Saturday, September 13, 2008

Week 3: Assimilation improving & Getting Around "Thai style"

At the end of week three we have now moved in our apartment...praise the Lord for that! It will take us awhile to really get settled in, but at least we have unpacked and hung up our clothes.

On the day we moved in (Sept 11), I knew our comfort level of being in Bangkok had improved when Melinda (who is an old pro in living in Bangkok; she's been here for 2 years) ordered 3 motorcycle taxis to save us a bit walking (about 1/2 mile). It was indeed quick and a cheap thrill ! It only cost 10 baht each or about 30 cents US money. On this particular day, the only casualty of speeding down the street and over a few speed bumps was Claudia's hair! Well, let me just say that the humid air and brisk ride on the back of a motorcycle was all Claudia need to add some volume to her hair. Just think about it...people pay good money for "volumizing shampoo" and Claudia did it for as little as 30 cents. LOL!

Well, that's all it took...just one trip on the back of a motorcycle and now we've done it several times since then. I guess we are getting braver day by day, or maybe we've just lost all common sense.

The problem with Bangkok is TRAFFIC! There are 10 million people in Bangkok and I think everyone drives a car plus about 5 million taxis. I've never seen traffic like it. And, if it rains (which it does often now that we are in the rainy season), the streets flood and you can imagine what that does to traffic. It puts a whole new meaning to the word "GRIDLOCK" in a Swamp!

Our modes of transportation varies depending on when, where and how fast we want to get there. The quick and easy way to get around if your not going but just a few blocks (less than a mile) is to take a TUK TUK (a small motorized type of golf cart) or a motorcycle taxi. The advantages of taking the motorcycle taxi is it's fast, and can go around cars (even in a traffic jam), but the obvious draw back's not really that safe! I find myself praying more when I'm on the motorcycle but so far there have not been any accidents...just a close call or two.

Speaking of assimilation...Claudia is doing much better this week than last. I only say that because one evening last week that we were heading back to our apartment and walking down a busy sidewalk of vendors, cooking booths and along with hoards of people a small elephant(maybe about 5 foot tall) was passing by on the sidewalk with it's owner! The owner had food for sale that you could buy to feed the elephant as means of financial support. The elephant was so close to us that you could have easily reached out and touched it...if you dared. Or, if you weren't paying attention you could have been a casualty of an elephant "hit and run." I'm not sure when it comes to the law in Thailand in such matters, who has the legal "right of way?" So, as the elephant passed by I commented to Claudia about the elephant and she said, "what elephant? Where?" Things are, at times, so chaotic and busy and there are so many things to distract your attention, that you can, indeed, miss an elephant in your pathway. Enough said about that. Claudia is now on full elephant alert.

Pray for us...sounds like we need it! Thank you guys for your friendship and your prayers. Miss you guys. We'll keep in touch. Love you!


1 comment:

Jamie Watkins said...

Wow, apartment looks great. Very modern in decor. I m glad you feel a little more settled. I am a little concerned about the taxis though! I'll say a few extra prayers. How is Caitlin doing, how is the commute to school? Hope to talk on skype soon. Love you so much and miss you,