blue tarp world on deck
Yesterday was our sleep in day! Even though I went to bed pretty late it was still nice to have those extra couple hours in the morning. I went ahead of the boys on the skytrain to try to get some sunscreen at the store but it was closed... so I thought I'd get a cheese toastie for breakfast at 7-11 while I waited. It was kind of ridiculous.... if you have ever seen the movie Love Actually it was just like the scene with Mr. Bean. I wasn't in too too much of a hurry because I knew they were at least a train behind me, but the guy making my sandwich took at least ten minutes! To put two pieces of bread and a piece of cheese in a little grill! It was like a bad joke watching this whole process, he was moving at less than paint drying speed.
But he was so nice I couldn't get too mad. I thought I had missed the guys but they arrived just as I was leaving and we headed out to the yard. I spent the whole day finishing up wiping the gel residue off the turnbuckles and I'm finally done. I had no idea it would take that long and I will never look at the turnbuckles the same way again! But for some reason I still enjoyed doing it, even after 3 days. But anways.... the guys did a lot of random rigging things involving trips up the masts, working on the martingale, splicing, getting the davits in, etc. Last night I was pretty much a bum and stayed in for dinner while the guys went out to Sizzlers. I ended up having breakfast for dinner again at JJs and wrote a bunch of postcards.
This morning it was back to work at the normal time and I did a bunch of little random things in the morning... getting the medical bags and oxygen tanks out of the storeroom, looking up a serial number, taking some measurements. But then it was adventure time again and at 10:30 I was off to do more errands. Unfortunately it took me about 2 hours to get back to the apartment because the traffic was so bad, but I also had the cab driver bring me straight to our apartment (longer than our normal ride) because I had the two oxygen tanks with me. I spent a little while searching for oxygen supply places online and had a list of a couple potential places written down, but none of them had phone numbers! I tried asking the ladies in the office downstairs but they knew just enough English to confuse things even more.
hinges are no good...
I finally just asked one of them if there was a hospital nearby, thinking someone there must speak English and could direct me to the place where they get their tanks filled. After ten minutes of trying to explain to the woman that I wanted any hospital, it didn't matter, just tell me a name... and her saying oh you don't know the name and looking all sorry for me, I finally just got in a cab and said hospital!! really confidently. Yeah that didn't really work either... the guy seemed to not even know the word, and couldn't comprehend that I didn't have a particular destination in mind. I've seen a ton of hospitals everywhere but never paid much attention to their names. So I called a friend of ours who teaches English at a hospital and luckily she was on her lunch break and told my driver where to go in Thai.
perfect! or as close to it as I'm going to get (and no, I didn't get the pink one)
So on my way to the Bangkok Hospital (go figure) I must have passed like 5 others but I didn't want to confuse things any more. When we got close I could see the building from the road but I guess they haven't really perfected their traffic system yet because we had to do hairpin turns weaving through a neighborhood to finally get to the entrance. But it was a huge complex, about 5 hospitals in one. And of course like every major building in Thailand there is a huge food court prominently placed, so one can have tea and cakes at Au Bon Pain before having heart surgery. My cab pulled up to the main entranceway (where I was saluted by not one but three guards as we drove by) and an attendant was waiting for me when I got out. I also dragged this huge cardboard box out of the cab that held the large oxygen tank and he kind of looked at it quizically and then suddenly a wheelchair appeared and the next thing I knew my tank was being wheeled inside on it's own wheelchair! Despite my (polite) protestations, mainly out of embarrassment, he walked me over to the information desk. About six of the cutest Thai girls surrounded me when I walked up and after a few minutes finally understood what I was asking. Without even skipping a beat the head girl said to me ok, you leave here and come back tomorrow. Huh?? She didn't even call anyone! They didn't even flinch! That would never happen at home! I just walked up with two tanks, left them there with my contact info, and I'm supposed to come back tomorrow night. It seemed a little too good to be true but I have to trust them. They were so nice! And very interested in what I was doing, asked me where I was living, etc. I could have happily stayed at chatted with them. But next it was onwards to the scuba shop. Before I got there I stopped for a quick lunch of coffee and a scone which I tried to eat inconspicuously in the pen store. That was probably the most willpower I have exercised in a really long time- I forgot my pen at the apartment and needed more anyway but was short on time, so I only let myself have three minutes to pick out two pens.... torture!! I could have spent an hour in there analyzing each pen, but scuba tanks were calling. Luckily there was a British guy working at the scuba shop so he understood what I was saying and immediately was like oh I can sell you six scuba tanks... again, too good to be true! So I took some notes (with my new pen!) and exchanged contact info and he is going to call us with information. So that was good. Next it was a quick stop at the apartment to pick up my camera which I had felt naked without earlier. There were so many things I had wanted to take pictures of, like the guy riding on top of the gas truck on the highway, the police pickup truck, and of course the scuba tank. So next I headed out to Tesco and took a picture of every single rubbermaid-type storage container they had, which was my next mission. Unfortunately Thailand is not known for it's quality plastic products... ok I take that back, they have the largest selection of plastic products I have ever seen, you name it they have it, but nothing that will withstand the kind of abuse that we are going to give it. I was looking for a huge one to hold equipment in our lazarette. So after much deliberating and picture taking I walked to Carrefour, the French version of the same type of department store. After more picture- taking and note- comparing I finally picked one out and had a good time walking with it through rush hour sidewalk traffic to the BTS station. And when I say fun, I mean not so much fun... as frustrating. But it made a good conversation piece by it's obvious presence on the BTS and some Australian tourists struck up a conversation with me on the ride. I gave them some advice on what to see and do in their couple days here and they wished me luck on getting my container safely home. I made it back without crushing any small children so that was good. But then a few minutes later I headed back out to Tesco because it was too late for me to make it back to the yard in time to leave again with the guys. So I ate dinner and did some random shopping (finally got that sunscreen) while I waited for my pictures from the christening last week to be printed out. All the girls at work have been giving me a hard time about getting copies but I've just been too busy! So they will be happy tomorrow when I finally bring them in. Ironically I was on the same train as the guys coming home from work, just at the opposite end, and we caught up with each other at our station. They had a pretty productive day at work, more of the same rigging stuff, and had just come from hanging out at our van driver's house. He had invited us for drinks after work one day last week but we were all too tired so we told him today instead. I guess half the neighborhood came out to see the guys and they had a good time seeing some local Thai life. They are all out for Mexican right now, I'm just catching up on some email stuff and Jay and Jason are watching the end of Whale Rider, which we have been trying to do for a couple weeks now. Not really sure what the plan for the weekend is yet but I'm hoping it involves some sailing!