Busy Days, An Update ...

Today, Cookie lost out to the mountain bike once again.  I suppose it wasn’t really her turn, having been to the dam just the other day.  I always feel guilty leaving her behind, though.  She so loves to hit the trail.  Anyway, after two hours of hard riding on the trail I’m awash with endorphins and basking in the afterglow.  No worries here.

On a health note.  My recent physical found me fit except for my consistently elevated cholesterol.  Down from the mid 250s of my Bangkok days I still came in at 220.  Over the last month, a regiment of healthy living and the marvel of modern pharmaceuticals, has put me at 108 as of yesterday.  Imagine that.

The combination of intermittently cool weather (today is actually chilly) and guests has produced a whirlwind of recent activity.  Repeats, included another trip to the Black Village and Doi Din Daeng Pottery with a guest.  New for us, (we are seldom out after dark) was a walk down Chiang Rai’s Walking Street one late Saturday afternoon.  Stumbled upon parking quite by accident.  Walked the street in the fading light of the day.  Had something to eat and headed home just as it got dark and the crowds seemed to be pushing in around us.

We also got up a 3am to drive to Phu Chi Faa for the sunrise.  Not a spectacular day for photos but it was still a good experience.  It was anything but lonely up there with a surprisingly good turnout.  I didn’t enjoy the lack of sleep, however, so doubt I will be eager to do a repeat performance anytime soon.  I probably could have done without the incessant talking and singing of the group just behind me, but what can you do.

Apart from the weather being perfect for outdoor adventures, this is a great time to visit government offices.  With all the farmers bringing in the harvest, offices are all but deserted.  We updated our motorcycle driving licenses, from one year to five, with no wait at all.

The Land Department in Thoeng was equally deserted and the staff ever so helpful.  My wife got the notion that perhaps I should be put on the chanote (land ownership papers) as having the right of residence there for the rest of my life.  As a foreigner I cannot own land so everything is in my wife’s name.  Unlike some, I have no misgivings about our financial arrangements or the peculiarities of Thai law.

Being twenty years older, I am usually the one voicing concern about my wife’s wellbeing after I am gone.  Recently she started pondering what would happen if something untoward happened to her.  To protect me from overeager relatives who might inherit the land, she came up with this notion of giving me right of abode so I couldn’t be sent packing.  The land department staff were quite helpful and quickly came up with the proper forms to be filled in.  The fee was next to nothing and even considering the stack of forms, copies and bureaucratic procedures involved, everything went quite smoothly.

A friend from Hawaii has just arrived in Bangkok, so I have booked a flight for my wife to go down for a visit.  I volunteered to stay home and look after the house and dogs so she could enjoy a girls only, time on the town.  We very seldom have any time apart, so a few days surely won’t hurt either of us.

As we are having guests over for dinner a bit later, perhaps I should rap this up and go about making myself more presentable.  My biking clothes are a bit ripe so it is off to a steamy hot shower for me.  On a chilly overcast day like today, who knows I may just get lucky after washing away the trail dust.  Wish me luck.


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