Grocery shopping, driving on the scooter and beach time

We did yesterday our first grocery shopping. Our little room turned into a flat with kitchen using 2 hotplates to cook and improvising with a new dish washer in the bathroom. Now we can prepare our own meals and don’t have to eat out everyday. Not like we don’t like the street food. Or the restaurants in our area. They are amazing. The food tastes delicious. And everything is super cheap. It’s probably more expensive cooking at home than eating out. But sometimes you don’t wanna go out. You just want to come home, make a quick meal and relax. And we would like to eat a bit more healthy. So yes. More expensive.

We actually decided to drive to a big supermarket where we can get everything we need. But in front of the shopping Center was a big street market. And Dawie and me cannot walk past such a market. After passing the cheap Chinese shops we get to real deal. The food market. Yeah. What did we say. No more unhealthy food. But look at all this food! It looks amazing!

And look at this. Sushi! Look at the selection. What a variety. I definitely cannot eat here, because I won’t be able to choose. I’ll take all of them. And at a price of 5 Baht per piece I can afford them all. That’s converted about 15 cent or 2N$. PER piece!

This one underneath was a bit more expensive, but still cheap. But look at the amazing looking sashimi. And all the other pieces are without rice as well. Stuffed with salad, carrots and other vegetables next to the fish. Amazing creation.

But as we continue we get to the fresh vegetables and herbs. We decide that we can start our grocery shopping right here. With the vegetables. Please into my shopping bag. No I do not want plastic. It became my daily challenge. To use as little plastic as possible. In the meantime it’s mainly Dawie telling the person In front of me that we do not want plastic. He’s of course supporting me. But I’m telling you, I failed today.

As I said you have to be quick or everything disappeared in a mountain of plastic bags. I mean surely you can take it out again and repack it, give the plastic back, but then they throw it away anyway. However. I’m not giving up. But yes we bought 4 bretchens today and they got packed into 5 plastic bags. 4 pieces into 5 bags. Couldn’t believe it. And couldn’t react. Incredible. They were each in one small plastic and then got put all together in a big plastic bag to carry it. Not sure if these bretchens still taste the same. I will definitely taste my failure in this one.

But afterwards in the supermarket I pulled out my selection of reusable bags which I always have connected on my handbag and then I still have an extra backpack which folds down very small, but you can fit a lot of groceries in it. All of our groceries. Now we just have to fit it all onto the scooter. Each of us one backpack. Dawie grabs one of the bags and puts it in the small pocket underneath the seat. I’m not sure what in there. But he ignores it and just squeezes the bag in there. Hope there was nothing fragile in it. It would be worth a picture but none of us has a hand free to take a selfie. With all the groceries we had straight into evening traffic of Sriracha. That means it’s busy. Lots of traffic. But you should see Dawie driving through this. He learned a lot from the locals. Or just follows them through traffic. A traffic jam is not a traffic jam for scooters. They can squeeze through anywhere. Between the cars. In slow motion. That’s why I’m not allowed to move on the back. Any movement would throw him off balance with that speed. It’s like riding a bicycle. Try to keep the balance when driving 5kph. Very difficult. But when you drive faster it becomes easier. So I’m sitting on the back. Holding on with one hand. Holding the groceries in the other hand. Looking at the car next to me. Holding my breath because we are way to close to that car for my feelings. Maybe it will make us smaller if I hold my breath. As soon as we’re passed it I’m looking out for the next street sign. I do use Google maps on the phone for directions. The phone is in a case hanging around my neck. Remember I do not have a free hand. The lady from the GPS says turn left. I tell Dawie go straight. I’ve never been good in following directions from a device. I grew up with a map in my hand. We were going on holiday to Italy and my dad gave me the map. Or let’s say 3 maps. One for Germany, one for Austria and one for Italy. So that I can guide him the whole way. And he told me that they don’t know where to go. So it all depends on me. So yes I did learn to read maps. Even though of course my parents knew the way. But yes I learned to read maps, know how to get from A to B and wouldn’t get lost so easy. A few years later I was on the way to an adventure park with a friend of my dad and her daughter. I was maybe 15. We got stuck in a traffic jam on the high way. A big one. She asked me if I can read maps. Because she couldn’t. And was anyway the driver. I looked at the map and said yes we can take a detour. But we can’t get off the high way. She solved that problem easy. Just drove on the side, over a not existing road on the field and then I could guide us. Made me proud. That time at least…

But I can’t follow instructions from a voice on a phone telling me in the weirdest moments to turn around or do whatsoever. That’s why I ignore the GPS and tell Dawie the shortest and best way to get home. He definitely can’t look out for directions. He has to focus 100 percent on traffic. And the road. Pot holes. Or some cars turning off ignoring you on a scooter. We got this under control by now. Almost at least. Sometimes we shout at each other. Because it’s loud. Because we’re driving fast. Because I told him to turn right without prewarning and he has to go four lines to the right within 50 meters. But yes. I’m not perfect. But definitely better than the GPS. That one would lead us over the bridge which is closed. Wouldn’t work. And by the way I wasn’t allowed to move my head because I would have thrown him off balance. So I couldn’t see the turn off earlier. However. We get home. Aircon on. Groceries in the fridge. And relax. Tomorrow is our off day. Our Monday is your Friday. Mondays are happy days here at the dropzone. Because on Tuesday the company is closed.

Tuesday morning. Sleeping in. Means waking up at 7:30am. Instead of 6:30. I guess the body gets used to it. First long trip with the scooter. Head down to Pattaya. I have to go the immigration office. Dawie would like to see a movie. So let’s start the day early. Backpack on. Helmet and face mask on. GPS direction on the phone on. Turn right. Go left please. We looked at the map before and choose a route. The GPS will guide us on the highway, but we’re not allowed to on the highway. And therefore I have to read signs. Stay left. Pattaya is written out on a blue board. Follow the green boards. Green board means ordinary road. Still 4 lanes though. I’m trying to read the signs in a different language while driving 80kph and getting through a cloud of black exhaust from the truck ahead of us. Not so easy. Definitely do not breath. Not even through the mask. Horrible these exhaust smells.

After a quick stop at the immigration office we have time to relax and a chilled walk on the beach.

The water is warm. Dawie says that is because of the pollution. He’s probably right. A lot of trash gets washed into the ocean in a big city like this. Even though there are signs hanging everywhere „zero waste beach“ you can see trash lying everywhere.

But I still enjoy walking on the beach. In the water. In the sand. I love the ocean. It’s relaxing. Even here.

There are lots of umbrellas all along the beach. Locals advertising their area to you. And of course even here right on the beach they have free WiFi!

Next stop will be the shopping mall Central Festival Pattaya Beach. But I’m not following the GPS. Again. Found a view point on the map to the mall. We have to drive past it.

It seems to be a richer area of town. A lot of fancy hotels. Trees. Flowers. And an amazing view over the bay.

We see a lot of action happening in the Bay. Water sports. Looks like fun.

The horizon doesn’t look that great though. Dawie asks me if I think it will rain. Don’t know. I’m not used to these weather patterns yet. The one moment you don’t see a single cloud on the sky and the sun is burning you and 5 minutes later it seems like someone opened the channel and millions of tons of water are falling from the sky combined with massive thunder and lightning. So yes we have rain jackets with us. If they will help when the rain gets us while on the scooter. I doubt it. But anyway everything dries the minute the rain stops.

Shortly after we continue the drive to the mall. Without getting wet. After a relaxing back and shoulder massage and a freezing 3 hours in the cinema it’s time to go home. But not without saying goodbye to the ocean.

It turned out to be a beautiful day with clouds on the sky but without rain showers or frightening thunder and lightening.

We were smart enough this morning to remember where we put our scooter. Which level. Exact location. You’ve never seen something like that. I don’t mean a car park in general. It’s a car park just for scooters. At least 3 levels. Space for millions of scooters. As we find out now. Now when it’s full. And we still do recognize our scooter right away. Behind a line of scooters, which were not there this morning. That’s stupid. Dawie mentions. But I point at a guy. His job is to remove the scooter in your way so that you can get to yours. They are helpful and friendly. That helps definitely.

What a day. Time to go bed now…

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