Home, it seems, is the theme of the week.
First, good news. The contract isn’t signed yet, so no guarantees, but it looks as if we have found a house!
Six hours after I published my last post on house hunting I was about to pack up my computer for the afternoon when something made me pause and think again about doing a google search on houses for rent in Luang Prabang.
I didn’t hold out much hope. No one I’ve met here has ever found a house for long-term rent online. But, after half an hour of plugging in various search terms and finding exactly nothing, something popped up that I really liked the look of.
Mike and I went to see it that night. There was no one there when we drove up, but the woman at the guesthouse next door made a call for us. Forty minutes later, two women showed up on a motorcycle. Then we sat there for another fifteen minutes while they tried every key they had brought with them, in every door.
We were, however, in luck in other ways. We were on our way out to dinner and just happened to have a student intern with us who spoke Thai fluently. He was able to talk with the women and arrange for us to return the next day at noon.
“I have a good feeling about this,” I said to Mike, later that night. “I think this is the one!”
“How can you have a good feeling about this?” Mike asked. “We haven’t even been inside yet.”
“I just do,” I said, a little disappointed that Mike was apparently not going to join me in riding my wave of unusually blithe optimism. “I think we should move in.”
“Watching you during this whole house hunting process has been a real treat,” Mike said, not looking as if that statement were entirely true. “It’s been like seeing the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle in action.”
When we showed up at noon yesterday, however, my good feeling was not disappointed. While the place is not without some minor drawbacks, I like the inside. I like the fact that it’s situated about halfway in between Mike’s office and town. I like the fact that it’s set off from a paved road behind another house. I like the fact that it has a fireplace with no chimney attached.
Actually, I don’t care about the fireplace, except insofar as it’s deliciously odd.
So we’ve signaled our interest. The owners have signaled that they would be open to us renting. Now it remains to be seen if the contract gets signed. Fingers crossed that all continues to go well, on all fronts, with all powers that be. And thank you to anyone who lodged any type of petition on our behalf.
On other fronts, my non-blog writing this past couple of weeks has also been entirely occupied by the issue of house and home. While Mike is at work I’ve been spending most of my time sitting either in Joma or the guesthouse, writing. I’m rethinking, revising, rewriting, reshaping, the draft of the book I wrote last year – a memoir dealing with home.
This week I’m grappling with a chapter that looks at the issue of home as a place. This is probably a complicated issue for many people, for many reasons. But when you grow up moving frequently I think the issue of home as a place can become particularly problematic. What do you think about this issue of home and place?
That’s all from me for today. I’ll be back next week. In the meantime, whether you’re at home or not, I hope you have a great weekend!