Readers' Submissions

Nobby In Toytown



We all have those weeks from time to time when you think the whole world is out to get you. Well, what a week I’ve just had. My sanity was roundly tested. Let me tell you all about it. It might make me feel better.

It all started when I drove a colleague who was in town from Australia, down to Rayong to visit a client. By the time I got him back to the Shangri-La it was almost 11.00pm and I was almost out of petrol. The low fuel warning light had been flashing for the last fifity kilometers. Then I remembered, the bloody petrol stations close at 10.00 as part of the government’s solution to limit petrol consumption. I had to abandon the car and get a cab home. What a bloody nuisance.

Then in an unrelated incident…

We recently invested in a water purifier for our house. Let me just explain why this piece of equipment is necessary. The water that is delivered through the tap is not fit for human consumption. I’m sure the water that comes out of our tap would give a highland goat the skits. Our drinking water had been delivered in big plastic bottles up until now. This purifier cleans the water to such a standard as to make it potable. Well, that’s what it said on the box, anyway. The store that we bought the thing from delivered it and supplied a technician to install it.

Now this purifier is not a pretty thing. It is made up of three plastic cylinders, each one about 12 inches long which are mounted on a metal strip. Of course they need to be connected to the water and the electricity supplies. I returned home from work to discover that the technician had bolted this thing to the kitchen wall next to the window and in such a position as to prevent one of the wall cupboards from opening and to prevent any practical use of the draining board whatsoever. The pure water outlet tap was also bolted to the wall and mounted on a piece of 2” angle iron. It was an abhoration. I insisted the technician came back and re-positioned this thing in the cupboard under the sink where any plumber with half a brain would have put it in the first place.. I stood over him while he moved it. He genuinely could not understand my disapproval and huffed and puffed the whole time while he repositioned it. The 2” angle iron and two anchor bolts which were big enough to have held a suspension bridge in place were left where they were because the guy did not have any tools capable of removing them. I had to remove them and repair the wall myself.

And then……

When is a car park not a car park? The other evening I parked the car in Washington Square. When you drive in there, the guy sitting in the box gives you a ticket which tells you how much it costs to park there. So it must be a car park, right?

Well, not really. After a few drinks with a couple of friends I returned to the car at around 8.30. By this time my car was surrounded by five or six coaches that were delivering the evening punters to the Mambo Cabaret. Not only was I boxed in but some hero had also let the air out of my tyres. Great. I politely asked one of the coach drivers if he would back his bus up a yard or two so that I could get out and was bluntly told to go forth and multiply. That’ll teach me to park in a car park.

Tomorrow’s another day…..

The outside of our house needed a fresh coat of paint. The rain and the sun soon batters exposed paintwork and it blisters and blackens in no time. The quality of the paint is also questionable so for this makeover I decided to buy a good quality exterior paint such as Dulux or Nippon. The misses almost fainted when she saw the price of it compared to the local limewash but I reasoned that it would look better and last longer. This is a hard sell to a Thai. Now she worried on another score. She insisted that she had to personally supervise the painters to make sure they actually used the Dulux Weathershield. She warned me that if we left them alone to do the work they would take the Dulux back to the shop and refill the paint tins with cheap stuff pocketing the difference in price. Would you have thought of that one?

Thieving towrags……

Around our house we have a perimeter wall with nasty spikes atop to deter any would be intruders. The house itself is secure with window grills and a burglar alarm. We don’t live in a dodgy neighbourhood but you can’t be too careful, right?

Outside the front door is a cabinet where we keep our shoes. As we know, it is commonplace in Southeast Asia not to wear shoes in the house.

The other morning I heard my wife shrieking from outside the house. She had opened the shoe cabinet and every pair of shoes that we owned, mine and hers, were gone. Some tealeaf had scaled the wall and made off with the entire contents of our shoe cabinet.

We called the police and made a report for insurance purposes. Their advice, ‘get a dog’.

Now getting some replacement footwear for me and the wife was a top priority so off we went in a couple of pairs of borrowed flip-flops to Robinsons shoe department. We all know what women are like with shoes so I told the misses to choose a practical pair of shoes quickly and she could come back in her own time and fill her boots, so to speak. She agreed, so I sat down for a couple of hours while she went about making her snap decision.

I bought myself a sturdy looking pair of black brogues made by Clarkes, a good old British brand and handed over five thousand baht for them. I wore them to work the next day. Half way through the morning, the heel section on my brand new brogues just fell off. Well, actually it just disintegrated into a little pile of rubber ‘crumbs’.

I hope something good happens next week.

Union Hill

Stickman's thoughts:

Thank God, I thought it was only me who had weeks like this. I'm relieved. But seriously, what an awful week!