Making it a home

Most people following this blog don’t know that I travel with a 5-foot American flag and and 6-foot fabric mural I picked up in Costa Rica. Every place I live in, these two are hung on the walls for decoration. The flag was a gift from Elizabeth and Eric when I visited their home after I left Costa Rica and was headed to Croatia.

The walls in my new apartment are pretty pristine so I didn’t want to damage them too much, and today found some stick-on hooks I hope will do the job. Didn’t do a good job of hanging the Costa Rican one, but it will do.

CR sign

with flagI found the hangup hooks at the Home Pro store at the Market Village mall, where I also found several other useful items. This is mostly a home improvement store, located a floor above the Tesco grocery I go to about once a week, but this was the first time I’ve walked through it.

grillI’ve been looking for some way to cook besides using a wok and found this grill that I hope I can put a frying pan on to cook. If not, I’ll just grill stuff on it. I couldn’t pass on the price (500 baht/$17). Sorry about the selfie, but I thought you might want to see that it’s still crazy me.

One item I found was real silverware. The stuff you normally find here is very cheap and bends at the least resistance. I bought two forks and a knife that won’t bend. Then it was downstairs to the grocery, where three chicken drumsticks cost 50 cents each and six center-cut pork chops also cost about 50 cents each.

I want to start food shopping at the fresh market in town but just didn’t get up early enough this morning to do so. I expect the fresh meat prices will be somewhat lower. Man, there was a lot of old, white people at the mall for a Monday!

(An aside: I just left my front door ajar to see if the neighborhood cats would come in and I now have a mother and two youngins inspecting the place.)

Which brings me to an interesting observation. There is a pack of mostly feral dogs at the end of my block – all the time. They live there. There are also six cats living outside my apartment in the street. But here, these strays get fed by the people living here. They don’t ignore them, they put out food and water for them. Must be a Buddhist thing because they didn’t to that in Batam.

boozeFinally, my liquor tastes have had to adjust once again. In Costa Rica, Croatia and Sicily, I had to adapt to  using local alcohol offerings because of the cost of imported alcohol. In Indonesia, Jack Daniels was less expensive than in the U.S. so that is what I drank. Scotch whisky, however, seems to have a universal appeal outside the U.S. I hate Scotch, so I adjust.

In Thailand, JD is 50% more expensive than in Indonesia, and more in line with U.S. prices. So I’m adjusting to the local “blended whiskies.” Here are two of them. They cost about $7 per bottle (7/10th liter).

Finally, we are having another cold spell. Needed jeans and jacket for the beach this evening. Lots of wind and very pleasant during the day. Wish I had brought my flannel sweats from North Carolina. Oh well.


About 2bagsandapack

Lifetime journalist, author, magazine editor and publisher, now semi-retired and traveling the world. My plan, after living in Costa Rica for 14 months, was to visit a new country in southern Europe every three months to experience the culture and the challenge of adapting to a new environment, while on a fixed income. That plan was sidetracked when I was offered a job in Indonesia, providing an opportunity to explore Asia. Indonesia lasted for a 4 wonderful years but I have now moved on to Hua Hin, Thailand.
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