Buncha new pix in the picassa gallery (new pix are always at the bottom)
News of the weird
on a pillow at the monday market, emblazoned with a large orange flower on a pale green background, where the words:
"Gorgeous the life" i like that. Very satisfactory result indeed. All your base are belong to us.
And, not to be outrageous or anything, but the last paragraph in a story in the Pattaya Mail (english language newspaper) reads:
Some sanook (fun) from thailand. else, we're getting things done. in fits and spurts as they say. i spent a good part of the day 'tera-forming' the ground under the Lucky Moon House. after construction, the dry ground under the house was all lumpy and had wood pieces and cement chunks all mixed in. worse than that, when it rains the flood of water would run under the middle of the area and turn it into a sea of mud. i dug out a shallow ditch to divert the water across the front of the house, and along the side behind the water fountain. one thing i learned building the water fountain - water goes where IT needs to go, which is not necessarily where you think it will go. i also had the big idea that if i turned on the pump and poured liters of well water over the whole area, i could reform the hard lumps by turning the whole thing back into mud, which i could rake and scrape around to make a somewhat level surface. Tok thought i was nuts. I'm always coming up with crazy "non-thai" ideas. so i did just that- flooded the whole area under the house with water, and raked, and raked and raked, and scraped. somewhat successful. it's hard to make dirt that turns to clay mud move around. we'll see what its like when it drys out some.
They are planting rice in the fields out back. what a job! a few weeks ago a conventional tractor came round and plowed under the remains of the tobacco crop. Then, since we haven't had any big rains, they turned on the pumps and filled the fields with water from the wells. chunka-chunka-chunka sound 24 hours a day. then a man plowed and scraped the fields using a motorized buffalo, which is a kubota industrial motor that drives two big metal wheels, with long handles running back to the operator. they first seeded rice seed in a couple of the smaller fields, which has been growing like grass. the last week, they have been gathering the seedlings. 12 or so people bent over, snatching the seedlings from the mud, gathering them in the other hand. they smack the bunch against their foot to remove the excess mud, straighten the bundle and tie it with a strip of bamboo. Then they put 15 or so bundles on a bamboo pole and distribute them across the fields. the last couple of days they have been replanting the seedlings. grab a couple of seedlings (which kind of look like scallion onions) and push it in the water down into the mud. do this over and over and over. all day. bent over. i go out to take pictures and they always laugh and try to get me to try it. i decline. after all, it IS forbidden for foreigners to engage in agricultural work.
as tok and i were walking along the dams out to see the workers, i asked her "where do the snakes go when the fields are full of water?" i'm always asking dumb questions like that. Tok fired back: "I don't know, i forgot to ask them!" with a big smile. Once i asked her where will the frogs live when they destroy the pond making the big road. she said "they can go live in the fields!" i a bit soft when it comes to the creatures. if a frog comes hopping into the house, or on the porch, i'll ketch it and take it out to the pond. The other day i found a land crab under the 55 gal drum. he was a bit harder to catch (ouch!) but out to the fields he went. they would have probably kept it to put in the papaya salad. any time big flying insects get in the house, i try to gently guide them out the roof. they will just ignore them. or smack them if they are annoying. I lie to watch the chickens, but they can get annoying. If i make a pile of raked up debris and dirt, then go have lunch, when i come back the pile will be scattered all over. the chickens do this funny scratch-scratch then a quick hop backwards and head-dive to look for exposed things to eat. they get all over the yard. Tok doesn't like them and throws things to get them to go away. but then, she's been living with the neighbors chickens for years. i haven't.
we came into town today to transfer a land telephone line over to Toks name. One of the neighboors needs money to fix their broken well pump, so he's selling his land line to us. you can't just get a land line. there are a limited number of lines to the village. the only way to get one is to wait until somebody wants to sell theirs. but everybody has a mobile phone, so.... amazing thailand.
have to go back to my earth-moving and yard work.
onward! Gorgeous the life!
Nu and Tok
I am in southeast asia April 19 - July 20 2007 ::: http://thaikarl.blogspot.com/