After nine hours driving what usually is a three hour trip and sitting for almost four hours in a car park I was definitely not thinking what I had originally been thinking. That original thinking was that it would be a good idea to keep the house build project rolling and moving along. The planned Monday trip to Nong Ki had been cancelled a while before, and brought my spirits down a notch. At the last minute - Thursday - I was given an opportunity to move it ahead on Friday, with a trip to the Land registry and a chat with the architect.
I cycled over to Boomers' house at midnight, loaded the car and hit the trails to Isaan. We thought we were being clever going a day and night before the festival traffic was supposed to exodus from Bangkok. We were wrong. The working trucks were still on the roads, and these mixed poorly with the holiday passenger buses and cars. The three lane highway up the side of the Lam Takhong reservoir up and onto the Khorat Plateau on Highway Two was crawling. Everyone held up to the frog speed of the rustiest and slowest vehicles lined up across all lanes. Land Registry arrival time ...9.15.
The official registry paperwork and endless photocopying costs will come in with a tab of 40,000THB, or so, for each rai transferred from one owner to another owner. Then there's stamp costs, survey the land costs, miscellaneous costs and tea money to incentivize the land people to come out and survey the land before they would normally start dreaming about it costs.
After all that and a quick sleep (hour on hour of Thai driving had given me jet lag mouth) I met with Prasit architect man and Chan builder man. We went through the plans, again, and ninety minutes later they were playing jeopardy about Chan staying as builder man. The silly sods were messing around on prices and fluffing out their bonkers reasons for messing around on prices. Do I remember that clip of a monkey trying to get a coconut out of a jam jar? Yup.
At the end of the Thai year though this is merely another hurdle for the housebuilding steeplechase.
I'm thinking that in two months yesterday will be in "hindsight world."
With perfect 20/20 I'll see that I got the engineering plans completed, and properly, by Prasit for 25,000THB and then I flicked him and Chan from the project. I'll have found someone else, with better hair and jeans without creases down the front.
I'm not bothered, but I am slightly irritated. I watched an edition of Wheeler dealers on the telly when I got back to Bangkok. The dealer man is in Japan. He's delighted that he offers a car to the Japanese they agree or disagree, but never attempt to haggle. Watching it after living in a tourist tee shirt stall country I thought how civilised and honourable that was.
Sod it. It's Songkran. I'll take a holiday from it. I'm back in Bangkers, three hours and fifteen minutes after the five o'clock set off time and just made a nice cup of breakfast tea.
Whizzing down Highway 24, 2, 1 and 9 I kept looking over to the other side of the road. There snaked one hundred kilometers plus of traffic. Thailand's longest car park. None of them seeming to be making much progress. Just like me and the house build.