After living in an extended stay hotel for a month, I knew it was time to find more permanent digs here in Thailand. I had not been here long enough to realize the Sea is too dirty for swimming, or I would have most likely immediately relocated to Phuket or elsewhere in Southern Thailand, but everyone dissuaded me from that option.
The main area I live in is called Pattaya, in the province of Chonburi. On either side of Pattaya are two small towns, to the south and east is Jomtien, and to the north is Naklua. I explored all the beaches, and fell in love with Jomtien. So I started looking for a place to move into there, but universe keep throwing up road blocks. Too much money, too much deposit, loud bars downstairs, owners who dislike foreigners (farang we are called here), too far from beach, too far from public transportation. But I loved the beach, so kept fighting it.
Then Kelly (my only white friend besides Scott who I have know for years) is taking me around to get stuff done, and we swing by his place to pick something up. Yes, it is a high rise condo, but I had no luck even finding a house within 10 km of the beach, so figured I was going to end up in a condo to start anyway.
Right in the lobby of the building is a bulletin board, and on it a card with as small studio for sale or rent. The prices quoted on the card are 1/3 less than ANYTHING I had found that might work (with lots of compromises) in Jomtien, so I called the number on the card. The lady was very sweet, and spoke some English and said she would be there in ten minutes. Yeah, I spent almost two weeks nearly every day canvassing Jomtien for a place, and this lady was going to solve all my problems in ten minutes.
She shows up, and proceeds to take us up the elevator to the 8th floor (one above Kelly and one unit over, oh goodie, I can access his WiFi from the new place!) and show us the place. It has a screen door on the front, and the balcony is also screened in – no worry about bugs, as you all know how much I hate air conditioning (but it has it in case it gets stifling hot, which it has one or two days so far). It is small, and the TV is old (I do not watch TV, so what do I care), and the shower faucet is broken (we all know the kind of handy man I am, I can fix anything!), and the lock us a bit fubared, but I love the place, but do not let her know how much, and proceed to do the grind (my Mom used to call me a Jew the way I negotiate prices with people, God rest her soul, she was not racist, just how her generation viewed the world). Needless to say I am paying even less than the originally low asking price per month, and look what I am getting for my 10,500 baht a month (less than US$300 per month at today’s 35 baht/dollar exchange rate)