Sunday, 5 August 2007

Or Did I Mean Frog Farm?

Yesterday Cat announced she was going into Sangkha market with her friend Naam who was back from university for the weekend. We normally go together and I'm not too keen on Cat using the motorbike, so I offered to take them in the pickup. But no, Cat was insistent they were going independently... a girls' trip out I guess.

Eventually they came back and I was astonished to see the amount of stuff she'd bought,squeezed between them on the motorbike. There was a huge bag of about twenty large heads of sweet corn, numerous bags hanging off the handle bars, a roll of plastic netting and one large and mysterious sack.

'Tirak ja! We not go Sangkha... go Khmen. Go with Naam's uncle's pickup.' So that's why they were so long.

'You went to the Cambodian border market? But why?'

'Buy all this. Very cheap! Very special.'

Yes, always very cheap. But what was so special?

Cat opened the big sack for me and there inside was a squirming mass of several hundred frogs. How lovely. Froggies! Just what I've always wanted!

After cooking some of them to eat with som tam, Cat then spent a hot and busy afternoon making a place for them to live in, a corral of plastic netting at one end of our new pond from which they've been told not to escape.

Frog's not bad, a bit like snake, but I find it so fiddly. The locals go crazy about it and Cat tells me it's very expensive and that our fortunes will now be made from breeding them. I contemplate a life of luxury on the proceeds, me a frog millionaire, a frog mogul. What are we going to call the company? Twenty First Century Frog?

Well, anyway, this'll keep Cat busy and she loves frog even if I don't. And like with the auntie who came wandering through the garden this morning with a plastic bag helping herself to the vegetables, they'll all be given away to family and friends. Cat'll generate a lot of face and it'll justify our privileged place here just a little. Proliferating protein and feeding frogs to Isaan folks is a better way for me to make merit than releasing captive sparrows any day.

How fortunate I am to have been given this opportunity to assure myself a better chance in the next life.

1 comment:

Maria said...

My Dear Friend,
how I love to read about your life in Isaan, and Cats´projects in particular. I must say I´m not at all surprised about the frog farm :-) Good luck with it - and everything else.
Love to you both
/ Maria, currently on vacation in Sweden.