Yesterday I got a knock on my door and found Emma on my doorstep. “Can you hear that?” she asked, “Can you hear the drums?” Sure enough there was a steady beating of drums receding down some not too distant street. We set off to find the drums and, as we rounded the corner onto the main street, came face to face with a dragon! Ok, maybe that was a lie, we just ran across the 20+person dragon that was coiling itself into a truck to be taken to the ever mysterious drums. Yet despite all these guys hoisting up a giant dragon over their heads Emma and I seemed to be the big attraction with all of them staring at us just as much as we were staring curiously at them. I may never get used to being stared at like a one woman circus display. We snapped some photos and did the only logical thing you could do…followed them!
We were sidetracked from our quest by having a quick chat with Bill, a former English teacher at Bungkan School, but soon we were back on the trail. We found the festival procession after a few minutes by following the drums and fire crackers. It was a bit obvious to them that these two farangs were following them, so they decided to approach us and pose for us for some photos. 🙂
We decided following them directly would be too awkward so we skipped over a couple of streets to meet them at the river. As it turns out, sitting at a chair in front of the street they came out of was probably a bit more embarrassing than just straight up following them through the street haha. We continued to follow the drums to the temple where the little parade seemed to end and then wandered back down the river for dinner.
We stopped at a riverside restaurant and got about halfway into our seats when Insea, one of the servers, exclaimed, “No no no! Here, here!” He gestured towards a group of Thais at a large table. Uhhhh….ok? As we were walking over I recognized Rung (pronounced roong) standing next to the table and Insea announced, “Birthday!” Rung is my friend Suphot’s wife and it was their sons 14th birthday! And they invited us to join their dinner and celebrate! The Thai/Isan people never fail to amaze me with their generosity and kindness. One of Pukan’s presents was a box full of mini paper cranes for good luck. There were so many cranes it was incredible, I cant even imagine how long that took!
Strange how a decision to follow some drums led us to a dragon and birthday celebrations. I swear every day in this small town turns into an adventure.