Steve and Jemjahn go to Thailand, 2003

Home page

1. I Agreed to What?

2. Flight to Bangkok

3. Bangkok, at Last

4. The King's Birthday

5. Jem's Old Home in the Village

6. New Rice Storage House

7. Rice = Money

8. Mealtime

9. Jem's Family

10. Impressions of the Village

11. The Mall in Korat

12. Gordon and Pu

13. Pink Palace

14. Village Elementary School

15. Two Temples

16. Visiting Cousin Loy

17. Jem and Village Headman

18. Phimai

19. Back to Bangkok

20. Looking for Our Old House

21. Shopping

22. Thai People, My Impressions

23. Photography

24. Language

25. Flight Back Home


Kohn's Corner    


16. Visiting Cousin Loy

The trips to Thailand always give Jem a chance to catch up with old friends. One of her favorites is her cousin, Loy.

Loy lives with her husband all alone in a straw hut near the river and their rice fields. There’s no electricity out there. In many ways, Loy lives as if the 20th century never happened.

And seems to be doing quite well. Jem was surprised: “Her cheeks are fat.” Their home is in a grove of trees under plenty of shade, and invisible from view until you’re right in front of it. The village is a couple miles away, the nearest town a 30-minute drive. Only a potholed dirt road runs near their house, on the way to the river, so their air is clean and fresh. I found myself thinking: give me a generator and an axe to clear a few trees, and I could live here myself.

Jem remembers many childhood adventures with Loy, but it was Loy’s sharing her blanket as they all slept together as children that’s stayed with Jem as a special act of kindness not sufficiently returned.

One of Jem’s projects for this trip was to buy Loy two cows, something Loy couldn’t possibly afford herself. But our visit to Loy showed Jem that cows would be 1) more than maybe Loy and her husband could handle, along with what they had to do already, and 2) not really needed, what with the plentiful chickens, fish and rice all around them.

So we had a nice walk to and from Loy’s house, Jem had a pleasant chat with her cousin and friend, and I didn’t see a thousand dollars disappear from our retirement savings. A good day all around.


next: Jem and the Village Headman