080124 Thaikarl home Ban Dong Khwang


home again in Ban Dong Khwang, our little village 7km from Lomsak, 35km from petchaboon, 365km north of Bangkok.  it feels quite good to be here.  there is always a few days of transition, a fuzzy time when i'm not quite here, but not there at all.  Its a period of "remembering this place".  it only last for a couple of days, then it feels like my place again.

there are some changes.  they have been working on the big road.  they have widened the 2 lane road another 40 feet on each side, piling in the dirt with trucks and grading and rollering it down.  the pond in front of the house has been reduced to the size of a small car.  it's more like a puddle now.  tok had them take out the middle of the three coconut trees and we have a new, wider driveway that slopes up to the new roadbed.  the sun and rain have been pounding the Lucky Moon House we built for ourselves last year.  We ran out of money and didn't get to put protective stain on the wood, so i'ts starting to look dry and graying.  the floor boards on the south porch have shrunk because the rain blows onto that wood and soaks it, then the sun cooks it all day and the boards are drying out.  i think we will have enough cash to do a little staining on the sunside of the house, but not much.

the annoyed neighboors behind us barrowed money from the bank and did a lot of fixing up of their house.  they had a layer of rock put on the public road. the rock has pushed aside the concrete beams i laid along the road last year, so we'll have another go round over where the exact property lines are so i can reset the concrete.  our land has shrunk enough with the public road put in next to the property, and with the loss of the pond and area that the big road is taking up.

the neighbor one house over built a big building in front of his house.  like a tall 4 car garage with rollup doors and a wide metal roof.  tok says he has come back to live here - they were living elsewhere it seems - and he will open a package store selling beer and things in this building.  the drag is that he put up two tube lights (flouresant fixtures) on tall poles to illuminate the land and building.  of course the lights are on all night, and the too-white light spills over and lights up our front yard.  it was nice and dark out there before, very pleasant to sit out there in the  night and look to the stars, but not so much now.

oh well.  the way things were are not the way they are now.  i was thinking that if i first came to this house now, i wouldn't think much about these things i've talked about, since the new road, the annoyed neighbors and the tube lights would be here, they would be part of the existing landscape.  that fact that i knew it different 5 months ago is moot.

Sai and Tai, who live next door were happy to see me. Tai came over the next mormning and we had one of our disjointed conversations with a few english words, lots of gesturing and me going "oh i see" and barely knowing what we are talking about.  i walked thru the back of the yards over to where the bunch of kids live to say "Sawatdee Kap" (hello!) and wave.  they were all smiles, the boys  got all shy as usuall.  this morning the whole crew came round the back, all the kids, girls and boys.  they came over to talk with me, but  of course i don't  know  what they say, but they were asking me all kinds of questions, and want me to repeat my tricks- magically pulling off my thumb, making a coin appear from beind their ears, taking pictures and VDO (video).  great to see them.

i can't even begin to tell you how wonderful it is to have the food again.  and as everyone is sick of hearing, i am so much happier to be in the warm/hot weather again. and it goes without saying, but i will anyway- being back with tok is the flower of this home in so so many ways.

gorgeous the life!
Nu and Tok

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080122 Thaikarl - the golden hour in bangkok


its the golden hour in bangkok.  that time of day when the sun is low on the horizon, and the city is bathed in a soft orange glow.  in bangkok, the golden hour is two hours long, because of the haze.  it's nice and warm, people are out in the shops and streets.  the day vendors are packing up their wares to make room for the night vendors.  it is a pleasant time in the city.  so alive, so active.  day business is over, the coming night brings out cool of evening, and the city slows, but doesn't relax.  this is bangkok after all.

tok and i went to the american consulate today.  closed.  martin luther king day.  but, we're in thailand?!? oh, it is the American Consulate.  so we have to start over tomorrow.  so we went shopping instead.  Tok is trying to find a jean vest. we took the water taxi boat to pratunam market.  rows and rows and blocks of little shops, selling... pert near everything.  lots and lots of cloths of every sort.  your brain gets numb looking at all the colors and styles and shapes.  we were in there and another 2 adjoining markets for more than 2 hours.  no vests.  but we did get a 40 minute foot massage ( 3.15 USD), that made it not quite so taxing.  we rode one of the little green buses back to victory monument near our hotel.  the green buses are too low ceilinged for me, i have to stand with my head tilted and hunched over.

we had some dinner and tok went looking for stuff, i came here to the internet shop.  she just arrived with her prize- a jean vest! i was guessing it cost 350, 550 baht.  wrong... she got it for 59 baht (2.00)  good score! then she has to tell me that 1000 baht ( 32.00) was lost from her pocket somewhere today.  whah.  but she got a great deal on the vest.  she has a knack for doing that- finding good prices.
some friends of ours from taiwan are coming into thailand next week for chinese new year break, so tok and i are going to take the bus to lomsak tomorrow and we'll come back to bangkok next week to see doug and jasmine and their new kid, and we'll run around doing the business information gathering then.  i'd like to get up to the house and see mama and teri anyway, instead of spending another 4 days here now.

on a t-shirt it said:  "you may be behind, but you are next"  wha????


Nu and Tok
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080119 Thaikarl: Greetings from BANGKOK!


it is so good to be HOME!  the sun was out all day, it is pleasantly warm, the bangkok air is thick and laden with scents.  real food on the streets, beautiful thai people everywhere, signs i can't read, driving on the left (look to the RIGHT when crossing the street!) and my beautiful Tok greets me at the airport with a smile.

the adventure begins now.  this is my 7th visit to thailand.  imagine that.

only making a quick stop at the internet cafe...  more will be revealed!

Sanook dee!

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080110 Thaikarl - delayed departure


i delayed my departure a week on both ends.  i was waiting for some money to come in, and i have a couple of jobs that i've been working on that need finishing.  Cost $100 to change the ticket, but i can make that up and more by working the rest of the week. Departing January 17th and returning April 17.

Tok and i will have a busy time in Bangkok after i arrive.  we have some Bangkok shopping to do, and i'm doing some fact-finding about doing business there for a friend of mine.  not to mention going to the US Consulate, and the Amphur (district goverment office) to register.

another week isn't so bad to wait.  is it?

Gorgeous the Life!


Read my Thailand adventure ::: http://www.thaicountrylife.com