First, we needed a car. Nee has a friend who knows a mechanic who appears to also be in the used car business. In the US, he would need a license to sell cars but here he just needs his driveway. He showed us a number of cars over the last few weeks until last week. Then we found a Nissan March, a car that looks more like a fat motorcycle than anything you would want to fill with your weekend suitcases for the trip to the coast. The Nissan dealer had one that was a year old and already had enough miles as if it were three years older. The price was a bit too good to be true, as well. We mentioned this to our friend and suddenly another car appeared at the mechanic's. This time a Chevrolet, five years old and very low mileage.
I have been driving since the early 70's and most of my cars were Japanese with the exception of 71 Buick Skylark which I loved, even if I did have to put a piece of a two-by-four in the seat to make it level. Fast forward about 30 years and now I am in Asia looking at a Chevy. This one looks like my Camry, though, so it isn't a far stretch from my own perceived reality. We drove it and loved it, breaking the heart of the dealer for a few seconds.
Next we needed a home closer to the job. We had looked before and didn't find much. This time, we stopped the truck in a neighborhood and Nee asked a lady who was cycling by with her baskets full of fruit to sell. She pointed out a place behind the temple we were next to and we wandered in back. There we found Shangri La, a beautifully landscaped resort complete with Koi carp, a fountain and hand-carved wooden doors. The owner showed us around, offering us water, telling Nee about other houses available for rent nearby. Finally she remembered a set of row houses that she happened to have an arrangement with and we walked in and decided we were home. Thus, we now have a new home and a newish car. Next I needed a visa. That is another long story which includes a trip to Laos and far too many modes of transportation. In the meantime, we are moving tomorrow and begin the next phase of this adventure. More about Laos later.