Life in Bangkok Gets Busy

Life in Bangkok gets busy very quickly.  The handyman actually showed up on Sunday and spent several hours installing pipe through the empty space above our ceiling, connecting the bathroom water supply with the balcony outside our bedroom.  He’s to return this morning and finish the job so (and I think I’ve written this before) with any luck we’ll have the ability to wash our own clothes by dinnertime.

Tawn left yesterday afternoon for an overnight business trip to Singapore.  One of his clients, HP, is holding a press conference announcing some new development in the world of technology, and he is chaperoning some Thai and Malaysian journalists to the event.  He asked if I wanted to go along, but it was such a short trip with no down time for him, so there wasn’t much of a point. 

 

Fortunately, I did have an opportunity to have dinner with Masakazu and his partner, Mitsu.  Mitsu is now pretty much fluent with Thai, Masa is learning, and I’m still a beginner.  An early beginner, at that!  We had dinner at a really nice Laotian/Issan (Northeast Thai) style reastaurant in the Silom area called Cafe du Laos.

The restaurant is in a lovely colonial-style 2-story house that is surrounded by skyscrapers.  Service was attentive and the food was really nice.  We had a version of somtum (green papaya salad) made with pomelo, a grapefruit-like fruit.  Mmm… tasty.  Also a beer-marirnated pork with spicy chili sauce.

Speaking of skyscrapers, there are many condominium developments occurring here in the City of Angels.  In the debate of whether or not to purchase a condo in the near future, I’m inclined to wait a bit because I see a lot more housing stock coming on the market in the next 2-3 years, which I would imagine should either drive down prices or at least hold them steady.  The above picture is for a development that is just two blocks down the street from us called Millennium Sukhumvit.  It will be about 500 feet from the Metro station, so the location is spectacular.

There’s another development happening adjacent to our building, but to the north.  The land has been graded and there are occasional bouts of activity, but true construction has yet to begin.  Maybe they’re waiting for more phone lines to be installed!

Well, only two days to go before Thai language classes start at Union Language School.  Mitsu tells me that he has friends who have gone there and that it is quite reputable, but they actually assign homework and give exams, unlike American University Alumni Association, which he attended and Masa currently attends. 

Productive Days in Bangkok

Second entry for the day.  Man, am I productive!  Must be that telecommuting thing.

So it was a beautiful sunrise this morning in Khrungthep.  The picture on the left captures it quite nicely.  I find that I’m waking up without the aid of an alarm by about 6:00, which lets me get an early start on the day.

I can shower, shave, get dressed, and prepare coffee and breakfast before Tawn wakes up.  Then, while he gets ready for work I can start working on the computer, take pictures of the sunrise, etc.

So it was a very productive morning, but since I don’t have DSL yet (and it may still be a long while before it happens – would you believe that they’ve run out of numbers in our area?) I had to go down to the local True Internet coffee shop, conveniently located in the “Metro Mall” – a small stretch of the Metro station that includes four places to get coffee, five snack places including a Dairy Queen (like I never left the Midwest) and a place to get your hair cut in 10 minutes for 100 baht.

Once again I made the mistake of leaving home without an umbrella.  After leaving Tawn at his office after lunch it was starting to rain.  So I went to Central Chit Lom department store to shop for some kitchen cabinet shelves.  They didn’t have any, so I took the Skytrain to Central Silom.  By the time I arrived, it was absolutely pouring.

The wind was also blowing fiercely so that most of the protected, covered areas of the station were still getting soaked.  As people exited the train, instead of heading for the stairs (which were getting dumped on) they huddled around the poles as this seemed to be the only dry area. 

After shopping at Central Silom, which is thankfully connected by a covered walkway to the Skytrain station, I walked to the Metro station which is connected by another covered walkway.  But it is narrom and doesn’t really provide much protection from the elements.  In fact, there’s one spot where it is running underneath the Skytrain tracks and a downspout dumps the all the rain from the tracks directly on the steps from the walkway to the street below.  Really not a genius engineering design.

The Metro station at Si Lom is about four stops away from my station at Sukhumvit and Asoke (Soi 21).  The straight-line distance is maybe two miles, if that.  When I emerged from the station at Sukhumvit, the ground was bone-dry.  Not a drop.  The clouds overhead didn’t even look that threatening.  So my walk home was dry, not the flooded street that often befalls Asoke when there is heavy rain.