Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I was reading a blog last night about a fence, and the building of a fence and how important it was to this person to get this done, before they could go any father with their project . And for some reason, to save me I could not go to sleep all night , the word fences keep going around in my head like a roller coaster at a county fair.Before I continue my rant , I would like to give you a few quotes about fences from some notable people.

1.- "A good neighbor is a fellow who smiles at you from over the back fence and doesen't climb over."----Arthur Baer

2.-"Fear is the highest fence."------Duddly Nichols

3.- "Good fences make good neighbors.-"----Robert Frost

4.-"Don't fence me in. song: "Cole Porter

5.-" What have they done to the earth,what have they done to our sister?/Ravaged and plundered /and ripped her/and bit her/stuck her with knives/in the side of the dawn,and tied her with fences and dragged her down."---Jim Morrison of the Doors.

Now for some strange reason ,fences and me just don't get along , I know, they are there for different reasons , to keep things in , to keep things out , to protect and to make feel secure the fearful , to claim a boundry, and to say with a bold (most of the time . but not always) statement, and ugly FENCE that says" this is mine, stay out, unless I tell you otherwise, no tresspassing, violaters will be shoot.
I guess this all stems from experiences from my childhood, and some in my adult live as well. In my child hood ,I had my favorite fishing and hunting places and secert places to just go and dream about what it was going to be like when I got big. Then one day I go out to hunt or fish or day dream,and there in front of me is a fence with a big sign that read NO TRESSPASSING , now I had been going there for a few years, and had never harmed anything or anyone , and could not understand what had changed, well to make a long story short , the land had sold and the new owners , even tho they never hunted , or fished , or even took a walk to my secret place , they did'nt want anyone else to either. It didn't matter to them ,that I was their neighbor and had lived and hunted and fished, there all my young life, sometimes with my friends, those days were over and done.,gone forever.

I remember when I was living in that great frontier state of Alaska , that a old homesteader told me , to see for myself, that if a Texan bought a piece of land ,large or small ,the first thing they will do, is to fence it in, and put up a NO TRESSPASSING sign, and you know he was right , I would have to drive miles , down the road just to get to my favorite fishing place because , they had put a FENCE across the path that I took thru the woods to get to the creek.

I guess all this has left a sour taste in my mouth when it comes to fences. And now that I am here in the LOS and Gentle People , what is their obsession with fences ???. When we bought our little piece of land and house, way out in a small village ,on a dead end road , at the foot of a mountain, on a private road too, that the first thing my sister -in -law ask me was when was I going to put up the fence , well , when I got thru telling her my point of view about fences , my Thai wife was in tears and my sister-in -law did'nt speak to me for six months .NO, I will not put a fence around my house , I don't want to have to raise my head to see down the road to my neighbors and when I look up to only be able to see the tops of the trees and half of the sky ,sunsets,and sunrises , and have to run outside and open the gate ,and do I have to decide whether I'm going to let them in or not,eveytime someone wants to visit , and I dont mind a little cow or dog poop in the yard sometimes , makes for good fertilizer, and a good sling shot to the back side will get them at bay. I love the wide open spaces and the clear view down the road, and the frendship and smiles of our neighbors as they walk by ," sawadee kop," and I respond "sabi de mai , kop". If you have a fence already well , ok , I understand , I really do , but if not ,don't sweat the small stuff, and I've been here in our village for 4/1/2 years and have yet to see the BAD PEOPLE , they say the FENCE is suppose to keep out .


Mike Rose said...

Wow that sounded from the heart Malcolm. I agree with the concept but I need my wall to keep out the cows not people!

A True Friend to China said...

Nice one Malcolm!

Yes the question of fences is an interesting one here in Isaan. There are no fences in the rice fields and no fences to keep cattle in or out. Nobody generally has a fence round their farm house but if they build a modern style house it has to have a wall and a palace gate like er um! the one in your picture at the top.

One of the chapters in my book, MY THAI GIRL AND I is all about our marital tensions over building/not building the wall. I think I've won but as that's impossible maybe I haven't.

I think one of the reasons for fencing here is that if you buy land for cash with no documentation delineating it, your right of occupation is best done with a physical boundary. I'm sure that explains this obsession.

Don't mention the wall!

Andrew Hicks

Martin MY said...

Hi Malcolm and Ciejay,
Lovely thoughful post and the moral is quite clear, fences cause offence! (sorry, bad pun)
Here the fences are only up to stop chickens, turkeys, passing goats and sheep from stealing crops. That is the only real reason the fences are there. In towns it is different, security bound intent is used to stop Gypsies stealing every thing they can see that is an opportunity. Town and country therefore have fences for very different, but distinct reasons, Gypsies and animals respectively.

Hoo Don said...

Good fences make good neighbours, I can only assume your neighbours are very open people and easy too see through.
The wall at our village house was built for various reasons and security wasn't one of them. Wilai felt it would give the house a more homely look and also it gave her workable boundaries for her much loved garden, which would become out of bounds to grass munching cows. I just hoped it would keep the snakes and chickens out plus the soi dogs would find it more difficult to get in. So far it's worked well on all counts.
However I do respect you for sticking to your beliefs, as Mike commented you wrote this post straight from your heart, a quality that is prominent in many of your posts.

MJ Klein said...

you don't mind not having a fence because you don't mind interacting with others. Thais do everything they can to avoid confrontation, so first thing that goes up is a fence or wall so they don't have to interact with the guy next door when his cows come onto their property.

by the time you do see those bad guys it will be too late.

Malcolm and Ciejay Burgess said...

Thanks for all the different responces, I knew from the beginning that, they would be different , and I respect each persons decision and reason for having or not having a fence.I never expected all of you to agree with me , after all isn't that what blogging is all about , entertainment , information,news ,and yes rants from time to time .
I think it is wonderful that we are all from a brotherhood of humans , yet with different thoughts and emotions and ideals, what a wonder world we live in.
And now with the www we can share and express ,these things with others. Hope you keep reading . Malcolm

MommaWannabe said...

What a lovely post! I do love open spaces too but in our farm in the Philippines - there are some people who doesn't like people so it is necessary to keep them out.