I am absolutely thrilled to be going home for the month of April. But I know that I will also look forward to coming home to Bangkok. Home is an important word that carries a lot of meaning, but it is also flexible. If home is where the heart is, then my home is in three countries, several states, and dozens of cities.
For now, Sean and I live and work in Bangkok, and we’ve made our apartment into a home together. Here’s a little bit about it…
First of all, everything slides. We have multiple sliding doors that cause more anger than anything. We’ve banged up the one that slides back and forth along the kitchen. I really should say that I have done so. If one cabinet or drawer is just slightly ajar, there will be a loud collision that results in chipped pieces of cheap wood.
We live on the 26th floor, and the view is really awesome. On a super clear day, we can see mountains, and our giant windows allow for spectacular lightning-viewing. We also get nice sunrises and sunsets.
Our kitchen is small, and before we went to Ikea to buy this little wooden workspace, we had no room to cook. Sean bought a toaster oven before I moved here, and we get a lot of use out of it. With our little Ikea addition, a new blender, and the toaster oven, we have made pizza, stuffed peppers, cornbread, cookies, carrot cake, chocolates, pumpkin pie, biscuits, roasted squash, smoothies, pesto, stir-fry, pasta, meatless meatballs, quinoa, and many other recipes.
We have a beautiful pool and a nice gym on the 5th floor, and our building is connected to the BTS (Sky Train) station, which makes rainy afternoons much less of a concern. One stop away we have three different grocery stores that all carry lots of western food, organic produce, and non-dairy milks. We also have several malls, three big parks, and tons of restaurants within walking distance or just a quick train ride away.
Because we cannot drink the water here, we have Sprinkles water delivered every week. It’s not too expensive, and it saves us from having to lug big water jugs from 7Eleven back home. 7Eleven is actually very close by; it just feels far while carrying water in the heat and humidity! Speaking of 7Eleven, Sean and I have made a friend. Actually, this friend does not know that we are friends and does not respond when spoken to. So maybe Sausage (though we call him Chorizo on occasion), is more like a makeshift 7Eleven mascot. In order to enter 7Eleven, one must delicately step over Sausage, an extremely fat, old, and slow soi dog. (We call stray dogs “soi dogs” because they wander the sois, which means “lanes” or “avenues”.)
All of the staff who work in our building are very friendly. No one speaks English, but we get by with our broken Thai and all of our quite sophisticated charades. When we have friends over, they call us to come down and bring them up the elevator, which is operated with our key cards. Our little apartment can fit quite a few people quite comfortably. We had around 15 guests at the last pizza party, and there were no complaints!