22.11.2011 - 25.11.2011
I spent a lot of the last week worrying about getting an apartment for the next month or so, longer if I do find a job (next weeks worry) and browsed the internet, phoned lots of places and spent two days walking round areas of Bangkok asking prices and availability in every block. They were frustrating and by the end of tuesday I was fed up and had given up hope of getting anything for about 5,000 baht, which would normally be not too hard. Because of the floods and because I cannot commit to longer until I know I have a job and where I might be working, my projected budget had risen, I thought I probably wouldn't find anything half decent for less than 15,000 baht until february, when everybody thinks the floods will have disappeared and the short-term market opens up again.
At the end of this frustrating, tiring time I was ready to go to bed early and be miserable. But decided, with some advice too (thanks Sarah), to go out and have a drink. In the bar I met Ni.
She has fairly good english and wanted to chat. She certainly brightened up my evening and agreed to take me sightseeing round Bangkok. She also told me she had only ever played pool twice and asked if I wanted to play. I started out casually expecting to be playing down to her- but she was a real hustler- maybe she meant she had only ever played twice... a day for at least seven previous lifetimes
Bangkok has a lot of shopping centres, not really worth photographing but we had some good food at one of them and saw a movie. Then we went to the park nearest to both our places, Lumphini. A nice park in the middle of Sathorn
with a boating lake full of catfish, which come up to the surface if you buy a bag of fish food- and obviously plenty of people do, some of them are massive!
There are also public exercise classes in the park, run after work, with an instructor on a stage, a hundred or so people turn up to do dancercise, a nice sort of community activity, was great fun.
The evening saw me soloing with a group singing English songs, which I just happened to know all the words to. Once the singer saw that he kept coming off stage and thrusting the microphone at me. It was a lot of fun and they didn't seem to mind my singing. Note to self; must remember most Thais are either 1) tone deaf, or 2) too polite to complain.
Everybody wants to make money here so when a photographer came up to take our photo I thought I'd get in on the action, after all, I had a better camera. He didn't pay me though, must be doing something wrong.
In revenge for my pool defeat we went bowling.
She beat me at that too. But only because she got the mixed up and I scored my only strike of the game... on her second shot. So I'm calling that a draw.
As it happens Ni is on holiday in Singapore from the weekend and needed someone to look after her apartment for a month... for 5,000 baht.
So the moral of this particular story is; if you need an apartment, don't trudge the streets getting frustrated, go to a bar, meet a nice girl and enjoy yourself for three days, then a nice cheap, short term apartment will fall in your lap!
So, now how do I go about finding a job next week then?