The early-to-mid afternoons are sometimes spent shopping in the provincial capital of Nong Bua Lamphu, about eight kilometers east of us, on highway 210.
On special afternoons, I just say “the heck” with working and ride my tuk-tuk over to our largest farm. We still call it “17 Rai” for the amount of land it was, but now that we have donated the uppermost section of it, it is less than 17 rai; maybe 14 or 15.
At the farm, where my “writer’s retreat” was built last summer, I’ll hang out in unusual privacy and do some writing. I say “unusual” because although I’m in the Thai countryside and you would think I’d have more privacy, all eyes are upon me (and Thip, too; I guess by association). Mostly, Kon Thai are just curious about the falang in their midst. Living in a relatively small community (approximately 100 houses and 400 people), one’s lack of privacy comes with the environment and lifestyle. Most Westerners and many Thais who can afford it, mitigate the privacy issue by building fences across the front of their property and sometimes all around the rectangle. Often times, these fences and their gates are quite ornate and are looked upon favorably by everyone. No one would dare put up a bamboo fence to keep people out, though.
On rarer afternoons still, I’ll take Thip’s motosai into further reaches of the Thai countryside. I’ll start with an area I am familiar with and then work out into areas never ridden, having checked everything out via Google Maps and/or Google Earth even before starting out. I’m a map guy and I remember the first class I ever got an “A” in was geography… Anyway, these times of riding a motorcycle onto the dirt roads of the Isaan are times when I feel totally free physically and mentally. I’ll write more about these trips at a later time.