Rustic Homes and Gardens: A publication for those who claim to Love the Land. Chiang Mai Edition
A month ago, the relatively unknown “English” teacher Lani Cox moved out of the Old City into a quaint and therefore charming wood and brick home in the reputable area known as Farang Farm located west of Chiang Mai proper. The result is her book, the Birth of Insanity, which will be released in the foreseeable future, a testament to Northern Thailand’s backwoods living and wildlife. It’s an exploration of the very limited capacity of the human mind and how squeamish and useless US citzens can be. In April, senior editor Winter Velásquez was invited to Lani’s little camp of horrors for an all too brief interview.
RH&G: There are dozens of habitable homes in Chiang Mai. What attracted you to this particular place?
Lani: Look, you have to understand I’m an Artist. And that cigarette box sized studio was overtaking my realized hungry potiential for universal domination and peaceful coexistence. We’re all one under the goddess moon.
Lani: You gonna let that thing burn all night or what.
RH&G: Oh, sorry.
RH&G: You’re famous for your risk taking and lack of looking before leaping behavior. What were some of the unfortuante challenges you didn’t know you’d have to overcome?
L to the V to the C: The upkeep has been a Wild Kingdom with Marlin Perkins episodic goolash. For starters, I found a good deal of broken glass behind the bed and kitchen counters. I suspect the cats were hittin the Leo pretty hard core and flinging the bottles against the walls in mirth.
The house is their domain, you see. I just provide the Tesco bought kibble. Romeo, for example, can open the back screen door by jumping on it. He hangs there letting the screen swing wide like a monkey on a vine, thereupon letting opportunistic mosquitoes into the house. Pippin is much more subtle. He claps his paws and the door opens.
These cats have issues. They’re out of control. Once they start drinking, they’re unstoppable. I’m trying to get them to this therapist that I’ve heard really good things about. If you think I’m joking, check these pictures out:
RH&G: Oh my Buddha.
Lani Loo: Yeah, it’s a regular pet cemetery out here. Except I don’t bury them, I just chuck them over into the neighbor’s yard.But I’ve gotten into the fun too, electrifying, bug spraying and slamming books into spiders. Cleaning poo from mysterious animals (I see it as a Welcome to the Neighborhood Sucker), barf (they eat WAY too fast sometimes) and even little black worms that breed in my upstairs bathroom.
RH&G: Wow. That’s disgusting. How has living out here changed you? If at all?
Miss Cox: It’s changed me for sure. I swear and cuss a lot more. I feel like Peglegged Pete on Mess Hall duty clean up.And since the Day of Judgement is upon us I’ve decided to stock up on Top Ramen and canned soup. Farang Farm will be known as Bartertown. I’m training the cats in automatic weaponary since they are obviously proficient in hand to paw combat as well as the ninja arts. I’m putting them on sentry duty around the perimeter of the house. 2012 will make Thunderdome look like Disneyland.
RH&G: Uh, yeah. So. Well it’s getting kinda late so we should wrap this sandwich up. One last question: Do you like it here?
Lani Moo: It’s growing on me. I’m being retrained, not by the cats per se, but by the Universe under the goddess moon. When I first moved to Thailand I had to rethink a lot of things that I took for granted in the name of Culture. And now I’m having my ideas challenged again. It’s about being uncomfortable.
As odd as it might sound, I think that’s a good thing. I expect a little discomfort time and again. And now if you excuse me, I’m certain there is something semi-dead on my shoes for me to clean up.
*thank you archaeology.org for giving me this idea (i know, i’m weird)