Sometimes, I feel a little silly about the topics I blog about. but then I remind myself that this blog is all about those mundane aspects of life that you encounter in a strange, new world. So writing about a haircut, a bus station, and buying fresh meats and vegetables actually is appropriate.
Today, I learned that the station for minibus service between Hua Hin and Bangkok is right in the center of town on Petchakasem Road (the highway to Bangkok) at Soi 55, right across the street from the fresh market. This is the ride I will take when I go to the American Embassy end of February/first of March.
The minibuses are air conditioned and take about 3 hours for the distance. Cost is 180 baht ($6). The vans run every hour so you just show up, pay your money and board. They will drop you off at the same location, or I might be able to get them to drop me off at Soi 41 on my return.
Previously, I thought you had to go to the south end of town (Soi 96) to the main bus station. This is much better.
I really liked the barber service in Batam, Indonesia. About $2.25 gets you a good haircut, a shave, razor trim around the edges, mustache and eyebrow trim. The barbers are very particular that there be no hairs sticking out. Compare that to the haircut I had in North Carolina: $15. No shave. No razor trim. Good haircut but lacked attention to detail. No facial hair trimming.
I found several barbers on Soi 55 previously and as I was there today regarding the minibus service I thought it a good idea to get pruned, nice and close. A young guy did the cut after first determining what I wanted (or what he thought I wanted). He was meticulous and trimmed it just the way I wanted. There was a razor trim. Eyebrows were trimmed and I’m sure he would have trimmed the mustache if asked. No shave, though, but then I hardly ever had one in Batam, either. Cost: 100 baht ($3).
The fresh market
I finally made the trip to the fresh market yesterday, but dang if I didn’t forget my camera, so the photos will have to wait until next time. The market here is a maze of narrow corridors and turns, with various foods displayed among the way. This is totally not like the one in Batam, and much more confusing.
In Batam, for example, the fish sellers were concentrated in an open area, but here they are scattered throughout the maze. I’m not sure about prices yet because I don’t know the volume the marked prices represent, but if they sell by the kilo the prices for seafood seem close to what I paid in Batam. Shrimp, for instance, sells for 250 baht for the smallest size and maybe 600 baht for the giants. If that’s by kilo then we’re talking about $4/lb-$9/lb.
I paid 85 baht for two large chicken breasts, or $1.20 each. This was maybe 50% more than in Batam but there may be cheaper cuts to try.
A few vegetables and a walk around and I was on my way. I didn’t buy much because, frankly, my refrigerator won’t hold much, especially the very small freezer with no door. So I can’t keep too much cold, and most of the frig space is filled with water and drinks, as I’m still assimilating into the climate after two months of cold in Asheville.
Next time, I will bring my camera to the market.
Oh, and on a downbeat note, I can’t figure out how to get into my new online bank account. I guess a visit to the branch will be necessary.