Squash + Markets!

August 27, 2008

Played my first game of squash today! It was SO much fun ☺ An excellent change of pace because up until this point, I’ve been playing racquetball (by myself), on the squash court in our apartment complex. A bit awkward, to say the least. The Norwegian grad student I played with also lives in the Rattanakosin apt complex, and is new at squash, so we make up the rules as we go along.

After squash, myself and 3 other guys went to the Chatuchak weekend market..MADNESS!! The weekend market is huge—there must be thousands of booths/stores set up and thousands of people milling about. Needless to say, I lost the boys within about 15 minutes of being there (what was I thinking, going with boys?? For some odd reason, they didn’t want to look at dresses…)

Chatuchak weekend market

My first dress shop was spent “trying on” dresses, which means putting the dress over my clothes and crouching down to this small mirror to attempt to see how it looks. Oh, and stopping every 2 minutes to get the sweat out of my eyes. None of the dresses fit, so I find another shop with a shirt and a dress I like;  so begins the bargaining. I set the price at 160 baht for both shirts and she misinterprets me, thinking I am saying 160 baht for each. So, she begins the price at 360 baht, to which I laugh and say nono, 160 baht, to which she laughs and says nono, 180 baht and 150 baht= 330 baht. We argue for a few more seconds, and then she brings her friend over. I say something lower than 330 baht and he says “No, no, cannot do”. We repeat this process about 5 more times and exasperated, I finally say, “No, I am leaving”, fully expecting them to chase after me. They don’t. Negotiation Fail.

Next,I am on the lookout for the ever comfy and breezy (aka great for this weather) fisherman pants. I find a store with fisherman pants and right away a Thai woman comes over and asks 180 baht for them. I immediately drop the price to 150, and she says no, and I say oh okay, that’s fine, I’ll walk around and come back later. She then drops the price to 170, and we repeat the process two more times until the price is at 150. Then, I drop it again to 140 and she says “ooh, you say 150 though”, and I start to walk away. Then, she chases after me and we settle at 140. Now, that’s the way it should be. Negotiation Success. By the way, all this price bargaining is over about $1-2 USD. However, with bigger things, you can bargain down quite a bit of money. One of my friends saw this elephant figurine, which the seller first offered 2500 Baht for it. My friend  talked it down to 1300 baht, but that was all the money he had. He wouldn’t have been able to eat dinner or get a cab home, but he would’ve had a sick elephant statue to take home!

After the market, Filipa, Sophie, Sofia, Lindsey and I go to MBK to watch Mama Mia at the cinema. Too bad Mama Mia wasn’t out in Thailand yet (although I saw the pirated copy at the market!); Sofia and I watched Wall-E, and the others saw Made of Honor. Wall-E was cute, but I was really distracted because I was supposed to skype my mom and dad, and I completely forgot. My dad kept calling me during the movie and I continuously told Sofia to turn off her damn phone….turns out is was my phone. Oops…. I felt really awful about the situation, especially because my mom woke up early and went all the way to my dad’s to talk to me…but it wont happen again because she is getting a computer soon, yay!! Go Mom!

August 25

Signed up for Muay Thai (Thai kickboxing) today!  Muay Thai is taught at school in this old school, rusty little gym, with no A/C. Mai ben rai….it has fans (that are also old and rusty) and is taught by this cute Thai man (who is also old and rusty). Despite all the old and rustiness, Muay Thai is a GREAT workout! I sweat so much (did I mention there was no A/C and its about 1,000° outside?), and am exhausted after the instructor kicks my butt for an hour. I mostly enjoy the Muay Thai experience because I would never do something like this at home.

August 26

 Had my first finance quiz today. I think it went well, since there were no problems with actual numbers in it… Thank god. So much for my love of calculus and numbers….once words get mixed in with numbers, its not okay. Did Muay Thai again, and then went to my very first Intro Marketing class afterwards (with only a Mexican shower after Muay Thai….if you saw the unisex—yes, unisex—shower the university has, you would understand why I chose to take a Mexican shower. The shower is really just a hose coming out of a hole in the wall, and the door is basically a piece of wood that closes about ¾ of the way. Um, no thanks, even I have standards).

Later that night, myself and a few guys head down to Suan Lum Night Bazaar to hit up some cheap DVDs. I got 4 seasons of my fav tv. shows on DVD, and 2 movies for 1100 baht= about $35 dollars… love it! After that, we walked around lost for a couple hours, settling at a beer garden to have a few drinks and watch a Thai band butcher some English songs. I actually thought they were speaking Thai until my friend said they were singing to a song from Grease…wow, I had no idea.

August 27

Monica Jamaluddin, my friend from UT who is visiting her family in Bangladesh, comes in today! So excited to see a familiar face. We are heading to Phuket and then Phi Phi island tomorrow after Finance…long post after our long weekend!

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