Saturday, October 23, 2010

Lantern Jaw

After all those years of living in Chinatown and finding there a single shop that sells them lanterns, I was wandering around the bottom of the road here in search of some noodles today when I happened on a shop that makes lanterns to order. They also make elaborate funerary and ancestral-rite thingies, and were surrounded by frames in various states of completion. Is that--? I said. Whatchoo want, the woman said, fabric or paper?

All very exciting; it'll have to wait till pay day, but maybe I can have a more interesting design than the red lettering on white.

Meanwhile, a ramble round the houses.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


The end is never the end, is it? Thanks to my mother I'm now in possession of a brand-new camera, so there's no reason why it should ever end.

At any rate, once I'd moved in it got to the point where the idiots proved such utter and complete idiots that I threw them out. What a pig's ear Nek's morons made of every single job they attempted. Utterly, utterly useless. I don't see how the world could possibly be a worse place if they were wiped out by some horrible disease. The paint jobs, as you can't quite see in the pictures, are abysmal, the plumbing is a fucking disgrace. I won't start on the job they made of the first-floor polished concrete which, until they dripped paint all over it that embedded itself deeply in the cement, was really quite nice. These things are best forgottten.

One day on the phone Nek, then hard at work ruining someone else's house in Lad Phrao, whined at me that he doesn't want me to complain to him all the time, he doesn't like, what would I think if someone complained to me all the time? I said he who takes the money listens uncomplainingly to the complaints, and at any rate if he wasn't such an idiot there'd have to be none. Serves me right for being cheap, I suppose, because in the end they won, simply by doing an even worse job than their low fee would justify. Without Nun it'd have been a complete disaster.

Never mind, never mind. They're gone, alhamdullillah. As you can see, the cats are happy:

Or almost:

And so am I, almost. The air is a million times better here, and in the small hours, despite having only a fan to cool the bedroom, I cover myself in the Cambodian scarf Cheetah is hogging in the picture. The local iron man, under the Klong Tan flyover, did an excellent job on the bookshelves and desk, and the maid is a treasure -- to the point where Tom and Mam have pretty much appropriated her, and I had to summon her back from their house last week to do the ironing. Admittedly the washing wasn't quite dry, so she thought she'd go over there and do whatever needed to be done first and come back as and when, which is fine.

Progress from now on will be too slow to warrant blogging, but I may put up a little tour of the area, with running commentary. The upstairs bathroom will be built eventually, and yes, I realise the Chinese lanterns out front are too small; I was too mean to spend an extra 200 baht on the bigger ones, so they'll be replaced in due course.

Meanwhile I leave you with a mood picture of the view out front at eventide. As m'uncle rightly observes, sooner or later the ground floor will have to be equipped with bamboo blinds for privacy. I'm exposed when I'm cooking, and the locals are wondering whether it's a restaurant. The maid, Noi, suggested I open a 'cocktail lounge', which I'm sorry to say in the argot means a whorehouse: