Do you ever wish you were different? Sometimes I wish I was a different girl. I imagine to myself that things would be easier if I were a super practical, cheerful, go-getter of a girl. I would go through my days without psyching myself out. I wouldn't get sensory overload and have to go listen to music in a dark room. I wouldn't question everything, all the time, everything under heaven. I wouldn't put myself through moral gymnastics while buying toilet paper or trying to decide what to cook for dinner.
There's my little wish for fish for the morning.
But here I am. I'm Rae. Getting settled in a new country is going to involve a lot of existential angst. Because I'm trying to find our WAY here. Do you know that part of househunting? Where you look around and around and you see all these things and your mind is in overdrive, trying to imagine yourself in each of the settings. You could climb the tree in that yard! That tiny alcove could be your office! And you go around and around and in the end you find a place. You take it. And suddenly you don't have all the dreams, you don't have all the possibilities, you have what you have, and here you are. Bam. Make a home.
And I'm a bit confused. What do I do with teak? It's so.... wooden. And amazing. And essentially Thai! And I'm not essentially Thai. So I'm looking at all this wood, stunned by its beauty and a little mystified. How do I make it mine? Sometimes I'm just not sure of myself, not sure that I can make a house a home. But the house? The house is wonderful. It's cool and quirky and amazing. It's right in the middle of town.
The little street (soi) is tiny. I went all the way across it, practically in the opposite neighbor's yard, but I couldn't get the whole thing in my frame. I think half the house is that roof. Chinua said that in Asia the size of your roof is a sign of value.
Do you see tiny Leafy there? We practically live under that tree. In fact, I would be out there right now if it wasn't so incredibly hot. I'm taking refuge on the floor beside the fan right now. That bamboo fence thing on the right side of the photo is our kitchen. The landlords don't want to smell up the teak with cooking smells, so we have to cook outside. And this is where I get that shivery feeling that says, "Look how this all works out..." because I've made such a big deal about how much I love cooking outside, how my dream home has an outdoor kitchen, how it makes me feel like I'm barely working at all, because there I am, outdoors! And guess what! Mandatory outdoor kitchen for you, Rae Rae. I'm a blessed girl.
There is a garage thing behind the kitchen space, but the landlords use it for their tomato sorting business. When the tomatoes come, like they did yesterday, the garage door gets opened and we just step around the tomatoes. It's fun. Very villagey.
Kid A's feeling great in this photo, because he just cooked himself some eggs.
By lunchtime, I had mopped the floor. I mop the floor every day, and every day it gets crazy dirty because there are water fights and things of that sort, and I always say, "Don't get the water in the kitchen!" but somehow, mysteriously, they always forget.
Mmmm. What are those two eating? PB and J.
And what's Chinua making? Litchi juice. Of course. What a man I have. I'm a blessed girl.
We got a blender and we can't stop making smoothies because it's hot and fruit and ice are falling out of the sky. Hot season is litchi season, mangosteen season, mango season... yum.
Inside. Everything looks a bit infernal. I think I had the camera on the wrong setting, because it doesn't normally LOOK this red. The house came with a TV, which was a big selling point when people told us about it. How can we say we don't care about TV when people are so excited about giving us one? I'm personally more excited about the wooden Ibex head on the wall. A little friend.
Our bedroom. Do you see what I mean about summer camp?
Big kid's bedroom, although we're still not sure about this. It has a bigger bed. We're not sure if the biggest people should get the biggest bed or not.
Here's one of our very simple Asian bathrooms. One of the THREE. Score!!!
A little bedroom for the little boys.
And a sweet porch. It's been far too hot to sit on it, so far. But when it cools down, I'm sure it will be amazing.
Oh, here's a photo of the internet guy. Totally protected. Boots, even. We're not in India.
And the best part of the house? This large lovely room that was built under the stilt part of the house. Ahhhh. Room for homeschool, for living space, for eating, for having people over...
So. When are you coming over? The litchi juice is waiting.