Monday, October 13, 2014

Bann Nah 2 - Some History

There is actually somewhat of a history surrounding structures on our larger rice farm.

(on the pad for "Ban Nah," July 2014; my wife Thiphawan and motosai in last frame)

 What I call “Love Shack I” went in right after we bought the land in 2003. Thip’s father Nah – Khun Paw – and a good friend of the family, Pahwet, built it. They situated it near the uppermost part of the upper land (as opposed to the lower land, where the rice paddies are). It was a long stone’s throw from the road and just across from our temple.

It was a typical Thai farm shack, meant to provide a resting place for family, friends and workers when farming or hanging out. You see them all over the rice fields of Southeast Asia; little more than just shacks, in most cases.

Not long afterwards, Thip’s brother Sawt had built a small one-room cement and tile roof bungalow with a separate restroom next to it. Both structures were close to the shack. Sawt likes to stay out on the farms, outside the village, enjoying the benefits of privacy. Yet, as far as I can tell, very little living was spent in the bungalow that ened-up as mostly just a storage unit. I know, because I once cleaned it out, thinking that I could convert it into a personal writer’s retreat.

Instead, Sawt and his wife Nui took over occupancy of the structure on our smaller rice farm (8.5 rai), which we purchased several years after we bought the first farm. So, Love Shack I and Sawt’s bungalow both ended-up used pretty much only during the rice growing season.

A little less than ten years later, when I retired in the village and we decided to donate some of 17 Rai to our temple for the building of a chedi, I had “Love Shack II” constructed toward the bottom of the upper land, just inside our new boundary lines.

Family complained that there were no walls. There had been two in the first shack, providing a corner of privacy and shelter from wind blown rain. I figured that if they had a problem with wind blown rain, they could use tarps. I didn’t count on Sawt being drunk one night, getting up to go pee and stepping off the platform and dropping several feet to the ground. Nothing was broken, but of course I was blamed. Actually, I had Love Shack II constructed without walls on purpose because I had found evidence of sexual activity from visitors in the first shack. That’s actually why I began calling the shacks “love.” I did not want to continue to provide a place for clandestine rendezvous. It was bad for my karma.

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