Long Neck Karen and other tales
Trip Start Jan 16, 2012
92Trip End Jan 01, 2014
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On Thursday we took the scooter out the 20 or so kilometres to Silverlake, a beautiful lake (duh, not silver though), around which a very Tuscan/Mediterranean looking resort is being constructed. We had travelled out to Silverlake partially on a random exploring tip and partially with the hope of seeing “Long Neck Karen”, a lady’s whose name is adequate description of her physical appearance. She has worn metal rings around her neck for a number of years and now has an elongated neck. Sadly, commercialisation has reached even this remote corner of Thailand and Long Neck Karen has gone from inviting viewers just for the love of the game (and maybe a small souvenir purchase) a couple of years ago to charging 250 Baht (over five pounds) per person even in these economically testing times
A few kilometres further into the countryside and it seemed that karma had favoured the circus freak as the scooter wobbled violently and an examination of the machine revealed that we had a puncture of the back wheel. We were a long way from home, it was blisteringly hot and the outlook did not look good. However, Saint Jude was fighting our corner and, a short way into what I thought may be a very long push, a kindly Thai told us to follow him - about 50 yards later we were in a primitive garage, receiving a less than warm welcome from three menacing looking dogs but a hospitable one from the key man - the owner. Five minutes, and less than three pounds, later and we were the proud owners of a new bike wheel inner tube. We paid the sort of tip which is probably the root cause for many Thais assuming all falangs are over loaded with unwanted money from which they must be parted, and we were on our way. At this juncture it is worth commenting that riding a “motorbike” (OK, scooter) in Thailand (anywhere in SE Asia for that matter) is like playing on an arcade game, albeit the consequences of “Game Over” are a little more definitive, as one must deal with being cut up, cut down, swerve stray dogs, cows, police, potholes and all manner of madness just to reach the safety of the destination.
One could attend around 20 different markets selling anything one can imagine (and many things one can’t) within 10 kilometres of Luton Town and Friday is “THE” day for local markets. We attended two, and I behaved like a miserable child at both, as my attention span and patience for disorganised commerce expires slightly sooner than that of a Premier League footballer on a day off
Saturday brought our first ever experience of an auction house - owned and run by an affable Welsh chap. We had checked out the merchandise and only had two modest targets - sun loungers for our guests who are arriving this Thursday