The first boat race of the season in this area was held last Saturday. It was in the village where I live, the first time I’ve been to a race here. It was hot and crowded, and the view of the race was not very impressive. I didn’t get a lot of photos of the race itself, but I got a few interesting, I think, pictures of other things. Nai and I sat in an open-air tent and watched the races from there. The start line was far to our right and the finish was a ways past us, so it was sometimes difficult to see who the winners were. Still, it was enjoyable, despite the heat, the crowd and the music blaring from a loudspeaker not more than six feet from our table. Here are a few sights from the race.
The Sithanthai village boat racing team relaxed between races under an awning just next to us. This is usually a very strong team, and they finished 2nd to the winning Hom village team in this race.
One of the Sithanthai paddlers cooling off in the water after the race. I watched him for awhile until I finally decided to take a photo. He stayed in the water for about 15 minutes.
This is the bowsprit of the Sithanthai racing boat. On every boat there is a small spirit shrine dedicated to Buddha, which you can barely see at the far left center of the picture, behind the protruding bowsprit. I asked Nai about the colors, if they had any meaning. He said that they were merely decoration, to make the boat more beautiful.
Yes, there really was a race. This is one of the few pictures I was able to capture of the actual racing. It looked like this team won their race, but I’m not sure what village they were from.
Anybody for some freshly fried grasshoppers? They go great with BeerLao, I’m told, Any takers? No? Me neither. I’ll pass, this time.
Our long break is over and the final term of the year begins today. The break was relaxing, but boring at times. We don’t get any paid vacation here, so I’m grateful to be making some money again. Back, happily, to the grind.