Friday, April 30, 2010

Mae Sai 04/30/2010 Bad Dreams

I had bad dreams all night. The first dream I remember is being in the new bathroom and it was so dark that I fell down and woke up. I got up, used rest room, ate some pineapple and went back to bed.

It took a while for me to get back to sleep so I watched CNN. Daeng woke up and ask if I was okay. I told her of the dream and she ask me if I wanted to change the color of the tile. I told her I thought the tile color for bathroom was okay, just maybe a little dark.

My next dream was I was in this big pile of clams, snails and broken tile, the same color we had picked for the kitchen tile. The clams were snapping at me and I was getting cut up by the pieces of broken tile. I woke up, and realized I was okay and no blood from the cuts.

I could not get back to sleep so I re-measured everything for the bathroom and kitchen tile. I made some drawings and woke Daeng up about 6:45. I explained my dreams again and that maybe we should go back to tile shop, when they opened, and change the tile colors. She agreed and said she was thinking the same thing as she didn't reilly like the little clam shell in the tile pattern.

We had coffee, jumped on the motorbike and headed top the tile place.

When we arrived there was no one around so we just looked at all the tile again. We came to agreement that we would change the kitchen tile to two different colors. For the bottom cabinets and back splash a reddish-orange brick looking tile then a smaller cream colored tile for the counter top.

The owner helped us out and only charged us 76 THB ($2.38 USD) as we needed one box less of the new tile but it was a little more expensive. I don't know is the word "expensive" is the correct word. He said he would deliver around 10:00 PM.

Oh, when we looked at the tile for the bathroom it was much lighter than in my dream so we stuck with that tile.

We went back to the ranch to find only two men working today. They were putting mortar on the block at the inside of the bathroom. I thought that was to be done when they tiled it. I am not even going to ask, just watch and learn something.

About 10:30 the a small pick-up truck delivered the forth-nine boxes of tile and the ten corner strips. I'm kind of tired so maybe I'll take a little nap.

No nap, just watched CNN a little as the stuff in Bangkok is getting crazy. I'm glad we're not there. I said the same thing about the Watts Riots and the Chicago Riots. I'm also glad I wasn't in Chicago when Mrs. O'Leary's cow kicked over the lantern. I can't remember if that was before or after Lincoln was shot. I think after but I was pretty young then.

Salad came by and we talked about things. I showed him how to run only one waterline for the toilet and toilet spray using a two way valve. He thanked me and I gave him the payment of 10,000 THB that he needed to pay the men and buy more materials.

The rendering on the upstairs wall is almost done. Tomorrow is Thailand's Labor Day and everyone is off except police, firemen, restaurant workers, etc.

We will probably hang out around here and clean, clean, clean!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Mae Sai 04/29/2010 Got pretty Busy

It got pretty busy around here today. We had two more men in the crew which cut some more floor tile for two of the other walls.

They also chiseled the hole in the concrete floor for the toilet drain line. I was amazed as the concrete floor is about six inches thick with 3/8" re-bar rod in it. If I had known that the floor was that strong I would not have worried about putting the cinder block walls up.

I did need to have a discussion with the man putting in the piping as he wanted to run the drain for the bathroom sink with a short 90 degree elbow instead of laying put the drain at a 45 degree angle. The 90 degree elbow would have made it impossible to clean out with a snake in the future.

It was nice to have the extra two men in the crew today but two more in the crew ment two more to check on. The saying: "You get what you inspect and not what you expect." is a true statement here with the workers in the "Land of Smiles".

I will also say that the crew that has been working here the last few days now work a little cleaner and are starting to clean up after themselves. Now the two new guys are really dirty workers!

Salad, Daeng and I went to the tile distributor today and bought the tile for the bathroom floor, walls, kitchen cabinets and back splash. That cost was 6036 THB ($189 USD). The tile place will deliver tomorrow.

We will have to give Salad 10,000 THB tomorrow for the men and more materials.
We are getting into the big money now with the new kitchen, bathroom and walls:
Original Deposit 10,000 THB
Fixtures, Sinks and Toilets 9475 THB
Tile Today 6036 THB
Payment Tomorrow 10,000 THB
Total on this project 35,511 THB That is about $1,110 United States Dollars.

I have spent a few hundred Thai Baht that still hasn't been written in the expense ledger we're keeping for the new place.

Oh well, it's only money!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mae Sai 04/28/2010 More of a Typical Day

I got up around 5:00 AM, called my Mother in California to say hello and find out how she is doing. She is hanging in there at 88 years old. Her body have given out but her mind is still pretty good.

Then I called my friend Michael to wish him a happy birthday and see how Charlotte, his mate, is doing. I was lucky and got to talk with them both.

Daeng got up and helped me take the electrical wiring out of the bathroom area as the whole bathroom will be a wet room. The only electric will be the two ceiling lights and a light high over the sink. The switch and one plug will be up high by the far door, away from the shower area.

We then had some fruit and coffee together.

The re-model guys showed up and put the second bathroom door together, ready to pour in later today. Daeng and I took a little motorbike ride to the morning market, bought some vegetables and had breakfast. Soup, fried rice and fried vegetables with chicken was the fare of the morning.

When we got back the men were getting the kitchen counter top ready to pour with concrete. I watch with fear in my heart as the head man cut the tin with scissor that he borrowed from Daeng and then actually torn the corrugated metal using a 2"x 4" block of wood. He was holding down the board with his bare feet. Scary! TITwBT!
You can see the paper scissors he was using to cut the metal just below his left bare foot.

By the way, after he used the paper scissors that he borrowed to cut the metal I tried them on paper and I think they work even better. I'm amazed but this is "Amazing Thailand"!
Salad came by after lunch lunch time and we talked about how the water piping would run for the bathroom, the other 3 walls that he was going to build, the new rear door, moving the metal door upstairs to the roof and the electrician. I did feel better after we talked even though he kept saying, "Don't worry". When someone says: "Don't worry!" I worry.

We also set a time frame of 20 days as I know all the projects will run longer. That means the target completion date is May 18th. We will actually leave Mae Sai around May 29th.

The men seamed to be doing a good job putting in the re-bar for the counter top. We are going to hang out and watch the whole process.

After building the frame for the counter top and putting all the re-bar rod together, the boys started mixing cement. they filled the frame with about 3 1/2" of concrete and floated it off.

Then they carried buckets of mortar upstairs and poured in the other bathroom door. Yes, the new bathroom has two doors, one to enter from our suite and one to enter from the hall.

We finished, I say we because Daeng and I helped keep things clean, about 7:00 PM and called it a day. Daeng and I will clean up some more early in the morning.

We are starting to feel much better about this project.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Mae Sai Re-Model 04/25-27/2010

Well, the re-model project is going pretty mellow with only a few minor upsets for me.

With the bathroom all laid out they cut the existing tile on the upstairs floor. That made a mess all through the place as the tile saw threw tile dust everywhere.
They removed the old floor tile and laid a cinder block walls up to the height of the doors. Then they poured the first door in place.

When I say poured that is exactly what I mean. They built a frame around the door with some steel rod in it and poured cement down from the top of the door jam sides. This morning they took off the wood frame and spent most of today getting ready for the next door as well as getting ready to start putting on tile.

The kitchen cabinets are now ready for the concrete top to be poured. After that is done they will tile everything, the cabinets, the counter top and the walls.

Daeng and I moved one of the light fixtures were the bathroom wall is going to meet the ceiling. We will move the electric plug in the new bathroom area early in the morning so we can turn off the electric to the house.

Here the electric power is 230 volts so I need to be careful and not stick my tongue on the wires.

The electrical system in this part of the world uses "delta" transformers. What that means is one wire to neutral is 230 volts and the two power wires together are still 230 volts. With a "delta Y" transformer one wire to neutral is 115 volts and two power wires together are 230 volts. As far as ground wires, what are those? :(

We did put a ground rod in for the Internet wiring system. We have lots of thunder storms here so grounding the telephone lines is pretty important. I would think that grounding the electrical equipment would be just as important but no one, including the electrician seem to worry about it. It maybe because life is not valued here as much as were I was brought up.

My only wish on this re-model is that the men could work a little cleaner but TITwBT. This is a good example of what my boss, when I was about 18, would say: "If you go to a person's home and see how they live, that is probably how they will work."

One of the things that really pissed me off was they took one of the new stools we bought last week and stood on it to pour the concrete around the door. That part was okay but look at the way they left it!

We did have an ice cream sandwich in the afternoon. When I say sandwich that is exactly what it is, a piece of white bread with ice cream in it and the bread folded over. I think it is "Wonder Bread". I'm only kidding but it does taste like Wonder Bread, that white spongy kind.

I think tomorrow is going to be busy around here as the holes have to be made in the concrete ceiling, pipes run, new cesspool dug in garage/outside cooking area with concrete rings installed and sand around them. That is just the major stuff besides the other door put in place, block walls installed to ceiling of upstairs second floor and the concrete kitchen counter top poured.

Oh, the other thing that got me today was someone wrote on my sketch of the new kitchen.

Tomorrow will definitely be a "Picture Opportunity Day".

Monday, April 26, 2010

We are Safe in Mae Sai 04/26/2010

We have gotten many emails and calls to find out if we are okay due to the demonstrations in Thailand by the UDD referred to as the RED SHIRTS! Actually, it has been a only a few calls and a couple of emails but it seems like "many". Thank you for being concerned about us.

We are very safe here in Mae Sai, on the Myanmar (Burma) border. I am going to try and compare where we live in Thailand to someplace in the United States.

We live in a small town up in the mountain area of Northern Thailand, as far North as you can go and still be in the "Land of Smiles". The demonstrations by the UDD, or RED SHIRTS is happening in the main retail shopping area of Bangkok, about 700 Km south.
That is like us living in the hills on the California/Oregon border and the demonstrations being in Downtown Los Angeles.

Now for the social/politician views of the people here. I am going to write very softly as I'm an invited guest in this country. I am only going to write about what I'm told by folks.

Most folks that talk about the RED SHIRTS think they have gone to far because folks are getting hurt although they believe in what the old Prime Minister was about and what he did for the people. They don't seem to care if he took some money as they feel he did so much for them.

I am told that he did things like "Old Age Money for Older Poor Folks - 500 THB a month" and "Schools for ALL Children regardless of Ethnic Background" plus "Free Red Buses in Bangkok", "New roads in Rural Areas so Farmers could get Crops to Market", "New Airport which Employed Many People and helped Tourism", "Financing for Taxi Drivers to buy New Taxis", "Mortgage system so People can buy Project Houses", just to name a few.

Now, it is also the dry season so there is no rice farming happening. Remember, this small country is the largest exporter of rice in the world. Since they are not working in the rice fields they might as well go hang out in Bangkok, demonstrate and have some fun.

In closing, we just want to say: "Don't worry, be happy and have fun! Life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer you get to the end, the faster it goes!"

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Mae Sai 04/25/2010 Make Me Crazier

As I laugh at myself and think TIT (TIT = This is Thailand).

I got up at daybreak and checked the roof. Sure enough there is still a puddle there. Daeng and I had coffee, toast with peanut butter and orange marmalade.

A few minutes before 8:00 I hopped on the motorbike and went to HOME MART to buy a level. A level may have made it possible to lay the tile pitched to the drain but I was under the impression they knew what they were doing.

When I got there a few minutes after 8:00 and the place was dark and no one around. The time on the door was 8:00 to 17:00. Now HOME MART is a big place very similar to a HOME DEPOT in the United States. I think the sign should have said "Around 8:00 to Maybe 17:00". This is Thailand with a Burma Twist and Sunday.

They opened about 8:10 am and I bought my Stanley 24" Level for 200 THB (Around $6:00 USD) and headed back home. The reason it was 200 THB and not 209 THB, as marked, was the lady on the cash register did not have her register up yet, and no receipt, of course. It is tough to get a receipt for anything here in Thailand.

When I got back the roof tile men were already taking up the tile that we agreed on yesterday.

Forgive me as I'm going a little crazy today and making Daeng even crazier. The men are putting in the kitchen, which I might add was to be the second thing to work on. The original agreement was to do the 2nd floor bathroom first.
I laid the kitchen all out with masking tape on the floor and got agreement of the men that are going to do it. Right off the bat they cut the existing floor tile wrong so we made a little change to correct that.

The boss man said that it would be all open under the counters but then the men building it said they needed two support columns. We laid those out and got agreement, I thought.

Then they moved one of the support columns so the doors under the sink will not line up with the center of the sink or the window frame. We will just have to live with that.

I just checked with the roof tile men and it looks like what they are doing will solve the problem with the roof puddling. They are going to lunch.

I came back to the first floor to find the kitchen men were starting to install the second set of cabinet doors and they are the wrong color. TITwBT! (This Is Thailand with a Burma Twist). That sounds like the title to a song.

More after lunch.
Well, the afternoon went much better. Salad came back to the job and started the bathroom. He couldn't exchange the cabinet doors until tomorrow because the place he bought them is closed on Sunday. Kick me in the butt as all along I thought everyplace was open seven days a week.
It rained again around 3:30 PM and the roof drained okay. Everyone left around 5:30 PM. I spent the next few hours cleaning up the place. The workers don't work very clean. In America most customers would tell the contactor to got out if they worked the way they do here. TITwBT.
The roof tile man called Daeng around 7:30 to tell her he was finished and wanted to be paid the balance of 7000 THB. I was proud of Daeng as she told him he needed to take all the trash away and we would pay him.
The roof tile man said to have the other contractor we had hired for the bathroom to haul the trash away. Daeng told him No, it was his job and when he hauled it away we would pay him. Daeng told him the reason we did not have him do the other work is he did not do a good job on the roof. There are still small puddles but we are just going to put up with those.
He said he will be here in the morning. Salad said he was going to have a full crew here tomorrow. He only had three and himself today. Tomorrow should be interesting.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Mae Sai 04/24/2010 Roof Puddle

We had a pretty typical day. When I use the word "typical" that does not mean it was a normal day by any terms. We did get up around 7:00 and did the typical thing we do each morning.

The roof tile guys came around 8:00 AM as normal.

Around 11:30 we went and had a nice lunch of soup, Thai omelet and fried vegetables with chicken. It was a quaint little place along the side of an alley a couple of lanes over from us.
There was a rabbit digging away in the bushes and a fruit tree with this hug fruit on it. I have seen this fruit before but do not know the name.

After lunch we went back and watched some television.

Around 4:00 PM it started to rain. We went up onto the roof to see how it was doing. The men were just finishing up a few pieces around the outside of the roof. Even though it was raining we went out onto the roof to find a big puddle in the middle of the back part of the roof.

We waited until the rain stopped to see if it would drain. We waited about an hour and the rest of the roof started to dry but there still was a 1/2" of water in this big puddle. I talked with Daeng and told her I needed to know what the tile men were going to do to get the puddle to drain.

Daeng called Hlong, her sister-in-law, who came over and talked with the men. Hlong speaks Burmese. After a lengthy discussion they said they would come back tomorrow and remove a couple dozen tile and make a little drain area to get the water of the puddle. They will be slanting two tile to meet each other for a little slope so the puddle area we will drain okay.

We'll just have to wait and see how they do tomorrow. I'm going to go over to HOME MART early and buy a level.

We did not hear from Salad today, maybe tomorrow!


Friday, April 23, 2010

Mae Sai 04/23/2010 Shopping

Everything went pretty mellow today. We got up about 6:30 AM and did the typical things including coffee and fruit.

The roof tile men came around 8:00 and we talked with them about raising the emergency roof drains and the threshold of the staircase. The boss man nodded his head up and down like he understood.

We then went to the tile supplier and picked out the tile for new bathroom and kitchen counters/cabinets. The cabinets will be made of tile except for the three sets of doors.

We were going to have cabinets made out of wood, like we have in California but we will not be the only folks living here so we decided to do them the Thai way. Daeng picked out a multicolored, cream/brown/blue tile for bathroom and a little different multicolor for kitchen.

We then moved on to HOME MART for the fixtures, doors, door jams, two white toilets with seats, white pedestal sink, toilet spray, two round ceiling lights, faucets for bathroom and kitchen sinks with shut off vales at walls and all hook-up materials.

We bought the extra toilet as the downstairs toilet has a crack in the tank. The new toilets are 6 liter (1.6 gal.) flush toilets as well. That will be much less strain on our cesspools for the toilets. The Thailand way is to use a cesspool for each toilet. Septic systems are just starting to be used in Thailand.

By the way, that is why you can't drink the water in most places of the world, except areas like the United States and Canada. A cesspool is just that, a covered pit or pool that the toilet dumps into; kind of like an outhouse with cover and a plug that a pumper truck can come and pump out the solids when needed.

Here, sink and shower drains go to the same drains that the rain goes. This is sometimes called "gray water" drain.


We are not going to put a bathtub in now but are leaving room for it. It will be a free standing tub, like the old, ball footed, cast iron bathtubs from the 20's and 30's in America.

During the process we picked out some deluxe faucets but then Daeng said to just buy standard faucets as no one living in the house will appreciate the deluxe ones. It is really great that she is frugal.

Our total expense for all the above was 9705 THB (about $303 US dollars). We took everything on the motorbike except the two toilets sink, sink pedestal, two doors and jam set. Those will be delivered later today.

After we dropped off the faucets and things at home we went looking for a shop-vac. We found vacuum cleaners at Tesco/Lotus but no one knows were we could buy a "Shop-Vac" style wet/dry vacuum. When we ask we just got the glazed over looks in their eyes.
The delivery truck from HOME MART came about 4:00 PM but only brought one door and one set of door jams. TIT!!!

They did come back about an hour later with the other door and jams.

For some reason I was beat, maybe because I dis-like shopping. Daeng said she was going to the sauna at the Temple. I took a shower and went to bed watching "Oprah".

Daeng woke me up about 7;30 as Hlong, her sister-in-law, and a pick-up brought a load of stuff from here sister's place in Chiang Rai to sort, give away and store. With over 5,000 square feet of floor space we will probably will get lots of this type of thing. Maybe we should start a second hand store. I'm just kidding.

The above reminds me of the time, about 30 years ago, that I told my Mother we were going to sell the house and move. She asked me what we are going to do with all the stuff we had stored in boxes in the garage. I casually said: "We'll have a garage sale." Well, for the next couple of weeks she went out everyday and bought stuff for the "Garage Sale".

Yep, you guessed it, I paid movers to pack the stuff and move it.

All together we had a good day. Salad "maybe" will come tomorrow to start the bathroom. "Maybe" is synonymous with "Thailand".

The tile men will "maybe" finish laying the tile on the roof tomorrow and groat it on Sunday. Most folks work seven days a week in Thailand. Some local banks are even open.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Mae Sai 04/22/2010 Another Day

Another typical day in the re-model mode here in Mae Sai, on the Burma border.

Our friend, Ray, from California called around 6:17 AM to see how we were doing and if we could help his Aunt with her A/C when we returned next month. We are usually up by that time but this morning we slept in.

I have been trying to get a lot of rest so I stay mellow with this re-model. It is extremely stressful on any re-model project as it is tough to build someone else's dreams.

Now, add in the commutations factor and you have a set up for a lose, lose. We want win, win!

Daeng fixed pineapple and coffee. The roof tile guys showed up for another day on the roof. Life is good!

We went to Tesco/Lotus and had breakfast and picked up a few things like instant coffee, jelly and some fruit.

Salad did not show up at noon and when I ask Daeng about it she told me he said he would try to come by at noon. Communication error!!! TIT!!!

About 1:00 PM at man from Cat Telecom came by and said he wanted to change the password on our wireless router. I told him I did not want to change it. Well, you would have thought I called the King a bad name. he called his boss and i talked with him on the telephone. It was not our wireless router password he wanted to change but his router password. Communication error!!! TIT!!!

Around 3:00 we went to the afternoon market and bought eight (8) pineapples for 42 THB ($1.31 USD). I love pineapple and at that price we can eat a lot. At Costco, in California, they are around three US dollar each, in season.

it is around 5:00 and we are just waiting for the refrigerator repairman to deliver the refrigerator we had repaired. Yea, we can save 15 cents a day on ice.

The refrigerator guys just left and the refrigerator is humming away. The refrigerator man said not to buy SAMSUNG's two door refrigerators in Thailand as they are not made good. We paid him the 1,070 THB ($33.43 USD) for repairing it and thanked him. it is in nice shape and the cost new a few years ago was a little over 7,000 THB ($219 USD).

I laughed to myself as two years ago we bought a two door KITCHENAID refrigerator in California for $1,400 USD and thought we got a good deal.

The roof is looking pretty good except the emergency drains are too low. They should be about a half inch above the tile line and they are about a half an inch below the tile.

That means when it rains water will go out those pipes to the side of the building all the time.

Salad came by tonight and we agreed that we would pick out the tile color, the doors, the toilet and the sink for the new bathroom. We will do that tomorrow as he wants to start the bathroom on the 24th.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Mae Sai 04/21/2010 House Closing

We got up early, had fruit and headed over to the District Land Office to meet the sellers.

Most of the paperwork had been done already so we just signed everything. Foreigner can not own property here. Because there is community (50/50) property between husband and wife I had to sign a form that even though I was paying for the property it all belonged to Daeng, my wife.

Don't worry, how I get protected is Daeng signs a renewable lease on the property to me for 20-30 years.

We signed the papers and then we went to our bank, Bangkok Bank, withdrew the million and a half Thai Baht and handed the cash to the sellers. The wife put it in her big purse. They went to their bank and we went back to the District Land Office.

They showed up ten minutes later and we got the recorded title to the property with Daeng's name on the back. They had forgotten the "House Book" so we waited while the misses went to got it. A "House Book" is what shows who lives at that address.

It is now a done deal; the fat lady has sung, so to speak.

We had some breakfast and back to the place to see what kind of trouble we can get into next.

When we got home there was a load of cinder blocks for the bathroom walls, another load of sand, several bags of cement and the double bowl sink.

The roof tile guys are at it, one tile at a time. The roof is starting to look nice although the reason for doing it is to make sure it never leaks.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Mae Sai 04/20/2010 Pretty Typical

The day was pretty typical for us in the re-model mode. We got up around 6:00 AM and moved forward through the day.

Roof tile guys showed up and worked all day setting tile. We did have to have a little follow up talk about removing the loose, old coating before putting down the new tile.

Salad, the Burmese contractor that is doing the kitchen, bathroom and walls, came with some materials.
The stainless steel sink was a single bowl sink and we agreed on a double bowl. The two bathroom doors are only 180 centimeters high.
That means I would hit my head going through the doors. Thai people are very short. The doors should be 200 centimeters.

He took the sink back but I did not catch the door mistake until after he left. We will need to have the communication talk to be sure we both don't mis-understand each other.

The men from CAT Telecom came and did all the wiring and everything works great. Total hook up cost with dish, wireless router, cabling ND satellite TV converter was 7400 THB ($231 USD). After this month we will have to pay 790 THB for Internet service and 250 THB for television. That is about $33.50 in United States money.

It is a big deal to have these stations on TV here in Mae Sai. We already have two of the teenagers in the family sitting in front of the TV watching MTV.
I must stay mellow and remember "TIT" (This is Thailand).

Monday, April 19, 2010

Mae Sai 04/19/2010 Busy Day

Daeng's phone rang at 7:00 AM. It was the roof men calling so they could stop by around 8:00 AM, pick up a material deposit and start work.

Coffee, quick shower and the typical stuff before 8:00 AM when Salad, the contractor we call the Burma Man came at 8:00 AM and answered all the questions we had about the job. Our questions were can we get oval bowl toilets instead of round bowl? Who will do the electrical work? What will the door material be for back door? Will he put dead bolts in, too?

About 8:15 the crew that is doing the roof tile came and we gave him 20,000 THB more to buy the tile, sand and cement. We came back about a half hour later to tell us the tile we had picked out was not available. He had another sample that instead of being light green with a little brown was light brown with a little green. We said okay.

The crew started getting things done. They punched in the two holes for the emergency drains in case the main drain stopped up. It did stop up last night and we had about 3 inches of water on the roof before we cleaned the drain cover. That is a lot of water, about twelve ton (24,000 pounds) on the roof.

Just about then the Cat Telecom crew called that they were on there way. We walked out to the street to see the crew with at least three sets of bamboo ladders, two men with bamboo poles holding up the wire and another man with a spool of wire.

They ran new wire from the main street to our place, hooked up everything and we now have Internet. They said another man would be here later to couple the Internet & dish together to get English television.

As they were leaving a dump truck dropped off a load of sand next to the building.

About an hour later the tile crew came with all the tile and maybe 20 bags of cement to do the roof.

The Cat Telecom men hooked up everything and we now have wireless Internet and English TV! YEA, we have not had TV for about 10 days.

Daeng also pointed out the law of "Supply and Demand" She said last week an asbestos roof panel was around 28 THB and now with the hail storm breaking all the roofs, the cost today is 33 THB a panel. That is a 17 percent increase.

From our roof, everywhere you look you can see roofs being repaired.

The tile men got all the tile on the roof and said they would see us in the morning.

All we had left to do is give Salad a deposit to start the new bathroom. We felt good about the day except it started raining again. The good part it only rained a little for about a half hour and stopped.
It was a busy day but not typical.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Mae Sai 04/18/2010 Hail Storm

Today we just hung out around the place and talked about the projects we have going during the next few days. It is kind of a typical day.

Tomorrow Cat Telecom is supposed to run the wire down our street and hook up both the DSL for Internet and the Television.

The crew that is going to put on our new tile roof are supposed to start tomorrow. The boss is supposed to come by and pick up 20,000 THB for the sand, cement and 148 square meters of tile.

The contractor from Burma is supposed to come by so he can answer some questions we have about the new rooms and the new bathroom. Here they call it a water room as the whole room is made to be wet.

Around 6:30 PM it started to rain. Then it started to hail small hail about the size of a green pea. More rain and then the hail got larger and come down harder. We saw pieces of hail that were larger than golf balls.

At first it was fun picking up the small pieces of hail but then we realized that the hail was coming down so hard it was breaking the asbestos roofs. The hail was breaking out big pieces of the roofs.

Yes, they still use asbestos to make roof material here.

At our new place only the garage/cooking area at the back has this type of roof. We got about ten, pretty good size holes.

The bad part is that Daeng's Mother has that type of roof on her apartment and so does brother Tun's place.

After the rain slowed down a little Daeng went over to her Mom's and Brother's to find they were flooding out due to the hail breaking the roofs.

Both their places had a lot of water damage. Daeng helped them get situated for the night and came back home.
This day turned out to not be typical.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Mae Sai FUN FUN FUN 04/16/2010

We both started out with upset stomachs. We think, after talking it over, that the ‘Chive’ that we ate with our “Phi-Thai” last night was not washed as it seemed to have some grit in it.

We got up around 9:30 after several trips to the ‘haung-num’, Thai for water room or rest room. Tun, Daeng’s brother called and invited us to breakfast at his home. We throw on some clothes, pumped on the motorbike and headed to his place.

It was pretty quiet for a Friday morning. There were only a few sellers at the morning market and we saw a lot of people with baskets on their arms going to make offerings at the Temples.

Daeng said this is kind of like the first day of the year and what you do today will govern what you do every day this year.

We had a great breakfast of rice, soup, fried pork with vegetables and cucumbers. I still did not feel well so I ask Daeng to take me back home. We picked up some ice for cooler on the way back as we won’t have a refrigerator until next week.

I went back to bed while Daeng went shopping for a plastic set of drawers for kitchen area and some food items.

I woke up about 4:00 PM and we decided to go do some fun stuff as this is supposed to be a fun day. Daeng said there was some fun stuff happening by Temple next to the little afternoon market.

We arrived to find the place with lots of activity.
There was a kick boxing contest going on with young fighters going on. The young kick boxers are really fun to watch as they are very quick in their fighting.

There were kids on a large bamboo log across the water canal having contest to see who would be “king of the bamboo” so to speak.

There was food and singing going on, too.