Languid days here in Ban Don Khwang (Toks village). Nice and hot, light breezes, occasional warm rain. I've been busy, in a laid back way. Installing electrical fixtures, lights, switches and wires. Just try to find a pull-chain-switch here. They have never heard of such a thing. But my guys at the electrical shop across from the internet café came thru for me. Now you can turn on the new upstairs light by pulling the string from downstairs, or upstairs. Quite a novelty. The local kids all had to come in and try it out. With comments of he Thai equivalents of "Wow!" I also installed a hand rail next to the toilet. Mamma is 74 years old, quite "spry" as they say, but I was concerned about her climbing up the step. And getting down. It is helpful for me also I found. White men can't squat. Not flatfooted like the rest of the world anyway. Easier to keep my balance when I have a handrail to hold onto. (have to thank my dad for this thing about hand-rails. He's an advocate for them. I installed many in his house) Next big job is to tile the concrete portion of the stairs to the second floor. Never laid tile before. So I'll be figuring it out on the fly. Of course, they don't have Quikcrete here, so I'll have to crash course in cement. They don't use a mastic to glue down the tiles. When I've seen them laying tiles, they use a thin Portland cement mix. Hmmm. The tricky thing is that the stairs were built by drunks… nothing is square, the rise and run of each step is different, and one stair is wider on the left side than on the right. So I'm going to have to reform the stairs with some new concrete, and tile over that. Should be fun. Then there's the storage house for the rice, and a new toilet, and windows to replace the corrugated tin nailed over the openings, and a plant stand for outside of the kitchen so you can look at flowers rather then the neighbors rusty tin fence, and… and… and…
Not that I'm killing myself with projects. Took me 8 hours to install two switches, and outlet and wire up a new lamp fixture upstairs. I would do a little wiring, have a smoke, read some paper, more wiring, extract the junk from the pond with a long bamboo pole, a little wiring, eat some rice, etc… every time I had to go looking for a tool or screws I'd see something else that would grab my attention and I'd do that.
Not that there isn't any play. Few days ago, Jamlong and Somkid came round and took us all up to the mountains. We visited a war memorial on the top of a mountain (you could paraglide off there!), went down the hill to visit a huge chedi (Buddhist shrine thing), and of course, stopped to eat food numerous times. Jamlong won 10,000 baht in the lottery. A girlfriend of hers had some dream that prompted Jamlong to buy the winning ticket, so she took the girl and all of us out to dinner. The place we ate at was quite interesting. They bring a clay jar with hot charcoal burning in the bottom and set it in a hole in the middle of the table. Over that they put a domed cook pan- kind of like an upside down wok with a edge around it. They bring you plates of raw pork, liver, beef, kidney, glass noodles, veggies, and other mystery foods. You put the strips of meat on the hot cook dome, and cook it yourself right there. The juices run down the dome into the broth around the outside of the pan, making a soup to cook the noodles and veggies in. yum times 27!
Happy birthday patty lommis (april 9th) where are you this year????
* Thai-bit: you drive on the left side of the road
* in Thailand. Unless of course you are going
* the *Wrong Way*, then you drive on the
* extreme right.
i am in thailand at the moment. to be added or deleted from my travelogue, send request to this address. view previous posts at: http://thaikarl.blogspot.com/
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