I live in a special neighborhood on the outskirts of town, roughly 30 minutes southeast of the city center. This area is called San Sheng Xiang (translated roughly as Three God’s Village) and was transformed from sleepy little farming villages into flower manufacturing nodes dotted with small ponds, bed & breakfasts and rose fields. My friend Zhuang was the first “outsider” to move out here about three years ago. I was next followed quickly by several other musicians, painters, writers, sculptors, kung fu masters and hermits that helped to form a community living side by side — actually, entwined and enmeshed — with the locals, who have been living here for generations.
Its a good place to live for many reasons, but today I’ll just share with you a typical day in the life:
During the hot, early summer days, the first thing I do is get up early and pick plums from the trees in my backyard. After about 45 minutes of sweating, grunting and ducking, trying in vain to avoid thorns and spider webs, I manage to fill a colander.
As soon as I take this picture, I notice my faithful dog TofuPi watching me from beneath a table in the courtyard.
A friend once told me I had to earn my breakfast, so after picking the plums I have the next best thing to Wheaties: two Hanuta, and a cigarette.
Then I have an idea. In Thailand, when the weather gets oppressively humid like it was the day I shot these photos, locals will take a bucket bath (which basically means dumping a bucket of cool water over your head). So I did that. Then I made the rounds, passing plums out to the little girls across the street and their parents next door.
Then, I went to visit local rocker family Proximity Butterfly at their home and shared my plums with them.
After we licked our fingers, we got into a serious game of Risk, which Joshua’s wife Heather won handily.
On my way back I found out that friends from Dali have come to visit. I took Danny for a walk with his boy Hugo and my son Dorian while the ladies chatted away at the Orange Bar. Later we met and squeezed took turns squeezing children.
At Orange we had a fine dinner of tomato tofu soup, liquor infused chicken and the house special, Mad Pepper Fish.
When we got home, the chickens were all ready for bed and the three of us in my family mimicked them, sleeping in a small warm pile underneath the mosquito net.
And that about wrapped up my day in San Sheng Xiang village.