Thailand

Cherished

My family will tell you that when travelling I’m a sucker for silk scarves, handbags, and fridge magnets. These days I do exercise restraint. I’ve learned the hard way that a swipe of the credit card can result in weeks of extra heavy bags.

Nevertheless, I like to bring one thing home from each trip – a special treasure. Something I’ll cherish for years. Maybe, when the time comes for the move to the Rest Home, when I’m dependent on my family to smuggle me chocolate and red wine, some of these treasures will go with me to silently tell my adventure stories – to those who notice.

This is my favourite, so far. A silk throw. Craft is one of my things and I fell in love with this.

Thai silk throw

Thai silk throw

I bought it from Village Weavers at Nong Khai, during our first family trip to Thailand in January 2013. Nong Khai is in North-Eastern Thailand, the Isaan region. It’s a bit off the beaten track for most tourists.

It was here I first got acquainted with the mighty Mekong. It’s no wonder really that this river has continued to be such an attraction.

Love at first sight

Love at first sight: the mighty Mekong

I took the photo with my iPhone 4s. Believe it or not, at the time, I was disappointed with the shot. I thought it did’t do justice to the sunset. The only editing I’ve done is to crop it, slightly. In the distance is the Laos/Thai Friendship bridge.

My phone camera got a major work-out on that trip. I used it so much it overheated regularly, shutting down on me.

Giving the phone a work out

Giving the phone a work out at Salakaewkoo Sculpture Park, near Nong Khai

I was often in the same state. The heat (it was supposedly winter, hah!) and trying to keep up with the kids nearly got the better of me.

But I was back in love with travel and adventure.

Yep, that’s a deep fried cricket that’s about to crawl, not slide, down my throat. Believe me, it’s a once only experience. A large glass of Chang Beer might have improved the experience.

Down the hatch

Down the hatch

A local delicacy

A local delicacy

When I got back to New Zealand, I got busy. After decades of declaring it would never happen, I did it, I joined a gym. I knew I’d be going back to Thailand and I was determined that the next time I’d be fitter and stronger – and I was.

None of that would have happened without the encouragement of these amazing people. My people.

Assumption Cathedral, Bangkok, Christmas Day 2012

My people, each one a traveller. Assumption Cathedral, Bangkok, Christmas Day 2012

The silk throw is more than a souvenir, it’s memories, the best sort. And yet, it’s still more. It represents hope. You see, Village Weavers Handicrafts is a self help project supported by the Good Shepherd Sisters. They aim to alleviate poverty and assist women in the Isaan region to avoid prostitution. And those are concerns close to my heart.

Footnote: This weekend Paul RuddockPeter NenaSharukh Bamboat,  Damyanti Ghosh  and Dan  are hosting the Cherished Blogfest when bloggers all over the world are telling stories in 500 words or less about the objects  they cherish. Check them out.

And, tell me what do you cherish?

57 replies »

  1. Such a delicious variety of photos Jill. I am entertained, inspired, and grossed out :-).

    Before I went sailing, when I used to travel by other means, my secret was to leave home with a virtually empty suitcase and return with a full one. Lucky for me there is not much room on a boat so my consumption is WAY down.

    What do I cherish most now? My camera because it lets me ‘consume’ the moments.

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    • Hello Lisa, Wow, entertained, inspired and grossed out : I gotta say that’s pretty good going!! Thanks for the suitcase tip -that’s a brilliant solution … until my house is filled. But not to worry, that’s a long way off, unless I expect to put things in cupboards …

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You are a brave lady with the crickets 🙂 the fun of travel, and also that is an amazing sunset shot. The great thing about travel is just what you have covered here, new and great experiences. Thank you for sharing the memories, something special with SE Asia.

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    • I do love SE Asia, Randall. I’m hoping to go back soon. As to the photos, I’ve lost count now of the number of times I’ve declared “wow, look at that,” and passed my laptop over to my husband for him to see for himself the remarkable photos you have posted. I learn from each of your posts but my favourite is the post about Ankor Wat. So, that said, thank-you so much for your comment about the sunset.

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  3. That silk throw is gorgeous Jill and it would not be too heavy in the back pack. Very brave of you to eat the cricket, but what about the local delicacy the huhu bug??? I was once persuaded to try nibbling on the back side of a live green ant. It is supposed to be good for colds as it is full of vitamin c, according to the Aboriginals…It did taste faintly lemony…

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  4. Loved the throw! I’ve always had this plan (i.e., dream) of making one from my dad’s ties (he died 23 years ago), though I think by now my mother has probably thrown them all away. My bad 🙂 Great cherishable, Jill–and glad to meet you through the blog hop 🙂
    Guilie @ Quiet Laughter

    (P.S. — In Mexico, where I’m from, crickets are grilled, not deep-fried. Healthier, no? 😀 )

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    • Hello Guilie, welcome to my blog. Grilled not fried – definitely healthier but I’m not sure they’d be any more palatable, at least not to my palate. And, what an excellent idea to make a quilt from your father’s ties.

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  5. Omagoodness! You had me at the throw! But then the sunset! I have also eaten deep fried crickets, not too bad — I thought. I preferred them to the chocolate covered variety.

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  6. I ‘might’ be able to throw one deep-fried cricket down the hatch but anything with ‘worm’ in it’s name is not knowingly passing these lips!! Such a lovely throw and photos; I see a tangle pattern in that throw which definitely soarks my interest. Do you know what they use to make the beautiful variety of dyes?

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    • Hello Sammy, and welcome to my blog. I’m not sure which methods were used to dye these particular silks. But I have visited a place in Ventianne, in Laos, where they showed me the processes involved. There they used all sorts of local plants and they got the most beautiful deep colours. Perhaps one day I’ll write a post about that.

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  7. I did try the silkworm in Vietnam, a personal motorbike tour and it had come straight out of boiling hot water, kind of a nutty flavour, but not sure I’d want to try the crunchy version you’ve done, bravo I say! The worst thing I saw in Thailand were those roadside barbequed eggs, with half formed creatures inside them, horrid!

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  8. Ah, I’m on your page re treasured objects from travels, they harbour so many memories! Actually, treasured small items sometimes…I’m downsizing at present, and have a ‘Happy Box’ of things like postcards from years ago, a few tickets from events, etc etc…all of which transport me to another time, another place, another me and often, absent people.

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    • Hi Peter, Thanks for visiting and commenting and most of all thank-you to you and the rest of the team for hosting the blog fest challenge. As I said to Dan, below, I think Cherished is an inspired choice!

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  9. It’s nice to get a peek into a corner of the world I have yet to visit, at least first-hand. I agree, the “cherished” topic is proving more interesting than I first imagined.

    And on the topic of ingesting bugs, I once swallowed a fly, though it was completely unintentional. Yum…

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  10. An entertaining post Jill the silk throw was good and the Mekong photo but you eating the deep fried cricket is real candid camera. It showed what good sports you Kiwis are when it comes to cricket.

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  11. The silk throw is beautiful Jill, I can see why it rates. I can see how you can stop at one cricket, although deep-fried, just sayin, but I’m not sure how you manage to stop at one item. Thanks for participating in the blogfest, this was a treat to read. BTW, I am a huge fan of rivers and I love that iPhone photo.

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    • Hi Dan, Believe me, deep fried was noooo compensation for the textual challenge involved in getting cricket legs down the gullet!! Cherished is an inspired subject for a blogfest. Yay to you and the team for coming up with it. I’m thoroughly enjoying checking out the other blogs, too. Glad you liked the photos. Isaan, and Nong Khai, is a beautiful part of the world.

      Liked by 1 person

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