One month down...
Trip Start Aug 08, 2010
16Trip End Jun 10, 2011
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Where I stayed
I've solved some more problems, which always makes me feel competent, even if they are little victories. Baby steps, baby steps.
I figured out how to get laundry done at the condo - they have a special closet, they give you 3 big canvas bags and you leave your clothes in the closet and they magically reappear - washed, dried and ironed. 50 pieces for 700 B or about $21. Really, it's cheaper than buying detergent and coin machines.
Then today, Saturday, I was trying to figure out which van would take me to Victory Monument (and onward to Nana BTS stop via skytrain) when a young Thai boy pushed me onto the #166 bus. (Ok, so he encouraged me to get on and to save face I did.) It was clean, air conditioned , cost 45 cents for a 1/2 hour trip, and best of all, I got a seat. This is not always a given in Thailand. I once stood for a 3 hour trip. Coming home I couldn't figure out where the bus to Pakket was (there are a gazillion of them around Victory Monument) and since I can't ask in Thai, I just took my old friend the white van home for an extra 30 cents.
Last Thursday, Scott and I went over to Ngam Wong Wan Road to "The Mall" , which the Thais pronounce "Da Mall". It is huge and has a 5 or 6 story waterfall in the center. Joe the IT tech said people go there just to sit around the waterfall, let the children play and cool off thereby saving air conditioning costs at home. It was a fairly expensive (almost 100 B ($3) taxi ride over and back but good to know it's there. Many Western restaurants - McDonald's, Pizza Hut, Swenson's, Sizzler. Every kind of store (no big sizes) and of course a cinema/video games/karaoke floor for the kids.
I was mildly amuse to read in Friday's paper that they had found 4 bombs Wednesday - 3 in Bangkok City and one in DA MALL.
The Thai Baht is the strongest it's been against the US dollar in 13 years - 31 Baht to the dollar. I never understand whether that's good for me or bad - good, I think, because I can buy more dollars with my baht?
As I mentioned before, I took the #166 bus into Bangkok today because there was an "expat" fair at Bumrungard Hospital. (expat - ex patriot, one who lives abroad) As I was riding in, it occured to me that not only was it the 9/11 anniversary, but I was headed to a specifically farang event - probably not a good idea. There were heavily armed soldiers at every BTS stop but that could have been because of Wednesday night's bombs.
The fair was good - not as large as they made out in the adverts, but I saw booths from a theater company and an opera company, a couple of shipping companies, international school, elective surgery, fitness company, save the wild dogs of Thailand, British Women of Thailand (?), and so on. I amassed an impressive collection of free shopping bags, pens, and key chains only to set them down to pay for something and I lost the whole lot. It's the first stuff I've lost so far (as far as I know) and I'm so disappointed in myself for not being more conscientious. The upside is, it was only free junk.
I bought some gifts for some friends at the Thai craft fair that was nearby - not cheap but supposedly to help out native tribes and prevent women of the slums from going astray with rich foreigners and so forth.
Some Kho pat Goong for lunch and I was on my way home.
My little cabana boy will clean tomorrow, yesterday I got a nice manicure, life is good.