Monday, May 16, 2016

Evenings, 2016

When I was much younger, the night time was the right time. As a freeform disc-jockey (1970-75) and then as a rock DJ, my shift was usually overnight. When I was a beach park ranger (1972-74), it was the same deal. I was, in fact, the Midnight Ranger (MidnightRider)!

As I grew older, it has been hard for me to give up the late night. I just felt I didn't want the day to end.

Now that I am in my upper 60s, I've had to leave the late nights behind. Not to say they don't occur, but generally late nights involve alcohol and my body just can't handle drinking late at night any more. It's not a challenge of mind over matter, it's what my body tells me. So, most nights I'm in bed by about 9pm with a wake-up time of around 5am the next morning.

The hours prior to bedtime go pretty quickly.

Following the usual after-work beers at Bann Nah, I'm usually the last one to leave the construction site, checking that all water is turned off and a light is left on to discourage thieves. Speaking of thievery, I am very happy to report that in the two years we have had valuable wood and tools on the ground, there has not been one thing taken from the building site. I'm not sure if it's just good luck or maybe because our new home is associated with the temple; maybe a combination of the two.

After the ten minute motosai ride back to our village home, I'll put our motorcycles away, inside the house – actually in our living room – and take down the laundry that's been drying all day and put it away. By this time, my wife will be getting ready for her last trip to the temple, which is actually just a short evening ceremony that she and her girlfriend Mai attend.

Thip's back home around 9 or 9:30pm. By then, I will have showered, brushed my teeth, caught up on correspondence and ready to go “nite nite.”

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Afternoons, 2016

How I spend my afternoons depends on the weather more than anything. The“Rainy Season” (East Asian Monsoon Season) lasts from June thru October. During this time, when it’s raining, I tend to stick close to our village home. I might log extra time on the computer because temperatures are cooler and safer to run the machine; read, hand write or putz around the house. Sometimes I take advantage of the rain water and wash my motorcycle and if Thip’s around, I’ll do hers, too.

But, most afternoons are clear or cloudy and that’s when I do my hard labor – not that it’s all that hard. Most of what I do is “grounds keeping” both at our village house and at our farm house (Bann Nah). This amounts to cutting grasses and brush, trimming trees, burning old wood, digging and moving dirt, and watering trees and plants. These past several years I’ve been helping out at the construction site, also; doing mostly clean-up.

I stop work somewhere between four and five, having put in about four or five hours. I like to eat before sundown so that my food fully digests before going to bed. Thip either fixes me my early dinner or buys something for me. She may or may not eat with me, depending on what she’s doing. She has gotten more and more involved in helping around the temple and chedi construction site, so I often do not see her for several hours-long stretches of time.

Afternoon going into evening, often I’ll follow dinner up by treating our workers to some after-work bia (beer), at Bann Nah.