Chennai Journal
Sunday, March 12, 2006
This past week I was in Bangkok for business meetings. Good news is that we have decided to meet twice a year, so next time I hope Marty will be able to join me. Bangkok is a great city with lots to do, tons of restaurants (serving meat (: ) and other stuff. I hadn't thought much about traveling to Thailand while in India, but after having been to Bangkok again (I first visited two and half years ago) it is now a lot higher on my places to spend some time.

We arrived on Sunday afternoon and promptly headed for the weekend market, which is packed with clothes, crafts, fake Rolexes and DVDs, housewares, and jewelry. I didn't take pictures because frankly, the layout doesn't differ much from either Kuala Lumpur or Jaipur, the other markets we've been to recently. Bargaining is the order of the day, and the more you buy the better the prices.

After we were done shopping, we tried to get a cab back to our hotel at the other end of town. It took us about a half dozen cab drivers to find one that knew the hotel, and who spoke sufficient English. One other evening I took a cab and ran into the same problem. I've concluded that you probably need to learn some Thai if you are going to spend much time there. In four days, I learned a few numbers and directions and more would probably have helped.

Bangkok is famous for tailors, and with good reason. Although tailors are inexpensive in India as well, they are not as skilled (in general) at making Western style clothes such as suits and dresses (even though many of the tailors in Bangkok are of Indian origin). I had two suits and an emerald colored evening dress made for under $500 US--more than I remember paying in Hong Kong several years ago--but still very reasonable. The place we went, Nickermann's, was very good---it is in the basement of the Landmark Hotel---and I want to give them a plug here, because they really went over and above to deliver the clothes to me in a short time and the finish and fabric quality are excellent.

Living in South India I wasn't overly worried about the food being too spicy for me. Surprise. One night we ate in the hotel and I ordered a salad made with glass noodles (so named because they are transparent). It was listed in the menu as having one chili so I thought that was about right. Whew! Was it hot! They were very nice and took it back and cooled it down a bit, but even then my mouth was on fire. I guess I'm more of a wimp when it comes to spicy food than I thought, or just used to a different variety of chili pepper. Anyway, with the food that hot you can't eat very much of it, so it's no wonder the Thais are a very slim bunch, especially the women.

Thank you your blog is helpful and funny. I am hoping you might answer or try to answer a question or two. My family {3 children my husband and I,+ 3 kitties}are thinking about the leep to India. Cost of living? I have done some research online but it is hard to figure , safe areas etc.

I also looked at Monster and what, not. I'm curious to know if one is better off to transfer with a company to India or be hired to go to India.? Meaning does one keep current stateside pay when they are moved? I saw a position notice in Chennai for Ford,Do you think they would they pay Sates pay or Channai pay? Any Ideas? Thank you again
P.S please excuse the poor typing and typos I have 3 yr twins.
Well, you are better being an expat because usually you remain on your home country's pay structure. But if you are not affiliated with a company already, any jobs you see would be at local rates, unless you have high technical skills (like a DBA, for example).
That's one thing I've noticed about foreigners who live in Chennai: Bangkok suddenly becomes everyone's favorite city on earth.
I also enjoyed KL and Singapore, but Thailand just has something special that's hard to put into words. Bangkok is one of the most heavily bid assignments in the Foreign Service.
Thailand is the worst place for just about anything. The less said about it, the better. One of my friends describes the place as a "S**t Hole." Sorry for the wordings. :-)
I found your blog whilst searching for Nickermann's entries. But I got hooked on your pictures and great travel writing. Hope you don't mind - I've put up a link on my site to your blog. Keep it up.
Thanks! Once I figure out how to do links I'll do likewise!
Greetings from Chennai
I stumbled on to you blog when I was searching for the Boat Club and Madras Club.
Though I was born in Chennai, left chennai 18 years ago, travelled around, back packing, hitch hiking, doing organic farming, yerba mate etc, got back to chennai since I want my son to study in KFI and same worked out.

Spending my time teaching Tai Chi at Fitness One..
Wonderful information I got from your site. Jewish Cemetry, where is that?
very informative...
keep in touch

blog name: krswathi
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