Good Fences Make Good Neighbors
Before a person builds a house in Thailand, they need to know where their land boundary is. Exactly. Sorta. And just like in Missoura, a surveyor is needed. This involves geometry and trigonometry. History shows that the Egyptians used a rope and geometry for boundaries after the annual floods of the Nile River. They also did a pretty good job of measuring the pyramids.
Anyway, here in Thailand a private company comes out and they are also rather good at Math. They can add the bill quickly. $498 or B16,000 for four hours of head scratching to show the legal boundaries. But, adjoining landowners can agree to move the lines thus changing the ‘Chanote’ which is what Thais call a Title. These negotiations can take time. People can spend all afternoon talking about moving imaginary fences.
Good fences make good neighbors? This proverb appears in the poem Mending Wall, by Robert Frost. For many years, required reading in high school…
This old traditional Thai house is our latest project. We have a budget of 1/2 million Baht or $15,500 to upgrade. Should be fun but first the land has to be surveyed.
The survey team begins measuring. And looking for snakes.
The land owners begin to do their own surveys. The elderly lady is the original owner of the land which she got from her parents. No one has lived on this plot for 30 years, so there is some confusion.
Double checking the official checkers.
Information is then transferred to the matriarch. As a side note, the gentleman sitting on the widow sill was the first policeman in this village.
Try to guess what the Boss is doing.
All the landowners had different versions regarding the history of the imaginary Fence Line.
Changing boundaries is never a straight line. A lot of curves.
Finally, the official concrete post has been set. Now we can begin the project.