last saw them in person, though we’ve had video calls.

From there, I’m off to another place to see a gal I know in Pattaya. She’s home in Mukdahan Province in the town of Nikhom Kham Soi, next to Huai Khee Lek reservoir. It’s in the northeast, very close to the Laos border. I’m saving her from a long 16-hour minibus ride back home (takes about 10 by car), so I’ll bring her back to Pattaya.

That’s my life. Well, at least for the next four days or so. I’ll check in later.


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