Saturday, June 12, 2010


Sawat dee krap. (hello in Thai)

Here's a city side view (as opposed to the river view) from my balcony:

I got my first Thai haircut in today at one of the many places at the nearby mall (Central Chaeng Wattana). Of course my friend Dao recommended the one I selelected. I managed to communicate, in English (not Thai unfortunately, I'm a long way from that) what I wanted and was pleased with the result. I had my car washed while I ran my other errands there, also a first. And I bought an external hard drive that didn't work on my computer (not yet anyway, I haven't given up).

Then I went grocery shopping.

Alcohol, other than beer, is highly taxed here so I've not been drinking wine (call me cheap). I bought two bottles last weekend and haven't tried either yet. I've actually consumed very little beer as well. But I decided to splurge and get a single malt scotch (McCallan 12 year) as well as a few more beers to replenish my small stock and other more mundane groceries at the Topps Market at Central. By the time I worked my way to the cash register it was 2:15 PM and I could no longer buy the alcohol. There is a law, to me mysterious, that you can't buy alcohol between 2 PM and 5 PM. I've been told it's to keep students from buying alcohol and getting drunk after school and/or conversely so government employees don't drink in the afternoon. Both reasons seem slightly bogus to me so I hope there's a better explanation. Then again many places have strange laws regarding alcohol. I recall a convenience store clerk in Georgia freaking out that I had opened and consumed half of a non-acoholic beer that I was getting ready to pay for because it happened to be Sunday afternoon. It had been a hot hike and I wanted something non-sweet and non-caffenated to quench my thirst. The 0.05% of alcohol it contained was enough to put it on the forbidden list. But just on Sunday.

My housekeeper, Khun Malee fixed enough food yesterday that I didn't eat out today but enjoyed her good cooking. She lives across the river and comes over in her own boat every weekday. I'm not sure whether she paddles or has a small motor. She cooks Thai food of course and sometimes brings traditional desserts that she makes at home and sometimes sells (or at least has in the past). I gave her a raise last week because she has been doing such a good job of taking care of the condo and me.

Khun Malee's house is one of these across the river. I'm not sure which one. I haven't been able to find out what the name of the trees with the orange blossoms are either. No one I know knows. The trees are ubiquitous and beautiful.

I watched France play Uruguay today (tivo'd it). It was a boring game unfortunately. Tomorrow US vs. England promises to be more interesting. At least I hope it will be.

Sunset was nice here today.


  1. Sounds like you are settling in to a fairly normal lifestyle over there. I always find it challenging to learn the eccenticities of foreign rules and regulations. But the ones you mentioned just sound odd. So, do you have a Thai hair cut?

  2. sawat dee krap, nat.
    (that really doesn't sound very nice. at least the way i pronounce it in my head.)
    i loved catching up on your blog today. the market pictures are marvelous. i wonder if the market smells like the ones i visited in taipei. something not easily forgotten.
    stephanie keach is in nashville this week. think i might try to catch her last class tomorrow. love from nashville in your direction.....

  3. Nice blog Nat.
    Boy do I miss the food (and the beer.)
    Is the view in the pic's from your apartment? Very nice.

    Have you had a chance to go to any of the temples yet?