Here we are we are, as a family, as professionals, as musicians, as consumers, as adventurers and as individuals. Each time we step out of the front door we are met with an overwhelming sense of possibilities. We are also often met with a swirling swarm of hungry mosquitoes but more on that in a bit!
Our house is situated just south of what we refer to as "the box", the old city walls. Thats where all the cool stuff happens, in the box, and then just north west of it in an area called Nimman. Areas which we may have hung out in 10 years ago (or 3 years even) but areas which are now a little off our radar. We live close to school, we live close to a bi-weekly open air market, we live close to a a horse in someones back garden, we live close to the exit highways to take us into the mountains.
It's such a treat having like-minded, similar aged people living so close. We respect each others space but we're also there for each other to share a smile, have a quick chat and offer help. Our garden is gated and studded with mango, coconut, banana, cacao, pomelo and other trees which I don't yet recognise. So it feels very green and lush despite being in a pretty built up residential area.
On that note we are in a Thai residential area which is great! Down one end of the street these 4 little old ladies hang out together at the shop selling single serving biscuits and papaya salad, when I take Sky down there in the pram they come over and squeeze his cheeks and chat to me enthusiastically in Thai despite my insisting I don't understand. Smiles all around.
Down the other end theres a bar with pool tables which stays open late for tattooed men having beers. We've also got ruins scattered throughout the area. This is Wang Kum Kan, the site of the capital of the Lanna Kingdom (think 700 years back). Bu this site was forgotten, often flooded and lost in local memory until in 1984 when it was rediscovered and in many parts excavated. Some homes now have ancient monument ruins in their gardens! You can sometimes catch a horse and cart or little bus of Chinese tourists visiting but generally the tourists don't come here so the ruins are empty and you can wander freely around them (just watch out for the dogs!)
So that's our home.
Oh and the same little Zebra Dove that we had in Praslin lives in this area so I feel like there is a continuation from the Indian Ocean to out here, that same back ground sound of the dove sitting on the telephone wires cooing at the sun.
Anyway, on a jolly-er note we are finding our place here in this vibrant and intricate city. My mother has helped us for the last month and although I don't know how we'll survive another minute now without her. But I am also so grateful to have these opportunities for us to grow closer as a family. We discovered northern Thailand together! We dealt with visa issues, car issues, where do you buy a mop issues, oh my god we're lost issues... and those are all experiences we'll never forget!