Friday, October 18, 2013

Breaking Bad Chairs & New Food

I am still on break; haven't taught school in a month. A week to go in Autumn Vacation. The budget won't allow for another trip out of town, and I've spent much these last four weeks either lying on the couch watching TV series on DVD or sitting at the desk on the computer. Ho hum.

Alas, gravity has gotten the best of me. Or, I should say, because of the long term sitting around, I have gotten the best of my computer chair. After six months of use, the metal chair that came with my furnished rental gave out. Nothing makes you feel fat more that the collapse of what you put your butt on.

The back up is this little plastic stool. First off, the plastic legs already feel wobbly, and although I plan on buying a proper computer desk chair come payday, I seriously doubt that this little guy will survive until November 1st. Furthermore, the doctor told me that when I'm sitting, I should lean back in my chair as much as possible to take pressure off my inflamed disc. As you can see, the stool offers little in the way of back support.

Coming back from the dermatologist today (my brokeness has a lot to due with my recent medical expenses), I stopped in at the 'Tesco' superstore in search of a temporary solution. Aha! They had plastic resin chairs on sale for Bt139 ($4.25)! I wasn't sure that these chairs were rated to handle my 100 kilograms. I saw two things on the front of the chair: one put my mind at ease, and the other did not.
First was Tesco's guarantee, written in English, saying that they'd be happy to refund or replace any item they sell that doesn't meet their customer's high standards of quality. Okay, money back guarantee. If it didn't make it the two weeks until payday, I could get another. The other is written in Thai, which I don't understand, except for the numbers which are the 'regular' Arabic numerals (the traditional Thai language does have its own symbols for the numbers, and how the western numbers were adopted when the alphabet was not is a good question).

I don't know what this says. Surely, they can't mean the chair is only rated to 60 kilograms. That's only 132 pounds! Now, I'd guess that probably more than half the adult population of Thailand each weigh less 60 kg, but it's not much of a chair if it can only handle that much weight, now is it?

Within minutes of lugging it home on the bus (my motorcycle is in the shop right now; more troubles), the back legs got wobbly. Well, better to put it though its paces at the start than weeks of feeling like I'm sitting on pins and needles. I leaned back in the chair, putting all my weight on its back legs.


Back to the stool.

I've lost weight since I've got here. I really have! Time to lose some more.

I need to branch out in what I eat. See, even with all these new choices available to me here in this incredible culinary culture, I rarely eat new things. If I don't know what it is nor what it tastes like, I'm reluctant to buy it. Consequently, I eat mostly noodles or chicken and rice. I have resolved to use these last two weeks of October to expand my diet horizons. Every day, I vow to try to something new, something I've not eaten before.

I started with tonight's take out! That thing on the left there, I was pretty confident that was a fish, and since it wasn't covered in scary red (meaning spicy) sauce, I thought it's be okay. That stuff on the right, it looked like cabbage to me. Again, the absence of the ubiquitous red pepper flakes in its sauce made me confident I would like it. Nothing more unpalatable than a dish so spicy you can barely get it down. I like to enjoy my food, not struggle through it.

There was some good news today. After three days in the shop, I got my motorcycle back. It had a broken chain, and apparently my model of Honda is so obscure that it's hard to find parts for. I've never seen another Honda Smile on the road here, so I don't doubt that.

The cost to repair a broken chain? The same as the cost of my wonderful rice, fish & cabbage (yeah, it was cabbage-like) feast tonight. 50 Baht ($1.67).

Yeah, I may be broke right now, but Thailand is easy to get by in while being broke.

Tomorrow, it's back to Tesco to get another chair and try something new to eat once again.

I may not yet be ready for coagulated fermented pig's blood stew, deep fried cockroaches or pork uterus, but it will be something different.


  1. Okay I was doing fine until I read the last sentence. I can handle the fish and cabbage-like stuff. Glad you were able to get your bike fixed so cheaply. Hope you find a chair that works.

  2. The first chair looked substantial. Good motivation to drop more weight. We have some of thoes resin chairs outside, they are flimsy.

    Does your bike suffer from your weight?


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