Thursday, March 6, 2008

Blue rider in park: The Domestic Life

The Ox has been reduced to a mere 'grocery-getter' here in Mae Sot, life has become very domesticated in the 'burbs, I am doing some design work, but am hardly working rather than working hard, and the easy pace of life has lent itself to breathing deeply as I recline in a shaded hammock with an iced tea and a good book.

A perk of my location is free Thai lessons in the evening taught by a patient monk now in his gray years working as a translator for a Thai government official. Five nights a week, the official and the translator join us at 5; first we have an hour of Thai lessons, in English and Burmese, followed by two-on-two badminton while dinner is prepared, and then delicious food and cold beer. Tonight, wild boar from some village donated to the thai official. Last night, deep fried chicken wings. Of course, steamed rice, a curry or soup, steamed vegetables, and what I call 'thai salsa' are obligatory at every meal; as much as you can eat!

I have been enjoying "Malay Archipelago" (1868) by Alfred Russel Wallace, British naturalist, friends with Darwin, and a man of terrific wit and insight. His stories of traveling are quite amazing and fun to read, much like "Sailing Alone Around the World". Follow him through remote island jungles where no white man has ever been as he collects cheeky British laughs and butterflies, or goes hunting for Orangutans. Good summer read!