Life is ongoing here in the jungle. We still climb out of bed in the morning to the cock crowing, and we still climb into bed at night to those little bastards next door barking.
I've filled up the little swimming pool on the roof, and now I've got constantly-frolicking naked natives to keep me company while I work. Downstairs is a constant cycle of cook-eat, cook-eat, wear-wash, wear-wash, play-eject, play-eject.
I was going to have the furniture maker build a few more small tables for the TV room, and a long bench for the front porch... probably at a cost of $30 or so. Kirko the houseboy came to me and told me he could build the tables and bench himself if I wanted. Having seen that the average Filipino guy can bung together a Queen Anne set out of bamboo and chicken bones in the space of an afternoon, I figured "sure." As Kirko and I went to the lumber mill to pick up the wood, he explained how his family used to own a lumber mill of their own. He then proceeded to name all the different types of woods on display in the mill, and all the types of trees within view. My confidence level rose quite a bit. (Cost for it all: $12.)
As you can see, the first table is finished.
Cousin-in-law Mike Bird is back in town from a brief sojourn to North Dakota, where he spent a month fitting out passenger planes to go to Saudi Arabia. His wife, Emelyn, is 14 months pregnant and Mike is back for the anticipated birth. Based on the lump-to-lady size ratio, it is going to be a tight squeeze. Mike is a bit of a giraffe, so it's not surprising his kid would match. Mike has spent his anticipatory days planting a garden of Chinese lettuces, kale, and Filipino pimentos. He also has a flock of chickens he tends to... and talks to them like they were puppies or something. I thought you were just supposed to make clucking sounds around chickens as you scattered feed. But then Mike desperately wants eggs... I suppose some pleading and coaching wouldn't hurt.
My motorcycle still isn't back from the shop yet after 5 weeks. Hell, after all this time I doubt it will even recognize me when it sees me. I've received daily updates to the we-fix-it-here-and-it-breaks-there drama that Mechanic Jun is suffering through. It seems like the end may be in sight... for the third or fourth time. With all the problems and missteps in this recent round of repairs, there's no way I'm even going to look at that bike without a guarantee of parts and workmanship (FWIW). Well, as I've said before, if it wasn't a turd of a bike to begin with, I wouldn't have dumped it in the shop, and broken the "do not break seal" in order to impose my supernal vision upon it. Common knowledge: Some turds don't take well to polishing.
The plants in my rooftop garden started to wilt. Overwatering apparently... vegetative version of the bloat. Not my fault though: It is Susan who waters them. She got some corrective advice from the older ladies with the greener thumbs, and it looks like things are on the mend now. Two little birds, brown with black heads (chestnut munia, after a bit of searching), are making a nest in one of the ferns. I see them coming in for a landing with bits of materiel in their beaks. Central booking sent a new gecko to my office after I accidentally squashed his predecessor. The new guy is twice the size of the old one, which is a good sign, because I think he is too big to fit in the track underneath the window, with its gecko-flattening apparatus. Hopefully he gets along with the munia. All I need now is an anteater to show up, and I'll have the proper level of coverage.