Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Voices #14 - Old house

Most of the houses in the district towns used to look like this - made of teak, originally roofed with thatch but then upgraded to tin sheeting. Now, the tin roofing is starting to fall apart which leads people to start to think about a new house.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of logging being done for export, so wood for use inside Laos has gotten more expensive. And anyway, many people are more interested in living in concrete houses now.

I can imagine how the old house is groaning, and probably muttering to itself with the same muffled words of my land lady (who chews betel and is difficult to understand when she has a mouthful of the stuff). "Those humans are so foolish - always abandoning traditions."

Someone might respectfully said, "But logs are scarce and ants eat your legs."

"That's when you should repair something, rather than throw it out."

Maybe another thing is that the voices of old houses are so distinctive that people would rather not hear their demands all the time. Now they are tuning into to satellite TV.

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