MOVING DAY


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We’re moving today and tomorrow.  Today we pack up the few things we have in our pied a terre in Santitham, place them under the seat of my two motor scooters and scoot off to the new house, about five miles southeast of here. It’s in a neighborhood called “Snail Pond” which is historically prone to flooding. I’m not so much afraid of floods as I am of mosquitoes, now that Zika virus has been reported in Chiang Mai.

 

But it rained hard last night and is dripping even as I type this. With little in the way of infrastructure, when it floods in Thailand, it really floods. Our convenient room in the big city cost us 4,200 baht per month, about $120 U.S. dollars. No worry about floods there, for it’s on a fifth floor of a building new and clean. The room was small, with a balcony and a great view, but otherwise it was sort of soul-less and even though the air-conditioning was top notch, it was not place I wanted to hang out. Our rented house half an hour north in Mae Rim was a meager structure as well, but situated near the mountains. I could be riding in endless greenery in a matter of minutes. It cost 4,000 baht a month, which is about $110 dollars. Our new house promises to be quite luxurious and large, and will cost almost exactly what we were spending for the other two places. So it’s a lateral move cost-wise but probably a step up in long-term comfort. I’m hoping I will become less restless living there, and spend more productive time reading and writing in my office. Yes, I’ll have an office of my very own. 

 

I can’t believe I’m moving again. Every move I’ve made in the last ten years has surprised me, for I thought the move before was to be my last. I certainly drag much less with me now than I did ten years ago, when I fancied myself an antiques dealer with an auction shopping compulsion. On this new move I will have to buy a refrigerator, TV, electric stove, a few used tables and chairs, and I’m convinced these will be the last appliances and pieces of furniture I will ever need to buy. One of these moves I’m going to prove myself right about that.

 

It will be good to live in only one place. Every time I’ve tried to have a city house and a country house, it has brought me little in the way of peace of mind. Where did I leave those reading glasses? Here, hotel rooms are very affordable.

 

I no longer have any items in storage back in America. Most of what I now own could fit in the trunk and back seat of a Volkswagen Beetle, the same state of affairs I enjoyed back in 1975, when I moved everything I owned from Iowa City to Los Angeles. I was convinced it would only be a matter of a few weeks before I “made it.” My talent was such that I was certain to “be discovered.” I drank a lot back then, and smoked a lot of dope.

 

Now I no longer expect anything from my moves except having to learn a new neighborhood. Where is the closest coffee shop with wi-fi? At night in my new home, which way to the bathroom? Where are the light switches?

 

The older I get, the more I appreciate the Christian concept that we are all just pilgrims, passing through. The Buddhists here in Thailand are big on this concept, too. Everything is change. Here, they burn your body at the nearest temple. If you can afford it, they set off fireworks while they’re burning you, probably to scare you on your journey. “Don’t stick around, you’re dead, be off!” Boom!

 

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4 thoughts on “MOVING DAY

  1. holy spumoni. didn’t realize you had 2 places. that sweet garden is going? sounds tuff. but your lack of attachment is admirable. looking fwd to photos. don’t quite comprehend it. no more vegetable and fruit harvest? best of luck! …and as for me i struggle to clear out ephemera from our “little” american house, get rid of trash, and get papers to the archives. and grieve my beloved. that was a big enough change for me…that loss 36 weeks ago. cannot imagine chosen changes. what an old fogey i have become! again, best of luck to you both! ps need to look for all this on google maps, or maybe you should provide such for those of us who are ignorant!! thanks

  2. You remind me of the guy who never allowed himself more than 75 possessions at any one time. Every time he brought something new in, something else had to go. I have been in the same house in IC since ’87. I’m supposed to move in 3-4 years to a one-bedroom which I will share with Dr. Alphabet. We both have hundreds (thousands?) of books and papers. I can’t even think about it. But, realizing that I could float off the earth at any time, and knowing I don’t want to leave my son to deal with everything, I know it’s time to start weeding. David also has 1 son, so is in the same boat. Would you believe I even have a 20th anniversary framed poster of No Shame Theater? Wonder if it’s worth anything. Your photo looks like W. Virginia, which is completely under water. Your new place sounds wonderful. Best, MJ

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