Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Afternoon/Evening, 2012

My daily routines change over time. When I first retired into the Isaan, in 2012, my late afternoon and evening looked like this:

Late afternoon is Beer Chang time. If I have company, I’ll crack open some Leo, which is locally preferred over Chang, although I like Chang the best of all Thai beers I’ve tried thus far. It’s like a 5.5% alcohol Heinekin.

Upon my request, Thip feeds me early and so we have dinner together around 5 or 6pm at the latest. My faves are BBQ chicken, dried squid, khao nio, cucumber, shrimp and noodle soup (if a cooler than normal day).

There are far more exotic fare that the Thai’s eat, but I go very carefully thru their menu, testing everything before committing. That is, if Thip gives me the green light. She knows what I like and what, as a Westerner, my body is likely to handle without adverse after effects. Even so, I’m stuck pretty much on what I like and except for the occasional new fruit I’ve never tasted before, I haven’t changed my line-up of favorite foods.

After hanging out together, Thip leaves for the family house to care for her mom overnight. If I haven’t visited that day, I might go over for a short time.

Toward dusk is the best time to water the garden, coconut, mango, jack fruit and palm trees. Remember what I wrote about water management? Well, I’m back in that Stone House Farm mode once again.

On a clear day, the Isaan sun glows a fiery red due to the massive amount of burning that goes on. It makes for a pretty sight, but I’m looking forward to the time when I have our land cleaned up pretty much and can then mulch and compost more than I burn, and cut bamboo into useable things like fencing.

After watching that red sun go down over the rice paddies, with the air cooling a bit, I might get back on the Internet. This is not as often as I would like, as I’ve found my energy levels drop around early afternoon – partly because of the heat, partly because I’m just getting old.

Going to bed, I sleep upstairs most often by myself, next to “the office”, under mosquito netting and on mats made by Khun Mae many years ago. They are filled with an organic cotton-like fiber, packed inside sewn decorative cotton covers. I’ll leave my cell phone on in anticipation of Thip’s morning call or emergencies (none so far, thank Buddha!). But, as you know, by 6am, I’m already on the move… and sweating!

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