When we arrive in Bangkok, we get our luggage without problems. The process is a bit long but smooth.
Taxi, check in, we are exhausted but I still have to go to work and we even find the strength to go out at night. The next day will be a big day: the visit of our first houses.
We have two options: relocation service provided by my company, and a contact that I found on a Thai real estate website searching the online classifieds of the Bangkok Post.
The first day, we are to meet with the person of the relocation service who will pick us up at 9:00 in the lobby of our hotel.
9:00! With jetlag, it’s hard, but that’s not a problem, we are motivated.
We are ready to leave the room when the phone rings, it’s S. warning us that it will be late because of an accident, but not more than 10 minutes. I make her repeat, yes yes TEN MINUTES, not one more.
We eventually get to the lobby and after a while we must admit that a Thai minute does not have the same value as a French minute. (François will love it here)
Half an hour later, S finally arrives, all stressed, but let the visits begin!
The first thing she tells us is that finding a house with garden within our budget in Bangkok is VERY difficult, so we will have to make concessions. So the first house we visit has no garden .
If there is indeed something on which we can NOT make concessions, it is the garden, because of the dogs. It’s not like it had not already been said and written many times, especially when S had sent a first list of potential housing with… apartments.
And so we start the visit of our first Thai house, no garden, wedged between two buildings, no air conditioning on the ground floor and overpriced, but close to the BTS Skytrain, while S explains to us we can put a strip of land in the yard with grass, for the dogs.
We like the second house we visit better. The garden is not very big but it’s not bad, and the house too. It is not the house of our dreams, but it is not very expensive and might suit us after all, on hold.
I ‘m not sure what to make of S. She is kind and smiling but when she looks away her face closes and hardens, I feel that she is not very happy to have customers that come out of standard serviced apartments she is used to.
She didn’t like either that we have an appointment with another agency, and starts explaining to me that if we deal with them, they will have to give her half the commission because “an exclusive contract with my company “of course, we have never heard of such a thing and even in Thailand it seems weird. I promise to clarify with my company the next day.
The third house is one of the two that we’re supposed to visit the next day with my internet contact, W.
We are already more enthusiastic, located in a huge moo baan (residential village) there is a pond in front with a small bridge, it’s rather nice.
After a quick tour, we decide it’s the one we like the most, but we are still not fully satisfied.
On the fourth and last house, we get out of the car just to please S, there is no outside space at all.
It turns out the house is great, too bad, we can’t even think of it.
We get back to the hotel slightly disappointed by all we saw, but then decide to go back to the moo baan by ourselves to evaluate the travel time from my office at home.
So off we go, from the hotel which is near my office to the On Nut BTS station (15 minutes), then we get into a taxi and then the trouble begins.
I’m quite certain I correctly pronounce “Pattanakarn” but from the blank stare returned by the taxi driver it’s only an impression, then a woman from the nearby market steps in, and although their English is only slightly better than our Thai we manage to get understood.
Except … when we finally get there we don’t recognize the Moo Baan entrance.
The driver gets a bit agitated, especially when we timidly ask to take us back to On Nut..
He seems to think it’s a joke however as he continues to drive around and cheers loudly in relief, happy for us when we finally ask him to stop.
We get out of the car giggling like children, we have no clue where we are, it’s dark and we’re [almost] in the middle of nowhere.
We take shelter in a restaurant, there’s nothing like a good Tom Yum to get some comfort.
Tomorrow is another day!