Another busy day taking care of business on our house building site, which often just involves sitting around and answering questions about what should go where, and we’re off in the evening for a dinner/birthday party near Mae Chan. The dinner is for one of Amy’s friends who is visiting from Bangkok, for her father’s birthday. I drive Amy and 3 other girl friends, up the highway, down some small farmland back roads passing new paddy fields and ending up on a small farm estate in this beautiful valley wilderness.
As I’m already used to with Amy and her friends getting together it is a non-stop barrage of noise which I’m mostly glad I can’t comprehend. Soon the food and beer are flowing and I’m quickly drunk enough to try a few deep-fried crickets. They seem pretty tasteless though I’m reassured they are a perfect accompaniment to beer but I prefer the mix of chilli with beer, to be honest. Maybe the crickets are better when eaten fresh and still crunchy. Will try again one day. Maybe.
I cheer everyone along including the birthday dad and his brother who are particularly amazed that I am 50 years old, thinking that I was only 30. They decide to welcome me as their son-in-law and later, drunker, as their daughter.
We hit it off so well, and I’m made to feel so welcome here that my new dad plays some tunes on a traditional instrument for me, after which he takes me out the back of the shed and invites me to pee on his fields anytime I need – a special privilege it seems.
Both the dad and brother run farmland in an organic way by using nature to counteract pests to allow proper growth. I’m invited to come along for lessons any time in the future and I think it’s something I’ll end up doing if I have time. We communicate in mixed sentences of Thai and English and dad grows more fond of me with each drink. He’s starting to flag it a bit though and I offer to take him up the hill to his home. But when we get there his son is drinking whisky with his friends and I’m invited to sit for a shot. I eventually get the old man to his room where he lights up a cigarette and continues to pour out his affection. Eventually, I make it back to the food and drink but by now I’m so far out of it that I blank out anything else the evening brings, except for one pee stop on the way home. Amy drove home of course, not me!
The following day is a complete write off for me though we go back to the house to answer any more questions and I sleep quietly on a mat on the tiled floor in the corner of what will be our living room.
My days now will be repetitious with going to Home Mart type stores and picking accessories as they are required, hoping that our selections make sense when jammed all together in our house. Does a red front door go better than blue? Who knows? Over the next month, we will find out.
One afternoon we have to get back to take Amy’s grandmum (on her dad’s side) to get an injection at the clinic. She has an open appointment and dad says to go at 5pm. Now, this is a fine example of how it’s possible that some people’s brains are wired differently, as discussed in a previous post. Dad doesn’t consider to confirm this appointment and as he and mum are out for the evening it is up to Amy and me to take grandmum. When we get there the clinic is, of course, closed. Amy complains quietly to me that this always happens with her dad and she gets frustrated cos everyone gets angry with her when she makes a fuss about it. But it’s a huge waste of time for us and no apology is offered.
Worse still is that when we wake up in the morning both mum and dad are out for the day and although it isn’t stated it is expected that we will take grandmum when the clinic opens again today, despite all the things that we have to do too. But we do so and for this, we are not even rewarded with a word of thanks.
Amy complains that dad never offers to clean up dishes or more female related housework and anytime she says anything her grandmum will scold her. It is obvious that grandmum has spoiled and coddled him all through his life, much as she does with Amy’s brother too. It reminds me of the time Amy complained to her boss about the behaviour of the barista where she worked in Sydney and the boss said to ignore it as he’s ‘just a boy’. What fun it must be to go through life just as a boy.
In other news, I’m adjusting myself to the ways of the slipper. Thai houses are shoes off but slippers are offered as you enter, many shops do this too. I’ve soon learned that tie up shoes are time wasting and having to learn the little kick to shove off my slip-ons and step delicately into the slipper shuffle. I now understand the shuffle of my friends in Malaysia. The shuffle is required as you don’t get the slipper or thong on in the first go but work it up your toes as you shuffle along. You may then continue shuffling so that your shoes don’t suddenly come flying off. I haven’t quite mastered it yet but I’m getting there. I’ve even started thinking about where the pile of shoes and slippers are going to end up in our house when it’s ready.
And in a final piece of funny events, I had a laugh when shopping in the supermarket yesterday. I’m not usually one to laugh at miswritten statements on t-shirts in Asia as I believe it shows an ignorance on both sides of the coin. But this one made me chuckle. I’m guessing this aunty was in her 50s and her shirt read ‘I WANT TO SEE YOU FUCKING DIE!’ We’d probably be arrested for wearing this shirt in Australia or the UK and I do hope that she actually did understand the words on her shirt cos that would make her truly punk rock.
Here’s the sunset from our bedroom window. Enjoy your day, wherever you are.