Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Settling In a Bit

Sunday Night Temple, originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

I'm in between apts at Grace, and back down in the Tha Pae Gate area, which boasts an enormous public area, paved with brick. I realized early on that that was an address virtually every songtheaw driver would recognize, even with my numbed tongue and lips. And also a little cheaper to get to, since it's very central. Usually I pay either 20 or 30bt to get where I'm goiing.
On the way back from apt number one, we stopped and a group of young monks hopped in the back with me. They were super friendly and wanted to talk, at least a couple who were keen to practice english. They were so full of good energy that when I got out at my stop, I realized I was feeling all charged up! I wish I could've visited more.
Somehow I feel that I've slipped into Chiang Mai mode. I'm starting to recognize where I am en route, instead of it being an incomprehensible mish mash of chaotic sights and sounds, with fumes and beeping.
Also, I've had a few nice conversations with other guests at the Rendezvous. What a relief.
There's a little open air restaurant just steps down the Soi and they have really yummy food and it's very very cheap. I love it. This morning I had a 'vegetable omlette' with a croissant and it was heavenly.
This place has special meaning for me too, because I have a vivid memory of trudging down the Soi with the whole family and all our luggage, looking for better digs. It was much much hotter and we were hot, tired and discouraged. All the places were full and we needed two rooms.
We decided to rest at that open air cafe and while waiting for the food and cold drinks, I scouted ahead (I think Joyce was with me) and we found two rooms at the Rendezvous. We were so relieved and grateful to find that place.
I actually have a photo of Joyce on the little balcony looking very happy. It's funny, cause the place is a little bit dumpy. Not bad at all, but not funky around the edges. But the energy there is great. Just the opposite of my last place.
I'm babbling.
Last night I went down to the night market on a mission. To buy a less goofy hat and a few silver do dads for Krista. (my plan to import some silver for resale has been ditched. It's too expensive!)
I've seen a lot of farang guys wearing these caps, sort of like an army hat in shape. They come in lots of colors and fabric styles. I haggled mine down to 300bt, and probably drove the vendor girl crazy cause I had to try on half her stock. I'm terrible with deciding things like that.
Anyway, my hope is to find a Hmong family at the Sunday market and ask them to sew on some of their fabulous needlework patches or some such,. That would make my hat very special indeed.
I also bought some Thai tie die shirts last night. I was staggering around very tired indeed and I came across this great storefront/stall at the Anusaran food market.
It struck me as the most beautiful, artful tie die I've ever seen. So I bought 9 shirts and some very lightweight fisherman's pants. I hope to sell some when I get back. I say "hope" because they are so gorgeous it will be hard to let any of them go!!
Fortunately they are rayon and very light weight.
The other part of my mission was to find a suitcase the right dimensions to hold the spirit house I bought, and yet small enough to meet the airlines new size restrictions. No luck. I'm going to approach a shipping/post office store down the street and see if they'll make me a sturdy box to put it and other goodies in. Maybe fashion a handle. Of course they'll do it, and it will probably be dirt cheap. Hell, the luggage is absurdly cheap.
I'm going to stay put at the Rendezvous, so I guess I can start accumulating goods to import/export. Let me know if you want something!
Sawadee Kraaaap.

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