As I write this, Rusty has just returned from the opposite side of the shallow pool. While I was daydreaming, he noticed a bird unable to escape the water. I watched as he bent down, spoke to the little bird, and scooped him up, placing him on the dry ground.
I’m not sure if it survived; I haven’t seen any movement over there since, but I’ve also managed not to pay close attention.
Our new Lounging area
There’s so much to take notice of, from the Russian boys flitting by barefoot, to the old woman pushing her sleeping grandbaby in her stroller. Birds that swoop and dive over the pool, between our lounge chairs and the building we live in.
We’ve only started laying here for a couple of days, as we tend to venture up to the top pool – the smaller but more crowded pool in our complex. But, during the afternoon, this lower pool is quiet and yet sunny, plus, it is close enough to the WiFi routers for us to be able to work or play on the internet. We still head top side in the mornings, but this afternoon spot is a nice little getaway and I’m glad we’ve found it.
Three Full Weeks in Pattaya
Today marks the end of our first 3 weeks being back in Thailand. We’ve managed to settle in so well, finding a routine we both like. We’ve also ventured out more, finding new shops, new transportation, new markets, and new things to love.
Natan’s French Restaurant
One of my new favorite things is the fancy little French restaurant called Natan’s we found for my birthday dinner. Pricy by Thai standards, but incredibly reasonable in reality. We had a wonderful appetizer, I had duck breast as my main course with salad and potatoes, and Rusty had beef bourguignon. Plus, we each had an incredible dessert, mine complete with sparkling candle and a chorus of Happy Birthday. All that, plus our drinks, totaled less than $45. In a similar atmosphere in America, with similar meal choices, the total would no doubt have been $130 with tax and tip. We loved everything about the place, and even though we know we CAN afford it, we are opting to keep it as our “special occasion” restaurant. Like Valentines Day. We want to go back for that! Eating dinner here tends to run us less than $5 a day, so spending $30 or more on one meal seems frivolous…so we don’t. We LIVE here, and we live here because of the life it affords us to live. If we want fancy French, we can get it. But, we want to keep special things special.
I like that.
We also found a place to get our laundry done. There are lots of them, but until this trip, we had never bothered. I just washed a few things by hand in our kitchen sink as needed. But, sheets and towels are another story, especially when you have a limited space to hang things like that to dry. So, we dropped off a few towels and a set of queen sheets, and paid the paltry $5 fee when we picked them up. Since then, we’ve taken more towels and clothes as they get dirty, and never pay more than $3 for a load. It works out great, and everything comes back to us nice and clean and smelling good.
The 3000 Baht Challenge
Last week we challenged ourselves to only spend 3000 baht on expenses for the entire seven days, including laundry, massages, three meals a day, snacks, and transportation. 3000 baht is $96.
We made it. Including 2 hours of massage each. And laundry. And going out to eat, more than once. This included meals like French toast and fresh fruit for breakfast, homemade banana muffins, pancakes, oatmeal and bananas. It included lunches of pad Thai or ramen, pork kabobs and fresh vegetables, salads, chicken wings and more. For dinners, we had pork fried rice and coconut smoothies from the market square, and our new favorite, schwarma. We eat well here, and very healthy. Every meal contains fresh fruit and veggies. Once a week we have ice cream, and on occasion, an Oreo. Nothing too crazy!
Little Russian Monsters
There are three little Russian monsters in the shallow pool now, only a few feet from Rusty’s bird, if it’s still there. I recognize two of the boys from the top pool…they’ve been here a week already. I think they’re step brothers, as they look nothing alike, and are the same size. The mom and the dad seem to each favor one over the other, but maybe I’m just making up those relationships in my head. Either way, they’re cute, but feisty. And they’re getting quite tan. I wonder when they’ll head home, or, if they’re like us and live here now.
I guess we will see.
PS. I’m not feeling optimistic about that wet bird.
PPS. Wet bird survived after all.