Wednesday, April 18, 2012

It’s Been an Eventful Couple of Weeks

I’m sitting in an Irish pub near Sala Daeng station, drinking 7-up and enjoying a live band. I’m embarrassed to say that at first I thought the guy’s voice was coming from the female vocalist. But surely I can’t be blamed considering where I am. I did think she was very, very pretty to be a lady boy.

Tomorrow I start my first day at my new job, so I’m celebrating with Irish stew. There’s a football match on two screens, TRON legacy on another. This vocalist is really good. Really, really good. I hope she finds her way out of this pub. But who knows.

I haven’t blogged about the royal cremation, my visa run to Laos or my trip to the island of Koh Kood (on the Gulf of Thailand side – the quakes and tsunami watches are on the Andaman Sea side). But that’s a heck of a lot for two weeks and moving apartments and all. Just saying.

I’ve arranged for a motosai ride to school in the morning and established myself with a motosai win (motorcycle gang, but think of it more as a co-op than a gang) in my neighborhood. This involved the translation assistance of a Family Mart cashier. I am going to be learning more Thai outside the backpacker ghetto. Sure, the backpacker ghetto has its charms in some ways, but I’m thankful to be out of it. In some ways it is tamer than where I currently sit, the Irish Pub is adjacent to the Japanese version of Soi Pat Pong. And that’s exactly what you think it is, and probably some things you haven’t thought of. Heh, you ever accidentally wandered into the red light district of a new city when you’ve only been there for less than three weeks? That was eye opening.

I’ve learned to dodge, ignore or deal with most, though not all of the less savory types that approach me on the street for whatever reason; and the ones catering to males only in these areas usually ignore me. Still interesting what they think a white girl wants in Bangkok. A few Thai phrases go a long way to mitigate this, as does being dressed in work clothes versus “you look like a teenage student tourist” clothes.

I think my neighborhood, or at least some of it, is highly amused with the new female farang on the block. And by amused I mean I was invited to join a street side drinking party of about a dozen Thai guys as I walked by to get dinner. Most of them introduced themselves and one of them drove me to the end of the soi on his bike. Thankfully my smiles and ‘ajarn, kha’ pleas got me out of sharing a drink without much hassle. I anticipate more amusing anecdotes.

Any way, that’s it for now folks. Wish me luck tomorrow!

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