Looking through the photographs I took on my walking tour, there is one that evokes within me a somewhat sad and nostalgic feeling. It’s a photograph of an ancient wooden house that must have been around for the past couple hundred years built roughly during the time of Rama III or Rama IV.
A feeling of sadness swept over me, as I first spied the wooden house from the boat. It’s a beautiful house that was wonderfully designed and built to be lived-in, yet now it stands empty. Its shutters are closed and the house seems abandoned. There is no sign of life.
The family that must own it, does not live there now.
There is perhaps a house keeper who lives towards the back of the house for I see that the empty garden is used to dry red chiles, and a little small window to the back has its shutters open. It’s a guessing game.
It’s not a large villa or palace, but it has a feminine feel to it. The balcony and the windows have wooden carvings. Little curves decorate the roof. Perhaps it was built for a lady to live there. Perhaps it belonged to a noble family. I don’t know.
I wish I knew. I wish I had the power or the budget to renovate the house. It’s ancient buildings like these that form a part of our heritage. I suppose growing up in Europe has evoked in me this fondness for things from days past. Everywhere you go, you are surrounded by buildings and places that are written about in the history books.
In Asia, new is often considered better. We can’t keep living in the past, we must move forward. There is less of a need to conserve. Only the “main” historical buildings are maintained. Old buildings are instead torn down to be replaced with new glossy windowed cement buildings. It’s a materialistic world.
I somehow sense that this house will not be standing much longer. Probably it’d be torn down within my lifetime. However, I pray and hope that am wrong. I pray that when I pass by there again sometime in the future, it’ll be standing proudly and beautifully renovated. Beaming with life. It’ll make an absolutely beautiful riverside residence.
It’s a dream, but who knows what will happen? Perhaps lightning could strike.