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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10 years ago

By: Barbara

A career girl who dropped out, traveled, found love, and never got around to going home again. Now wrangling a cross-cultural relationship and two third culture kids.


  1. Your Moo life sounds great. So much to love about it. Nice to have such good neighbors, isn’t it? Love the pics, too.
    Cathy Sweeney recently posted..December in Paris

    • Barbara says:

      Thanks Cathy. I just discovered that our area is known as “butterfly village” because there used to be so many butterflies here. How sweet is that … well, bittersweet, really, because there are only a few butterflies here now.

  2. Denise says:

    mmm…beautifully described

  3. You make Moo life sounds absolutely perfect:)

  4. Sounds like a lovely place to call home.
    Stephanie – The Travel Chica recently posted..My First Argentine Asado

  5. Sophie says:

    Wonderful love letter! You’re lucky to have found such a little paradise for your family.
    Sophie recently posted..Fiery Furnas: Steamy cauldrons in the Azores

  6. Erin says:

    Beautifully described Barbara. It’s the little things about living in Thailand isn’t it? I love driving our moped down the backstreets outside of the old city and away from all the tourists and getting a glimpse of Thai life.
    Erin recently posted..Nomadic Interviews: Shannon from A Little Adrift

  7. Sounds like you are having a hoot in your moo!! 🙂
    Raymond @ Man On The Lam recently posted..Out of the Closet and Into the Peat

  8. robin says:

    Wonderful to fall in love with where you happen to be. Even better than the love of far off places.
    robin recently posted..Diario

  9. Mark Wiens says:

    I think one of the joys of living in Thailand (and a lot of Asia) is that while the central part of the city can be action packed and high energy, when you get back into the neighborhood things are so relaxed, kids play around, and things are quiet and enjoyable. Even though Bangkok is such a big city, my little neighborhood could be described similarly!
    Mark Wiens recently posted..Photo Favorite: A Feast of a Breakfast in Thailand

    • Barbara says:

      I think you might be right, Mark.
      I like knowing the action is there if I need it. Although, I’m more interested in taking a seat at some of the little bars near our house than heading into town for a drink. I’d LOVE to know what happens in those bars — dark rum, fairy lights and a bar made out of bamboo. Just so tropical and so decadent!

  10. Theodora says:

    Loving the motorbike family snap!
    Theodora recently posted..9 Life Lessons Children Learn From Travel

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