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Above: An interesting mixture of cultures as seen on a small soi off Sathorn road: a vintage car drives past a business displaying the Thai flag and symbols of the Chakri dynasty, next to images from Hong Kong juxtaposing a seated Buddha and Minnie Mouse.

 

P1010424 Rainy season is coming to an end but the waters from further up country are heading our way.  Reports are of expected flooding in Khrungthep.  At the same time, the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority has a construction project underway to rebuild and raise the sidewalk curbs along Asoke Road.

The curbs are raised 3-4 inches (10 cm) in most areas, stretching around into driveways and making an already inhospitable sidewalk even more so for those with mobility impairments.  Of course, nowhere in this city is really hospitable for people in wheelchairs or who otherwise have challenges getting about readily.

Given how much flooding we had two Novembers ago, raised curbs will be just a bandage on a much larger problem as it was largely reported (somewhat sensationalistic) last week that Khrungthep is sinking.

 

P1010439 Over the weekend, we ran more errands related to the condo, including going to Emporium to buy a new refrigerator.  When we cleared the condo for remodeling, the current, older refrigerator was brought over to Tawn’s parents for storage. 

Tawn’s father appropriated it, paying us a few thousand baht for the trouble, and now we need a new one.  After much comparison shopping, we settled on a Mitsubishi model that will give us more space – 12.9 cubic feet – and lower energy consumption.  Plus it is a three-door model, with the vegetable compartment being its own pull-out door.

Unlike refrigerators in the United States, all models of which are engineered so that the handles and door hinges can be swapped so the doors can open either to the left or to the right, all models sold in Thailand are designed to open one way only: left to right.  That means that when open, the back of the refrigerator door will block the kitchen. 

A small detail, perhaps, but if I have to physically walk out of the kitchen, open the door, close it, then walk back into the kitchen, that will take much more time when repeated thousands of time a year rather than just being able to lean from the kitchen, open the refrigerator door, and reach in to get what I want.

What about you in other countries?  Can your door handles and hinges be swapped?

 

Exhausted from the refrigerator buying, we ate at the food court at Emporium.  Top to bottom: bami ped yang (roast duck over egg noodles), pad thai goong (fried rice noodles with shirmp), and buttered Texas toast with ultra-sweet pandan leaf flavored frosting.  That was for Tawn – too sweet for me.

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P1010480 Some additional errands were run including a stop by the condo. Left: Me in my new kitchen – still a few details to finish.  Bottom: Tawn poses with a secretary he likes at a furniture store.

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Ajarn Yai called and asked how the trip to the US was going.  Kobfa and I offered to drive down and have lunch with her in Samut Songkhram.  Ken, just back from his trip to Paris and Amsterdam with his partner Chai, joined us.  We ate at a restaurant with cute little sala – pavilions – right next to the river.  There was a good breeze and it rained on and off but we were well-sheltered.

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Above: Kobfa thinks about what to order while Ken dishes up ice.  Below: Me and Ajarn Yai.

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Above: gang som cha-om chupkai (“orange” soup – tamarind flavored, with shrimp and omelet).  Below: After some of the soup was served, the sterno started getting a bit out of control, shooting green flames out the top of the chimney and orange ones out the side.

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Above: sanghaiyaa maphraw – an egg custard dish sweetened with palm sugar with pieces of squash inside, served inside a coconut.  More commonly this dish is served inside the squash itself, and slices of squash and custard are served. 

After the rain, the many flowers were glistening.

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