Bangkok Travel Blog› entry 41 of 49 › view all entries
May 6th, 2006 – by: bede17
So here is a vaguely funny story. I just spent over an hour writing the most detailed account of my day that I've ever written, a very frustrating morning and tedious to write about. I just clicked to update it, and the computer switched to the login screen instead. I lost it all. So after a few moments of utter despair and frustration I have decided to write again. I know it won't be as good, and will seem even stupider the second time around, but I would be too mad at myself tonight if I went to bed without doing it. So....... here goes, again. Friday at work was pretty normal, I spent the day wiping duct tape residue off of the wries. Not terribly exciting but needed to get done. The big news is the windlass was working, so that was cool.Last night Travis asked me to go to the store today and get more of the tupperware boxes that I got last week or whenever it was. No stores here open til around ten for some reason, so I got to sleep in some, which was nice. I couldn't sleep very well because I felt guilty though, so I ended up getting up a little earlier and cleaning/answering some emails. I got on the BTS and just before ten arrived at Carrefour with the simple plan of running in, grabbing six boxes, and then getting a cab from there. The store is only five or so minutes from our normal taxi point so it made sense. My problems first started when I arrived at the tupperware section and noted with a heavy heart that they were out of the boxes I'd gotten before.And it's not like that was a random purchase, I spent hours measuring and analyzing each box at two different stores and finally picked this one. The only similar kind they had were a horid lime green and almost ten dollars instead of just over five. I knew I couldn't show up empty handed to the yard, as Travis had specifically said he needed them for a project before lunch. But I also knew I couldn't show up with lime green boxes. So I figured I would call him and confer. This idea makes sense until you bring in the tiny detail that I don't actually have a cell phone. But I figured there were pay phones around somewhere, and sure enough just outside the store was wall of phones. But they were phone card operated, like all the others I've seen here, so I started asking around about a card.Only nobody in the shops around has any idea what I am talking about. I finally find one woman in a store who sells me a phone card, but back at the phone I realize that it is the wrong kind. So I take a picture of the phone and bring it back to show her. Ahhh she says, try the post office. Only there isn't anyone at the post office booth, and it takes the girl five minutes to make her way from wherever she was hanging out to help me (I'm in an indoor shopping plaza in case that wasn't clear). I show her the picture of the phone, and now armed with the right phone card I start to walk out of the store to go make the call. Only I realize that I have gone the wrong direction and am about to turn around when what do I see in front of me but... a wall of coin operated pay phones. Go figure. So back at the right phone I of course have problems dialing with the card, but finally have it sorted out when I realize that I can't remember Trav's phone number! I know I've written it down for people a couple times in the past weeks while running errands, but it just doesn't come to me. But I have it written down in my notebook! Except I find that the piece of paper that I've had for months in my notebook with it written down on is suddenly gone. So after trying almost every single number combination and reaching random Thai people or the operator and feeling like I'm about to cry, I have an epiphany. There is another Carrefour store down the road that we pass on our way to work every day! I will stop there and check out their tupperware selection, and even if they are out of my kind they will have something and I can re-evaluate when I arrive.So I walk out the building and see a cab, apparently operated by a toothless old man in an undershirt smoking on the curb. I try to explain where I want to go, he babbles at me in Thai, I point and gesture some more, and this goes on until I realize he won't take me and I walk away. The next cab I see the driver looks at me very seriously as he ponders the fifteen minute drive like I am asking him to go to the north pole. He says very gravely " that is very far, you give me 250 baht." This is the most prepostrous thing I have ever heard. I mutter something to that effect, close the door, and walk away in a huff. We pay 150 baht on the meter to go over twice as far to work. So I walk back to the BTS station where I know someone will take me, and sure enough the first cab I get in does.Only he has no idea where I am going. Carrefour, shopping, near elephant, I try everything. I am telling him I will just point it out to him when he goes ahhhh.... and mumbles something unintelligible in Thai that involves the letters C and F. "In Thailand, Cccwwwfffww," he tells me. Ahhh I say, apparently prepared for next time. But I calm down on the ride and listen to some ancient 90s American pop that cheers me up in it's awful way. When we get to the store, which is another huge shopping complex, he pulls into the parking lot and drops me off. Only when I walk inside do I realize that I am in the food court, and start speed walking through little kids and tables and chairs to the escalator.At this point it is getting late and I am in no mood to be a slow walker. The Carrefour I know has the food court on the first floor, the grocery store and tupperware section on the second floor, and the clothing etc. on the the third. So as I am heading up to the second floor I see something below me that suspiciously looks like the grocery store. When I walk into the clothing department just off the escalator I realize that I am at the wrong place. The other Carrefour has an internal escalator, so I ask an employee how to get downstairs, thinking it will deliver me to the right spot much faster than going back the way I came. She has no idea what I'm saying, but another customer points the way.And I'm off, but only when I'm going down the escalator do I realize that I have come in a complete circle and am heading back into the food court. I know I saw the right place somewhere, so I start making my way through the shops to try to find it, but just end up at the underground parking garage. I'm about to break down into tears and give up, when out of the corner of my eye I see something in the distance- tupperware!!!! And not only my exact boxes, but they are on sale! And not in a terrible color. Of COURSE the tupperware section is in the parking garage!!! Why didn't I think of this earlier?? So the nice attendant loads up my six "terra cotta" (as I prefer to call them) boxes into two shopping carts and wheels them over to the cashier.Which is also the fruit stand. Of course. The nice girl rings me up and says something in Thai that I don't understand, and I see that none of the screens are displaying a price anywhere, so I hand over two thousand baht with a questioning look hoping that it's enough. She smiles and starts to get my change, and I am just starting to feel triumphant when she hands my money over to the attendant and he runs back into the store! I gather that he's going to get change, but after over five minutes of standing in a parking lot watching a guy chop a coconut with a machete with my six tupperware boxes in carts next to me, I realize that perhaps I am a bit cranky because I haven't eaten today. I guess figured I would grab something to eat somewhere along the way but got too flustered and forgot.So while this guy is getting my change I tell the girl I am running into the food court and I think she understands. I don't want fried chicken or German sausage, so I decide that an iced tea from a coffee shop will keep me going until lunch. I order this from the girl at the stand, but she has no idea what I am saying. Neither does her friend that she calls over. Finally I walk behind the counter and jump up and down under the sign so my finger touches the "iced lemon tea" line. Ahhhh they say and she starts to work on my tea. Only it seems like she is taking foreeeever, because although it's really nice that they make everything from scratch here, it also involves about eight different jars and cups and spoons and I feel like it's been another ten minutes by the time I get back out to the fruit stand.But there are my shopping carts and my change, so I head off with the guy and he walks me through the store to the cab stand and helps load my boxes into the back. I get into the front and am so excited to finally have succeeded and to be on my way that only after I get to the yard do I realize that I am extremely carsick. I've never gotten carsick before but it's been happening more frequently in the last couple weeks here and I can't figure it out! So finally I arrive just before lunch, to find that a hose has burst in the anchor locker and the bilge pump has been running unnecessarily or something like that... basically, my morning wasn't so bad after all! But they sorted it all out and we went to lunch and I felt fine after I had some food in me.So now that I've written that whole story for a second time it seems even more trivial. But I don't care, it was an amusing morning for me. I spent the afternoon sorting things into the new boxes and doing other inventory stuff. Just before we left I discovered that the guys were in the process of putting one of the anchors in, so the windlass was pulling the chain from the pile on the dock through the water and up into the boat. There was a worker with a fire hose spraying the chain as it came out of the water because it was caked with mud after it's brief trip along the bottom of the slip. Kevin and Jay were in a small boat waiting to cut the guide line when the anchor came up, and it was exciting to see the anchor in place and the windlass system at work. I think that about covers the boat stuff from today, we all had a nice dinner out afterwards at a Japanese place where they cook the food in front of you and flip it around and stuff. The restaurant was in a log cabin which was a bit random. I had passed the building before and thought it quite tacky and out of place, which it was, but I didn't realize that it's actually made of real wood. So we had dinner in the largest log cabin structure in some region or another, probably Asia. It was a nice dinner and I did some errands before coming back here to write this... for the FIRST time. Luckily just as I was in breakdown mode over my frustration I got a nice skype call and that cheered me up! So I apologize for the the total boring-ness of this entry, I'd really like to think it was actually interesting the first time around. I'm off to bed seeing as how it is ridiculously late and I've wasted enough time tonight!
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