Harvest time in Isaan and Dontan means the weather is cooler and life outdoors extends into the night. Riding my scooter around I see the rice field rest shacks are now social engagement spots for young adults.

 Days and Nights

The days seem tolerably warm and the nights cooler. Generally speaking, it is comfortable. One still has to be careful in the sun. The Thais are always covered with long sleeve shirts and pants. They also sweat less and can tolerate heat more for some reason.

 

 

harvest

 

 Rural Living

 Most people from the West are reluctant to work in laborious occupations, but my father was a farmer as well as a scientist of high repute, so I cautiously embraced rural living. It turns out that from a variety of perspectives life seems to work better. Your children are safe. Everybody knows everyone else. The lifestyle is healthy. You make your own food–these days that is a good idea.

 The Harvest


Time to gather the season’s plantings came too soon. The harvest takes only three months from planting, but during this time the seasons change remarkably. We went from the end of extreme heat to an environment of extreme humidity and heat. As that started it seemed like the planet was cooling down and I was right. Every rain made things cooler. And finally the nights became cool and it was October. If you are from the West and you want to live in Asia one just has to figure out how to handle extreme heat in July and August. I’d say it becomes almost impossible without airconditioning. Don’t forget though, in older days there were more trees and there was more shade–the trees do remarkably crucial work in cooling the air. So to the planet isn’t getting any cooler.

 

 

Fragrant Thai

 

 

 

 The best rice in the world is notably Thai rice. For good reasons: they plant sparingly and that makes the quality better. Secondly 

Thai Jasmine rice is the world’s finest rice in expert opinion. Mukdahan and Isaan are the originators of this variety of rice–commonly called fragrant rice or Thai Hom Mali rice.



Lending a Hand



In lending a hand I missed harvesting from the fields but carried a few bundles to the road. Work you have to be prepared for: the sun can be devastating. The next day they asked me to help load our pile of rice stalks into the machine. This type of help is something one can’t refuse. It was a solid 30-minute workout. I sat down quite exhausted and then I saw they started to tie sacks up and wanted me to load the pickup truck, about 24 sacks each about 100 lbs. (according to internet weight sources). So we loaded the truck… Then I found a nice spot in the shade and was happy to think the truck was leaving. But of course… the truck backed up into a shed on the property and they wanted to unload the sacks into a shed for storage. So we did that too. Luckily there were three guys this time and I had an easy job.

 

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