Well dear reader, I can tell you must be on the edge of your seats to discover what the outcome of my debate with mineself last nite was – to go or not to go to Suan Lum Night Bazaar?
Well, I decided why the hell not, and so off I trotted all by myself, wet hair and all (not that it was wet for much longer about 10 seconds after I walked out the door). I also encountered the first taxi driver who was happy to just take me to my destination without trying to find some long way round that would cost a few extra bhat, and I arrived relatively unscathed at my destination in record time for Bangkok traffic.
However, upon disembarking, I was not to remain unscathed for long. No sooner than I put dog to pavement, than I tripped on a loose paving stone (the pavements are paved with whatever old crockery they find lying around here it seems, and rarely glued to the ground) and was only saved from going arse over tit by embedding my poor left foot on the pointy edge. I somehow managed to take all the skin from my toes and they have now gone a very deep purple colour and I wouldn’t be surprised if they were broken, given the fragility of my trotters.
But anyhow, I was not to let this injury deter me from my goal, which was of course, to shop. Suan Lum is all open air and is basically lane after lane of little units selling everything from wood carvings to crocheted monkeys (I bought 3). It’s great for vintage clothes, so if you’re a size tiny, then this is your wet dream. I purchased a few things for myself and some others, including some fake shoes for me and Jo and the aforementioned crocheted monkeys and generally wandered around for a few hours, browsing and sweating (mostly at the same time). I bought a top which I am not convinced about at a shop called Fat Story, which I thought very appropriate although slightly misleading as the girl there was tiny. I also managed to buy the same t-shirt twice for Lee, but in different colours.
Whilst on my wanderings, I spotted about 500 stalls selling yellow polo shirts which I found slightly odd, until I realised why. As it is the anniversary of the accession of the King to the throne, everyone is showing their appreciation by wearing one of these yellow (the royal colour) shirts each Monday and some on Friday too. It had certainly made it very interesting today, but more on that later.
After I had bought just about all I could carry, I managed to find a taxi to take me back to base and once again I had to get my map out and show the driver where we were going. It is essentially a straight road with one turn, but he unfortunately got that turn wrong and we ended up getting on some express way and going a long way round again. I think that this time it was genuinely a mistake, as the driver got quite distressed and kept looking at me in his mirror with an apologetic smile (rather than the greedy glint in the eye that some previous ones have had) and when we were waiting at some traffic lights almost at our destination he turned and said something that sounded very apologetic in Thai (of course, he could well have been saying “ha, suckered you again, bitch” for all I know, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.
I was pretty ready to collapse when I got back, so I had some room service satay (total cost, approximately £4) and hit the sack.
This morning, I was awoken by the minus 10 air conditioning early and managed to stagger out of bed and get ready whilst watching some show jumping on ESPN. I also managed to blag free breakfast as the waitress for some reason just did not want to get me to sign for it and I didn’t have all day to hang around.
I managed to get in a taxi and head for the office thinking I would make it in plenty of time, however the journey of about 1 mile took around 40 minutes, owing to the horrendous traffic here. Seriously, think of the busiest road you’ve been on in the UK and then quadruple it. No one seems to get too agitated and the horn is rarely used (I was in a colleague’s car today and he tooted his horn at a motorbike taxi, but it was to tell him to move over slightly so he wouldn’t brush up against him, rather than to tell him off).
I did see what looked like 95% of the population wearing yellow t shirts though, which was rather freaky, as it gave the impression that everyone works in the same place. It wasn’t until I got to our office that I remembered about it being to do with the king, so I did spend most of the morning wondering where the huge place was that these people all must have worked in.
The office here is so much quieter than at home, mostly because everyone is so dedicated to their jobs and seem to actively enjoy working. Today at lunchtime we went to Visit’s house (which is amazingly beautiful – everything I would ever want in a house) and saw the little baby KowPoon, who was asleep. She is very cute and Wan, Visit’s wife is back to her slender self already, only 6 weeks later (although she told me she has 12 kilos to lose, she looks amazing). We had some pizza for lunch (yes, I know, I have been feeling very dodgy all afternoon) and then came back to the office and I’ve been tapping away at this and that ever since. I am not starting my training until tomorrow as some of the people who I need to train are off today.
Not yet decided what to do this evening, but as it’s still CHUCKING it down (it’s bouncing off the wonky pavements), whatever it is will be indoors…