For the past week I have been visiting a village in Chiang Mai province. The cold weather, especially early in the week, made the daily shower rather challenging for a softy like me. In a way it was a pleasant break to go for a two-day walk in the forest with a group of villagers, retracing one of the old trading and migration paths. It was a little cold sleeping on the forest floor (though the fires were kept well stoked and the one-gallon container of whiskey with “eleven tiger” herb mixture added was certainly worth the weight) but given the complete lack of facilities, no pressure to wash! Sufficieny hygiene.

I will be going back to the village for a few more days and then back here to Chiang Mai to attend a conference on the Mekong Region hosted by Chiang Mai University. When I have a better internet connection I will provide some details about the trip – about the walk in the forest, Thaksin, tobacco, wage labour and, of course, the ongoing preoccupation with sufficiency economy.