Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Making do..

The view from my breakfast table in the morning

Its a hard living up here in the country (but somebody has to do it).  After my morning walk, I had my hot tea and a hearty breakfast on my patio in front of my bungalow.  As I sat there this morning, I was amazed at how much we have and yet we also have  so very little in terms of things I take for granted in the States.  We don't have any big malls nearby, no McDonalds, no Starbucks, or even a Chinese restaurant.  But I am amazed at how great life can be without all of these 'conveniences' and remember the time in my life when most of these did not even exist.  Life was simple then, but small things like a home project would require a major shopping trip all over town.  

But sometimes one has to be flexible and improvise up here in the country side.  The local Thais always amaze me with the simple, but elegant solutions they come up with when things we take for granted are not available.  So today, I wanted to start on the target range and discovered that we didn't have any lumber around for me to build the racks.  The only wood available around the resort were some three inch stakes and old cement forms left over from the construction of the resort.  A visit to the local home improvement store didn't help as they only stocked molding and finished door jams.  There were no stacks of 2X4s and lumber like they have at the Home Depots or Lowes back in California.  When I asked where the cement form boards came from, B's father indicated that the workers made them from tree logs.  They cut down large trees and use chain saws to gently slice the tree stump lengthwise to make whatever size and thickness they needed.  Not having a tree to cut down nor a chain saw, that was going to slow the process down a lot - unless we got the frames for the targets made from steel - not a great idea for arrows.  We are still contemplating what to do and will likely have to wait for my next trip up here.

I still wanted to shoot some arrows today.  As I walked around the resort, the perfect solution came up for today's improvisation.  I found one of the bamboo chairs from the beach huts was the right size and sturdy enough to hold up the targets.  Also, if I missed and hit the chair, it wouldn't matter as it was made of bamboo and wouldn't hurt the arrows.   Besides, the hut also provided a backdrop should I miss the target completely.  That coupled with the covered carport made for an instant archery range!

Turn a chair around from one of the huts and plop on a target - instant range at 40 yards.

Turns out the carport is a perfect location to shoot from as it provides protection from the sun and has a cement floor.  To vary the distance, all one has to do is to drag the chair and target closer or farther away.  No misses allowed or there is a long hike to the other property which is partially under water this time of year.

Archery aside, there is a lot going on in the world and while I'm deep in the center of Issan I still get all the news of the world and the financial markets.  Looks like the long overdue stock market correction is close at hand and the geo-political situation is spiraling ever so close to a major event. I'm expecting a 50% market correction and major government and bank defaults during this downturn as well as major failures of many of the social media darlings who haven't made a profit but continue to draw huge investments and increased stock prices.  

The cocky and over-confidence of our government's medical bureaucracy that thought they could handle Ebola has exploded in their faces.  Forcing to admit they really don't have the protocols and training to handle the virus, there never should have been anyone allowed into the country with the disease.  Even now, there are few controls that limit people with visits to Ebola outbreak countries from entering the country.  Its true that more people die in one day from auto accidents than Ebola in the US, but the psychological fear that Americans have of a pandemic can have an adverse effect on normal functions and even the financial markets.

The sheltered and shrink wrapped package life of many Americans and their misguided belief that the government will always take care of them will come to roost one day when all hell breaks loose.  When that happens, what will you do or where will you go?  Will you just roll up and die?  Something to think about this week instead of football.  

We don't have a lot of stuff up here in Issan, especially the problems like the ones above.  I think we will just have to ride out the mess up here for a bit and watch the show unfold.  Improvise as we need to survive as a family and deal with a brave new world ahead.  


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