Birds wake me at 5:30 every morning, just as the night begins to fade to pale grey. My bedroom window looks out on flowering branches and I have my morning coffee outdoors on a little covered downscale patio of sorts, looking at greenness.
In Bangkok in previous incarnations my eyes were so starved for green that when I saw that color I would stare unblinkingly for as long as I could. Now it's my visual breakfast, and the birds and I relish it until the sun's heat drives me indoors and them-- I have no idea--probably to take a long nap after the rigors of their early morning concert.
I am so far removed from my palatial little concrete bunker on the fifth floor of my former home that I might as well be in another city. In fact it is only sois away from the house I live in now, on the same street. Now the luxury of space and greenery and quiet that I enjoy makes me wonder how I could have lived in a concrete box with no screens on the windows which was designed for the airconditioned life of a buffered apartment dweller.
My new house is making me remember the pleasure of cold showers during the hottest time of year, and the delight of a breeze passing through open windows and screened doors, and the joy of sitting outdoors in a private space which--between my years of apartment life in Seattle and here--I haven't been able to do for decades.
Banana-Mango, Rodney has named this place, after the trees that dominate the garden. A large stalk of bananas that dropped from its tree this week is ripening nearby and another is gaining the mass that will soon cause it to fall to earth. The mangos are small, Jessia tells me, and I can't see them, but they should be turning golden in this heat as well.
And the quiet--after six months of living near an impromptu bar across the street where men would often sing quite badly until they finally passed out, and where karaoke parties were an occasional feature--dogs barking at night are nothing. I fall asleep dreaming of wolves on the Mongolian steppes and wake to the soundtrack to a Disney movie as birds make sounds I've never heard before in the cool air of pre-dawn.