For these two weeks Erik and I have landed a wonderful housesitting assignment. We are caring for a very energetic and unbelievably affectionate 4-year old pitbull named Stewie, and an aloof but very vocal tiny tabby named Fergi. And luckily for us they get along famously, which results in many naps in a parallel universe where cat snuggles up to dog. We are also staying a in large and airy 4 bedroom home inside of a gated Mooban or village where there are actually quite a few other farangs or foreigners living here. Read on and follow us through a typical day. (Some weekly events have been included in this one day to complete the illustration.)
9:00am: We sleepily wake up as our bedroom begins to heat up from the strong rays coming through the windows. OK, more realistically Stewie has snuck up onto the bed at some point during the night and is now burrowing himself into a forced spoon position with Erik or I. In another common scenario we can hear the cat calling for food from outside, where she prefers to spend her nights prowling and trouble making.
9:30am: We slowly enjoy a full breakfast of baked eggs with spinach and onions, toast, oranges, bananas right off the tree in the yard and coffee in the back yard before the 90 degree heat of the day hits. Stewie proceeds to sprint in circles in the back yard as if to threaten to go crazy if he doesn’t get his walk soon.
10:30am: We grab Stewie’s leash and ball and stroll (ha! Dragged!) across the street to the other half of the Mooban were a small soccer field awaits. Before we leave we make sure that our cart of empty water bottles is out front along with 35 THB ($1.15) for the water man to come and replace it with a full crate. If we do forget, we can always fill up a liter at one of the many osmosis machines for 1 THB or use our Steri Pen to purify the tap water.
11:30am: We return safely with a thoroughly worn out dog thanks to his unyielding interest in chasing his ball. While we pack a sack lunch and throw our swim suits and towels in a bag, we are subjected to strange music playing over the village PA system that signifies the beginning of an announcement or news cast. For the next 5-10 minutes a man seemly yells through the PA system in Thai which makes us feel like we are somewhat in communist China.
3:00pm: After a quick stop at the 7-11 (they are ubiquitous here) to pick up anything we need, we return home.
5:30pm: If it’s a Sunday we may walk over to the local weekly market to stroll along the stalls and pick up some fresh produce among many things that we have no idea what they are.
6:30pm: We reconvene to decide to either walk across the street once again to the favored Mooban restaurant for some delicious and unbelievably cheap dinner. Or we decide to cook something in our small kitchen, which is quite a novelty after traveling for two months straight. We might pick out a movie to watch, work on a blog post, or just read and cuddle with Stewie and Fergi.
11:00pm: Yawns become more frequent and we reluctantly close up shop , turn on the fan in the bedroom and drift off to sleep.
Maybe tomorrow we’ll head into Chiang Mai proper to explore the city. And then again, maybe not.