Tuesday, September 28, 2010
That's where I was heading this morning, a bit later than planned, when I saw the first sign of a queue; its end tapered out at the edge of the mall. The traffic was heavier than normal for 11am on a week day; it's a common sign that the traffic has been held up for someone Very Important.
The queue was solid, not straggly, and stretched the entire front of Siam Paragon. There must have been a couple of hundred people in it. The last time I saw something like this was when a famous pop group made a public appearance but this queue wasn't behaving quite right for that. It was too orderly. They weren't here to see someone; they wanted something. Eventually my taxi crept around the corner and dropped me near the door and the head of the line. A hiso (high society) Thai had a big arrangement of pink flowers to present. There must be a celebrity....
Crowds and queuing always reminds me of my foreignness. There's a fuss about something or someone that I don't understand. I am excluded. Usually when I arrive somewhere I don't even know the event was happening because I haven't been able to read the notices in the media and if I do happen upon it I don't recognize the celeb. I can't read the signs (if there are any) so I am there with all these fans who are in a state of excitement and anticipation but I'm quite cut off from the experience.
The queue used the far right hand door and those not interested - or oblivious in my case - used the normal door where the security people check bags. Nobody stopped us from entering thinking we might jump the queue. I really couldn't think what they were all here for....
I know that I can normally be relied upon to take photos to illustrate my blog but this time I needed both my hands to pick my chin up at the anti-climax of it...
This big line of people were queuing to go to a newly opened branch of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts.
What. Is. That. All. About?
Monday, September 27, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Friday, September 24, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Sometimes (usually when I'm on the bus and the reality of it hits home) I'm appalled that I make my children catch a bus to school that leaves at 6.30am. But when I get downstairs and see what teeny tiny children are being sent by other parents to schools all over Bangkok and I look at my big thugs....then I give myself a break.
Our bus snakes out into the green route (back roads) and we meet other school buses, coming in and out of different condos; we give way to a Japanese school's minibus and then a guard blows the whistle to signal us in to the entrance to pick up our next child or group. It all appears so carefully choreographed that it reminds me of the dance of the fork lift trucks. (I'll have to look for that on YouTube from home to link it.)
I always think of the person whose job it it to organize the buses and what a massive, horrifying job it is. All the buses come in for the same start time but the finish time is different for kindergarten, from early years and different again for the rest of school. Depending on after school activities you can be on the end of school bus, the late bus or the late late bus. They even accept changes to the system: I just email to ask 'please can you put Daughter on the late bus today?' If I were in charge, presuming I did manage to get it organized in the first place, I'd scream 'NOOO! It's all set in stone NO CHANGES ALLOWED.' There's a huge fleet of buses (100 or 200 I'm guessing) and they wend their way all over Bangkok picking up the kids and taking them to school. If I'm at school for the end of the day when they repeat the whole thing in reverse I'm even more in awe. Just thinking about the whole logistics of such an operation is enough to bring me out in hives.
As we get closer to school I spot other buses with their code numbers on the back window to denote their route, all heading to the same destination. I'm not sure any of my talents are particularly useful but when we arrive at school, get ticked off by the girl with the clip board and slide into our numbered space, I give thanks that someone has the particular skill to work out how to get nearly 2,000 kids in and out of school on time. I can't even catch the right train on my own.
But I do love Bangkok at this time of day. The traffic moves, the weather is tolerable and the monks are out walking barefoot with their alms bowls. Perhaps I should go out more often at 6.30am....
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
- BK Magazine which I read in Starbucks yesterday. I brought it home (it’s free – I didn’t steal, honest) because it had a couple of articles I wanted to remember.
- Tiny moleskin notebook. Can’t leave home without one.
- Fisherman’s Friends in cherry flavour and sugar free: oh YaY.
- My ‘Mummy’ pack in which you will find paracetamol, Rennies, a nail file, some plasters (band aid), a tampon, Migraleve, green cream for mossie bites, lip salve and dental floss. Perhaps there should be a tea bag in there?
- Change of battery for my Sony camera – see number 18
- My iPhone: this has recently replaced my Blackberry which, after three years of service, finally died.
- A couple of notes: the next book club book title and a note from a man in a shop in Phrompong skytrain station telling me where to buy a mannekin (Platinum.)
- My tiny Flip video camera.
- The most perfect wallet in the world. A discontinued line from Mulberry. Once it was salmon pink now it’s just dirty.
- A bag in a bag; a bag for life. Whatever you call them I bought this in Chinatown and I love it.
- Aluminium can tin pulls. We save for charity. It's for the bit of the prosthetic limb that attaches to the body.
- Passes for school, apartment and BWG.
- Lippy. Why? Gawd knows. I hardly ever wear it and when I do this is lip colour. Peer pressure?
- Lip salve. Can’t live without it.
- Push up pencil. I've searched long and hard and this one is perfect. The lead is .7mm, B and it’s by Faber Castell. I can’t live without it. If you want to borrow it you might have to put down a deposit so I know it'll come back to me.
- Skytrain pass, MRT pass, various business and appointment cards.
- My Sony camera. I never go anywhere without it.
- The bag of the moment is a brown suede bag I bought in Selfridges about eight years ago.
So back to the writing. Anyone else prepared to show?
Monday, September 20, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
Saturday, September 04, 2010
Thursday, September 02, 2010
Wednesday, September 01, 2010
This is how the old apartment looked when we got up this morning; breakfast was taken on the floor or on a trolley. I'm on duty at the new place today while another team finish off at the Towers.
I've loved living here but I don't feel at all sad. I'm looking forward to somewhere new and a room of my own.