Meanwhile, Jonathan from Brussels was drowning.

The whole village had gathered. The men constructed a raft with little clay figures on top. The women brought food and decorated the family’s balcony.

Two weeks ago, a tourist had committed suicide in their hut.

To get rid of the bad spirits, the symbolic raft was about to be shoved down the river in a relieving ritual.

While the people were praying for the family’s better luck at their home, drunken Jonathan from Brussels tried to swim to the other side of the river, cramped, and drowned.

B.P., Nong Khiaw, March 2012

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