Ok, let’s start with some toilet talk. It had to happen sooner or later.
Having some experience of South East Asian countries I was already aware of the ass blaster but never really used it. In one of the toilets at Amy’s parents, toilet paper has to be thrown in a small bin instead of down the toilet. This presents difficulties for those of us used to just dropping it into the bowl and flushing it away. I actually first came across this on a trip to Rhodes, Greece just before moving to Australia and I probably talk about it in that diary (whenever I get back to it!).
It turns out that in our house, the builder recommends not putting tissue down the toilet too which initially was a bit of a disappointment. This drove me to pursue learning the art of the ass blaster. In case you can’t guess from my description, this tool is usually part of any toilet system in Thailand and it’s pretty much a jet hose with very slight control of pressure. I was dubious about the ability of this equipment but after using and wiping up the water with tissue it usually does a good job of any leftover bits that might have accumulated around your bumhole. It’s pretty easy to fold up the tissue and chuck it in the bin and can usually be done in one wipe, saving paper. Unless you’re drunk. Or the day after you were drinking. And you’ve been eating lots of chilli. Potentially, every day.
The other thing about the ass blaster is that it is quite powerful. It can sting your haemorrhoids. It can also stimulate your anal sphincter and help push out that last little tricky bit that sometimes can’t decide which side of the door it wants to be on.
Of course, if any situation becomes too sticky, the shower is usually just a step away and it always being hot, any time is a good time to have a shower.
I still haven’t really complained about the weather but the last few days have been torturously hot. We’ve also been busy and having to get things tidied up in the garden. Amy’s parents and brother coming to help out early in the mornings.
The reason for all this was that April 12th was our house blessing. Amy had to do some negotiating with her family about meeting this requirement that her dad insisted upon. A big house blessing can involve up to 9 monks, all family members and all the local villagers. And you have to feed them all too, as they sticky beak around all your belongings and criticise colour choices etc.
Amy negotiated down to one monk and about 20 family members and for it to be done as quickly as possible. This still took about 3 hours and a day and a half of food preparations and another day to clean up.
I was introduced to one of the guys from the local temple who was really nice. He would lead the ceremony whilst the monk did all the chanting and er….things. It was both beautiful and ridiculous. I was expecting a solemn affair with everyone paying undivided attention but people seemed to come and go, fuss about and fidget as even for the experienced here, sitting cross-legged on a tile floor for an hour or so is not easy. My mind wandered a lot but when all said and done it was fine. Now, everyone – get out of our house!
We had moved in a couple of days earlier as we had mattresses delivered and despite our bathroom still needing re-tiling, painting touch ups ongoing and various other dusty bits of work required, we couldn’t wait to get out of our limbo land with Amy’s parents. They insisted we took the cats with us though which was a little traumatic for them and quite stressful for us as we had to keep them calm with work and people around all during the days following. But they’re fully settled now. Maybe we are too, though it doesn’t quite feel like it yet.
I did get a bit emotional one evening though. As I was watering the garden and looking for the fish in our pond I realised that here I am, I’ve achieved a dream, a plan fulfilled. A beautiful new house, in a beautiful location, with my beautiful Amy.
I just wanted to show my mum. I wanted her to see what her son had achieved, wanted to make her proud. A few tears were shed but I was soon back to whatever backbreaking chore was next on the list.
The day after the house blessing we went off to the city to enjoy the Songkran water festival. My first time experiencing this event, it was a fun family day with smiles everywhere. We were camped in a restaurant that turned itself into a bar just for the event and it was jam packed when we got there around 2pm.
We set to drinking and jumping and dancing and talking and getting wet, inside the bar and outside on the street. I made the rookie error of carrying my can of beer out on the street with me and it was impossible to keep out the water so I was chucking down water from who knows where along with the alcohol. I videoed my walks up and down and people responded with smiles and yells and shouted appropriate English phrases, inhibitions lost to the fervour.
Amy’s brother, Oh, who had a couple of hours start on us fell asleep in his chair and somehow we decided it was time to depart, even though it was still light. Oh was pretty far gone, even by the time we arrived and had soon become unintelligible in both Thai and English. We took a minicab back to Amy’s parents and I managed to get Oh up to his room where he passed out in his wet clothes for the next 15 hours or more.
Whilst I was doing that Amy was throwing up in the bathroom and then the garden. I was drunk but was still semi-coherent enough and when Amy’s dad dropped us off at home at around 9pm I plugged my phone into the stereo and listened to some music for another hour or two. Eventually, I dozed off for a while before waking with indigestion which I took a tablet for. A couple of hours later though and it came back so I went off to get another tablet. It was then I realised that maybe it wasn’t indigestion and that, in fact, I needed to throw up. So I did. A lot. All I could think about was ditch water that I swallowed with my beers and wondered if I’d have to be taken to hospital in the morning.
The hangover wasn’t grotesque and as we still have a million things to do we didn’t have time to contemplate it too much and zoomed off again for the rest of the day.