Heat. Books. Brooms.

Wilted by the heat, Paul and I lounge around and read. Meanwhile our very old and very energetic neighbor sits in his patched grass work shed, cranking out grass brooms. On the day schools open, bales of the brooms will be picked up for use by our students each morning. 

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Our Wat’s most senior monk turns 96 today

Our little community is starved for events. A big night around here is when one of us asks “do you think that sounds like a new kinda frog? I don’t think I’ve heard that croak before”. In fact, we’ve ventured out after dark exactly twice in 13 months — for the SAO party and again yesterday! Yesterday’s celebration was in honor of the most senior monk in Wat Lampunbong. His 96th birthday party began with a handwashing ceremony and ended with a huge carnival. There were cows! Kiddies! Cotton candy! 

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It was a collared reed snake, I think

Two meters long, it rapidly slithered past my toes when I stepped out of the back door, and hightailed to the junkyard. Medium brown, shiny, no distinctive markings, ridged back. Closest mugshot I could find on the web is below. Did I mention that it was TWO METERS LONG? The neighbors watched and laughed; I ramped-up my reaction accordingly with a stagey scream.

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Water aeration. It’s a thing.

All over Thailand there are strange-looking gizmos parked in ponds, making splashes. They reduce stagnant water by spashing it about. Most of the gizmos were designed by King Bhumibol, who died on 13 October 2016. The King was a true polymath — he researched agricultural techniques, designed dams and irrigation systems, composed jazz music, painted landscapes, and played the clarinet with Benny Goodman.

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