Tomorrow is another day [First house hunting day]

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.

Okay.

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!

The Grinch

The countdown has started.

It has too: next week at the same time we will be on the plane en route to Bangkok and we hope to find a house during the next week; then another three weeks and it’s my final departure, and the beginning of our new life!I have my visa B, the relocation company came to do a quote for the removal, we’re getting there for sure!

It’s a little weird because at the same time it’s quite difficult to actually realise that in a just a few weeks’ time, we’ll be pressing the “reset” button of our life, ready to build something new, somewhere else.

Because of that, we are totally missing all the excitement around Christmas, and while Christmas trees and decorations start spreading all over the streets, shops, and social networks, our house does not look like anything but a huge happy mess of plastic crates and boxes, here whatever needs to be thrown away , there the stuff to sell and give away and overthere the stuff we take with us …

BUT WHERE IS CHRISTMAS ??? i

I know!

This move… IT’S THE GRINCH!

how-the-grinch-stole-christmas-original

All you can eat… and more

One good thing about France is … food.

We have all kinds of beautiful dishes, especially when it’s getting cold: Fondue, raclette, Choucroute, Duck Confit, not to mention plump and juicy steaks with fries, foie gras, sausages, and a great variety of cheese and cold cuts.

Once we’re gone, it will be a little more difficult to find all these and even if we did, who would like a fondue by 35 degrees Celsius?

So I think it is legitimate to want to taste everything [at least] one last time before leaving, right?

Of course Thai food is great, but I know that a time will come when between two pad thai, I wish I had a good little confit with sauteed potatoes…

So I stock up on “gustatory memories” anticipating these moments.Fondue, raclette foie gras, confit etc .. All are on my list, and more.

And tonight, it was ravioli Nicois with Cèpe sauce. Just fantastic!

ravioli

Fantastic and great … as my waistline is now becoming, slowly but surely, because of course there would be no point in storing broccoli and green beans in my now famous “gustatory memory ”

In fact, I find broccoli and green beans uninteresting, even if they have the remarkable advantage of being low in calorie and approved by Weight Watchers.(Unlike the rest that you just need to look at to put weight )

Oh and after all, I ‘m sure the heat and change of diet will will quickly hep shed the extra kilosSo let’s see … what’s still missing from my stock of “gustatory memories” mmm?

Movin’ means packin’

Moving, means packing.
Right.
The theory, of packing, is somewhat easy: you walk into a room, or open a closet, and carefully lay the content of the room / closet into boxes.
However moving abroad, means not only packing, but packing sensibly, taking with you only the essential.

In determining the essential, several things must be taken into account, the obvious (How often am I going to use my skis in Thailand mmm?) and the less obvious (shouldn’t I get rid, at last, of that make up set I’ve been taking around with me for the past 30 years? – no I don’t use it anymore, but maybe I still could one day?)

Then, we are not all equal with the stuff we possess. Some people live with the bare minimum; clothes that they wear all the time, books that they read, no stupid trinkets.
And some others are capable of keeping some expired make up set for over 30 years, souvenirs from all over the worlds, hundreds of books, little pieces of this and that because you know that one day you will NEED precisely that piece of yellow ribbon and then you’ll be so happy not to have thrown it away.

And unfortunately for us, we are part of that latter category!

From that moment on, packing means sorting. Keep, don’t keep etc.

Sounds easy too right?

And that’s how you end up sitting in the middle of the basement surrounded by boxes and stuff, holding that colorful wooden cow you once brought back from India while your mind wanders with a touch of nostalgia back on the busy Bangalore market where you once bought it.
cow

And the same process repeats for EVERY item you handle, including that Mexican ashtray that was once given to you when you were 12 years old by friends of your parents you have never seen again, you don’t even like the thing but you still are hesitating to throw it away while you desperately try to remember the name of these guys…

And then you think that at this pace, this process is going to take months but you have just over 5 weeks to go, you are working full time and Christmas is coming up…

At this stage, I must say feel a bit overwhelmed..
And sorry, I have to go, I have some sorting to do.

The decision

It happened by chance, first an opportunity, then a lot of sleepless nights and anxious awakenings (go,no go … )
I guess that’s normal, a change of life is not necessarily an easy decision, especially when we finally decided to buy a house 3 years ago (myself incorrigible nomad with 10 moves in 22 years , and Francois not doing much better)
The thought process is a bit long , you start to take a slightly different view of things: am I going to regret this? or that? could this be a stupid decision? When just begun to stabilize, is it really worth breaking the balance?
And then, that’s it! it begins, the choice is made: GO!
We took ​​the decision together, after much discussion, SOLD…
We’re moving to Bangkok.

Peymeinade where we live is a quiet village in the South of France with roughly 8,000 inhabitants in 2013 , Bangkok counts 8.25 million in 2010, it’s just … 1000 times more . A trifle !
Oh well, we were beginning to tire of village life , we wanted a change, no doubt we will have it!

Bangkok.8

Reader, don’t worry , we’re not doing Peymeinade – Bangkok without transition. Between the both of us, we’ve lived in Paris , New York and London, we both loved Tokyo, the shock -should there be one- will not be so bad!
Besides, as we like to say it, what is really important to us is to be together. Where, is almost a detail! [Yet if are together under a tropical climate, I guess it makes it even better]

Around us, the reactions are rather enthusiastic. Our friends are happy for us, but almost unanimously we are asked: “So, how long do you plan on staying there for? ”
Well, we’re leaving. Full stop.
As far as what will come next goes, we’ve got a bit of time to see where life and its opportunities take us 😉

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