Good bye Thailand

As planned, a few days later we headed back to Ubon to try and finalise everything for the take over of Peppers as well as some personal things that needed to be taken care of.

Before we did this though I had to make a quick trip to Bangkok. The trip came about as a result of my meeting in Nakon Nayok the previous week. I had orginally planned to drive as I thought I would have to go to Nakon Nayok as well as Bangkok but in the end only Bangkok was needed so I swapped the car for a plane which suited me fine! I drove into Ubon and caught up with two friends for lunch before one of them dropped me off at the airport and took my car back to his place. Upon my return the next day his girlfriend picked me up and took me back to my car so I could return to the village.

The very next day at sun rise Seerung and I were heading back to Ubon with one extra who needed to be dropped off at the hospital. We had organised to stay over night if needed and very quickly we realised that it was necessary. Once again Seerung and John got pushed around and around, it really was a total joke yet for some reason no one was laughing. Imagine going to the taxation office and finding out that they do not have a photo copier that works and you need to walk around the block to find one every time something needed copying. I kid you not.
I on the other hand had a great time by myself as I managed to do some shopping as well as get to the dentist for a clean and check up.
That night we stayed at the Pan House which was where we had stayed almost two years earlier when first setting up Peppers. It is still just as clean, friendly and great value for money as it was back then. The next day was more of the same and it wasn’t until darkness fell that we were able to head back to the village and some very excited kids.

All that was left to do was pack up and say good bye. The hardest goodbye in the village was to Seerungs Auntie who is very sick and we are not expecting to see her again. Everytime she heard a car go past she would ask someone if that was us leaving Thailand without saying good bye. She was so excited to see us and we had a great laugh over a few hours. To say I didn’t have tears in my eyes when leaving would be a lie.

I knew however that the hardest good bye would be to Seerungs two sisters and their families. They decided they wanted to all come to the airport so tears were averted for the time being.

On our way to Ubon for the final time I came across a magnificent sight. In my 8 years of visiting or living in the village I was yet to see Buffalos working traditionally as the iron buffalo (tractor) had well and truly taken over. To see this sight just a few kilometres from the village warmed my heart. I stopped and watched for ages much to the amusement of the full car. These ended up being the last photographs I took in Thailand and now the last that will be published on this blog and I think it is rather fitting.

The trip to Ubon was uneventful after the photos were taken and we had a lovely last coffee at Peppers and were surprised with an unexpected farewell from some friends who were waiting for us.

The airport good bye at Ubon was a real tear jerker and both of Seerungs sisters and 3 nieces got very emotional. I had booked a 5 star suite in Bangkok for three nights so that we could relax and catch up with a few friends ahead of our flight to Adelaide in Australia which was a great decision we soon found out as would you believe it, all of us got sick! At lease we were comfortable! Marisah was the worse and I ended up taking her to BNH hospital as her fever would not go down and had cracked the 40.0 degree mark. I had planned to call the airline company the following morning to change our tickets but the medicine they put her on worked so well that she woke up with a smile and we knew that the flight was back on. It was still a miserable flight but it could have been so much worse.

So here I guess ends my tale of our “Life in Rural Thailand”. What started out as just an extended visit to finish our house and allow my girls some time with their Por Yai ended up being two years of village as well as city life. There were plenty of ups and downs along they way but over all we are very glad that we did what we did. As a result we are all better off as individuals as well as a family.

This blog began as a personal diary for family to keep in touch with what we were up to ended up being read by people from all over the world. From just 30 or 40 readers per day at the very beginning to over 15,000 people per day during the peak of the red shirt protests. 318 entries and over 1,500 comments are now on permanent record and I can’t wait to read back through it all some time in the future.

The village as well as Ubon Ratchathani will always be our home away from home and we will be back often. Once the kids are a little older we may even move back more permanently. Only time will tell. We have made good friends in Ubon and look forward to catching up with you again soon.

I am also very happy to announce that just a few days ago we visited our local hospital and got confirmed the news that we were hoping for. Our third child is due to be born in June!

Thank you so much to all the readers out there, especially the regular ones. This blog has allowed me to meet either face to face or via email with many people from all over the world. It has also helped quite a few people with information about Ubon and Thailand. I intend for it to be accessible for as long as possible and will try and update bits if I believe they have become out dated so please keep the comments rolling in.

Perhaps a blog about life in Australia will follow shortly but for the time being, this is it.

All our love

Andrew. Seerung, Ariya, Marisah and ???

39 responses to “Good bye Thailand

  1. I have been reading your blog since the beginning of it and to the best of my memory, I’ve never commented. My other half is in Ubon whereas I am in Malaysia. I have been to Ubon a few times and to Peppers once but you weren’t around at that time. I read your blog to see more of where my other half hails from and has continued reading because I enjoyed it.

    All the best then, and congrats on your third child’s arrival in June.

  2. Lovely Blog..Wish you all well and we will miss you all more than you know.
    All the best and “HASTE YE BACK” !!

  3. All the best, Andrew. I’ve enjoyed everyone of your entries for well over two years now, and have really enjoyed watching your kids grow up and your adventures in business, travel and life. It’s funny how you can now live someone else’s life vicariously through the lens of their blog. But I have to say it’s been a pleasure and an honour to have been let into you and your family’s life these past few years. Congratulations on the third addition to your family. I hope you don’t truly cut off the blog so we might get periodic updates in the future. Good luck with your new life.

    • Hi Bodhi Bum, what a great comment – thanks. I looked back to the first of my blogs the other day and saw how young my kids were so I guess you have been watching my kids grow up which is quite special for me. The blog will remain active with comments at this stage but I am sure that any further trips to Ubon will be reported so as to update people on all the goings on whether it be Ubon city, the village, my house or of course my kids!

  4. You blog has been a fantastic read! Our Thai family give you our best wishes. Like Doug has said, “We will miss you all more than you know.”

  5. It’s been a real pleasure reading this blog since I discovered it a couple of years ago.

    I hope you + fam settle in in Australia safely and quickly! And…. congratulations on the great news!!!!

    Keep in touch.


  6. Best wishes to you all for the future. I have been reading this for a year or more now and it has been a pleasure.

  7. I’m going to miss your two girls and both of you. Congratuations on the new one. You have a very nice family. Hopefully you will keep us update on your life in Australia and how the girls and the new one progress.
    All the best.

  8. Thankyou for your wonderfull blog,
    I am planning to move to Detubon next may and your blog has been invaluable.
    Thankyou for letting us watch your family grow, congratulations on your new arrival.
    It will be strange being back to Adelaide after such a long time in Thailand, I have experienced it myself and I am suffering til I can return to the land of smiles.
    Take Care and hope to bump into you in little old Adelaide to personally thankyou for your blog.
    Best Wishes Daryl

    • Hi Daryl,

      Glad to hear that the blog was of some help to you. Det Ubon is a nice large town not to far from Ubon. I am sure you will enjoy your time there. There is an American by the name of Rocky who lives there. Really nice fella so keep an eye out for him.

  9. Wishing you and the family [including your “future arrival”] all the best on your return to Australia.

    Very much enjoyed reading your blog postings, and actually meeting you and your wife (last year, early to mid-November) at Peppers. We breakfasted there several times, and always appreciated the experience. I hope John doesn’t make too many adjustments to the blueberry pancakes dish.

    Best of luck to you all!

    Regards from Ken & Newt, San Diego, CA

    • Hi Ken. As far as I am aware, the blueberry pancakes have not changed at all so you should be safe! Glad to hear that you enjoyed visiting Peppers. All the best!

  10. Memock, chok dii to you and yours. I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog and hope you continue to write when you reach Australia.


  11. I never got to meet you on the few times I made it into Ubon from Phana, but Pensri and I enjoyed meting Seerung a few times (and the bread we bought). Have really enjoyed your blog, especially your trip to Pak Song, the old pics of Ubon in the 1960s, and news of your lovely family (I mean the girls, no disrespect to your parents). Great news that one more is on the way. Congratulations.
    Best of luck to you all back in Oz. (I’m back to the 1st test on BBC now.)

    • Hi Lawrence, I just finished giving a plug to your new blog in a previous comment when low and behold here you are!! So glad you got to meet my wife but I am sorry that we were never able to meet up. Never mind, there will be plenty more opportunities. Roll on the boxing day test!

  12. All the best for the future Memock. This will open up a big void for news in Ubon for a lot of folk. But from a new-ish father to you, good luck with the pregnancy

    • Thanks bulldog. I did just notice that there is a new blog been started that has some good news on the area. The address is: I actually look forward to going back on holidays and doing much more in depth posts on the area with lots of photos so don’t delete the address of this blog from your favourites just yet!

  13. Memock, I have greatly enjoyed reading your blog about your life in & around Ubon. I visited Ubon last September with my Thai wife although we never made it to Peppers.Hope you continue to blog – you have excellent writing skills!
    David (Fountain Valley California)

  14. Goodbye, Memock…
    I’ve enjoyed reading about the ‘Thailand’ side of your life over the last couple of years and I’ve loved seeing the photos of your girls!


  15. It has been a great pleasure to have read ‘Life in Rural Thailand’ since you first contacted me through my blog. It has been fascinating to visit Ubon and Thailand again through your eyes and experience. Your blog has been a wonderful meeting place that has allowed me to reconnect with fellows I’d served with there in 1969. Thank you for sharing your life in rural Thailand. I pray all the Lord’s best for you and your growing family. R L Roberts, UBON RTAFB, 81st AMS/WCS, 1969.

    • Rob, you are one of the highlights of my blogging life to date. The personal emails that we have shared as well as the great Ubon history information that has now been made public for ever is just fantastic.

  16. Sad to see the end of this blog as you’ve brought an unusual experience to life. I know that in the beginning you were hesitant to go into much detail and guarded much of what you wrote about but you well and truly had abandoned that way of thinking by the end of your trip. I believe what you have done will serve as a wonderful to your girls. Good luck back in Australia.

    • Thanks FB, you proved to me what a small world the internet is seeing as we discovered that my auntie was your teacher in primary school! So glad that your blog is still going as I really enjoy reading it.

  17. It’s been a great blog Andrew ,to see more about Seerung’s family and your experiences. Looking forward to seeing you guys ASAP.

  18. Best of luck and best wishes for the future. Thanks for an enjoyable read over the past 18 months or so.

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  20. Well, I’m terribly disappointed that I have just now come upon your blog only to find that you have left Ubon/Thailand. I took my first trip to Thailand this year, in fact I just got back a couple of weeks ago. I went for 8 days to a place called Elephant Stay in Ayutthaya. I would love to return to Thailand and explore the countryside. My daughter-in-law is Thai and she is from a rural village in the north too. Now I am very interested in knowing more about Ubon and possibly making it my next destination. I want to wish you, your wife and your precious daughters and the little one that is on the way all the best. I will continue to explore the internet for more information now that I have read some of your blog entries.

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