Tuesday saw not only myself with a day off but Seerung as well, and it coincided with a visit from my niece Bow. Perfect timing.
I have a real soft spot for Bow, a delightful 16 year old who you would imagine is just like a young Thai girl was 50 years ago. Very traditional and very very shy. For her to actually call up by herself the day before and ask if she could come and stay for two nights was amazing. She had a cousin coming into the big smoke and due to school holidays thought she would tag along. This was the first time that we have both actually had a conversation with each other as there wasn’t a room full of other Thais around to make her feel embarressed. I even helped her to finish an assignment as the final part of it was to set up an email address and to send an email to the teacher.
The perfect timing continued as the reason she was on school holidays was because of the Candle Festival. It is the big week of the year for Ubon and something I had never attended before so after breakfast we set out to the large park in the centre of town Tung Si Muang.
We thought the traffic would be horrific but managed to find a park close by and soon realised that we were way to early to see any of the big events which actually suited me fine. If you want to see some good pics my friend Jason from Issan Style has some great ones on his blog. While you are there please check out the nice review he did on Peppers.
So we had fun walking around the park where we saw some nice garden displays.
What ever it was these guards were looking after it must have been quite important!
There was a large media contingent.
The kids decided on a little exercise with nanny Joy and Bow helping out before crossing the road where some marquees were set up.
The Marquees were a pleasant surprise from the usual boring cheap Thai markets that you usually see. Inside was a nice selection of local produce that you don’t see all that often and of course some that you see everywhere. The prices were much cheaper then usual as well.
Ariya was extremely interested in this automated ‘pok pok’ machine which she watched for ages.
Plenty of friend grubs to tempt the taste buds.
Also cheap were some of the clothes that were on offer, a lot of stuff was almost half price then what I had seen elsewhere. Bow picked up a few shirts and I got myself a much needed pair of shorts.
Word on the street was that crowd numbers were way down this year due to swine flu. Just before the festival got into full swing a couple of schools shut for a few days due to suspected swine flu cases amongst a few students. Rumours then swept through town that one student actually died, although I am yet to have that confirmed.
The girls had a great time as there were ice cream and balloons.
After all of that it was back to the car and off to lunch at Risottos Italian Restaurant before heading home for an afternoon nap!