I’m no longer in my songtaew-sized studio apartment. I’ve traded in the convenience of living within walking distance of the Old City and the sweets sounds of construction for a glorified camping holiday house. Yeah, I don’t know what the hell I was thinking either.

Day One: Keys are handed over along with last minute details on the cats that I have also inherited with the little cabin in the bamboo woods.
Romeo and Pippin. Romeo sports a bit of a sagging belly and follows me everywhere. (He watches me shower and jumps on my lap when I’m on the toilet.) true to his name, he drives me beep beep bonkers, as I look over at him, he is licking his nether regions.
Pippin is the darker cat who is independent and does his own thing (as a cat should!). But when he wants lovin’ he is very aggressive and demanding. He puts his paws on his hips and gives me the, “Woman, you best give me attention” look. We have an understanding.
The day is spent cleaning, talking with the cats and wrestling with the washer that is possessed by water sprites. And swinging the electric tennis racket in vain hopeless contemptible attempt of killing mosquitoes.
Day Two: The phrase “eaten alive” takes on a new and sweaty meaning, as does lack of curtains. I step out of the shower and into the gaze of a strange man squatting in the distance watching me answer my phone in complete nakedness. Lani is making herself known in the neighborhood.
More cleaning and moving of furniture reveals a large lizard in my bedroom. He is the kind dreaded by Thais, I am sure of it. The ones who makes those awful noises and when cornered become nasty as habits. I hold Romeo up to it. But the damn cat does nothing. When I leave, I tell him that the lizard better be gone by the time I return. Romeo yawns.
Day Three: The woods are as peaceful but not as quiet as you would imagine. The dogs howl with the temple bells and whenever the mood strikes them. The cicadas, crickets, frogs or whatever is out yonder sing their own kind of songs stopping occasionally for a bathroom break and to let the ducks quack. Did I mention that something is living in my roof?
Day Four: The lizard that is entirely too large to be living in my bedroom has reappeared and after pathetic endeavors to coax him out of opened windows, I have decided to name him Fred.
The power goes out after a bamboo shaking thunder storm. I watch the water delivery truck pass by my house after I realize my internet will not be hooked up during the scheduled time. Hanging my hopelessness up like a hat, I get into bed with the cats.
Day Five: Have decided to kick the cats out of the bedroom, it shall be a kitty-free zone since sleep deprecation and large scale irritation has skyrocketed off the music charts.
Neighbor who bakes delivers chocolate croissants, and sourdough breads to my doorstep. What a nice surprise! And since I couldn’t decided what to buy I bought everything on her tray. Water truck unexpectedly shows up in the evening, internet is connected, not yet working but the line is put in!
Day Six: Discovered Fred in two pieces. He is barely alive, I thought he was dead, when I moved him out of my bedroom and chucked him over the fence.
Becoming accustomed to finding lizards and geckos in various poses of despair and death as offered by Romeo and Pippin. Swept a paw or claw of a small rodent into the dustbin this morning. Also getting handy with the electric tennis racket zapping the wasps and bees who insist on coming inside. My arms will be toned and shapely. Well, my left arm.
I’m settling in.

8 replies on “Trading in the Old City for Chiang Mai country living

  1. Lani – What a wonderful account about moving into a new home. I love your line…Hanging my hopelessness up like a hat, I get into bed with the cats….great words.Romeo and Pippin may want a good cuddle now and then but they do seem intent on looking after you. Word will soon get around the lizard world.I bought one of those electric mosquito rackets and they are a fun way of keeping the bugs at bay. Mind you, you would certainly look better than I do dressed in a white top, short white skirt and frilly knickers.Roll on next month when I once again hit the Land of Smiles.Best wishes from Blighty.


  2. Lani, I was wondering where your cats came in – and now I know :-)You've just moved into MY kind of place! Cats, lizards, and bamboo woods! Ok, bamboo is known to attract mozzies, but who cares when you have cats.My cats are not allowed in the bedroom or the bathrooms. The bedroom because they love to sink their claws into my bedspread and the bathrooms because sleeping in the sink is out (I use sinks and want them spiffy clean). But other than that, they have the rest of the house and their own bedroom to play in. Within reason.So you had a tokay gecko? Too bad the cats crunched it before you could move it outside. (IMHO) out of all the crawly critters the tokay are the best. Did you get a chance to look into its mouth? Awesome!


  3. LOVED this post! My favorite part: “The lizard that is entirely too large to be living in my bedroom has reappeared and after pathetic endeavors to coax him out of opened windows, I have decided to name him Fred.”And this line was like butter:”Hanging my hopelessness up like a hat, I get into bed with the cats.”But now, we need pictures.


  4. @Martyn: A wonderful account? I'm going to start a line up of body parts in the backyard.Did I mention the mosquitoes???Ah, the cats, looking after me. Now that is a real sweet way to put it.@FP: Yes! And dinner sounds good!@Cat: I was so terrified that the tokay was still alive that I just wanted it OUT of the house. Today I found a bloody mess on my shoe. I could not tell you what it was – as it had be destroyed beyond recognition. *Sigh*@VS: Yeah, debating pics. You know, lifestyles of the rich and famous and all that. Need to protect myself 😛


  5. Lani, take out the old guy squatting and throw in a few snakes and it reminds me of home…my other home.


  6. Lani, I have to remove body parts too. Yuk. My cats munch on geckos but don't eat them. They just make a sickening mess. With closed eyes, I scoop the mangled remains into a thick, folded paper towel. I don't want to feel their little bodies through the paper.Shoes. Oh yeah. Don't piss off your cats because the insides of shoes are an easy target. Mr Bunt lays around in our shoes so I'm keeping a suspicious eye on him. Yes I am.


  7. Lani, I love it! Already flashing the neighbors and making new friends…awesome.So, how is fred? I also have a few lizard friends…While I haven't named them as of yet they come out and look at me occasionally one is medium sized and a couple are of the small variety.


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