Thailand has transitioned from being very hot and dry to its wet season. The rains started slowly in June and now come almost daily. Yesterday, in fact, there was a long deluge that flooded parts of the city, sending torrents of water flowing toward the sea and cascading down the beach stairwells.
Today, it started to rain shortly after noon and has been ongoing for almost 5 hours. Water is seeping into my kitchen and I’m sure the flooding elsewhere is worse than yesterday. Fortunately, unlike yesterday, I stayed home today in the afternoon.
But yesterday I had to see an apartment so it was off to Soi 80 after my news feed was done about 2:30. It was cloudy but I thought it might not rain, or at least not until a little later. I didn’t think I would need my umbrella.
The rain started just as the apartment owner arrived to show me after she had reintroduced furniture to the unit I saw a week before, and had also created a makeshift kitchen, sans tableware, silverware, pots, pans and several appliances. The living room furniture she bought to please me was almost childlike in size.
I told her my concerns through a translator she brought from across the alley. And I was able to reduce the rent from 12,000 baht to 11,000 baht a month, about $300, on a one-year contract. I told her I had other units to look at and would get back to her.
Today, I went out to see another apartment in the same location, but this time did it in the morning, just beating the rain on my return. I should explain that this is a long, narrow street that connects to and parallels Soi 80, a bar and restaurant area. Along the row are two-story town homes, some in better shape than others, some looking like their occupants had been there many years. Interspersed with the homes are a few small restaurants and a couple of laundries. There is a mix of farang (foreigners) and Thais living on the street.
The unit I saw today was much better equipped with better furniture and more stuff in the kitchen. Also, these are all 2-bedroom, 2-bath units. The units yesterday and today also had washing machines.
My appointment today was because a person I called about the unit had to meet in the morning. When I arrived, I called the wrong person for the wrong apartment, but a young Thai man showed up. This unit was set up better with furniture and the kitchen but he is adamant about 12,000 a month. I offered 11,000 on a one-year lease and told him to think about it.
When I returned home, however, I received a confusing call. The Thai man on the other end wanted to know why I didn’t make our 11 am meeting at his townhouse. Oops! Apparently, I got confused by which phone number went with which house and called the wrong guy this morning. Now, I’m rescheduled to see this next house on the same street tomorrow morning. I will bring my umbrella.
One of the advantages I have now in selecting a place to live is time. I really didn’t have that when I arrived in January and am quite frankly pleased that I was able to find as nice an apartment as I have at the rent I wanted to pay. But knowing “where” to live in a new city can take some time to figure out, which is what I’m doing now. I’ve got maybe three months to find a place that’s right for me, with few concessions made. So I’m being picky.