I Love Our Moo Life!
Most evenings our street — Moo 7 — is taken over by the local kids, who are put through their paces by the biggest of our neighbours’ boys.
There’s sprints and medicine ball raises, high-stepping and jumping. The oldest boy, who may be 12, or 14 — I can’t really tell — takes his coaching job very seriously, as do the exercisers, the youngest of which is about four.
I have fallen seriously in love with our little moo, one of many moos in a rabbit warren suburb in Chiang Mai’s north-east. We are right in the middle of local life, just as we were when we lived in Hell Money Hem in Ho Chi Minh City.
As the kids run up and down the street, Darling Man leans against the neighbour’s truck and tries to learn some Thai words. With half an eye on Miss M, who is in amongst it with great enthusiasm but not much understanding, Darling Man has mastered Thai numbers and a few basic phrases. I’m in awe of his linguistic abilities. My head is full of work stuff. There is no room for Thai.
I love living in a street quiet enough for children to play in it.
I love having such neighbours who are so friendly and helpful, even though we don’t speak the same language. The neighbour has a handful of English words he remembers from school. We don’t know what he does, apart from produce an enormous number of amazingly well-behaved children, but we are loving living next door to him and his horde.
Our neighbours on both sides have given us food — a bag of organic zucchinis handed over the fence, followed by a bag of mandarins. And when I ask where the nearest petrol/gas station is, I get a guided tour of the closest three — and boy-oh-boy does my neighbour drive fast. As I fill up, she invites me round for a barbecue.
I love the freedom of having a motorbike again. I love the fact that Miss M falls asleep on the motorbike. We have a new habit of going for a drive around our area at 10pm to get her to go to sleep. Suddenly — a few free hours in the evening. Bliss.
I love our nighttime drives. We bump and burble along the riverside roads, catching glimpses of lanterns-lit cafes and fancy houses and whizzing through pockets of cold air.
I love being able to pick up dinner at our local market, just by pointing at what’s on display.
I love the fact that we live near several wats, one of which has a well-used bocce field in front of it.
I love living a bit out of town, away from the tourists and the tourist cafes and tour offices. We wanted to live closer to town, thinking that was where the action was. But the action is right here, in our little corner of Chiang Mai. And I just love it here.
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7 years ago