23rd. March 2013 

Lemon Shit

"Copyright Owen Jones 2013 (c)" 

By: Owen Jones 

Lemon Shit

I have probably seen it rain in Thailand a thousand times over the last ten years, so today was probably the thousand and first time, although it might be considered exceptional because it was outside the traditional rainy or monsoon periods, but then weather patterns are changing anyway even in our remote fleck of the country.

Warm Thai rain has never caused me any trouble before, as long as it is outside the house, but it did today.

You see, the council has laid a new road through the village. However, it is 12-18 inches higher than the old one and without gutters, which causes rainwater to flow off it and into people's gardens, which are mainly bare soil.

The slope up from our house onto the road has become a muddy puddle about ankle deep, but the slope down into the shop where I often enjoy a beer, becomes a slippery mud slide.

So, having been taught to be cautious, but not having been taught to be sensible, I took the side route down alongside the path in order to avoid the the well-trodden path, which I thought would be more slippery.

There were about ten women watching me as first one foot and then the other sank several inches into the mud. They started laughing as I took another step into the mire. They laughed even louder, but I was half-way now and so had to go on, but my 250lb frame was causing me to sink deeper and deeper.

"Oo, er, oh dear", I said, "Kee kon maak" (lots of mud).

They laughed even more as I repeated 'kee kon' and struggled to get out, making sure that I was smiling all the while in the way that Thailand is famous for.

My mother-in-law came out of the shop to see what the commotion was all about. She gave me the look people give a dopey child, but came out into the mud to rescue me.

Don't get me wrong, my mother-in-law is lovely, but she found it funny too and so would have to tell my wife. However, my wife takes things a little more seriously sometimes and would probably see it as my loss of face in front of the shoppers, especially as the eldest woman there had had to help me out.

About twenty minutes later, my wife arrived - the jungle telegraph had reached her and she had come to investigate. I could hear the two or three old ladies that were still there chuckling and repeating 'kee kon' to her. They kept glancing over at me and shaking their heads.

I sat their drinking my beer, waiting for my wife to come over. When she did arrive, all she said to me was: "Why were you saying 'lots of lemon shit'?"

"No, 'mud', I was saying 'lots of mud'", but as she pointed out, Thai for 'mud' is 'kee korn'. It was lucky that I hadn't said 'kee khon', which means 'human faeces'!

Sitting in the shop now, writing this piece, my shoes and feet still caked in thick wet mud, I cannot believe that I had been so stupid as to walk off the trodden path either, but at least it had made them smile for a while.

Well, more than smile and it will be more than a while before I hear the end of the lemon shit saga too.

by Owen Jones

(c) Owen Jones 23rd March, 2013.

This story may not be copied in any way without the written permission of it's author, Owen Jones, but you may link to it, if you so desire.