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This is how it all starts...

Jet lag, street shopping & the new J-O-B

overcast 30 °C

February 28th, 2009 – 3:08 am

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Wow, my sleep patterns are truly cracked out. Aaaah, the joys of jet lag…

Here’s the primer people…I think most of you should know by now but I accepted a communications gig with an international development organization and have moved to Bangkok, Thailand. It was a total whirlwind getting out of Calgary and Regina but mad love to everyone who helped me and showered me with love and support as I dashed out the door (you know who you are you fantabulous folks!)

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I promised everyone I would stay in touch and a blog seems like the best way to do it. I can’t promise coherent narration. Or the lack of sentence fragments. But I can promise that you’ll hear the real deal of my experiences over here as I adjust to life in one of the craziest cities on the planet.

Disclaimer: Family and friends with delicate sensibilities, please take note…this blog will undoubtedly get salty at points. There will probably be swearing. If you’re not up for this no worries, let me know if you’d like to be removed from the blog update list and I can send out a sufficiently sanitized and Disney-ed up version every few months ;)

Praying for sleep now…

March 1, 2009 - 12:43 pm

So my organization has put me up for the short-term in a long-term hotel. It’s great and I am very comfortable here. But there are a few things that make me laff…

My favourite thing about this suite is that I have a phone mounted to the wall on one side of the toilet and an ashtray mounted on the other. Hypothetically speaking I could yak on the phone and puff away like a house on fire whilst taking a sh*t. Not that I would ever do such a thing of course but the mere fact that I could brings a smile to my face.

I’m presently doing battle with a cockroach of impressive size who is far faster than both me and my shoe (please note, roaches just come with the territory in the tropics, doesn’t matter how nice a place you’re in, the humidity breeds them). I’m losing.

The taxi tout who is perennially parked outside my hotel has taken a noticeable shine to me. Already on my second day here he is “dying for love of me”. Oh my. I think I made the mistake of walking past him in my Lululemon pants on the way to the hotel gym. Yargh.

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There are no bikes here. The humble bicycle is a popular and efficient mode of transport pretty much all over Asia. But not here. How come? Is it the kamikaze traffic and raging pollution?

Oh my, it’s started already. I have an insatiable urge to binge shop on Hello Kitty crap. I had to hold myself back from buying HK hair barrettes on the street today. I don’t wear barrettes. I haven’t since about the 5th grade. And certainly not hot pink sparkly ones with Kitty’s marshmallow moon face plastered all over them. The urge persists nonetheless.
My first day at the new job tomorrow! Eeeeek! I hope it’s like home and they give you a few days to settle in…

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March 2nd, 2009 – 6:31 pm

So today was my first day at the office and wow – I sure got an introduction! After running the round of desks to shake hands and say hi and try to commit everyone’s name to memory, we all marched into a staff meeting and were promptly informed that we needed to slash our overall budget for the next fiscal year by 20%. I have no idea what my communications budget is but apparently I need to cut a fifth off of it. Rather somber intro to the org…but everyone seemed really friendly!

And somewhat incongruously, this was followed by a whirlwind tour of apartments. Rather spendy apartments in Sukhumvit, one of Bangkok’s trendiest neighbourhoods. My real estate agent pulled up in an over A/C’d sedan whose interior boasted lots of leather and varnished wood and came complete with a chauffeur-hatted driver. Uh, yeah. The suites she showed me were HUGE and nice but in this really hard to describe kinda 80s opulence meets I-have-a-sinking-feeling-that-is-illegally-sourced-teak kinda way…hmmmm. She quite seriously asked me if I would be having a live-in maid or whether I would just get someone in a few days a week…because if it was the former I really should only consider a suite that had a separate entrance to the maid’s quarters. I nearly choked. I tried to explain that I really, really didn’t need four bedrooms and perhaps we could look for something smaller and perhaps a bit more, um, modern? Stay tuned.

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I have become obsessed with sun-dried beef dipped in sweet chili sauce.

I made my first friend today. She’s Thai, young, sarcastic and whip smart. She works with me (well, actually I’m her boss. Gulp. I’ve never been anyone’s boss before). She introduced me to her favourite juice/smoothie street vendor. Fruit and veggies piled high and blenders always on the go. 3 minutes and about $1.25 later and it was now my favourite street juice cart.

Posted by DenaAllen 19:05 Archived in Thailand

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Comments

Dena! I hope you're doing well in Bangkok. Reading your posts is bringing back fond memories of being there with you many moons ago:) Sounds like everything is going swell. Thinking of you, sista...

linds

by elledog

LOVE IT! Can't wait for more! Mad props to Ronnie Mc.

XOXOXOXO Jyly

by Jyl

Thanks for the fantabulous read first thing this Monday morning! So proud and excited to see what else is in store for you!!

Mad luv ~Xx amanda

by amandasa

Dena,
Oh, this is fun ... brings back memories...cockroaches and all. If you are looking for a great Italian place to eat try Giorgio's in the Sheraton? (if memory serves me).

Your cultural commentary coupled with your heightened awareness and sensitivities (RRU learnings)should prove to be interesting ethnography. Informed, participatory worldview is extremely valuable to help promote the notion that "we're all in this together".

Remember the six week point is when you will feel the most like packing up and coming home ... work through it (hehe).
Wilda

by FairmontBC

laugh out loud funny...particularly the part about your bed's appendages--to have the luxury of excretion, vommit and a relaxing smoke all rolled up into one perfect, poignant moment--only in mad Bangkok. Luckily, Dena vision is there, and we get to see this mad world through your technicolour eyes and crisp, witty words. Still laughing....dx

by ruddickd

This is so super awesome. It makes it far easier for me to fulfill my plan of living vicariously through you. Extra points for being exceptionally entertaining (although I would expect nothing less from you ;)

ENJOY your adventures! I will stay tuned...

xoxo
Gen

by Gen_Ennis

Dena, so glad to see you've started a Blog. I've bookmarked it and will be checking often for updates!
It already sounds like you've adapted nicely. Ooh, attacking a cockroach with a shoe - couldn't you just phone the help desk???

by Tansi

FB-Love the toilet report. If only you could place a Japanese equipped bowl in your hotel room, then you could warm yr butt, douce, listen to music, smoke, chat, air dry, douce again, light up another smoke, chat some more, you get the message... fun stuff! Anxiously await next posting.

by khansen

Love it, love it! Keep the stories coming. I can't wait to visit...

Hope you are loving the adventure.

mel

by mlove

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