Lindsay and Art kindly picked me up from my hostel in Bangkok which was a mid-way transition to what Lindsay referred to as “the real Thailand”. In our car trip he bought a McDonalds hamburger stating that it is difficult to purchase this kind of food where they live.
The evening I arrived I was met by village locals and family members who held a party celebrating my arrival and farewelling Gisela Romero and her partner Hector. Traditional Thai dancing, amazing food and plenty of Chang beer filled the residency grounds.
After Hector and Gisella left I was the only artist in the residency, and the only “farang” (foreigner) in the town. This meant that I was subject to many stares, smiles and being told I was beautiful (or “suway”) as I rode through the town daily on the bicycle slowly taking in my environment. I practiced guitar religiously, as it was one of the only things I could do inside with the air conditioning! I took pictures and filmed some footage of the rice fields, houses, alleys, hounds.
Thai people have an interesting relationship with the street dogs who in Australia would be taken to a pound and possibly put down. People respect each others space and the dogs, though shaggy and derelict, roam happily and freely. The restaurant across from the residency (which has amazing food for about $1 USD per meal) actually let a dog have puppies in the courtyard.
All of these things about Thailand may sound gritty and they are as I still see them now. The residency adheres to a loose time schedule. You must learn to be flexible, or more importantly, be patient. Thailand tests your patience. But everything always works out even if there is no apparent logic to the situation. Just watch the construction workers on the roadside who wear no helmets or harnesses. Thai people operate in a more intuitive fashion. There is no point in being stressed in Thailand, but it will test you, until you just have to chill out and go with the flow.
I wrote a song at Sam Rit called “Counting Sheep” which I recorded on my EP when I returned from my visit. I release my EP just a few weeks ago. Now I am teaching English in Chon Buri Province.