Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Powerless on the Ground Floor

It wasn't until we were approaching the Bangkok airport that I realized I had packed my house keys in my suitcase. After two weeks of roaming through Beijing, I had forgotten that I would eventually need to reenter my Thailand existence and now I was much too tired to rummage through my luggage. It was easier to call one of my housemates and ask him to leave the gate open for me, and then follow up the call with a text message once I had collapsed into a taxi.

But nothing is easy in the City of Angels and when I went out of the airport to where the taxi-stands had been, they were gone. In their place were the Airport Authority of Thailand's overpriced limousines at every exit until I reached the last one where a sign told me that public taxis had been moved to the ground floor. Obviously this is how the airport decided to clean up the tout problem--by substituting their own scam for the freelance variety. Any tired traveler arriving for the first time would decide this was the only way to get to the city and would end up paying far too much for an AOT vehicle--welcome to Thailand!

When I finally entered my house, there was an unhealthy preponderance of extension cords and plug-in strips all over the floor. "No electricity," the housekeeper chortled--and sure enough, the ground floor was in a blackout, with the refrigerator plugged into an extension cord that led to a socket in an upstairs bedroom. I was awake for a huge portion of the night, listening for the sounds of an electrical fire.

The rumor going around our household today is that "Yes, a man is coming to fix the electric problem." Although the housekeeper is completely unconvinced that this is necessary--after all, she fixed it didn't she? There's an emergency light in the entryway and the refrigerator's running. Dangerous? Oh those crazy foreigners--how they do worry...

I'm more than ready to move to Beijing.

5 comments:

Tokyo Ern said...

Welcome home. Good to have the info on the taxis at the Bangkok airport. I must take Mikako there so I could introduce you and to see the sites of Bangkok as well.

Kim said...

Reminds me of every time I returned to Saigon. What, that rat? He's always been here. Huh, that roofless bathroom in the monsoon season? How could you have forgotten about it? Welcome back!

janet brown said...

Ernie--god knows where they will be next week--an ever-changing delight, our airport. I would so much love to see you here and o meet Mikako.

Kim, I'm teetering on the brink of homicide at the moment--I was never meant to be an expat lady with domestic help problems. At the moment I feel as though I can have a grubby house all on my own for free and who needs this aggravation?

Kristianne said...

Don't move to Beijing yet! I'm nearly there!

janet brown said...

Yes!! I am looking forward to 12/2 in the early, early morning and seeing your exhausted little face...