My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.



Yesterday was a very busy day as Tim and I signed the lease and moved into our new house.  We met Jon at the villa's office shortly before 11:00 and I read through the very common-sense one-page lease.  There was no law in Thailand before 1932 and when legal contracts were first set up, the Kingdom was assisted by England thus the lease reflects a British interpretation of Thai law.  It's very easy to understand and I think that American landlord/tenant contracts would benefit from the simplicity of the Brit/Thai system.  A photocopy was made of Tim's ID card and my passport and we had our keys within 10 minutes of arriving.  Jon told us he'd come by the house the next day to make sure everything was okay, to explain how we get the gas and water bottles (provided by the villa's council), and to answer any further questions we might have.

Tim's friend Puk showed up just a couple of minutes after we entered our new home, much to my chagrin.  I'd wanted to spend some time alone with Tim so we could photograph the various rooms (useful for when we eventually move out) and so we could make a list of supplies & furniture we needed to buy.  Puk came inside with several plastic baggies of Thai food (noodles, soup, etc.), plopped them down on the nice glass-topped coffee table and began opening them making a mess in the process.  I managed to show her and Tim the stain caused on the coffee table and moved the impromptu picnic to the side patio.  I think Tim got the hint about keeping our house clean and that I'd wanted our first meal inside to be a bit more special than what had occurred.  Tim was also a bit pissed at Puk for her sudden arrival and doesn't want our home filled with people just showing up unannounced.  She has indicated several times to me that she wants our house to be for us together without constantly having guests underfoot; I agree with this completely but it will remain to be seen if her friends understand once the others find out where we live.

After the unwanted lunch (during which I made my photos), Tim and I set out to her old apartment where a "minibus" had been arranged to meet us to move our things to the house.  It turned out that this was the same Toyota pickup truck that met me at the airport last Thursday.  This worried me a bit because of the ominous clouds overhead that I was certain would unleash a downpour at any minute.  Our luck, however, held and it didn't begin to rain until much later in the day after we'd safely finished our errands for the day.  Tim had told me that she just wanted to get her TV and DVD player along with a few clothes from her old apartment but it ended up being much more than that — some really ratty old tables and cooking implements, ancient stuffed animals, and a lot of really cruddy-looking old junk.  Hopefully, we'll jetison some of that stuff as we buy some new things.

After almost completely filling the bed of the pickup with this dirty crud (can you tell I was a bit frustrated by this point? — I did, however, keep a smile on my face and didn't reveal my feelings), we set off for the House Of Travellers to get my luggage and the rest of the things Tim had in our bungalow.  The rain clouds looked ever more dangerous all during this process but it was done quickly as the hotel's owner and his wife helped carry items from the room to the truck.  It also helped that I repacked and organized our piles early in the morning while Tim slept.  When we arrived at the house, we put everything in the back bedroom for us to deal with later.  Tim thought this was a very good idea as it saved considerable time and didn't unnecessarily clutter the entire house until we knew what we still needed to buy.

The plan at this point was for us to go shopping for supplies and groceries at Big C.  I'd wanted the pickup to drop us off and then we could hire a tuk-tuk to carry our purchases back to our home.  My main reasoning for this was the fear of it beginning to rain before we got the stuff into the house.  However, since it was Tim's friend I relented to him waiting for us while we did the shopping and him driving us back to Chalong.

The shopping process was also extremely "interesting" as Tim was like a kid in a candy store.  Imagine a 35-year-old girl who has spent her entire life purchasing items from street vendors and stalls in open-air markets suddenly being confronted by the variety offered in a king-sized version of a well-stocked Super Wal-Mart and you have some idea of the adventure I embarked upon.  Although I had made a fairly extensive list of items we needed, it was difficult to keep Tim focussed on the task at hand.  At times, it was fun to watch her as she discovered all the new things on the shelves but at other times it was a bit exasperating as she tried to fill the baskets (we ended up with two completely packed carts) with useless items and I tried to remove them just as quickly.  But I kept the smile on my face the entire time.  I did fear the worst as we (finally) entered the checkout line; usually when I go shopping, I keep a running total in my head so I know how much I'm spending before I have to pay.  It was just impossible to do this (and I would have also have had to try and calculate the exchange rate) but, once again, I was pleasantly surprised at the low costs here:  two shopping carts packed full of groceries and household supplies (including such things as a rice cooker, large-size electric fan, eating utensils, wall clocks, mop and bucket, household cleaners, etc., etc.) came to a little over 5,000 baht (approx. USD $140).

As we loaded the many plastic bags of purchases into the bed of the pickup truck, I was certain it would begin raining at any moment.  The air even smelt like it and had cooled considerably since we'd entered the confines of Big C.  But our luck continued to hold and we made it home safe and dry.  Tim and I spent the next couple of hours cleaning and organizing the home before venturing out for dinner.  She wanted to take me to the small community of Rawai, a sea gypsy village near the southern-most point of Phuket.  Along the way, we noticed an open-air market very close to our house as well as many other interesting restaurants and shops that I'd like to check out sometime.  The road through Rawai runs parallel to the beach there (more for fishing than for sunning or swimming) and there are tables under the trees between the road and the beach.  These tables sit probably six inches off of the ground on large blankets and you sit on small pads.  I ordered a grilled mackerel (which came as a whole fish that had just been grilled on a grate on the beach) as well as "apple salad" which was simply a plate of quartered and skinned apples.  Tim had her usual four or five little plates of Thai food which she would combine and layer into the plate of sticky rice.  It was a very nice (and romantic) setting as we watched the longtail fishing boats bobbing in the inlet.  I felt very good, as did Tim, as we talked about our day and apologized to each other for any perceived cultural differences.  Tim is very eager to learn how different America is from Thailand and I am anxious to learn all I can about how things operate in Thailand.  There will be the occasional rough spot like today in the beginning but we continue to learn new things each day about the other person.

After dinner, we drove back towards our home and made a quick stop at an Internet cafe so I could post a blog entry.  Since I had my mailing address, I also ordered some new contact cards but realized once I returned home that I put the wrong phone number on it.  Mei pen rai.

Returning home, we watched some Thai karaoke VCD's and watched a massive lightning storm through our front windows.  It rained through the night and today and dawned clear and sunny.  I think it's the first relatively cloudless day since my arrival in Thailand a week ago.  We're just going to take life easy today, maybe do some more cleaning around the house and perhaps some more shopping at Big C (items we didn't get yesterday and more items I've added to the list last night and this morning).  Tomorrow is Tim's birthday and should be a very special adventure.