Do I suspect your new 'community is doing you good Joe?
The importance of community,
Very recently, in the news, it has been recognised, and acknowledged, from a professional Medical opinion, that 'Burn Out' is real and exists. I won't go into the boring details but this is where I found myself after leaving Pussers for the 2nd time in the middle of 2003. I had been on the go since 1969! I was just wearing too many hats.
So, by early 2004 I decided I needed to take a break from everything and I headed off to Thailand, for what I told my family was a much needed 6 months break. My wife said where are you going to live and what are you going to do? You will be bored shitless and back home in a few months. I told her I was going to live with her mother, who by now was living alone in the family home in Suburban Bangkok, and I was just going there to relax and I would just kick back and 'suck it and see?'
As it turned out I didn't get back for a few years.
Suburban Bangkok, in most cases, is not the same as the suburbs in our major capital cities. Many areas, like where I live adhere to the 'village' style of living. Called Moo Baans.
A moo baan is a 'gated', self contained, housing community. A modern style of the traditional 'village' community They vary in size, style and number of dwellings. Mine is about 35 years old now and fairly average in size with a few hundred 'townhouses'. Many businesses operate from peoples family homes, including many 'cottage industries servicing the residents the Moo Baan . E.G. Eateries, Mum and Pop Shops (milk bars), Hairdressers, Laundry Services, Tailoring, and a plethora of others.
In my Moo Baan my neighbours are very friendly, and more than a little inquisitive.
Thai neighbours in a moo baan are much more involved in ones life than suburban neighbours would be in Aust today.
They’ll always want to know what you’re doing or where you’re going, did you eat rice today etc. Or they may just want to know how to say something in English.
Thai neighbours are often very helpful, they’ll be happy to keep an eye on your house while you’re away and, god forbid if you ever have a catastrophe, half the neighbourhood will want to help.
By their very nature most moo baans are very safe. We did have a rare spate of break ins and robberies here about 10 years ago. One of my close neighbours, who has a close relationship, and mates in the Police (RTP), is a gun enthusiast and owner, and he was just itching to catch them, where I had no doubt whatsoever he would have shot them dead!
My Mother In Law is an 'original' resident from when this Moo Baan was first built and is an 'elder'. So I did have a bit of a head start. She was the one who actually found me a place to rent, in the same Soi, and negotiated the price for me.
I found that it very much reminded me of my childhood and growing up in what was still pretty much a 'county town' outside Melbourne. The strong "Community' aspect I found very alluring.
I grew to really like it. I cannot walk out of my house to the main road (a distance of150 metres or so) without frequently stopping to talk to my many neighbours along the way and it is always done with smiles and politeness. The Children are also polite, and will 'Wai' to me, and say, Hello!
Basically, it reminds me of when I was a young kid. And in many ways when things were a lot better in our society.