In an unprecedented new level of boredom, I had finished my tasks by 10am today. As a result, I have been mentally flicking through my internet rolodex, trying to think of a website that I haven’t visited yet. I think over my 14 years of using the internet, I must now have seen every site there is. Or that is how it feels at any rate.
Anyway, the past few days have been pretty dull as I am slumping into a work-boredom-induced decline and it’s wearing me out. It’s also been very rainy and generally miserable, like the earthquake brought some sadness and left it hovering over the city in a cloud, or so it feels to me. The news coming out of China is just awful and it makes me feel both grateful to be here and a bit stupid for worrying about getting in a lift – I wasn’t trapped under a building or crushed by my own school.
Last nite on the way home it was raining so hard I thought I almost thought I was back home. It was cold for here, enough to make me shiver a little and wish I had a cardigan at least, and the rain was bouncing off the pavement (or sidewalk depending on where you are – actually it was bouncing off the pavement too if you’re a sidewalker) – like Glasgow but with far more efficient public transport. I was soaked to the very knickers by the time I even got to the train station, so it is fair to say that like the skies over Bangkok, my mood was very dark. I had forgotten to get my umbrella from Liz after we got caught in a rainstorm on Sunday, so I had no protection from the elements at all.
So, I got on and off my trains and was aquaplaning down the road and was generally railing against the world, slow walkers in Bangkok, motorbike taxis on pavements, leaves that look like cockroaches, the rain soaking my new shoes, etc when I reached the hotel nearest my turning off and had an epiphany – I am living the dream! I am here, living abroad if only for a while, seeing new places, things, people which is exactly what I wanted to do. I’m eating all the sticky rice I could dream off, I’m not buried under a pile of rubble as I could have been on Monday – I am very lucky.
And as I came to this conclusion, I heard a voice behind me and looked round, wiping the rivers of rainwater from my face, and there was a man standing there with a white umbrella. He said “do you want to use my umbrella?”. He just came up and offered me his umbrella, even though he would have got wet too. I could have wept at the kindness of a stranger just when I was so cheesed off with everything. I declined, telling him I was soaked through anyway and to save himself (he may have been a good samaritan but he was dressed in very rain-unfriendly light coloured jeans) but THANK YOU SO MUCH and off he trotted, overtaking me and heading on up the road.
The most pleasing part about this story is to come though – who in a city of 75 gazillion people would have stopped and offered to shelter me – A SCOTTISH MAN. Ha! Say what you want about us (football thugs will probably be the first thing that comes to mind this morning), but we are, as I can now attest, the friendliest nation in the world – FACT.
It was so wet even the swimming pool was shut last nite, I can only assume because it was overflowing. So my plan of having a bumper swim to make up for not doing so since Saturday was scuppered and instead I had to content myself with some sewing (at a more leisurely pace now since I posted about 5 billion emobroideries to Jo yesterday), making french toast in my sandwich toaster (tasty!) and watching more of Season 2 of House on DVD.
Jamie and I were due to go out for dinner last nite, but he had another match in the pool tournament that never ends, much to our mutual annoyance – his because he is fed up with pool, mine because we were supposed to go eat curry. Speaking of postage (I did a few sentences ago, keep up), I posted 2 parcels yesterday at a grand total of roughly 45 of your British earth pounds. I was aghast. I am now officially conserving funds for the rest of the month, not least because I have forgotten the PIN number for my UK bank card and the bank has now blocked my card as I had too many failed attempts at punching it in with my sausage fingers yesterday. BAH.
This weekend is THE weekend I will finally make it to Ko Kred (hopefully). Liz and I are going to go and check it out on Sunday. I have a hankering for some culture and hopefully it won’t rain and we can go and wander round and see some. It has also just been arranged that after that we will go have a manicure, something I have never had before because I have bitten my nails since Noah was in short pants. But I stopped about 2 weeks ago and they are pretty long now and I am very proud of myself. If only I had the same willpower to stop eating lard.
Oh, one other thing from the weekend – I had been thinking for a while that I really needed to go to a chemist and find out how I could go about getting some more Metformin, the medication I have to take, as I was running pretty low. This is a prescription medicine in the UK, with the prescription charge costing a shade under 7 GBP last time I got any. So imagine my delight in walking into a random chemist, asking for Metformin and him saying sure, how many do you want and reaching into a box the size of a suitcase. I took 20 to get on with and almost fell over when not only did I not need a prescription or even a note from my mum, but they were 29 bats for 10 – roughly 45p! I could simply not believe it, thought I had maybe missed a 0 off the end. But no – less than a pound for 20 tablets. The NHS is having a laugh with us.
Today I had really quite a hideous lunch experience – chicken in cucumber sauce. I thought it sounded like it might be interesting, but it was really rather revolting. I ate some of it with the sauce scraped off and then pushed it round a bit and then came back and went and sat down and felt green about the gills at the thought of it for a while.
I’m home now, having written this over the course of the day. It’s gotten hotter as the day went on and perversely I only broke a sweat when I was getting on the train. This is a PB for me (that’s short for personal best, like they say in athletics circles) as usually I am so overheated by the time I step out of the elevator in the morning that I look like a drowned rat. But today I maintained a modicum of composure throughout the day. It’s been a funny day – partly wishing I could go to sleep on the desk, partly regaining excitement of being here. Also partly being very frustrated over my bank card woes as I am CONVINCED I have the right number, but I will just have to bite the bullet on that one and get a new one I think.
On the way home, it occurred to me that there is quite a lot of mileage in the short walk from the station to the apartment complex, largely due to it’s situation in the red light district (let’s get that out there once and for all – there’s hos in them there “entertainment complexes”). Why just tonite I was standing on the escalator behind a short, stout Indian man dressed in what can only be described as “Man At C&A” circa 1987. The saddest thing about it was that he had Man VPL and also a horrible bumffle where he’d tucked his lemon coloured shirt in to his tan slacks and a dirty mark right on his right ass cheek – it was right in my line of vision all the way up the escalator. I wanted to boak right there and then on the moving stairs.
Anyway, the point in telling you that is that he looked reasonably respectable, if ill-attired, but then he got to the top of the stairs and looked about him like he didn’t know where to go which, I am quickly learning, is the signal that they are searching out the whorehouse that they have been recommended. And sure enough he trotted ahead of me, met his 2 similarly attired friends and off they popped into Caesar’s Palace, presumably for some port and a game of backgammon.
I am trying to remember but no, I don’t think there has ever been a time when I have come out the station and didn’t see at least one man looking dodgily around to check that there is no one watching him as he slopes into Emmanuelle’s or Nataree or Claudia’s to relieve the stresses of the day. I have devised a game to amuse myself on boring journeys – guess which of them will get off at my stop, who will go to Emmanuelle’s etc. It keeps me occupied on the train when I’ve forgotten or finished my book, like today. Having said all that though, they are pretty low key on the main part and it’s mostly across the road, so you know – mum, pipe down, it’s really very safe – much safer than Glasgow!
Right, House is a-calling me, so I am off to eat some noodles and watch him be sarcastic again.