Hang Dong District, Chiang Mai, Thailand – “Uncle”
“Uncle”, as we call him, is a Chiang Mai local. At 75 years old, he still works building houses, running errands and travelling from watering hole to watering hole, keeping an ear to the ground to learn the latest news regarding the sale of local land and property. We met him through our Airbnb host, a man we quickly befriended and stayed with through the majority of our time in Chiang Mai, in one of his guesthouses on his property. During our stay, additional guesthouses were being built and locals were frequently coming and going, working on the build. Uncle was not only part of the crew, but also a kind of foreman for the group.
You may not be able to tell by this photo but Uncle rarely stops smiling or laughing. We were often laughing right along with him, even though we had no idea what he was saying. Since he usually spoke Chiang Mai language, rather than Thai, our host didn’t always know either!
What he would say to call us over for a visit, after finishing work on the neighbouring guesthouse for the day, was “Hello” and “Whiskey” before sharing his locally made whiskey and the local Chiang Mai food he had bought. We loved sitting with Uncle and trying our best, with the help of our host, to communicate with him and enjoy each other’s company. His humour and friendliness was representative of the Chiang Mai people we met during our time in northern Thailand and we were quickly enamored with him.