Sunday, November 22, 2009

Dan Chang 6

We had just got into a routine last week when bright and early on Monday morning we were summoned to the Museum of Local Wisdom at Anuban Dan Chang (this is no joke, the place really exists) to help prepare a few of the children to give a tour in English for some visitors. The visitors turned out to be employees from the Ministry of Tourism in Thailand.

They were scouting the local area for the potential to market as a tourist destination. I believed we had helped the children prepare as much as possible when the director of our school asked us to stick around and join the group for the day. We were most definitely the token westerners'. It would not surprise us if our picture ends up in a "Visit Thailand" brochure down the road. All in all it was a good, strange, but good day. We had a semi-private tour of such attractions as the Suphanburi College of Agriculture and Technology as well as the Kasieo reservoir and dam, sure to be hits with any honeymooning couple...

On Wednesday our school hosted a English language competition against three other schools in the area. We dominated them all, like the Minnesota Vikings! The range and scope of skills varied, but at the end of the day, Anuban Dan Chang was winner. Apparently we have now moved on to the region contest in December. A few of the kids Deb and I teach competed and they won, no need to thank us I told them, just make sure a few extra baht get put in my wallet!

This past weekend we stayed in Dan Chang, kind of. On Saturday, we went with the family of girl's we are tutoring to visit an aquarium, zoo and 100 year old market. We had lunch at a small restaurant overlooking miles of rice paddy and sugarcane fields. Being in the company of the family was a privilege and enlightening. They take very good care of each other and as their guests for the day, we were first in line for everything, including going into the tiger cage! That's right, they sent us into a cage full of tigers! they sent us into a cage full of tigers!Okay, they were tiger cubs and we enthusiastically went in. It was amazing! We were able to feed, hold, pet, wrestle and run with tiger cubs, thankfully mother (6ft long, 400 lbs) was in another cage.
Tigers' in Thailand are being hunted to extinction and unfortunately only a few hundred remain in the wild. It was a much better weekend for animal encounters than last weekend!

Visiting the 100 year old market in Sam Chuk was pretty incredible, many of the buildings and even vendors themselves are 100 years old, for real. Wandering through the narrow streets that are crammed with vendors hocking every imaginable
item or food was surreal. The aroma of food being prepared was constant and so was my hunger, thankfully many of the vendors have samples of their delicacies available and I grazed my way thru much of the market, usually having very little idea of what I was eating.

I did come across a friendly woman who insisted I try some of her “home brew” and much to my and later Deb's delight, it was was delicious. Called Kosato, it is made from sticky rice, and the flavor is similar to Saki. For .75 cents we purchased a bottle and enjoyed it later in the evening.

Sunday was spent walking around Dan Chang, doing a bit of grocery shopping and preparing for the week ahead. The temperature is cooling here and thus the constant sweating is subsiding on my part, much to my students delight! This weekend we will head for Lopburi and the Monkey Festival! As a fans of Curious George books, Deb and I are pretty excited about this one.


  1. Would Rainy or Dasher get along with a tiger cub in the family? I know Peter would appreciate that big snake.

    Congrats on a winning team. WAs it like an old fashioned spell down? Did the children have to recognize English words or read or??? Details about the day job would be intersting to those of us in the education business. You must be moving beyond the nursery rhymes now.

  2. hey son, that must be the long lost uncle sitting next to you on the bench. say "hi" - dad