and auspicious day today. this morning the first pole of the new room went in the ground. apparently you have to do this right, with ceremony and observance. an old man came to do the blessings. mama prepared some baskets from banana tree skins. into each basket they put sweets, leaves, candles, food, rice a ball of dirt and other things. when it was time, the old man came out and sat on a mat next to the middle pole, saying prayers. around him were more offerings - whiskey, money, candles, water, cigarettes. they had tied a palm plant to the pole, and a small model of a fish catching basket, and a wooden stand for a bowel. with more words and muttering, they men hoisted the pole on their shoulders with ropes, and flipped it into the prepared hole in the ground. the blessing man went around and placed the banana skin baskets at each corner of the construction, and sprinkled water from a bowl at all the significant spots. i of course, was wandering around wondering the significance of each bit, and taking pictures and video of everything.
when all the ceremony was done, the men proceeded to put the other five poles in the ground, and square them up. you can really get a much better sense of what is going to be built here, now that the poles define the area. i'm really jazzed. it's going to be nice to have our own room, up in the air, with a balcony and windows that look out to the fields. games family inadvertently improved our view by cutting down two of the trees on the north side of their lot. they didn't do it to improve the view, they have to to make room to get their car in and out of their land now that they are confined to the narrow public road out to the big road.
so many things to decide - when you are building from scratch. what for the roof? what color? what wood? where to save money and where not? what kind of windows? railings? and there is always somebody walking up with a little bit of paper with some thai characters on it with numbers and figures - and a figure at the bottom to be paid. bags of cement, poles, dirt, sand, rocks, wood all magically appear in the yard, then disappear when they get used.
they finished off redoing the rooms upstairs. nice it is. they took what was a bedroom and a balcony and made it into two rooms, one a little larger than the other, and a balcony space 1/2 the size it used to be at the top of the stairs. these will be for mama and teri - who now share the same bed downstairs. their old sleeping area wasn't even a room, it was an area blocked off by a large long cabinet, a dresser and a chunk of plywood. this will all be open space when every one moves into their new rooms.
i'm afraid i'll run out of money before the project is finished, so we'll have to go with sheet tin for the room over the stairs, and maybe put the railing on the balcony later and all that. that's a classic scenario isn't it? more plans than cash?
else, i've been busy around the house, digging the hole for the water/fall pond, supervising the workers (ha ha ha). haven't been into the internet shop much in the last couple of weeks, so pardon the quiet time. i'm composing a more detailed longer piece about the house i was going to buy, and the improvements to this house that we are doing instead. with drawings and photos and some back-fill on the story.
otherwise, things are doing wonderful. i am constantly facinated by how-things-work here. and noticing the plants and bugs. saw a moth that was bigger than the span of my fingers sitting under the leaf of a tree. havent' been spending much time at the internet shop last couple of weeks, so pardon the quiet period. we've had some cloudy weather move in, which is nice as its a bit cooler, and occasional rains to wet things down
i've posted more pictures to the picasa gallery..
Nu and Tok
I am in southeast asia April 19 - July 20 2007 ::: http://thaikarl.blogspot.com/
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