Be careful what you ask for

I have changed homes here in Hua Hin and my primary reason for moving was to live in an active neighborhood of expats and Thais. I’ve definitely found what I was seeking, but now comes the acclimation.

My New Home

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First, I have to report that my move from north of Soi 41 to Soi 80/1 means I have sacrified the beach time I enjoyed for 7 months. I know this because I’ve taken exploratory walks the past two nights to find the beach.

I am now about 3 blocks from the main highway, Petchkesam Road. From there, you have to cross the very busy road on your own to reach a road meandering toward the Hyatt hotel and City Beach. I was almost run down by a motorcyclist in the turn lane in the middle of the road. He was illegally using the lane and it was fortunate he was at least going slowly.

DSC_0431The road leading to the beach here is lined with food and souvenir stalls. One man had a stall selling seashells almost exclusively. He was very gracious when I asked if I could take his picture and squeezed my arm and smiled when I showed him the shots.

My plan when taking personal shots like this of people is to have 8×10 prints made of them and give them the prints next time I am in their area. I did this previously with my fisherman friend, Yat, and a restaurant waitress. Anyway, I digress. Back to the neighborhood.

City Beach looks like it’s for tourists. A quick look around was all I needed. This would not be a good place to fish with all the people around, and it is a long walk from my house.

Yesterday, still determined to find the beach, I walked to the highway, intending to cross, but the traffic was so crazy I decided maybe not, especially after almost being run over the day before. This time, I walked south while looking for any road to the beach on the other side. There were none. Every inch is taken up by resorts and hotels. No beach access for many blocks.

Braving the Rush Hour Traffic

While I was sitting on a wall on Petchkesam Road, I watched a dangerous game of vehicles trying to cross over heavy traffic from the other direction, as well as heavy traffic trying to enter the highway, some turning directly oncoming traffic. It’s a miracle there were no accidents in the 15 minutes I was there. Bored, I started focusing on the motorbike riders trying to turn.

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I think I will put my fishing gear away for occasional use.

My first day in my new home, I tried out the Villa Market about 5 blocks away. This place has a remarkable selection of various western goodies. There was an entire row, 4 shelves high and maybe 50 feet long, just for chips. I don’t eat chips (too fattening) but they are obviously popular to the expats here.

The market also had a limited vegetable selection and an extensive meat counter. Lots of cheeses. Lots of processed meats.

I admit to buying a few frivolous things, but I will have to be careful shopping here as the prices are somewhat higher than Tesco or Makro.

About my neighbors

DSC_0411I have Thais living next door and across the street. The people across the street are running some kind of industrial laundry or alteration service. They have a big table in their patio with at least four irons. But when I brought my laundry to them they didn’t seem to understand, or I didn’t. None of them spoke any English so I gave up trying.

Turns out, this family is headed by a policeman. Good news, bad news. They also have two little dogs, one who drags his disabled back legs behind him. They like to bark, particularly about 6-7 a.m. Shutting the door and windows in the bedroom seems to drown them out.

There’s a lot of activity around this house, with people coming and going all day long.

Next door there is a family, some of whom work at the laundry. I think they might also run a daycare, as there were many children running around in the early evening and people coming to pick them up. This family and friends like to set up camp on the street outside their house in the evening. I don’t know if any of them speak any English.

And about that laundry, I had talked with a young woman previously at a laundry at the other end of my street. I took my “dress” shirts there yesterday and will bring my other laundry today. She charges just 12 baht per shirt (35 cents, washed, dried and pressed) and 50 baht per kilo for the other clothes. I tossed in my American flag for a cleaning, as well. Fifty baht is maybe twice as much as I paid in Batam, but once I get my washing machine I will only need to get my shirts done.

Tonight, I plan to try a small restaurant on the street and play some pool in my new neighborhood.


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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