1. we would like to have space for visitors, and more space than a bedroom of our own
2. we would like to live as independent adults again (those of you who have not returned to infancy by moving into a culture where you start barely able to communicate your need for the bathroom will have to take my word for this)
3. we would like to cook our own food (or have the option, without inner conflict) again
4. we would like to know what it's like to have to do everything in Thailand, on our own
This forth one is a little more idealist than necessarily true for me which is why the decision to stay or go has involved more deliberation than one might think. We may rent a house that requires us to going to 100% hand washing of clothing. It may also have us hauling water, it will certainly involve a lot of legwork for the basic logistics of eating. We will need to cook or buy our own food, which will take a significant amount of time with only a bicycle as transportation, and markets a few miles away. In almost all cases, our version of Thai food, will be substandard to the food we are currently eating (and not buying or cooking). Now I have never been a person that is too lazy to maintain a clean home, or cook a good meal, or even do laundry the old fashioned way, and of course Erin has not either. But as character building as these activities may be, I question the time expenditure. After all, we could be doing other things during those times, with others in the community, if nothing else the easiest one of the 3 things we came here to do, exchanging ideas with Thais.
As of right now, it looks like availability of a suitable house will decide whether or not we stay with mair and paw. We have already seen three available rentals. One of which was so full of pigeons, dead pigeons, and pigeon shit that we were a little taken back that the person in charge of it would even consider having humans inhabit the place. I was humorously corrected by our neighbor a few days ago when I told them that we were not interested in renting the "ban ki nok" or bird shit house when they told me that saying those words was not clean (we declined even looking at another place we call the "ban ki gai" for similar reasons). The second house is right off what they call in Thailand a superhighway (2 lanes with any conceivable form of transport on them at the same time), with walls so porous you could probably feel the wind blow, and another that is actually pretty nice but completely unfurnished to the point where we would need to spend 6 months salary to purchase what we need. We are now waiting to hear on a fourth place that we were informed is owned by a rather better off individual who lives in Bangkok currently. We are not sure that this house is even for rent yet because the owner supposedly returns to the village for short stays periodically though we are hoping that the allure of some extra cheddar in his pocket might get us a nice comfy house to live in.
Some of our friends in PC here have already found splendid places in Thailand to live for the next couple of years. Some have probably already decided to live with their host family for the duration. As one of three married couples I think, like the others, that Erin and I came in with the expectation that we would certainly move out on our own after a few months. That said, it will not be the end of the world if we don't. After every conversation we've had with our host family about the reasons we have for not wanting to stay in their home (even though they have essentially begged us to do so) they continue to be more understanding and come up with additional ways to make where we are in the bottom floor of their house, more like it's own residence. Yesterday paw told me he would be purchasing an additional gas burner for the first floor so that we could cook "ahan farang" there whenever we want. He reiterated that all of our guests are welcome and that he has no issue whatever with chauffeuring people around when we need it. I told him to hold off on the burner until we decide what we are going to do, and that we can purchase it ourselves. He's said well "gas is standing by" pointing to a place under the counter where the propane tank is probably sitting.