I know everyone, at some point in their lives, has scratched their head and wondered 'now, just how do you build a bamboo hut?'
Well friends, your days of being lumped together with dandruff and head-lice sufferers are over; I am here to tell you exactly how to build a bamboo hut.
To start with you need an obliging boy who is willing to climb up into the forest wielding a machete, grab onto roots and branches and hack away at thorny bamboo til you have a nice stack awaiting use as the foundations of your hut (thankyou Will). Then you need to de-knob (haha) it all. This will take a lot longer than you think but don't worry, it is strangely satisfying.
Then you need to dig holes and move grass and even stitch together bamboo sheets. You need to make a border of rocks or bricks so you know where your future house will be (actually, this step is completely superfluous but don't tell us that).
Then you probably need to have a break and try to light a campfire in your new house, with wet wood and lighters that don't work. After half an hour the fire will be hot enough to boil water (just); your tea will taste like bonfire smoke but if you are accustomed to camping this won't be a problem. Plus you will feel satisfied: you have provided, elemental survivalist style- and in your house-to-be no less.
Fortified with smoky tea, you will begin work on the structure. There are two very important phrases you will need to learn when building a bamboo hut and now you will employ the first one: "Ahhh, don't worry, it doesn't have to be exact". So, the walls won't be straight. So, the roof is not two perfect triangles. So what? It doesn't have to be exact.
Excellent! With the help of shitloads of coconut rope and so many knots, some rough measurements and a lackadaisical attitude, you have the skeleton of your house. Now you need a roof. Get a pile of palm fronds and a group of lads willing to sit on a roof of questionable strength and stability to tie up said fronds and in no time, you will have a roof. The walls are next- this is the easiest part, as they are made from bamboo sheeting that just needs to be strengthened with pieces of leftover bamboo.
You are really, really close now. Before you do anything else you must wait for a monsoonal downpour to test what manner of shelter your new house actually provides. Now you will learn the second very important phrase to be employed at all times when the first is not appropriate: "It's ok, we can just cover it in plastic (or sticky tape, depending on the situation)". So the roof leaks? No problem, for you have come prepared with stocks of plastic of all sorts. Plastic All Sorts. It's all you need.
So now you have moved in your things and you keep catching yourself standing by the front door with a goofy smile on your face like a boy unconsciously staring at his first crush. You're just so impressed, you can't quite believe it's finally finished. There are only a couple more things to do (and actually they are completely optional, so if you are already totally smitten you can leave now and hang out with your new structure). If not, then...
Make some windows! Do this however you like, but if you have an embarrassing amount of empty plastic bottles lying around that are burning a hole in the eco-aware section of your brain then you should cut them in half, stitch them together with wire, put up with everyone teasing you about your mad spinster-like hobbies and then impress them all with these babies:
And then, in a comforting circle-esque scenario, get digging again. You are now making a garden bed to give your hut that extra something (and also to stop yourself, ahem other people, from continuing to use the old path even though bamboo has already been planted there and the way is blocked by leftover bricks).
And now, and now. You have a new home! So what are you still doing here? Go and admire it, inside and out. Show all your friends. Get excited. Get ready for gasps of 'wowww, so much light!', 'amazing triangle-y windows!' and the simply speechless 'you guys....'. You can now call yourself Grand Hutmaster 2000. At least that's what we're doing.