Thursday, 19 July 2007
This Is The House That Cat Built
It’s looking pretty good, this fait accompli house presented to me courtesy of my lovely wife Cat. It really will be great for Mama and for visitors and it looks amazing, especially with its new mook or porch whose functions, in no particular order of priority, are to shelter the steps and to keep several men in work and alcohol for a few more days.
But suddenly today they’ve all stopped work on the house and instead are building a couple of wooden beds to at least A1. packing case standards. I suppose a wooden house does need wooden beds, but there’s still loads more work to be done on the house… varnishing acres of wooden floor, tiling and painting in the shower room, not to mention making windows and doors. I really want to get shot of workmen, though in our several years living here we haven’t managed to yet.
We had a heavy rain storm last night and I went down to have a quick look at the house. Water was pouring through a gap in the complex of corrugated roofing over the mook and was cascading down directly onto the precious, high status steps it was intended to protect.
I called Saniam over who’d been responsible for the work and pointed out this small technical snag to him.
‘Mai pen rai,’ he said casually. Never mind, it doesn’t matter!
And do you know he wasn’t drunk and he meant it without the slightest hint of embarrassment. It’s only a roof, you see. You can’t expect it to keep all the rain out, now can you!
It’s at moments like these that I feel that local culture really does diverge from mine. Do I understand anything that’s going on around me? Is this really The Land of Smiles or are they just laughing at us, at these deranged, bewitched, fat walleted foreigners?