Blue mountains shrouded in cloudy haze set the backdrop for an international hotspot of opium cultivation and processing. Enough opium to get every man, woman, child, cat, and dog, high as kites. But to the local farmers, it’s the cash crop that allows them to feed their families. Yes, this is the Golden Triangle.
While no longer quite the wild-west of the far-east that it once was, it’s a magical place. The Mekong divides Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand, which all meet here, in a tiny area. The cultural and linguistic mish mash that loosely defines the setting here is breathtaking. Many people living here are of Chinese descent (and naturally, look Chinese) and speak Lao, Thai, Chinese, and some English – not to mention local dialects.
Oh, yesterday I came across some “dancing prawn”. Live, delicious prawn. About an inch long and as wide around as a shoelace, they hop around like grasshoppers. They were delivered to the table barely raised above the ground (Japanese style) which three new friends and I were seated around, legs tucked under, shoes neatly lined up next to us. They came in a plastic tupperware-like dish, and as soon as the top was opened, one hopped nearly a foot in the air to the tabletop, before quickly being caught by Chris, dipped in sauce, and tossed in his mouth. Also they have really long antenna that probe about wildly. You wouldn’t think that something so bizarre and full of life would taste good, but they really are delicious. :3:
After dining on tiny sea creatures with a penchant for dance, we went to a bar where I noticed people seated outside on tables with huge beer contraptions in front of them. It was clearly some kind of beer receptacle, but it took closer inspection to see what it really was. While I couldn’t find out the name, they were 3-foot high plastic keg-like devices. Like a giant beer tower; but along the inside of the tower is a block of ice, keeping the beer cold. At the bottom, a spout under a handle to release the beer into the cups. What an interesting novelty that was. Between the four of us we drank two, and afterwards stumbled down the street drunk to sing Thai karaoke. :sax:
I knew I drank too much last night when I woke up with a headache, but partying with the beer tower and the dancing prawn couldn’t come close to inspiring any regret in me. After eating, the four of us met up again and went to the Hall of Opium. An interactive museum recently constructed by the Thai government, to educate Thai and foreigners alike on the facts and dangers of Opium use. We spent hours browsing the exhibits, which were fantastic. I asked once where we could buy opium, with the most straight face I could manage, but the people working there either didn’t know I was joking or didn’t find it as funny as I did.
The boat to China doesn’t leave till Saturday, and it costs twice as much as I had expected it to. But that’s not of major concern because several gigs on Christmas, Christmas Eve, and New Years Eve have just been confirmed in various cities in China. On one hand it’s a shame that I have to work on New Years, but on the other, it’ll finance my 3-week trip with Nemo in January. Afterall, DJ’ing really is generally a wonderful pleasure.
Christmas is in less than a month!