Thursday, October 6, 2016

Bann Nah 43 - The Last Day

Suddenly, it was the last day of the Phase 1 construction at our 9 rai rice farm.

The whole Bann Nah project was just shy of three years in-process, but the Phase 1 portion had taken two years and three months to complete. It basically amounted to building Bann Nah -- our farm house out in the middle of the farm. I think of Phase 1 as the wood portion, although it also involved rebar, cement, aluminum and imitation wood.

Later phases will involve wiring Bann Nah, high pressurizing the plumbing, enclosing the downstairs and building an adjacent 3-room addition in back that will house upstairs and downstairs bathrooms, a guest room and a small porch.

There was no construction on the last day of Phase 1. Instead, it was a day of movement where tools, scaffolding and tables were returned to the wat and left over wood taken back to our village home where we have a roof to protect it. Afterward, we would party in celebration of the completion.

As he had all along, Sam Lott -- aka “Kubota Man!” -- provided the brawn, as well as his mechanical buffalo and cart for the transport. He and Sam Naht returned the things we had been using for over two years to the temple, then all three of us moved the wood. We were done with everything in about three hours.

Returning stuff for storage at our village house:

“Kubota Man” was a joke Naht and I shared about Lott. The premise is that while Gotham City man have its Batman, Northeastern Thailand has Kubota Man. Kubota is the brand name for the most popular mechanical buffalo, which itself is a kind of mini-tractor, and Lott was its best driver.

Thips’s brothers and their wives helped my wife organize and prepare the food -- mostly seafood, a delicacy here in the Isaan. I sprung for a box of Beer Chang (12 620 ml bottles) and Thip’s brothers Sawt and Pawt even contributed a half dozen more.

During the course fo the mid-to-late afternoon and then early evening, there arrived some other visitors, but not many and it was all pretty low-key.

I found myself in surprisingly good mood. I hadn’t thought about it ahead of time -- how would I feel when it was all done? But, when it was, I was ecstatic. I even danced around a couple of times, which is something that I very rarely do at 67 years-of-age.

All tolled, the house cost us 824,000 baht or about $23,222 USD. Labor was around 182,400 baht or about $5,140 USD. Miraculously, even though the site was often without a human presence, not one thing was stolen in the two years and three months of construction.

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