I promised more pictures of the north, and you’ll get them, but I came home to exciting news.
I’ve been holding my breath on this post and purposely not posting it lest Ganesh or Buddha or Thor tries to grab it from my grubby hands, but we have an apartment. We first went to see it a few weeks ago when we discovered the amazing fact that one does not need a real estate agent or the internet to apartment hunt in Thailand. You just walk around and look at buildings you want to live in and the go up to the manager’s office and you see the apartments they have. No appointment is necessary. Refreshing.
We found this building that is down a soi (a small alley), and then down an even smaller soi. It’s only on the third floor, but it’s across the street from a Temple Complex, so I’ll be able to drink beer while in my underwear and watch monks go about accumulating merit (note: I would never be this crass. But since the balcony wall is about waist high, I guess what the monks can’t see won’t hurt them). We also discovered that no one in Bangkok cooks, because none of the apartments have kitchens. If they have anything resembling a kitchen, it’s an electric hot plate and a bucket. I need more than that, people. I have needs. My needs must be met. This apartment doesn’t have a kitchen per se, but it does have a “cooking balcony”, which basically means that part of the balcony has a sink, counter, and a few gas rings. It kind of makes sense in Thailand; frying chilies and garlic inside has the same effect as detonating a tear gas canister in the living room. It’s effective for getting your in-laws to leave, but the results are lingering.
What will we call our new apartment? The woman who manages the block of flats is about 90, so we’ve christened it Crone Flat. We’ve been using that as a working title for a couple weeks, and it’s grown on us. Don’t think me unkind. It’s meant with love. The previous tenant had lived there for nine years and then moved back to Japan, where he presumably continued his hobby of living like a wild animal and never, ever cleaning his apartment. Khun Crone (khun is the polite title for people in Thai; irony is fun) looked at us sideways and asked delicately if we would have jobs here. Upon hearing that we would, she proclaimed that it would great to have us live there, as that Japanese guy never left his apartment for weeks at a time and it creeped her out. Also, he didn’t speak any Thai. She continued to complain, much like my Grandmothers both do, about some Filipinas who live upstairs who have lived here for two years and don’t speak any Thai, and a white guy who lives on the top floor who DOESN’T SPEAK ANY THAI. I hope we get all the contracts signed before she cottons on to the fact that I don’t speak any Thai.
SO! Big funs ahead! All of those quotidian living-overseas things are ahead of us! How does one buy a gas stove in Thailand? What about a refrigerator? How do we get the internets hooked up? Where can I buy a bucket and some tongs and a velvet painting of elephants? Oh wait, I can buy that last one EVERYWHERE. July 15th is moving day: I expect all of those people who owe me moving Karma to be here at 10am. I’ll buy pad thai and beer. We’ve rented a moving elephant.