So we’ve been in Ranong for a week now and it’s worth writing a bit about our accommodation. We’re on the top floor of a 4 level building with balcony entrance which leads to the kitchen/dining room. At the other end of the rectangular apartment is the bedroom which has a small balcony. In between these two rooms is a huge cavernous living room with no windows, white walls and concrete floors (actually all the rooms have concrete floors). If any structural engineers, architects or anyone from Fletchers is reading this, I have no idea what type of concrete or what finish it has.
There are some great views of perpetually misty mountains from our bedroom balcony and we keep the doors and curtains open during daylight hours. Also, the bedroom faces away from the prevailing wind (yes there is one prevailing wind direction) so even if it’s pouring with rain, the balcony is quite dry. There is also a view of the little football pitch below where the local kids play football almost daily.
Off the living room is the bathroom. The bathroom has a western-style flushing toilet but no shower. One bathes by scooping pot-sizes scoops of water from a large bucket onto oneself. The bucket fills from a tap on the wall and is purely cold water. This might seem reasonable for the first few days while still adjusting to the heat, but I can assure you now that it is quite chilly. No more long hot showers contemplating the meaning of life for the next few months. The water supply is pretty temperamental; it tends to be good at nights and bad the rest of the day so we fill up the big bucket whenever we can.
Until yesterday when we got some lounge furniture, the living room was pretty barren and we usually didn’t even bother turning on the lights – it was just a thoroughfare from the bedroom to the kitchen. I used to use it to practice playing hacky(or footbag for the English) but then I knocked over the one plant in the house and now I’m not allowed to play anymore. Now it is a much nicer place to hang out and watch DVDs on our 14″ TV- though we do still tend to gravitate to the rooms with natural light.
The kitchen and the bedroom are on either end of the apartment and are the only rooms with openings to the outside. Since we’re pretty close to the equator, the sun basically travels directly overhead from the bedroom (morning) to the kitchen (evening). The result is that these two rooms experience the temperature extremes the most. The really interesting effect is that of the exposed concrete in the middle living room. This room is the coolest of the three rooms during the afternoon when the sun is overhead and heating up the air outside the house, as well as the two rooms with doors (doors are always open). Then in the evening, the middle room is the warmest for many hours after the sun sets.