In July 2014, after tam nah was completed on both of our rice farms, and Khaopensa (“Buddhist Lent” – 3 months long) had begun, we set about to construct our bann nah (farm house). It was initially intended to be just an open air bungalow to protect ourselves, family and workers from sun and inclement weather; a successor, if you will, to “Love Shack I” and “Love Shack II.” Who knows? Maybe I could finally get my writer’s retreat…
(my basic writing set-up; beer off-camera)
Everyone wanted something more substantial – my wife, our local family, villagers and even our head monk, Lungpu Boon Long.
My thinking had been: Well, we’ll just erect another shack a little bit better than the last one, then – much later – build a small house for Thip and I, that family could partially share.
But, succumbing to the pressure, working out the budget for it, realizing that labor and materials would never be cheaper, and knowing that I’d really like it out there if I could get a building that fit my lifestyle (as opposed to, say, the family’s), I shifted course and agreed with Thip to build a one-room, one-porch elevated farm house on the former 17 Rai, now down to 9.