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Tuesday, March 03, 2009



When I lived in Ajahn's Condos six years ago, security was very tight. You had to have your fingerprint scanned to open the front door. Sometimes you pressed too hard or too soft or on the wrong angle and it would refuse entry. Then you had to find a security guard and if he knew you, he would open the door for you. All visitors had to sign the visitor's book on the way in and out. One of my friends resented this and used to give the guards a bit of cheek. (Not a typical Thai) They did not appreciate this and gave my friend a hard time in return.

This has all gone now. The front door seems always to be open but security doesn't appear to be an issue. The place is still crawling with guards 24/7. As well as the regular lock on the front door of my little flat, I have my own padlock. The lock on one of my windows won't work but I'm not concerned. Someone might be able to push it open if they manage to get past the guards and scale the wall to my level but there is a grille covering the window that no human could get through. All but the front windows have insect screens. I leave the screened windows open at night to let the cool air in. But not the front windows. The intruders I most fear are small six-legged, winged creatures that bite and may carry disease. The screens are kept shut at all times.

You can imagine my surprise yesterday evening when I opened my front door and was immediately aware of an intruder. No, not a mosquito nor a human but something in between. There was a sparrow perched on the curtain rod of my living room. But not for long, it panicked when I came in and fluttered over behind the refrigerator. I closed the door, went to the bedroom which faces the front of the building and opened both the curtains and one of the unscreened windows.

I went back to the living room and made a bit of noise to try to chase it towards the bedroom. I could hear it fluttering around behind the fridge but it didn't come out. When I searched, I found it had somehow got itself inside a cellophane bag that happened to be lying there. I picked up the bag containing the nervous wriggling little creature and let it fly out through the grille on the front window. It took off and kept going in a straight line for about 100 metres. Guess it was happy to be free.

How did it get in? I searched all the windows. There was no gap anywhere, not even big enough for a sparrow. I wonder if there will be another visitor when I get home this evening. Another sparrow I can cope with but if I find any of those aforementioned six-legged creatures, I won't be happy.

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In my rooms their are exhaust fans. Vents on the outside rise and fall as needed. I've since noticed that the one in the living room is stuck open. It must have looked like a nice spot for the sparrow to find some shade. Unfortunately once it got in, it couldn't find the way out.
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