January 2005 Archives

Condo Seach: 0 for 10


Most of the day today was spent driving around looking at condos. I thought that it would be very easy to find one. After all, if I look out the window of my apartment near Thong Lo, I can see about 20 low-rise and high-rise apartment buildings -- and that's just in one direction.

But, as Piyawat and I found out today, 90% of those apartment buildings are serviced apartments. We had no idea that there was such a huge market for people to pay outrageous amounts of money to rent an apartment with maid service. (Most of the rents started around 60,000 baht. Compare that to the 7,500 I pay now...)

So, of the 10 apartments that looked nice from the outside in the area that we liked, exactly 0 of them had condos for sale. How disappointing! I guess this week we'll just have to hit the Internet and see what can be found there.

After a lot of thought and a lot of penny-pinching, I have finally started looking for a condo to purchase in Bangkok. Owning the place where I live instead of renting has always been a dream of mine, but Bangkok is the first place I've lived where I think I can actually afford to buy something.

So today I went to a real estate agent near Phrom Phong to see what is available. He mentioned a few places I should check out, one of which was on Sukumvit Soi 10. "The soi is only about 500 meters long, and it ends at the Queen Sirikit Park," he told me. "And there's a very nice bike trail from that park over to Lumpinee Park."

A bike path between the two parks? It would have to be several kilometers long and cross over (or under?) the 10 lane tollway at some point. I found it hard to believe that someone had actually thought of connecting the two parks, let alone actually building a path. Needless to say, I didn't believe him.

It was another cool day today (the weather in Bangkok has been wonderfully temperate lately) so I decided to walk to see this unbeliveable bike trail. Sure enough, at the end of Sukumvit Soi 10 was the Queen Sirikit Park, and to my amazement, there was a walkway wide enough to drive on, elevated above an even wider canal in the direction of Lumpinee.

An hour or so later, I had followed this walkway down the canal, over the 10-lane tollway, along the rooftops of wall-to-wall wooden houses around Soi Ruam Rudee, and was deposited exactly at the northeast corner of Lumpinee Park. I was absolutely amazed.

I continued on through the park to the opposite corner at Rama 4 and Silom. What a hike -- from Emporium to Silom. If you have a afternoon off sometime, I recommend the park-to-park city hike. Better get it done before it gets hot, though!


This post was selected as one of the "Favorite Posts of 2005". To read more "Favorites", then visit Favorite Posts of 2005.

2005 Thai Predictions


Astrologer's New Year's predictions are treated as tabloid fodder in the US, but here in SE Asia they are taken a little bit more seriously. The former King of Cambodia made headlines earlier this month when he said that one of his astrologers predicted the tsunami and since the King did a super-secret ritual, Cambodia was spared.

Astrologers are popular in Bangkok as well. One of the main Thai-language newspapers in Bangkok appears to have an astrologer on staff, and better yet, they are claiming that he also "predicted" the tsunami a year ago.

His predictions for this year are out. But before you rush over to read them I have to tell you that if you believe that he is accurate, this list will be a very depressing read for you.

So, without further ado, I present The Nation's Fasten Your Seatbelts, Please. (A very appropriate title, I must add.)


This post was selected as one of the "Favorite Posts of 2005". To read more "Favorites", then visit Favorite Posts of 2005.

Bangkok Bank ATM Card Paperwork


My Bangkok adventure this morning consisted of sitting in the Bangkok Bank office for about an hour getting a replacement ATM card and signing up to access my account online. I don't remember the process of doing these things in the US, but it surely can't be as drawn out and involved as it is here. Two pages out of both my passport and work permit were copied twice (I had to sign all four pages); my address was needed on 3 separate sheets of paper; my signature was required at least 10 other times; I left the office with 7 sheets of paper to act as my receipts. Whew!

P.S. As I answered in the comments section of my last post, I am not planning on retiring completely from this site, I just have a feeling that I might be slowing down a bit. I do enjoy writing here, so I am sure I will find some time to do it every now and then...

All Quiet on the Thai Front


It's been two full weeks since I have written on this website. What do I have to say for myself? Not much. My time on the Internet has been spent reading about the Tsunami, and have been unable myself to write about it.

There were two personal stories were told to me that were blog-worthy in the last two weeks, however. Both involved other people's tears. In one, tears of joy were shed as life-long dreams were finally realized in front of a fireplace, next to the Christmas tree. The other tears fell a week later, on the other side of the world as the horror of this year's Christmas in Phuket was related to me. These ears, unfortunately, yet understandably, were caused from unfathomable loss and anger.

Both stories touched me deeply, but I have been so far unable to find the words to record them.

To be honest, I wonder how many posts will actually show up on this website in 2005. I'd guess that there won't be many for the near future. After keeping this site going for over two years, I can't seem to find the motivation to keep it going on a regular basis.

But who knows, perhaps this is just a little slump and I will be back in form soon. Or perhaps my three jobs this semester will keep my life busy, and therefore, not very interesting (from a personal website's point of view :)

Only time will tell...

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This page is an archive of entries from January 2005 listed from newest to oldest.

December 2004 is the previous archive.

February 2005 is the next archive.

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