Monday, April 17, 2017

Honeymoon's Over 3

The worst thing about the “honeymoon” period being over for me is that I’m not that thrilled to be around Thai people as much as I was my first five years here. This is causing me to be -- not reclusive, but less engaged and more private.

Our farmhouse -- "Bann Nah" -- night time.

Now that we’re based out on the farm, being removed from “the action” is not difficult. Yet, I’m always of the mindset when I’m on the move of where others are that I don’t want to run into. Often, my decisions on where I will be at a given time of day takes into account where others may be.

Thip trimming old lemon grass for replanting.

I also do the best I can to “be available and unavailable at will” -- mostly available, but aspire to being unavailable. The thing is, if you know my schedule, you know where to find me. So, that’s another thing I do: I purposely try to break my routines so I’m not so predictable. This is difficult to do especially in late afternoons when everyone knows I like to have a few beers at end-of-day.

Lowering sun backlighting our stairs.

I now understand why most Falangs build substantial walls and gates around their property. I used to make fun of the idea, reasoning that if you wall yourself in, how are you going to be an active part of the community? I now realize that activity comes from how often you pass the gate.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Malcolm,

I am enjoying your "Honeymoon" series. It is really hitting home as my Thai wife recently stated that she would like to return to Thailand in five years. She badly misses the food after living in America almost 15 years.

Since I speak practically no Thai, I fear being isolated in a remote village outside Udon Thani. Although her family is relatively well off and have never asked for a penny, how long will it be until extended family and village residents come hat in hand?

I would like to experience life in the village, but, making a permanent move scare the shit out of me. I would miss my morning papers and quality cigars among other things.

Keep up the good work, I enjoy your writing.

David

Malcolm Gault-Williams said...

Thanks for commenting, David... Don't let my whining and complaining deter you from checking Thailand out for an extended period. I don't usually whine and complain (too much), but I thought this kind of information useful. It's certainly a part of my life, so to NOT include it would be to paint with only a pretty color... My advice is to take a long vacation in the area of your wife's family or the area that your wife wants to move back to. Stay with the relatives for a couple of days, then go out and rent someplace a little more removed from them... If it turns out you like Thailand but don't much care for the relatives or like them but don't want to be around them, think about moving to an area where it would be easy for your wife to visit family, but not so easy for them to do the same. Don't go too far from Udon Thani as there are many Westerners there and you will not lack for falang friends... I like being out in the countryside, away from the cities, but they are certainly easy to get to when I want or need to go there... The pluses far outweigh the negs. M