Luring me with all the people I love above all else – 3rd September 2020

Now is the time of change. After a long sticky summer and apparent death to all plant life suddenly the rains come. Despite the cooler temperature the humidity rockets making one wish for the drier heat of summer. After a week or so of the rains, those apparently dead plants now threaten to destroy everything built by humans, house swallowed up by jungle. Thankfully, the snakes go and hide from the rain; somewhere…they are always hiding. We call the gardeners, they do their work but it looks like they need to come back again the following week, the week after and so it goes.

And soon the rain deluges. Not much thought seems to be given to drainage. Perhaps it’s just an inconvenience for a month or two and not worth the investment but a lot of shoes get wet or you may choose to stay at school until the water has eventually seeped away.

Some creatures have little care for the foibles of the weather. They always find the right spot.

At the tail end of the season we head to a hot spring where we can soak our legs for free at varying degrees of insane heat. Kids play and splash in the 30 degree water while we suffer in the 45. No one is even close to the 85 degree water – who would be!? Predictably, whilst we are there, it starts raining. Later, at a restaurant, I can’t feel my legs. They are either relaxed or in shock. Either way, the no-feeling is good.

As if to signal the end of the rainy season (after a brief 6 to 8 weeks, though thankfully much more rain than last year) critters emerge.

Weird hairy caterpillars bumble about and the snakes make a reappearance. One morning as I’m leaving for work I’m surprised to find a couple of small crabs standing guard in the driveway. Amy says they usually live in the rice fields but to me it seems so weird to see crabs about 500kms away from any coast.

And so it seems the rain has ended until next July. We get out and pay a visit to the border market town of Mae Sai and shop for more socks and underwear and visit our favourite cafe/bar/restaurant.

This parrot announces our arrival like a door chime fog horn and I jump out of my skin. Other birds step out but thankfully don’t squawk.

The cafe is hidden away in a market, down a hallway that then opens out into this fantastic courtyard of artwork and decorations. All sorts of obscura adorn every space. In a shed area the owner keeps his batches of homemade hootch though he tells us that he was recently fined one hundred thousand baht and forced to pour it all away.

However, he disappears off somewhere for a few minutes and re-appears with a couple of bottles of plum shoju which are duly purchased. He remembers us from our last visit back in October and doesn’t seem to phased about his fine and lose of illegal merchandise. In fact the cafe is only open for 4 hours a day and I’m not sure anyone goes there to eat.

He potters around rearranging things, happy to chat about life but also happy to be alone by himself. He owns the whole market area and can easily survive of the income from rent. Nice life.

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