Now, THAT’S a FIRE… Thailand’s Fire Free-For-All

One of the things you must love about Thailand is that there isn't the micro-management (intrusion) into your daily life. If you want to do something in Thailand you just DO IT.
Especially when you are a foreigner living here and know most of the rules that are set in stone, and some of the social rules of etiquette that aren't breached.

The Thai's just "DO". They don't ask if it's going to offend someone because they know, the predominant attitude is "mai pen rai" and just about anything goes.  They also don't like confrontation much, so there is usually little to be said at at all when someone intrudes on someone's personal space or other imaginary rights we all think we have.

I was reminded of this early this morning after I showed up for work, only to be greeted by a metal gate across the door – closed and padlocked. Hmm… guess the teachers didn't get back from their trip yet, and guess nobody else decided to come in to work. Today IS a work day, but, "mai pen rai".

I head out to the internet cafe – thinking I'll download this software update for my new phone – e70.  (Yes, for those of you following I updated to this one now – and I don't think it's perfect either, but it was only 17000b and better than Dopod's 31,000 baht.)  I'm hanging on for the Motorola Q q9 or gsm which are supposed to arrive later this year.

So – I get to the internet place. I ask  – station for laptop?  Nope.  I go next door. Notebook?  Yes.  I take a cable with RJ-45 connector off a desktop computer and attach it to the notebook. Fire it up. No internet.

Rather than troubleshoot it – I "mai pen rai" it and head out the door saying, "internet, mai mee … mai pen rai krup…."  she said, oh, "mai pen rai".

I get out to the motorsai and a truck has parked in back of it – close enough that there are no exits to get it out. I put my helmet on and look at the people standing around. They tell each other – farang wants to get out. I stand and wait. They finish putting things in the back of the truck.  I expect they'll move then. Nope. They run down checklists and chit-chat for another 70 seconds. I stand there and sweat, considering saying something – knowing full-well that this is another case of mai pen rai, but I'm hot and a farang and if I wanted I could gripe and they'd get out of the way.  I hold my breath and finally someone moves the truck forward a foot.

As I drive away someone pulls out in front of me across the entire lane of traffic to do a u-turn from the far left side of where they were parked.

I slow down and stop, thinking, mai pen rai is getting WORN OUT today.

Anyway… I get home.

I think – today is a good day for that FIRE I've been wanting to make to burn all the paper and cardboard crap we don't need to drop off at the trash. I love a good fire.

I pile up the leaves, boxes, papers, and junk in the driveway and set it ablaze. There is a lot of wind today but that's a bonus because then the smoke isn't JUST blowing into one family's house, but multiple, so there's less concentration of smoke.

I'm not sure we're allowed to burn anything in this housing complex as I've never seen anyone else do it, but hell, people burn ANYWHERE they want in Thailand and I wanted my chance today.

I fired that bonfire up and it was a little bit close to the rubber tree plantation for comfort after it got going  (see pic of where I started it).  I wanted the fire to be away from the house, and I figured the concrete wall would stop it from getting to the rubber tree farm, but after the fire started kicking up smoldering ash as high as 3 meters or so, I wasn't so sure.  I started wondering about the proclivity for rubber trees to burn… hmmm.  Rubber burns like mother… but, the latexy sap that comes out of these trees is so wet, I really doubt it would burn too well.

I've been wrong before though and I had more than a few thoughts that I was going to launch a forest fire before I was finished.

I threw a metal shovel on the pile to hold stuff down a bit and let it smolder instead of rage on in 2 meter flames.

That worked and I had my fire.

Smoke filled the neighborhood and people came out to see who the offender was and I waved…

Mai pen rai my good neighbors… mai pen rai… don't you love the attitude here? 

Sometimes it even works FOR ya.

Author: Vern

I'm an American expat living in Thailand. I like to write informative pieces about life in, living in Thailand, including topics like: Thai People, Thai Culture, Nightlife, Technology, and I have published a lot of photographs, videos, and even books on Thailand that you can find at ThailandeBooks.com. There are many photographs of Thailand here - feel free to share with attribution (a link back to the home page). All written content on this site by Vern Lovic. Contact me at Google+.