Thailand: Isan

Nang Rong: "Loy Krathong"

Sinnanya Singlor

Nang Rong

Buriram Province


November 25 2007

Dear Puky,

(cc: Family and Friends)

Thank you for making the beautiful kratongs for me and for Buloy, my friend from the Nang Rong Resort Hotel. We went to the full moon festival last night, and along with many other Thai people, we first lit the candles and then floated the kratongs on the lake.

Several local organizations decorated very large kratongs with dragons and elephants.  There were floats dedicated to the King. It's amazing that the floats are made almost entirely of fresh flowers. Everyone enjoyed the colorful kratongs and the fireworks, especially the young children and the teenagers

The Wedding of Moon and Kevin

Honey Inn ***

Nang Rong

Buriram Province


June 18, 2006

Dearly Beloved, 

Just thirty minutes before the required moment, the mistress of ceremonies at Moon’s evening wedding reception, my friend Rose asked me to speak on behalf of Kevin Brown, Moon’s new husband.  (Moon and Rose and I have been friends for four years.)

Not unaccustomed as I am to public speaking, I cheerfully agreed.

Except for Kevin's sister, Jan (and acknowledging the excellent English of Peter from Austria and his Indonesian wife, Norma, and a couple from Belgium) I am the only other native English-speaking Westerner at this gathering of one hundred and fifty Thai-speaking guests of all ages.

Rose provided simultaneous translation.

So, here, slightly enhanced, is what I said:

“Normally the Best Man is a loyal friend who has known the groom for a long time.  Now, I have known Kevin for a very long time – almost twenty-four hours.

Buriram, Ubon, Mukdahan: the New Paradigm

Ubon Ratchatani


August 20 - September 2, 2006

Dear Family and Friends,


First, The Old Paradigm: I decide on a general itinerary; pack lightly (easier said than done); show up at the first stop and look for modest accommodations; wander around; use public transportation to sights in the area; eat wherever it looks good; decide on the next destination; repeat process above.

The New Paradigm: Decide on a specific destination and use one spot as a hub; book transportation in advance; book mid-range hotel in advance; use local taxi to wander around; hire car and driver to visit outlying sights; eat in comfortable restaurants or at hotel dining room (room service on occasion).

Nang Rong: "Jan the Caterer"

Nang Rong

Buriram Province


March 11, 2005

My Dear Party Animals,

"I old woman," my friend Lek said to me. "Lek thirty!"

My friend Lek works here in Nang Rong. Her daughter, mother, sister, brother, nephews and nieces all live in Ayutthaya, many hours away.

I decided that Lek would have a proper Birthday celebration with her friends and colleagues. I would cater a dinner-dance at The Honey Inn in Nang Rong.

Also on the Invitation List were our mutual friends, members of Phanna's family and other guests at the Inn.