Homeward bound

About once a year it is strangely quiet in our household when the maid and her Yasothon mob take off for the home village on a merit-making venture. It is near-pandemonium as they prepare to leave. One by one, seemingly every Yaso villager residing in Bangkok shows up at the gate with big bags, most of which appear to contain food — not stupid these people. There are mothers, babies, more mothers, more babies, uncles, aunts. Invariably a couple of chickens make a brief appearance then disappear quickly. (When the barbecued chicken was offered to me on one occasion, I politely refrained from asking its origin.)