Some of you may know that for the past few years I've been plagued with a drinking problem...
...and his name is Charlie.

Charlie arrived in Ban Phai last Saturday for a short visit.  He said that he wanted to visit Thailand again but I think it was really because he wanted a fresh Singha.  Either way it was good to see a familiar face.

It wasn't long after his arrival that we installed ourselves on the bench outside the hotel to watch Ban Phai go by as we emptied the fridge in the hotel lobby of every Singha (the official beer of Thailand) and Leo (the semi-official beer of Ban Phai).  We even observed one of the staff make a beer run to replenish the stock of Leo.  That's certainly not to say Charlie wasn't keeping up with me on the Singha but Juy was helping me with the Leo.

In the next few days I introduced Charlie to many of places I've mentioned in my blog and shown in my photo gallery.  Juy and I also took Charlie to a local lakeside restaurant we had been meaning to try that served the same type of dancing shrimp that I had in Laos on my first visa run to Nong Khai.  I had a couple and Juy had the rest but Charlie chickened out.

I also introduced Charlie to the three dogs that hang around the hotel.  One is the hotel owners dog and the other two, according to the hotel owner, are his friends.  Juy and I would buy some meatballs or hot dogs from a street vendor every few days to give them a treat.  Charlie also got in on the act and fed them a few times.

It's now a week later and Charlie left early this morning to spend a day in Bangkok before his flight back.  This time it won't be as long until I catch up with my drinking problem since Rob and I will meet up with Charlie before the Argo game on Wednesday.