Back Home Again, No Time Again

It’s still quite cool during the days in Maha Sarakham and actually cold at night. Last year we only had a week or two of this weather, so it’s been great to have it continue for almost two whole months.

These past two months, I’ve been all over on family trips to Phimai, Chiang Mai, and Surin, and for work to Nam Nao, Saraburi, Trat, and Koh Chang. Next weekend I’m taking my Master’s class to Wang Nam Keaw for a weekend survey. Then hopefully, I can take a break from too much traveling for a while. The babies miss me when I’m gone (or so I like to think), and I miss them too.

The photos above were taken with my Galaxy 5 phone on one of our neighborhood walks – the open areas in our development are fast disappearing, so we are getting in as many dirt road rambles with the babies as we can.

Mosquitoes Eating Fruit (Part 1 – Jackfruit)

In or new Thai house, we’ve noticed mosquitoes sucking moisture out of sponges around the sink area, or from damp towels or rags. I suppose this is normal behavior, but we never really noticed it until we lived in this house. The past year, we’ve started to notice them sucking on various fruits we leave out on the counters. I’ve decided to start recording these images because I feel there’s a greatly underestimated demand for knowing what mosquitoes that aren’t sucking blood are sucking.
In this case, it was jackfruit.

Click to see the entire Mosquitoes Eating Fruit Series.

Our New Thai House Part 5 – The Blessing Way

The end of 2007 coincided with the milestone of 98% or so of the basic house being completed, so we decided to move in on New Years Day. We invited some monks for a blessing ceremony and they did us up well.
It was the first time we were living in a new house. This coupled with the fact that we were one of the very first houses up in the neighborhood and hence kind of solitary made for a strange but very relaxing time coming home after work every day. I mean, in front of the house was our pond and around us was future house plots and rice fields. It was very cool. We bought some golden lions to protect our house, and they have worked out very well.
This isn’t necessarily the end of the Our New Thai House series, but it marks the end of the first chapter.


Our New Thai House entries:
Our New Thai House Part 1 – Picking a Plot
Our New Thai House Part 2 – Foundations
Our New Thai House Part 3 – Groundwork
Our New Thai House Part 4 – Roof and Walls
Our New Thai House Part 5 – The Blessing Way
Landscaping Our House – Before and After

Home Alone with Max

The nanny took the day off today and mommy had a meeting from the afternoon, so MAx and daddy stayed home and played all day. The highlight if the day was letting Max eat yogurt by himself on the front porch and then hosing it off afterward.
It’s been rainy recently but in between storms the sky can be quite dramatic. Here’s a couple shots from not too long ago:

Third World Concrete Pump

That’s definitely footage from Thailand; that’s the distinctive paint job of a CPAC truck. We see this kind of bucket brigade all the time since they are building all around us.

Our New Thai House Part 4 – Roof and Walls

The Our New Thai House series must be finished before the subject becomes Our Old Thai House!
By the end of this period in September/October of 2007, the house was 90% completed.
In some of the photos above you can see a transformer box on the power pole to the right of the house. It took me considerable effort to get it moved from there, but it was of course worth it. Most Thais think its a non-issue, but after I campaigned to get it away from my house, nobody wanted it in front of theirs, either. We kept bothering and trying to bribe the power company to get it moved, to no avail. The man in charge at the power company claimed, out loud, to be incorruptible. This was relayed to me second hand, as foreigners should generally stay away from such negotiations. The intermediary reporting this back to me and the housing developer was sure we had hit a wall. I, however, am a skilled listener.
When a government official in the third world says they can’t be bribed, it can mean a few things: It can mean they are newly elected to office and don’t know how things work. It can mean they are currently under investigation. It can mean whatever you want to bribe them for isn’t possible/available at that specific point in time. Or it can mean your initial offer was too low. What it absolutely does not mean is that the official cannot be bribed under any circumstance.
So we made a better offer. The price to get a transformer moved just down the street in rural Thailand, all-inclusive? 50,000 Baht (approx. $1,500 US). We split the cost down the middle with the developer.
It was worth every satang.


Our New Thai House entries:
Our New Thai House Part 1 – Picking a Plot
Our New Thai House Part 2 – Foundations
Our New Thai House Part 3 – Groundwork
Our New Thai House Part 4 – Roof and Walls
Our New Thai House Part 5 – The Blessing Way
Landscaping Our House – Before and After