Monday, November 25, 2013

11-21-13 The Day I Accidentally Ended Up On A Date With My Neighbor (And The Weekend After That)

      Skyping with QG from my courtyard because I have less than 1GB left until I am limited to extremely slow internet speeds, I decided to ask my neighbor about some eggs that Shoua and I purchased from the market. I forget if I’ve mentioned it before, but all of Thailand’s eggs are unrefrigerated, even in the grocery stores; they are in egg cartons but on shelves. 
      However, in the market, local people sell them in giant baskets. You hand-pick the eggs you want. I was curious then to see why there were at least 3 baskets in these egg stands. There were 10 eggs for 38 baht, 10 eggs for 40 baht, and 10 eggs for 44 baht. Now I really wondered why because to me, there was no perceivable difference among the eggs whatsoever. All of them ranged from a lighter brown to a darker brown color, and all of them were about the exact same size. So why the difference in price?
      In any case, I asked my neighbor and he said that it was probably the size. (Yeah... seriously though, if you put them beside each other, there was no difference.) Just in case you’re curious, I ended up buying the 10 eggs for 40 baht. It reminds me of gas prices. I don’t know if I really got a better deal or not, but it seems safer to spring for the middle- or high-priced options rather than the cheapest ones.
      The conversation took a strange turn when my neighbor asked me where I was and if I wanted to buy eggs from the grocery store with him. I said no and that I was just going to use the internet, so he mentioned that he knew a restaurant that was about 2 minutes away where I could comfortably use free wi-fi. He told me to give him 10 minutes and then we could head there together.

      After about 5 minutes, I started to panic because everything sounded so strange. Plus, it was already almost 11 at night and I just wanted to go to my room to charge my laptop and finish up the midterm exam I had to create.
      He knocked on my door after about ten minutes and we headed to the restaurant in a taxi, which he paid for. Then, we sat down there and he ordered beer. He asked me if I wanted to order a cocktail but the restaurant didn’t offer any, so I asked for water and a dessert. However, apparently, he had also ordered fried shrimp and chicken with cashews because those shortly soon thereafter came to the table.
      It was overall an amusing dinner though; the restaurant was called “The Lake” and it was beautiful, situated beside a tiny little lake. Also, he barely spoke English and I barely spoke Thai, so our conversation was very broken and was consistently interrupted by us using our phones/tablets to use Google Translate. It was very comical!
      At about 1, when he continued to supply me with beer, which I still don’t enjoy, I told him I needed to go home. And that we did, after he slowly ate his tiny morsels of food. I swear, all the guys here are making me fat because everyone eats slower or less than me! I always end up eating way too large of a portion because I feel like I have to finish everything off!
      We finally left, and when we get back to the condominium, he took me with him to buy some more drinks and snacks (because he saw me staring at food). He invited me into his apartment and I left after about 10 minutes, insisting that I needed to finish my work and go to sleep so that I’d be able to teach the next morning. He kept pretend-crying, saying he needed a friend so that he wouldn’t be lonely and sad... I laughed because he was acting it out really dramatically, but when I inched toward the door, I think he knew that I was pretty serious about getting the heck out of there. Also, he tried to invite himself along on my weekend trip to Jatujak (Chatuchak) Market, and so I told him I was going elsewhere.
      Fast forward to the most creepy part of the night... during the days, I always keep my windows open with the screen for circulation while I’m away, although I’m sure all that happens is that bugs and dust fly in through any and all the tiny holes. At night, it has been getting a bit cooler, so I shut off my air conditioning and just keep my windows open with the screen. My neighbor, leaning out his window to smoke, saw that my lights were on and probably heard my music, so he called me.
      So as I’m working on my midterm exam for my students, I hear, “Jenny! Jenny!” I felt that it would be rude to ignore him, especially because he knew I was in my room. He did this 4 times. The first 3 times, I leaned out, said hi to him, and told him that I was about to go to sleep after working a little bit more. The 4th time, I pretended to go to the bathroom and shut off my lights. He called me again, but I ignored him... CREEPY!
      That’s what I get for not being assertive enough :( He also wrote some status about how he was so happy to make a new American female friend and how he was very enchanted... I think. Google Translate was not the best go-between for that. Thankfully, the next day, that status was GONE!

11/24/13 Weekend
This blog post will be short because it’ll just be about the things I’ve learned and/or seen.

  • Motorbike taxis around Victory Monument will charge you 20 baht just to drive you in a small 3-minute circle. ARGH! RIPOFF! 
  • I went to a carnival. Thai rides are CRAZY. One of the ones I went on was similar to the ones in America where you stand, they strap you in, and then they spin you in a circle, so you’re held in by the centripetal force. However, the Thai version of it has you sitting on cushioned all-around benches, and there are NO seat belts. The ride shakes you AND spins quickly, and it’s just basically an accident waiting to happen. In fact, the ride was so dangerous and also ridiculous that for the first minute or so, I was just laughing my head off. But after another minute when I was bounced around too much (I could feel my bones hitting each other, almost) and falling all over the place, I started to feel panicky because I had almost no control over my own body. I was basically holding onto the metal bars for dear life, wishing the ride would end shortly, very terrified that my head was going to be bashed into the metal handrails. (I really didn’t need another skull fracture.) A word of warning: if you ever see this ride, do NOT ride it. Extreme safety hazard. If I had let go, I think I would’ve flown out of the ride, no joke.
  • Every mini-bus (van) and bus ride is completely different. Sometimes, you get fast, crazy drivers that help you reach your destination super quickly. They drive a bit more smoothly, ironically. The slow ones tend to weave around and shake you up quite a bit. Sometimes, the air conditioning is ridiculously high, to the point where your feet and arms are ice-cold and you need a sweatshirt. Other times, there’s a fan blowing hair into your face continually and keeping you from going to sleep. You can even unluckily come across one in which you’re just sweating the entire time because the driver prefers the ride to be warm. This time, I rode in a fast mini-bus that played Thai music videos the entire time, so I was actually able to catch some sleep. :) I enjoyed this one lol although I did jolt awake a few times as I flew up from the mini-bus hitting some bumps in the road.
  • It seems like the mini-buses are always waiting for me. I climb on and suddenly, we’re off. I love that! No wait :D
  • Future Park is the mall next to the Rangsit stop. I should’ve gotten off the mini-bus when I saw Rangsit... I rode it all the way to the end location looking for a stop called Future Park... and had to take another one all the way back haha
  • Don’t look even remotely attractive to taxi drivers, even in your bum clothes. (I guess you can’t really control that though, if you’re at your ugliest already lol) If they really want to talk to you, they will pull out English manuals on the highway and search for what they want to talk to you about while driving a crazy speed. They also speak very quickly because they can’t sense that you can only understand 1 out of every 30 words that they’re shooting at you. FYI: Repeating a word ten times without pairing it with some type of visual or action doesn’t help anyone understand what you’re trying to say any better!
  • There’s a baby gecko in my room! He’s afraid of me, and I wasn’t afraid of him until he jumped onto my bed as I tried to walk near him with a basket and ran really quickly away. I can’t catch him, but if anything, hopefully he’ll eat some of my cockroach guests. :) Just hope he doesn’t die or poop too much :( But seriously, how did he get in? My doors are never open, my screen for my window doesn’t really allow him to squeeze in... hmmmm mysterious...

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