Tuesday December 30th
An extra trip to Mon's village today, we usually come on Saturdays but it's the holiday so we're going to play with the children again. The Thai idea of parenting by giving the children to the grandparents most of the time is great! We have them at the condo on Saturday nights. They aren't mine in case anyone is wondering! But I've been here long enough to be called Pa John.
There are a lot more people to look after them here in the village anyway as the
whole area is full of houses of Mon's family, I visited about 8 houses today.
It's at the end of it's own soi (lane) with beautiful rice fields beyond.
Traditional wooden houses with the usual families of chickens wandering around and
extensive rice fields, now moving into onions, and between lush fast streams despite it not having rained here for over 2 months already. It's the, quite literally, dry season. The eternal water must come from the forested hills.
This afternoon is one of the moments I get quite frequently in Thailand when life is just perfect. I'm writing this on a hammock on a private floating restaurant on a huge lake in the winter warm afternoon sun.
It's a lake formed by damming the river downstream, called Doi Tao, presumably after the mountain nearby (a doi). It reminds me of the floating village at the lake near Siam Reap in Cambodia where everyone lived on the water. There's mist over the water, despite the warmth, and the restaurants are gracefully pulled into and out of the shore.
Arriving at Doi Tao
Mon and me
Fa, Mon and Noi on one of many floating restaurants being pulled into the lake
Mon and the mist
Fa as usual!
Me as usual!
Bed on the lake
Sunset on the lake
returning to shore
A long day of driving, at least 5 hours in total but it didn't seem that long (it's a lot of fun on Thailand roads!). Didn't run out of gasoline this time.
Wednesday December 31st
Happy New Year. There should be a good view of Chiang Mai from the condo (10th floor) tonight. Thais celebrate our New Year as much as we do, and then go on to a 3 day celebration for their own in April, Songkran. It's going to be 2547 here though.
There was a good view in the early evening too, on the roof in the 25C winter sun, eating strawberries.
... The fireworks were great, going up on the roof was high up in the middle of it all with fireworks going off all around and right next to where we were standing. Great view of all the fireworks in the whole city at the same time especially at midnight.
Too early to sleep so watching Thai boxing, Muay Thai, on TV. It's full on, the losers are almost all being stretchered out.
I seem to have finished spending over half each working day on computer maintenance! The room's looking great now too, though a little smaller with all the stuff here.
I found out I can't yet buy a car here until I get the right visa, which I think means me starting up a Thai business of some kind, which shall we say can wait until later! Maybe some kind of support thing that helps my UK work, though the UK is where to make money as ever. The idea of a computer game cafe is growing on me as I may be able to add some unique value to it. Games are very popular here and many people don't have their own machines. I'll never forget the cafe I saw here a couple of years ago full of monks playing games! So unfortunately the lack of a car will delay my intended house move (£300 a month for a large house with land and swimming pool...) but I should probably get down to the cool projects I've got on at the moment, Computer Art Store and the bottom of the JJ front page.
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