One particular almighty pop, the kind you get when something electrical shorts, only amplified Reading Festival style, sounded very ominous and once things had calmed down, sure enough one part of daily life was missing – the internet. Our connection is delivered by way of a tower which broadcasts the data by wifi to a receiver on your roof and down to your modem, a clever system used for rural areas and a lot cheaper that cabling up each and every home out in the sticks.
Unfortunately, this time, the tower worked in a different way than envisaged by those telecommunications wizards and acted instead as a terrifically efficient conduit to the little building that sits underneath it. This building houses all the beeps and whistles and put simply, the bang/pop we heard was the whole lot up blowing up, lock stock and well and truly smoking barrel.
Such electrical calamities are a reliable way of confirming that the rainy season is indeed upon us. Everyone has a different recollection year on year of when the rainy season starts, including, in our experience, the locals. It’s not like it has an official date and good natured disagreements break out the moment the subject comes up. A friend of ours swears it begins in mid April at Songkran, as more often than not, there is rain over that holiday period. Of course, he is just wrong, plain wrong, as anyone with any sense knows it starts at the end of May, apart from another good friend who annually announces it kicks off at the end of June. Well, he’s wrong too, that’s way too late, the rains have been steady for weeks by then as we all know.
On being asked his opinion, our landlord comes back with the mantra, ja maa, ja luu, translated as when it comes, you’ll know, a sort of typically all knowing yet hedge betting kind of reply you would expect from a farmer. His wife, meanwhile, like us, quite rightly goes with the end of May, sense at last it seems, though this might be because she misunderstood our terrible Thai and assumed it was to something to do with durians, where the end of May would be a good answer whatever the question.
Our neighbours opposite, normally a conservative couple who don’t go in for strong views are now adamant that rainy season starts on June 8th (last Sunday) – they lost one of those 46” latest edition plasma screens which went up in its own puff of not so smart tv smoke during the same storm.
To put the matter to rest for another year, we will stick our necks out and declare once more the rainy season starts at the end of May and our sound reasoning for this – today, the orchard dogs stink like only wet dogs can and have done for a couple of weeks.
And if you wondering about the weather, it has now rained pretty much continuously since the storm, dark, dank, unrelenting. And what of the the beeps and whistles under the tower? Yup, they have so far outfoxed all attempts at putting them back in any kind of working order. This comes via a mobile phone!