Saturday, December 5, 2015

Where I Hang My Hat This Month

There are over thirty stories in the building that I'm living in this month and there are two others of the same size in the Chapter One compound. One of them directly faces the two wall-to-ceilng windows that bring light into my place, which feels peculiar. Luckily I may be the only inhabitant who opens my draperies when I'm home.

The apartment door leads into a space large enough for a loveseat (Ikea Ektorp) and a big TV which sits on a built-in shelf unit, and a desk/dressing table. A glass wall with sliding doors separates this from the bedroom, which has just enough room for a double bed and two night stands. It also has a built-in closet with an ample supply of drawers. The kitchen holds a table for two that is too small for the pair of place mats that rest on it, and a long kitchen counter with a sink, drainboard, and a microwave. The bathroom is just off the kitchen and is in direct line with the glass wall, whose Roman shade remains drawn most of the time. In Thai fashion, there is a shower only with no tub. There is a shower curtain, which used to be an unusual Bangkok apartment feature.

If I sit on my bed or walk out onto the narrow shelf that poses as a balcony, I can see the river and part of the city skyline. If I turn to the opposite direction, I see buildings that are low enough to allow a full look at the sky. Sometimes a scrap of cerise sunset shows up between the gap between the two facing towers.

In none of my Bangkok years have I ever had a view of the river and I've always wanted that. This complex has built a little park on the riverbank, with benches and two outdoor swimming pools. There are trees scattered about in it and little pockets of lawn bordered by carefully manicured hedges. A ferry for the complex's private use is moored at the end of a small pier and a rusty freighter keeps this tidy little craft company.

The entrance to Chapter One, as this place is called, is a double boulevard lined with trees. Under the towers are cozy little blue houses with peaked roofs and white dormer windows. The base of the towers is also painted blue and white, with shops, restaurants of sorts, laundries, and of course beauty shops and a massage spot. The theme is Modern Dutch and three pretty little white windmills sit in the park.

It is extremely quiet although below me are areas for children to play in, and there are no stray dogs anywhere. A little blue house shelters security guards at the entrance and there is an army of cleaning ladies, mopping and polishing in true Dutch fashion. It's comfortable and charming out in the middle of nowhere, a fine place to visit but I could never live here. It 's too far removed from the clutter and chaos that makes me love Bangkok.

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