I had for some days planned to go to Mae Rim on some business (including changing money out of dollars and into baht), but had been delayed for various reasons until this morning. And for a while today I was concerned that the rain would keep me from going, because I was unwilling to be soaked as I waited out in the open for the sung-tow to Mae Rim. As it happened, my trip to Mae Rim this morning was delayed still further by several students, two of whom were on the cleaning crew and who wanted inspections to see if they were done cleaning—they weren’t, and another of whom had asked me to go home on Mother’s Day (more on that tomorrow) but who had forgotten to write a note—I let her write her note and then leave.
As it happened, it was fortunate in a way that my trip was delayed, because as it was I got the opportunity, by chance on both ways, to chat with a neighbor of ours who is an Australian expatriate and a very friendly fellow. We both had business at the bank, so we had the opportunity to chat a good bit. He (like me) seems to be a voracious eater—and he says he’s read every English book in Chiang Mai (though that doesn’t seem to be too difficult a challenge, given the apparent general lack of inclination among Thais to read. One can find manga books very easily, but finding more substantial literature is a difficult challenge here, especially in English. I have been told there are some excellent second hand bookstores in Chiang Mai, but I have not had the chance to visit them yet.
It was my luck at the bank today to get a teller who was, while very friendly and polite, a bit incompetent. The Mae Rim branch of the bank is only a small local branch, and for whatever reason they do not keep small denominations of dollars. I had been looking to have some money changed into smaller bills so I could take care of a couple of bills, but the fact that I was unable to do that meant that my planned trip to the post office was postponed because I had nothing to send—yet. The bank teller constantly had to ask questions about how to change the money, kept on asking me for more information (like my address and cell phone number), and then had to come out after me because she had (mistakenly) given me two slips for my receipt instead of one. She was friendly, but hopefully she learns how to do her job a little better before I come back again.
Despite the fact that it was pointless to go to the post office (at least because I did not know that I had a postcard waiting for me from my Belorussian pen pal), I did get some grocery shopping done, which was good. It was a bit disconcerting that Topps was out of wheat bread again, so I had to backtrack to visit the Tesco Lotus. Topps has lower prices and is a bit nicer of a store, but if they are out of bread they are going to lose a fair amount of business because that is one of the main reasons I go grocery shopping, because rice just isn’t all that filling and satisfying for me. I need bread—so I buy wheat bread to make toast and then put butter on it, which hits the spot especially for breakfast.
So, despite the delays, it was a pleasant trip to Mae Rim this morning. And, best of all, I got to snack on some fried chicken (which always hits the spot as well) and come back just in time for lunch, which is just the way I like it.