Thursday, 1 December 2011

Bicycles, T-shirts and nasty bugs

What a whirlwind 24 hours!  This blog is a day late due to an unexpected virus that had bedridden me for the entire day yesterday, so let's recap...

Wednesday's mission saw us heading into Korat, the nearest city about 40 minutes from the village, so source a bicycle and some t-shirts for merchandising printing.  Korat would probably be as comparatively big to Brisbane, with all the major shopping malls, outlets, traffic, people, large streets and organised chaos.  It's good to know that their most prestigious shopping centre, innovatively called 'The Mall' is well overstocked with art supplies ranging from brushes, paints, paper, mediums, pastels, pencils and other high quality art materials.  The price probably slightly cheaper than that in Australia, but at least it would mean a lighter luggage load for the artists if they choose to purchase their materials here.

T-shirts found!
First stop is t-shirt shopping in the old city section of Korat.  We are trying to source good quality black t-shirts for printing our gallery's logo upon. These shirts will be worn by those involved in the program and will also be available to purchase at the gallery in 2012.  T-shirt printing is ridiculously cheaper in Thailand, so we are taking advantage of the opportunity.

After a few smaller scale shops, we hit the jackpot warehouse where the other shops most likely stocked their supplies from.  We found a bargain, and carried two oversized bags of black shirts to scout some much deserved lunch nearby.  Much to my delight they were selling meat on a stick and sour green mango.  The fact that the meat itself was chicken bums didn't faze me, as my hunger and the taste definitely outgrew the potential thoughts in my head.

Green mango to top of the greasiness is just what was needed too.

Sliced Green mango served with chilli sugar
Then it was on to bicycle hunting.  We were on the look out for a good quality commuter's bicycle, so that the resident artist could be properly equipped during their stay.  We figured that having a bicycle for transport would be beneficial for a few reasons:  to keep the artist local within the village; to encourage social interactions with the village residents; and overall it had much less risk than driving a car or a motorbike.  Definitely a more environmentally friendly alternative too.

We found the perfect bike in a shop tucked away in one of the back streets, boasting every kind of bike accessory you could imagine.  Basket, bag holder, bell, mudguards, good size and good price!

Coming back into Phimai, it was time to drop off the numerous t-shirts to the man who was actually screen printing onto them.  His shop, tucked behind a restaurant by daylight, was also alongside the street that set up as a market at night.  This market is where we sourced our dinner for the night, picking up some Som Tum (green papaya salad), Gai Yang (BBQ chicken), pork curry, beef jerky, and some other veggies to eat.
Thank goodness for eating my little heart out that night, before the next day which would see me not eat or leave the bedroom for a whole day!
Curry in a hurry!

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