Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Day in Ayutthaya – another blog by Greg’s Parents

On Thursday of our second week in Thailand we visited Ayutthaya.  We were driven there by Greg’s driver, Puk (pronounced Pu), who is from Ayutthaya.  It’s about an hour from downtown Bangkok, where Greg and Mary live.  Puk first drove us to Hutchinson Technologies Overseas (HTO) to see where Greg works.  After Greg showed us around the plant, we went to lunch at a local noodle restaurant which, like many restaurants in Thailand, is totally outdoors (the cooking, seating and dishwashing – totally outdoors).  We had soup of rice noodles with pork and bean sprouts – very good – and we think we managed well with chopsticks and a noodle spoon, even though after a few bites the owner walked over to our table with a fork and spoon and handed them to Cathy, saying, “For you.”  She didn’t use them, but she was seen sponging a few small spots off her shirt in the car.

After lunch Puk drove Greg back to work, and then spent the afternoon showing us around Ayutthaya.  It was the original capital of Thailand, which was then Siam.  There are many temple and royal ruins there, and we saw quite a bit of it.  Though more primitive than the Grand Palace and temple we saw on Tuesday, it was equally impressive, just different.  These ruins were the remains of a defeat in a war with Burma in the 1400s, yet it is amazing what remains today.

It was an interesting day spent with Puk, who speaks very little English.  He was a gracious host despite the language barrier.  Every time we were in his car he played his American CD, which Greg is pretty sure was just for our sake.  It was all remakes of American hits from the 60s and 70s by the likes of John Denver, Charlie Rich, Olivia Newton-John, Glen Campbell, the Everly Brothers, Johnny Cash, Anne Murray, etc.  We’ve heard this sort of music in a few other places – all remakes of old tunes.   
Puk also just called us “Mom and Dad” all afternoon.  He did a good job of showing us around and making us feel welcome.  The afternoon went by rather quickly, and soon it was time to go “pick up Boss” – that’s Greg (whom Puk obviously enjoys working for) and head back to Bangkok.

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