Item 1: A new video. I’d initially mentioned I’d do my house video in two installments: The Finding and The Fixing. Really, it will be three… but who knows when The Finishing will be ready. So if you missed the first, you can see it here and if you’re interested in 12 minutes of reconsidering, cleaning, shopping, and Cockroach Cricket (skip to 7:51 for that if it’s the only thing that caught your interest), watch it right here right now (or somewhere else… later… if that works better for you).
Item 2: A new phone.
After weeks and weeks of frustrated remarks on the part of my coworkers for my lack of accessibility (which made me wonder just why they needed me to be so accessible), I decided to celebrate my having received my first paycheck by splurging (read: spent $40) on a seriously bitchin’ fake Thai Blackberry. (You can’t see it in this photo, but right above the screen it says Maxberry III). So… basically I’m expecting it to have broken by this time next week (on account of its fake Thai Blackberry status, not as a result of my penchant for breaking technology). Oh, and should you care to drop me a line, my number is 66-895-861-569. It’s only 3 cents/minute to call Thai phones from Gmail! But do please remember we’re 11 hours ahead of Eastern Time. (When it’s 7 in the evening for you, it’s 6 in the morning here.)
Item 3: A bright, shiny, new Work Permit!
It only took three visits to Nakhon Si Thammarat (the capital of the province, an hour away) and a total of six hours sat in the Permit office yesterday to get it, but here it is. The first time I was without a blood test and from the looks of the penciled-in mark-up the official splattered across the documents, my paperwork had been assembled by a moderately intelligent ape. The second time, negative syphilis test in hand, paperwork allegedly corrected, I was denied on account of my diploma not being translated into Thai.
This past time, you can see, was successful. But despite the fact that I watched a number of people walk in, get their permit, and be out within the hour; for a reason that still hasn’t been properly explained to me (shocking, I know) they told me they’d need to review my materials for four days. I kind of made it clear that this wasn’t cool and didn’t make any sense, so the story changed to, “Oh, well we need to wait for the boss to get out of a meeting to sign a paper.” And that took around four hours (which, in retrospect, is only marginally better than four days).
And then, there it was. The permit I’d signed hours before, only now it had my lol-larious, Photoshop-award worthy (any Superficial readers out there?) photo pasted in it. Only, though I was sure I’d seen a stamp in another permit that I’d taken a peek at, there was no stamp. And homeboy was about to apply the plastic covering. I almost said something, then made the mistake of thinking, “Bite your tongue, it’s this guy’s job after all, I’m sure he knows what he’s doing.” Because he proceeded to prove that it was his first day, if not first hour on the job, by struggling royally to put the plastic overtop. He had the help of an equally incompetent woman, and only after it was applied (complete with creases and bubbles), a third official realized the stamp was missing. So the stamp was stamped, Official #3 (who’d clearly been there at least a week) expertly applied a second layer of plastic, and I was handed my permit that, if I’m being honest, now looks a bit fake. What with the smeared stamp and double plastic action. But at least I have one now?
In other news, I have the week off, and Wayne just informed me he has the rest of the week off. So we’re going to do some painting-of-the-house, and then head to Koh Lanta for probably two days, one night. We’ve heard great things, and you can get there by motorbike (and then a ferry)! Should be an adventure.