‘It’s Prik,’ she says.
I stifle a laugh every time she mentions her cousin. He owns acres of land all around us.
‘Maybe he sell.’
‘Why?’ I ask. ‘You told me he’s rich.’
‘Maybe he lose at cards. Sell land.’
This worried me. Not the illegal gambling, but I enjoy sitting on my front balcony lording it like a big cheese from the British Raj, beer in hand, gazing out over the countryside at endless coconut palms while she swats away the flies with an electric tennis racquet.
‘Now someone’s going to build a bloody great condo. Maybe even open a karaoke restaurant with loud Thai music all night. We must complain,’ I said.
‘Cannot have music bar,’ she said. Green land. Not allowed.’
Yeah, sure. Pay enough –anything can happen. On my soapbox. ‘Even ONE house can have some noisy Ex-pat, drugged up to his eyeballs, and belting out Black Sabbath at me. I’m not happy.’
Sulk. A. Lot.
Noises of machinery. A mechanical digger, attached to a pick-up, was doing what it’s called. Digging. Bloody great holes, all where the sticks were planted. Right opposite. Prik was directing.
‘Now’s your chance,’ I said.
She smiled. ‘Prik ... he funny with me. Make joke. Build Condo ... certain. 100%.’
Grimace – but to our rescue was another cousin. Cousins seem to spring out of nowhere. ‘Go ask him,’ she said, tripping out of our front gate. Short conversation in loud Thai.
Twenty minutes later with all the holes dug –with me presuming that’s where the concrete pillars would be positioned – she came back with “News”.
‘Prik not sell land.’
I waited. Hairs standing on end. Beads of sweat. Hold breath. Heart thumping – you get the picture.
‘Not know English,’ she said. ‘But tree for King’s palace.’
‘Ah.’ Breathe out. Look up in Thesaurus dictionary. Acacia decurrens the “Golden Teak” tree.
Prik – Buddha bless him, is going to build trees.
I love Thailand.