Our home is a little slice of paradise, but not a museum showpiece where you're afraid you'll break something. It's a REAL home that's quiet and comfortable and allows you to experience the REAL Thailand. It's not in a gated, security-laden, nuclear-equipped community, though we do have walls, a gate, natural security (dogs) and REAL police that stop by four times every day to check on things.
A splendid patio stretches around a quarter of the house. You can listen to the bird songs, wind chimes and crickets while relaxing outside under the umbrella. Mmmm, smell those flowers, meters away, pumping their fragrance your way. Living room/dining area as you enter the front sliding doors. The office/den, kitchen, one bathroom and laundry room are also on the first level.
The spacious master bedroom is upstairs with bathroom and small porch overlooking the yard. Two more bedrooms about 11' x 11' on the upstairs level with another bathroom. (We don't have photos of the bedrooms yet, because currently we're trying to figure out where to put the TV/DVD in the master bedroom, one is our eBay room and one is still painted by Joomi's young daughter when she lived in Thailand.) Two of the bedrooms have air-conditioning units for a few of those hot nights when the breeze dies down.
Computer, printer, wireless Internet, stove, fridge, microwave, toaster, coffee maker, all the dishes and dining ware you'll ever need. The decor is eclectic, boarding on eccentric. We've traveled extensively, both lived all over America, so you'll find traces of New Orleans, northern Wisconsin, India, Laos and the local villages in the neighborhood.
Our gardens provide constant joy with blooms everyday, from a quarter inch tiny to 15 inches huge. We pick mango and papaya and chompu and peppers and basil and several other fruits with Thai names I can't remember. There's plenty of room in the yard for badminton, bocce, Sumo wrestling or golf, if you're reeeeeeaaallly bad golfer (like me).
Get off the tourist track. This is the real Thailand. I accidentally came 7 years ago and it felt like home. My advice: before you come, sell everything you own or put it into storage so you don't have to go back and do it later.
Check out Chiang Mai, the Rose of the North, on the Internet. We don't live right in town, because we don't like the growth, the busyness and the exhaust fumes 365/24/7. You can find about anything you want there from 5-star hotels and major shopping malls, theaters, international restaurants, markets every day and night of the week, a thriving expats club, charity events, rock concerts, 40,000 bars/nightclubs and about 6,000,000 places to eat. Ride around the mountain and you have elephant camps, monkey and snake shows, bungee jumping, tiger kingdom, orchid village, on and on and on.
We live about 12 km away near the sleepy village of Ban Sanrai, which you probably won't find on a map. It's mainly a one road town that feels busy if you meet another car. 104-year-old ladies walk around in pajamas, kids carry pet chickens and an elephant just might saunter down main street. (It's called "main" street, because there's only one street.)
Check out Bo Sang, the handicraft and umbrella making village. We live near it, where there are mountains on every horizon. There are birds everywhere, some you'd swear were monkeys. 12-inch blooms hang from massive plants in the garden. Papaya ripening in the backyard. Whenever we return from a trip, we feel like we're still on vacation.
Scott and Joom. Okay, PeePoo the Dog, Keesha the Cat, Turtle the Turtle and Fish the Fish.
I (Scott) am from Fargo, North Dakota but I take pills for that. I'm a musician, writer, and comedian who, after performing in all 50 states, in Canada and in Thailand, changed gears and started two nonprofit foundations (Give and Live) that help children in Thailand. I speak American English, struggle through British English and speak enough Thai to continue life when my wife Joomi is not around.
Joom was born nearby in Chiang Mai, but lived in America for 10 years, including surviving 9/11 while living near DC, Hurricane Katrina while in New Orleans, and probably the hardest of all, a winter in Bayfield, Wisconsin. She currently works as a Thai/English translator/interpreter and helps kids whenever she can. She's bilingual, dreams in English and has two kids living in Topeka: Tewin age 10 and Nichole age 14. Good ol' American kids: Tewin likes to play football and Nichole likes to shop.
For business and pleasure, Joomi and I sell cool stuff from Thailand and wherever on eBay at http://stores.ebay.com/ASIAmazement, take motorcycle trips whenever we can, watch too many movies and are definitely addicted to gardening.
Where do we want to go? Anywhere exotic, but we're not looking for exotic right now. Specifically, this summer, Joomi needs to spend a couple of months with her kids who currently live in Topeka. She has been there for the previous two summers. Not particularly an international city, Topeka has few short term stay options. We'll consider other cities within 50-100 miles of Topeka. And we'd love to share our home with you!