It’s been a packing marathon. I wake up at 6:30am get dressed, have breakfast, drive 40 km to the house I’m packing, then come home at 6:30pm, have dinner, take a shower, relax, and go to sleep. Today was day 5. I think I’m about 70% done with packing. My hands hurt. My lips are badly chapped for some reason; I probably haven’t been drinking enough water.
I’m taking a break from packing tomorrow to go shopping for furniture. I also plan to stop at The Body Shop to see if they sell a vegan lip balm. Yesterday evening, I stopped at my friend’s house and bought a small bottle of hand cold pressed coconut oil that she makes, but it doesn’t seem to be helping enough. It’s so hot here that the oil is too runny.
I had to clean all the white Ikea furniture, which was infested with some sort of superficial mold or fungus. I managed to get most of it out and was thinking that the furniture was quite durable. Then I went to inspect the old teak furniture, and it didn’t even need much cleaning. It’s been around for at least 50 years, and it looks like it will be around 50 years from now. The Ikea furniture on the other hand, maybe a few more years, but we’ll see how sturdy it feels when I reassemble it in Cambodia in a couple of weeks.
I had a friend come to help me for two days, which has been a real blessing. The other three days I spent alone, in silence. I enjoyed that as well.
The Asoke (Saraca indica) trees I planted behind the house almost a decade ago are finally giving nice shade. Someone chopped down the Cacao trees I planted on the south side, which is a shame, but it’s time to let go of that house anyway.
I haven’t had a chance to see much else. I plan to go visit a young rubber plantation where I saw a couple of hundred trees being exploited a year ago. The last time I visited a few months ago they were still being exploited despite me telling the person in charge to make sure it was stopped. I also want to see how the young forest we planted a few years ago is doing. Last time I was not terribly impressed. Out of the five thousand or so tropical trees we planted I doubt even half survived. I also tend to be impatient. These are slow growing trees, so there’s not too much to see yet.
There’s another area with trees that are almost a decade old, and they look quite impressive. Forestry and agriculture have very shallow learning curves in my experience. Trying to make a farm is a white elephant. I’m tempted to plant more trees every year, but don’t want to spend more money on it. We might fill up the areas where trees died with fast-growing leguminous trees in a couple of years.
I haven’t seen any poisonous or dangerous animals this time, but I’ve been indoors almost all day, every day. I saw a scorpion and a juvenile giant centipede (Scolopendra gigantea) when I went out to a storage room and moved things around. Giant centipedes always give me the creeps (fun fact: they can live up to ten years). Stings from scorpions here are not as bad as giant centipedes (described by some as the most painful thing you can experience, which fortunately I have never experienced). I was bitten by a scorpion in the back once while sleeping and the pain was sharp but tolerable, and once on a finger joint and the pain was severe enough to take painkillers and sleep it off all day. N was bitten once in her sleep: She woke up, crushed the scorpion with her slipper and went back to sleep. Higher pain tolerance, less severe allergic reaction, both?
If I can finish packing by Wednesday evening, I’ll go spend a couple of nights in Bangkok. Otherwise, I’ll stay the rest of the time here. Time for bed. Another early start tomorrow morning.
Something to keep in mind for the future: close old chapters properly before starting new chapters.