A Normal Day of... “this & that” ...

The stage was set.  A theater in the round of sorts.  This was no stage surrounded by an audience, rather the audience (me) surrounded by a stage.  A table was placed on the freshly cut grass, in the cooling shade of the house.  Around the table, were placed lawn chairs, and upon it was placed a feast.  As the players gathered I took my seat, as is my custom, some distance from the table.  From this vantage the stage envelops me and the action at the table becomes but part of the overall scene.  The smell of cut grass, the dogs doing their best to entertain, birds flying in formation, the deep blues and whites of the daytime sky changing to the pastel pallet of dusk as the sun slips behind the mountains.

My wife and the housekeeper prepared food for the workers.  The gardener left early, needing to care for her granddaughter.  Our contractor and his workers had spent the day finishing the roof on our sala and were ready for food and beer.  My perch was far enough away to be on my own but close enough to overhear and ask a question from time to time.  Watching them drink with such enthusiasm, I asked if anyone had modified their drinking habits after what happened to one of their coworkers. 

He had fallen into an alcohol induced coma, was presumed beyond help and removed from the machines keeping him alive.  His family readied to take him home, as is the custom, to prepare his body for three days of viewing and the eventual cremation.  They had declined the offer to have him injected with preservatives, fortunately.  For as they left the hospital, he miraculously came back to life.  As it turns out, it is not much of a life, for he has suffered permanent brain damage and is unable to talk or care for himself. 

The workers laughed and drank more deeply.  The contractor offered some insight, however.  He explained that when bad things befall others, it registers as a simple matter of fact.  Such-n-such, happened, to so-n-so, and that is all.  There is no real empathy, projection or relating of consequences to their own lives.  It was merely something that happen to someone else.  It reminds me of findings that suggest adolescent brains are not developed to the point where they can understand and foresee the consequences of their actions.  Sadly adolescence seems to be dragging on longer and longer, these days.

About this time the two lads, who had scoured our land with weed whackers during the day, arrived to join the festivities.  One, the village headman’s son, made an effort to impress the farang.  Pointing out that there is a waterfall that should be visited and he could show me.  I had to sheepishly reply that I had most recently been there just two days prior, on my own.  My wife explained that there is hardly a trail, river, valley or mountain top that I have yet to explore in our area, whether by truck, scooter, mountain bike or foot.

As the others ate, drank and made merry, thoughts of the day’s events replayed in my mind.  Today had been a shopping day.  Coffee beans and bread for me, lunch and groceries for the two of us and the plant nursery for my wife, to acquire another truck load of exotic plants for the house.  Another couple of stops to fill the truck with diesel and buy fresh produce at an outdoor market.  Then a leisurely drive home.

Earlier, someone with more traditional color sensibilities than mine had commented, online, about the correctness of using certain colors on blogs.  That got me thinking about my own color pallet.  I seem to remember going black long before it became popular.  I dressed in black to prowl the night till dawn.  I dressed in black to play squash (heresy for the traditionalist).  I wear black micro fibber when I bestride my mountain bike.  Our truck is black, our scooter is black, the granite kitchen countertop is black, the slate patios are black, the windows are black, the built in furniture in the TV room is black, backpack, duffles...well, you get the idea.  To appease my wife’s more varied color pallet I have made wardrobe adjustments and concessions.  Fortunately we both like black, setoff by white and color accents.  We do have light colored floors, walls and ceiling with colorful furnishings.

This got me considering the difficulties of expats whose biases are too firmly entrenched.  If one pisses into the prevailing winds of your host country, the results can be quite unpleasant.  If one insists things be done a certain way, your way, resentment and anger is soon to follow.  I am bored to death with all those, This is Thailand, anecdotes.  All those questions about how much things cost, seem so naive.  Sadly I must acknowledge there is a large market for that kind of thing.

Perhaps I made a mistake in relenting to an interview for a site called expat interviews.  I am in favor of people striking out, into the unknown, and discovering themselves as they discover the world.  I fear most readers, simply want to be told how to do things and how much it costs.  Where is the fun, adventure or discovery in that?  There are just too many variable to give people a price list and these days prices change weekly, if not daily.  To give examples of what I pay is not helpful for I doubt a tourist or newbie would be able to obtain the same price, even at the same place.  Then again, if but one new regular reader happens upon my blog through that site, I will feel as though it was an effort worth making.