So, my last blog was a sort of look back on my first year here in Bangkok, this blog was actually started while I was typing the last one, I found myself “in the zone” words just seemed to flow… I got my mojo back (of course you may disagree… It all depends on how readable this blog actually is I suppose)… Jo was watching a Netflix show about the royal family (something I have NO interest in) So, I sat with the laptop and typed away, letting the thoughts in my head fall out onto the keyboard… I look back sometimes and realise I’ve not written in ages… Then, I find it difficult to get back into the swing of things… I’m still toying with having a go at writing fiction… I tried once before (actually I’ve tried lots of times before) but I’ve never gotten past the first few paragraphs… Who knows, maybe I’ll give it a go again sometime…
Anyway, here in the present… Bangkok…
There’s a Starbucks near our apartment, I believe I’ve written about it before… Like moths to a flame, the Instagram, selfie and vanity obsessed, flock to this particular Starbucks… Not a week goes by without me passing some wannabe model posing for a photograph outside Starbucks… Of course, Starbucks don’t mind… Afterall, every week, this particular branch of Starbucks (I’ve really said “Starbucks” an awful lot haven’t I?) get’s it’s image splashed all over social media… Well, dear friends, it’s going to get worse… Someone, in their infinite wisdom, has decided that Starbucks wasn’t quite picturesque enough… Someone decided to build a replica phonebox (well… sort of replica… It’s black when everyone knows British phoneboxes were red) right outside Starbucks, all ready for the selfie addicts to pose in front of… Prepare yourselves for a few months worth of me moaning about them in future blogs.
British Phoneboxes were red right?
Today… Wednesday (as it happens) has been a good day… An interesting day… My new(ish) exercise regime is as follows, Monday, Tuesday I walk Jo to work then go to the gym where I spend an hour training, Wednesday is slightly different… I used to go for a 14K walk before returning back to our apartment, recently I’ve changed it to a 10K walk before heading to the gym to do my weight training… Today is (or was, depending on when you’re reading this) Wednesday… I walked Jo to work as I usually do then headed toward Benchasiri Park to begin my 10K walk… As I got to the park I could hear the sound of two cats growling at each other… The basic arguments of two male cats… “You fuck off”.. “No.. YOU Fuck off!”… “Fuck off!” and so on… At the gates to the park, I saw them, a slim light coloured cat and an even slimmer black cat, both with arched backs, fur standing on end… Both screaming “FUCK OFF” at each other… I walked past them, finding their display are machismo quite funny… The young girl walking behind me, however, was not a fan of this display, she stopped by the cats and attempted to stop them from arguing… She waved her arms at them trying to get them to separate, sadly she only succeeded in getting them to move closer together… Their noses were almost touching, still, they continued to growl at each other “FUCK OFF!!!!!”… By now everyone in earshot had turned around and were watching the argument as the cats' growls became louder and louder… “WILL YOU JUST FUCK OFF!!!!!”… The girl took off her shoe, and like a mother from the 1970’s scolding a naughty child she waved it at the cats trying to get them to stop… Suddenly it was over… One of the cats did indeed fuck off.
I walked around the park, passing Thai men working out at the weight training area, passing old people doing Tai Chi beneath the trees, I walked passed nannies playing with small children on the playground, I enjoy walking around the park, I love how every time I walk here I see something different… Today was no exception… As I walked toward the stall that sells ice creams and cold drinks I noticed two women holding mobile phone taking photographs of a cat… Nothing strange I hear you cry (well, I don’t actually HEAR you… But You get my drift)… No not strange at all… Except for the fact that this particular cat was, in fact, emptying his bowels. Yes, folks, these two ladies were taking photographs of a cat whilst he was in the process of (let’s just put this bluntly) having a shit… Take that Instagram
I walked past the cat and his ever so strange admirers and continued my walk… I’d been walking for a while when I saw a familiar cat lying in the sunshine… It was Kika (Yes I know her names isn’t actually Kika… But that’s the name I gave her) I’d not seen Kika in a while so it was nice to see her… I stopped walking and was about to approach her when I saw that she wasn’t alone… She had her kittens with her! As I walked toward her she turned to me and hissed at me, I stopped in my tracks as I didn’t want to upset her or the kittens, I was about to walk away when her posture changed… She softened, had she recognised me? Maybe… She stood up, meowed at me and walked toward me, I stroked her head and said “hello” (pointless really… She is Thai afterall, therefore doesn’t speak English.. Plus.. She’s also a cat) after a few seconds of giving her some fuss I reached into my backpack and pulled out a sachet of cat food (I always carry cat food… Feeding the stray cats always makes me happy.. Them too I guess) seeing the catfood she began to meow loudly while circling my feet, I opened the sachet and let it’s contents fall on the floor… Suddenly I not only had Kika’s attention but three of her four kittens too… The fourth one ( A black and white kitten) was quite happy jumping around in the grass… The other three, beautiful grey striped kittens all began to enjoy the food, It’s strange really… I felt like I’d come full circle with Kika… We’d met months ago, I’d sit at a bench here in this park, and she’d appear, she’d have some food and let me pet her…I’d talk to her about my day and she’d pretend to listen, then I lost touch with her… She disappeared, I’d go to “our” bench and she’d be nowhere to be found… Then, a while later I saw her again, she was obviously nursing some kittens, she had some food, some fuss and she went off on her way… I presumed that was goodbye… And now, here I was, with Kika and her kittens…I didn’t stay long, I let Kika and her kittens eat in peace… I continued my walk with a smile on my face… In fact, I smiled pretty much all day.
I have no idea what I dreamed about on Wednesday night… All I know is that as I awoke on Thursday morning my brain was filled with concepts of cakes… Specific cakes… Cakes that are coloured (and I presume flavoured) to represent the Infinity Stones from the Marvel Avengers film series… Odd I know… But as I opened my eyes, my brain had just designed the red infinity stone cake (for the record it was cherry flavoured) and I was in the process of creating the Orange soul stone cake (obviously orange flavoured)… Jo’s alarm had gone off and she had pressed the snooze button, wide awake I continued to mentally create cakes… I hit a brick wall when I decided that creating a cake that looks like the infinity gauntlet would be way too difficult to make… Jo woke up and was wondering what a knocking noise that was coming from the bathroom was, I knew she’s left the window open in the bathroom so I just thought it was the wind blowing the blinds back and forth… The knocking continued for a while, I tried to ignore it… But then, I suddenly felt dizzy, it felt like the entire bedroom had swung first to the left, then to the right… Feeling dizzy I got out of bed and walked to the bathroom… But again it felt as if the entire room swung left, and then right… I was unsure what was happening, was I ill? Was I going to be sick? Then Jo said she felt the room move too… By now I was in the bathroom, the window blinds were swinging back and forth as the room seemed to sway again, left then right… The realisation that we were experiencing an earthquake came to us eventually, Jo put on her dressing gown and said she wanted to go downstairs… We didn’t go downstairs, the swaying stopped and all returned back to normal… Neither of us knew the protocol for what to do in the event of an earthquake… I presumed the old rule of “stand in a doorway” still applied, but here on the 31st floor of an apartment block what do you do in the event of an earthquake? I’m guessing using the lift isn’t a great idea… Then again being stuck halfway down a flight of stairs isn’t brilliant either… So, what do you do in the event of an earthquake when you live on the 31st floor of an apartment block…. Pray?
Later on, I’m walking along the street on my way to meet Jo for lunch, the sun is beating down, the streets are full of people, the smell of the food sellers carts fills the air… I’m vegetarian but, my God that fried chicken smells good… I find myself thinking back to the infinity stone cakes… I’ve sorted the red, yellow, blue and orange… I’m a little stuck on green (would a mint cake work?) and purple… Purple has me completely stumped… I step onto the footbridge to cross the road to get to Jo’s workplace when inspiration hit me like a hammer… THE INFINITY SCONES! Anyone passing me on that bridge would be forgiven for thinking I was a mad man… The cheesy grin on my face was impossible to hide.
[SQUEEL OF BRAKES]
I just googled Infinity Scones…. Turns out I wasn’t the first person to think of them.
I met Jo for lunch and we went to a new restaurant called MAD… Jo had scrambled egg on toast and I had vegetarian pasta… The food was delicious, a slightly spicy tomato sauce with peppers, mushrooms, garlic and asparagus… Yes, it turns out I now like asparagus… If you’d handed me a plate with asparagus on it a year ago I’d have pushed it away in disgust… Today I left the plate empty… I’ve changed man.
We discussed the earthquake, Jo was wondering where the best place to be in a high rise block would be in the event of an earthquake… Getting squashed at the bottom or tumbling down as the building crumbles? Take your pick.
Let’s just try not to die as a result of an earthquake… Ok?
The restaurant is filled with people who work in the same business that Jo works for, it’s a new restaurant and it’s nice to see it so busy… Damn, that pasta was delicious!
Honestly, I’m a bit pissed off about the whole Infinity Scones thing… I really thought I’d been clever… Damn you Google.
Jo has been suffering from back pain of late, So she made an appointment at a clinic here in Bangkok, we walked to the clinic being as it was a short distance from our apartment… Now, keep in mind we walked into the clinic together, we stood at the reception desk together, we sat down TOGETHER… The man at reception takes Jo through into the treatment room, then he walked back into the waiting area and stood right in front of me.
“Are you Mr Martin?”
“You have appointment?”
“No… I’m with” (pointing toward treatment room)
“I’m with her”
“Not Mr Martin?”
He shrugs his shoulders and gets back behind the reception desk.
Mr Martin walked into the clinic… I’m a 6ft tall white Englishman… Mr Martin was about 5 foot tall and was a Black American… Mr Martin chatted to the man at reception about the last time he was at the clinic… Yes, the reception dude KNEW Mr Martin… I’ll just let that sink in.
Jo eventually finished her treatment and we left the clinic, I was due to meet a friend for a few drinks so Jo walked with me to the bar then she carried on back to our apartment…
[SQUEEL OF BRAKES]
One of the HUGE differences about living in Bangkok as opposed to living in England… It’s the early evening here, it’s dark… But it’s completely safe for Jo to walk alone back to our apartment… Had we been in England I’d have not even considered letting Jo walk alone in the dark… Here she’s safe… See? Difference.
So, I went to the pub… I met with my friend, we were joined later by another bloke and we had a nice night of drinking and chatting about a varied array of subjects such as… Earthquakes, Politics, Brexit (oh how I’ll not miss Brexit when it’s all finished with), language and of course… My hatred for the BBC TV show, Peaky Blinders.
I’ve discovered I have a little problem when it comes to drinking… No, I don’t have a drinking “problem” I seem to have a problem with drinking… I’ll try to explain…
So, I’ll order a beer… At this particular pub, I order Chang beer… The beer gets bought to the table, an ice-cold bottle of beer… I take a sip of the beer (as any sane person would) then as I place the bottle back down on the table I inwardly say to myself “Right Ade, take it easy tonight… Leave a little bit of time before you take another sip”… However… Before I’ve even gotten halfway through my “take the drinking slow” talk I discover I’m already taking another sip of beer… Suddenly I discover my bottle is empty… So, another inward chat begins… “Right Ade, leave a bit of time before you order another beer”… But then I ignore myself and order more beer… “Right Ade, let’s take this one slow ok?”…. “Shit! Your bottle’s empty again!”… Drinking problem.
I find myself feeling a little tipsy as the night draws to a close… I pay my bill at the bar, say my goodbyes and walk back toward the apartment… It’s a nice night to be walking, it’s not too hot, the streets aren’t too busy (with the tourist season starting the streets have become much busier of late)… Taxis and motorbikes pass me as I walk along the road toward the apartment, walking toward the lift I wonder if Jo is still awake… She’d messaged me earlier to say she’d gone to bed, but I half expected to find her sitting on the sofa… She wasn’t… The apartment was silent when I walked in, I sat in front of the TV and watched a comic book related video on Youtube as my feeling of being tipsy slowly began to turn more toward the “drunk” spectrum.
Why is it, that when you’re trying your very best to be quiet, everything you do makes noise? Light switches sound a hundred times louder… Doors that didn’t creak before now creak like they are starring in a 1980’s horror movie… I manage to get into bed without disturbing Jo… Result!
Ever been to the gym with a hangover?
It’s not fun… But… To my credit, I did my usual workout… It felt like it was killing me but I did it… I know, I know… I’m a bloody hero, right?
I could say I’ll never drink again… But that would be a lie.
Ah well…. Until next time…