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