Another busy week of back and forth. I’m slowly getting into the rhythm of the hours and the days. A weekly rhythm is illusive still but that’s fine, most days I have no idea what day it is. It’s a big change from sitting around in an air-conditioned office, staring at a screen for 12 hours at a time, though I do spend a bit of more time looking at my phone these days.
One time last week Amy came to me laughing after having talked with the electrician at our house. Apparently, he had heard, from someone around in the village, that I was a professional football player from Australia! I can guess that this came from the village store where I’d been a total of once at that time.
I trekked up there again to buy beer for our workers after one long day where I did a lot of back-breaking weeding. There’ll be more of that to come for sure, barely scratched the surface. Anyway, I managed to convey that I needed 12 cold beers and that they were all for Amy, whilst I was just having a yoghurt drink. They complimented me on the house and then said how hot the weather was. Well, it’s small talk but I’m getting there slowly when I’m allowed off my leash. I wonder what gossip that visit generated as I trudged in in my boots and sweat-ridden clothes. We shall see.
Talking about being let off the leash, whilst I’ve been happily driving around in Amy’s mum’s car, or dad’s truck, I was granted permission to ride the motorcycle. Usually just at night when it’s quieter and we never go too far anyway. Amy had been riding with me on the back and I think she was finding it hard to control with the extra weight, better to let me ride instead.
I think she almost changed her mind on the first few runs though. The motorcycle is somewhat dilapidated and the front brake doesn’t work at all. It took me a while to master the gear changes, whilst also using the gears to brake half the time. I decided we’ll get an automatic bike when we get round to getting our own. Much simpler. I need simple these days.
The weather has been pretty good as far as I’m concerned. Even on the hot days, it wasn’t too much of a bother but I know it will get much more sticky and hot next month. The evenings, as the sun is setting, are perfect. We rode out to the old airport where folks young and old walk, run and ride up and down the runway, to get a bit of exercise in. Has to wrap up before the sun disappears though as there is no other light there at all. A few vendors have figured it’s a good place to make some money on water and various other drinks.
We walked past a group of about 30 teenage boys playing football, shirts vs skins, and I watched them for a bit, noticing the topless fat boy at the nearest corner. A few seconds later the ball came his way with a long floating kick from midfield. This was his chance for glory. But he had his back to the ball and facing towards us. His team all screamed at him, ‘Fatty, wake up and stop checking out the farang’s wife’, talking about Amy. Everyone laughed and we kept on strolling.
We met up with Goi, one of Amy’s old school friends, as we were walking and they chatted whilst I called up my cousin Sharon to see how she’s doing back in England, now that things are not quite so frantic with her looking after my mum. She asked if I felt bereaved and I said I didn’t really, things have just been too busy to even think about it too deeply, though I was always reminded of mum whenever I took photos of unusual plants and flowers. Sharon said to send them to her instead which I had planned to do anyway.
Later, when Amy and I were having dinner, she told me about Goi’s life and her worries about health, money and the future. Similar to another friend who is also raising a child, around 8 or so years old each. We are sympathetic to their situations as they ask about ours and why we don’t want kids. For us, the answer is obvious, we don’t want to have the same worries and concerns that they are now having. For some reason, it doesn’t make sense to them.
After the football incident, we are also constantly discussing the fact that some people around they city stare at us – a lot! We can understand people’s curiosity but some people literally gawp, mouth wide and follow us as we walk past. Foreigners are not that uncommon around town or even out in the countryside these days and we think maybe it’s because Amy doesn’t look like the traditional Thai girl a lot of foreigners seem to go for. I decided that next time it happens I will softly say in Thai, ‘Excuse me, what is it that you are staring at?’ The only downfall to this plan is that if they answer, I probably won’t be able to understand.
Whilst our garden is a constant battle against weeds, our next challenge will be the constant battle against insects, particularly, ants. Ants are everywhere in Amy’s parent’s house. Whatever is built they will find a way in. I don’t have anything against ants, as far as I know, none of them are dangerous, the thing that freaks me out with them is that sometimes, in low light and I’m not wearing my glasses, it looks like the walls or floor are moving and I’m reminded of tripping on mushroom tea. And it makes me want mushroom tea! The ants and the weeds will take over this world. They are unstoppable. We planted 5 small Jacaranda trees this week. Fingers crossed they take root, survive and maybe in a few years time even flower.