House in the woods…

I would love a house in the woods…or somewhere in the countryside, a small wooden house…

Wooden house

…surrounded by all the greenery and the delights of nature, away from the hustle and bustle in the town or city where the air is fresh, free from all the pollution and there is peace and quiet all around.

Of course, I would want the basic amenities – water and electricity and wireless internet and mobile phone connections…but no, I don’t watch television so I can do without that. A fan will do fine but of course, I wouldn’t mind an air conditioner, knowing how hot it can get sometimes in this part of Β the world. Of course, it is very much cooler in the countryside especially in the early morning when it can get quite cold.

Needless to say, in our very damp and hot tropical weather, I would need to maintain the place very well as the wood would rot and decay…

Rot & decay

…unless I use very hard wood like belian, leaving holes for rats and all kinds of pests to make their grand entrances. Yes, I would have to ensure that everything is fixed as soon as I spot anything that needs repairing…

Spoilt ceiling

As the saying goes, “A stitch in time saves nine,” so if I make an effort to see to everything promptly, if not quickly, then my house would be in pretty good shape no matter how long it has been there.

Maintenance is so very crucial, really! That is why I do know of people who would not rent out their houses and would rather leave them empty – we have heard of so many horror stories where some rented out theirs for a few years and when the places were vacated, the landlords had a mammoth task of renovating and repairing on their hands – the tenants never bothered to take good care of the houses and just left them to rot. Some people have this kind of bad attitude – “It’s not ours!!!” they would just say. “Why bother?”

Safety…

Dilapidated staircase

…of course, would have to be given top priority and if I am dependent on rain water, the gutters along the roof…

Gutter

…and the pipes would be of utmost important as well as those would lead the precious water into the huge storage tanks which I would need for that purpose.

Of course, I am no handyman myself, no Home Improvement guy, so I would have to fork out some money to hire somebody to come and see to anything that needs attention. However, I am pretty sure that there would be some things that I would be able to do myself like replacing broken window panes…

Broken window panes

…or giving the house a new coat of paint and I would spend my free time doing some cleaning around the house, keeping it spick and span at all times so that it will always look as good as new.

I do believe that anything, be it a house or a car or anything, if well-looked after and properly maintained, it would stay in pretty good shape, even after a long time. We just can’t leave these things to take care of themselves or as the Chinese expression goes, “Oo cho, boh ciak!” (literally translated as, got work, no eat)

I survived 5 years in Kanowit with just a kerosene stove but there, the town was just a stone’s throw away and every morning, I could just walk or cycle to the market to buy whatever I would want to cook for the day. I suppose I could plant my own vegetables – organic, pesticide-free but I don’t think I have green fingers so I probably would not be all that successful in doing that…and even if I could rear my own poultry, I would not be able to slaughter them for meat. Shudderssss!!!! The mere thought of it sends shivers up my spine. That is why I would like it very much if I could have a refrigerator…and a gas cooker as well so I would be able to whip up any dish that I may fancy…

Char kway teow

…anytime, any day.

Yes, I do think I would love living in one – a house in the woods!

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Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

28 thoughts on “House in the woods…”

  1. For a moment, I thought this was your girl’s hostel and being a parent, one would like to fork out some money to get some necessities done to make it more comfortable for our kids.. πŸ™‚

    It was. For a few months. She was miserable, I was miserable too. Now in nice new quarters and of course, we would keep her unit in good shape, make it look and feel like…a home – not too sure about the rest.

  2. i’m terrible at maintenance, so i think my house in the woods would fall apart very quickly if i lived in one! i like how you’ve written this post though … cool insights πŸ™‚

    Tongue in cheek…but that’s the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Luckily I was not into taking photographs and blogging that time when I went to my girl’s hostel at a teacher training institute in Sg Petani the day she went to report – I would have a lot to write about…and they say that goes across the board, at all our local universities, more or less the same. That just about shows how those people at the top run all these places – it’s like that with just about everything, sadly.

    My girl had to pay monthly for her apartment in Wellington, New Zealand, not cheap at all, and they were VERY strict about keeping everything in good shape and very clean – somebody would come and inspect regularly! If you do not comply, they will kick you out.

  3. A house in the woods, and I would add, preferably by a river with a cool breeze in the evening. So this beauty is in Sg Petani! Well, we all know the government have better things to do than look after nondescript teachers’ hostels–like running big profitable billion ringgit ventures for the country!

    No, not there. The hostel there was another one of those cold, soul-less concrete, flat-like dorms…nothing as nice as these lovely little wooden ones. There are nice ones in the kampung that have been around ever since I was little and that was a long long time ago – and they still look so very good, a few at Kpg Nangka.

    The thing is the people staying in them have to be told to take good care or get kicked out. The admin will have to check – pay due attention, renovate or repair as and when necessary and surely they will not end up in this dilapidated state – can’t blame the government for this though – good that they built such lovely places for people to stay but yes, it goes right across the board, right up to the very top, the same thing how the town councils take care of the public amenities, the nice parks and everything…and how the top brass run the country.

  4. Nice post on a Monday, STP. Enjoy reading it to every bits!

    I also like staying countryside when I retire. Hubby and I have plan (or dream) on building own house in countryside. With belian wood. Sigh!!

    And I would not slaughter my own chickens!! No no!

    Does his family have land back where he came from? A hill at the back, a stream in front…good feng shui, they say! Those people in the small towns might have – they live simple lives but hey have lots of money and property. Belian is good – will last forever!

    We tried once – teaching practice in the jungle, my coursemates and I…and we were not good at it. We did not get to kill it completely and it flapped its wings and got free…and it lay there writhing in pain. Horrible! I would never want to do that ever again.

  5. I thought this is one of Mel’s hostels in the jungle school area.. I can’t live without my Astro, hehe..

    They have Astro there, not a problem but my girl would not have time to watch, anyway. So very busy, this and that, day and night. Plus she is not hooked on that so she does not want to subscribe.

  6. Living in a wooden house at the countryside is perfect, peaceful, surrounded by the greens, wake up…hear the cirpy cirpy of the birds & the feeling of the cool breeze. I would love that.

    What a sad sight to see most of the gov’t wooden quarters/barrack in a miserable & bad shape. My son (now being transferred to Sri Aman Hospital) & his colleagues preferred to rent a house instead of staying at the quarters.

    Is it because the ones there are in not-a-very-nice condition too? I wouldn’t be surprised – like I said in my reply to an earlier comment, this seems to go across the board. Sad.

    Oh? He’s in Sri Aman? Maybe I can drop by one day to say hi. πŸ˜‰

    1. Condition?…ermmm, miserable looking. Yup, been there since March this year (4 months) already.

      You’ve been there, I guess? If they are already bad at a hospital IN a town, what more can one expect from those at the schools far far away?

      Little town, Sri Aman, nothing much – quite dead – the last time I went, bringing students for competitions and the most “exciting” thing to do would be to go and watch the benak in the late afternoon…but they have a nice hotel now, I noticed.

      1. Been there twice, staying at the new hotel…Hotel Seri Simanggang. Though a little town, still count his blessing cos some of his friends from the same batch were transfered to as far as Kapit, Labuan & Sabah.

        Labuan is nice, I’m sure. I know his friend graduated from that same place in SP, my ex-student, same name as me – sent to Miri.

  7. So whose house is that? Probably not yours?

    Unlike you (and most of the commenters), I would not prefer to live in a wooden house in the woods. Probably due to my upbringing, the only times I have ever lived in the while were when I go on camping trips when I was a boy scout, but I’m one of those city boys who would prefer big city life rather than a life closer to nature.

    Brings to mind the story of the Town Mouse & the Country Mouse. Like yesterday, there were people who bemoaned the destruction of our natural surroundings and on the other side of the coin, today, there are many who would not want to go without the comforts of modern living.

    But it is the same even if you live in the big towns and cities – you will have to maintain your houses and it is a never-ending job, can’t leave it to go to waste just like that. Like when I sent a new teacher to one school here, I saw many nice flats for the teachers but they only looked nice on the outside. The teacher was told to rent a place outside as those flats were not quite inhabitable – no water…and obviously, the previous occupants did not take good care of their units and left them behind in a really very deplorable state. Same as the hostels in the teacher training institute that my girl went to in the peninsula and it’s in a town too!.

    Taking care of a place sure takes a lot of time (and money) – if you do not do it yourself (like me/us), you’d probably need to hire a full-time maid to do that, unless you are blessed with a doting mum or parents…or you marry a really good wife. Wink! Wink! LOL!!!

  8. rg asked the question I wanted to ask – whose house is it in your photos above?

    keeping a house in tip top condition is expensive as there are many natural wear and tear that need to be fixed after sometime.

    It’s one unit of the teachers’ quarters here but believe you me, this is really very good already – there are so many that are a whole lot worse. Not surprised that some who came did not even unpack…and left the very next day, taking the first available flight home…but of course, there are many others who stayed and we should show them a lot more respect and admiration for the things they would need to go through, things they need to put up with.

    For one thing, much depends on the people running the place – I know some tried but complaints only fell on deaf ears. They’re such nice people these days – I would have gone and create havoc, stir up a storm till something gets done! On the other hand, I do know there are some at places not as nice but they maintain everything really well and everybody there is very happy with what they are blessed with…but then again, there are some with nice concrete flats – beautiful places but owing to poor admin, they face a whole lot of problems. You can read about one such places here:
    http://www.jarodyong.com/2015/06/a-brief-timeline-of-power-outage.html

    Whatever problems we may face in the upkeep of our own homes would be mere child’s play in comparison. Count our blessings!

  9. rg asked the question I wanted to ask – whose house is it in your photos?

    keeping a house in tip top condition is expensive as many items will have natural wear and tear that need fixing after a few years.

    Ditto! πŸ˜‰

  10. I would love a house not far from the water, and with plenty of trees around. πŸ™‚

    I guess this is common among people our age, would be a lovely way to spend our golden years – rest and relaxation, no worries.

  11. Living in a house in the woods near nature is just not for me. I’m a city gal at heart….need all the luxuries! That house is really run down…if I’m Melissa and given quarters like that, I’d be miserable too. Eek…got toilet system or not….or you have to do it in the bushes (with a leaf)…..wakakaka! πŸ˜€

    Thankfully, yes. They have nice flush toilets there – just hope there is no water problem which may crop up once in a while.

    You should come and stay at my school hostel where I was first posted to teach in 1978 – they had bucket latrines in the town…and in the hostel, we had to get the students to dig pits…and then build a wooden hut over it – a pit latrine. When the hole was full, they had to dig another one…and move the hut over and then, use the earth to fill up the previous hole.

    There are (long)houses and schools further in the interior that still have such latrines, no doubt – when you do not have a choice, you just learn to live with it and get used to it. Aren’t you lucky you’re there…not here? Just pray there is no war or anything – you will not survive.

    1. Oh dear, thank god I had my breakfast already…you left a nasty thought in my mind with that pit latrine. I wouldn’t want to be your student then if I had to dig pits! πŸ˜€ I’m just imagining the entire piece of land near your hostel all dug up…..urgghh! Yeah, you’re right…I won’t survive in such conditions.

      Have you read my reply to Azura about the floating toilet? That was fine, the fish would eat up everything in no time at all. Muahahahahahaha!!!!! You should have seen the bucket or pit latrines – all filled with wriggly larvae, millions of them, of the many huge blue flies that infested such toilets, plus the stench. That would ruin anyone’s appetite, I’m sure.

  12. Not for me, i don’t think i can survive LOL

    Of that, I am very sure – that is why some who came took the next flight home. But there are many who stayed and they would do all they can to make the best of their situations – like the ones at that school in the link I shared in my reply to zmun2’s comment. Those are real men, truly deserving of praise and admiration!

  13. I’m lucky to have experienced living in a wooden house back in Mukah. It was a rented house, surrounded by Guava trees, Coconut trees, a small river, chickens were everywhere and there was also a cow! Yeah, it was very calming and I kind of love my memories in that house.

    I grew in a wooden house on stilts at Simpang Tiga, last house at the then-named Race Course Road, so nice and cool to sit under the house in the late afternoon – lots and lots of rambutan trees and also quinee, terbulus/engkala, buah tupang/pulo, buah sukun, jambu batu, jambu air, jambu epal, belimbing and so on all around – very very big compound and that was one thing I hated – had to mow the grass when the guy from Kpg Nangka could not come to do it.

    There was a stream by the side flowing through/under Simpang Tiga into the river (and all beyond that and at the back, jungle)…and we would go swimming there, among my neighbour’s ducks…and how I loved the “nangok” sessions with my mum, grandma, grandaunt and aunties – going into the stream at low tide/shallow with our “baskets” to catch the luit (tiny shrimps) and seluang (small bilis-like fish). That was so much fun!

    Indeed, those were the days…and yes, we had a bucket latrine then and my mum would scold us, “Study! Study hard! If you do not study, you will end up becoming apek ta-sai (the old man coming regularly to collect the shit)!!!” The houses by the river at Kpg Nangka had floating toilets and the fish (ikan buris and seluang) would come in great numbers each time our “bombs” hit the water! Treasured memories! Where got people in the big towns and cities these days can experience anything like these!

  14. I dream of having a little house in the woods too where I could grow my own food – unfortunately the dream and reality of the upkeep might not match. πŸ˜‰

    It’s good to dream…sometimes. πŸ˜‰

  15. We live in a quiet location. There aren’t too many back in our little community. Most of the residents have at least one acre of ground. We have four acres; three of it is wooded. I would not trade that for anything… well maybe I’d trade it for more acreage. πŸ˜‰

    This sounds like the house where I grew up in. Heaven! No way one can afford that kind of luxury here anymore…unless you are very very rich or you live far from the town or the city. 😦

  16. Yes, very sad to see the lack of maintenance. Those houses could be made up to be very beautiful.

    Indeed. All houses, even those in the big towns and cities, have to be maintained regularly or they will all go to waste like this one.

  17. That’s what I think too. It would be nice to live somewhere in the countryside where it is peaceful and where I can plant vegetables! And like you, I won’t want to give up the basic amenities πŸ™‚

    These days, there is what is called “kampung tanpa wayar” – can get connected anywhere and Celcom’s coverage is pretty good too (better than in the town, maybe not so many people using there in the middle of nowhere) – can use their 3G wireless modem, not a problem at all – not like long ago. I just crossed to the other side of the river here and my handphone would have gone dead. 😦

  18. I would need an air conditioner for sure!

    These few days have been positively SCORCHING in Sibu. I got heatstroke on Saturday and nearly threw up, it was so bad.

    I had to wear office attire most days too, since I’m back for work, long sleeved shirt tucked into dress pants so that didn’t help with the heat.

    I’ll love a little cottage too, and I don’t mind slaughtering my own animals. Problem is, I don’t know how, I’ve only seen people slaughter chickens and ducks. Other than that it’s goat (once), snakes (twice), rat (once) so I really wouldn’t know how to pluck out the innards and so forth.

    Neither do I. I can only do fish. πŸ˜€

    Yes, it is extraordinarily hot these few days – I suspect there is a typhoon brewing, the high and low pressure thing…but that would be up north a bit though we may get “the tail” at times.

    Heat stroke..go for the back “scrap” – instant relief and take those chi kit pills. Work wonders!!!

  19. Satire at its best! haha~~~ But too subtle la. Kasi hentam saja la.

    The ones that we have in the jungle are in better shape because the people occupying it are well-versed in woodworking & repairing.

    Honestly, I’m glad I took care of my house in the jungle. For all the years I’ve been serving here in the jungle, at the very least I left behind a comfortable place for the next teacher.

    Whoever that may be is so lucky. Yes, it seems that they would help one another to repair what they can in times of “emergencies” but I would think schools should have the right people and the funds to do this kind of things…properly and not just temporarily.

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own.

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