My Weds. & Fri. night plans to stay at Bueng Pai Farm turned into three consecutive nights. It seemed crazy to check out on Thurs., a.m., walk 10 minutes home, and spend the night on my coconut husk mattress on the floor when for only $14 another night in paradise could be had.
I am totally in love Bueng Pai Farm and its owners, Run and Orn. Such delightful and accommodating hosts. Their website (www.paifarm.com) has great photos and descriptions if you’re interested. A reservation for Dec. 10-11 at high season rates has already been made by me. I can’t imagine a better way to awaken on my 65th birthday than to look out the bungalow window on my right and see water or on my left and see a “sea of rice paddies” on the left. Altho’ by Dec. the rice will have been harvested. That’s OK because about 600 yards/meters beyond the rice fields sits a lovely wat (temple). The translated name of the wat is: Rice Beach Temple. Honest. No beach other than the “sea of rice.”
In addition to the fantastic surroundings, it was a pleasure to share that great place with friends. On Thursday my new Australian friends–Carolyn, the adventurous mother who returns to Aust. tomorrow, and her 21-year-old daughter Maddy came over to see the place and then we went out to lunch at Sunset View Restaurant. As you can imagine from the eatery’s name, it has a magnificent view of the Pai Valley. The next night Tierney joined me for an overnight in my bungalow’s second bedroom. We returned to Sunset View where she and another new good friend, Kiera from Toronto, had eaten dinner on Thursday night. BTW, I had take-out lunch from Sunset View on Weds. so that was 4 meals in 3 days. Maybe that’s why the lovely owner let Tierney & I order off the low-season lunch menu where entrees were $1!!! In contrast our drinks were $3 each. Sunset there on Thursday night with Kiera and Tierney was magnificent–not as good on Friday.
The pool at Bueng Pai Farm uses no chemicals–just filtered with sand, lava rock, etc. Thus, insect repellent or sunscreen must be showered off before entering. Also there are little fish living in it. (They sometimes bit the swimmer’s feet.) As a result there are multiple new mosquito bites but it’s worth it. Due to my sensitive skin, I tried to swim before noon and in late afternoon. No sunburn, happily.
Friday and Saturday brought some major frustrations re: the school. My biggest one was a wasted hour with an inappropriate Thai teacher candidate. Turns out she had a degree in tourism, not education. My colleague kept talking with her about other job possibilities–i.e. cook or accounting/booking for the school. It frustrated me because she: 1) had no experience cooking for large numbers 2) had never taken an accounting course 3) another person was waiting for the next interview. Oh well, the interview took place at Bueng Pai Farm, so the environment offset the frustration.
Meanwhile, Maddy, the young Australian, had a great interview with Jake and will start volunteering at our school for the month of November. She’ll be landscaping, building a compost and putting 3-4 piles of debris in it, and build above ground garden beds. She’s an amazingly hard worker and very strong. Plus a delightful personality.
More school frustrations that don’t need to be enumerated here. Opening Jan. 2 per the advice of several Montessori experts. They suggested that three weeks of class in Dec. followed by a 12 day break to resume class on Jan. 2 would be difficult for the students. On the plus side, I think we’ve found our English speaking teacher who will move here from South Carolina after Thanksgiving.
Thanks to all of my Woodstock area friends for keeping me posted on the freak October snowstorm. One Lake Hill (hamlet of Woodstock where I lived) resident had about 8 inches of snow Another friend who lives on the other side, toward the top, of Mt. Tobias (the Catskill peak that could be seen from my living room windows) had a foot of snow!
Let’s keep this one short. Will do a separate blog post about my upcoming travel plans.