Daily Phuket #38: 12 April 2021 – View from the Balcony

I have been holed-up at home for most of the past three days, the start of what is supposed to be a five-week break between school years. At this point, the scheduled 17 May start of SY2021-22 is up in the air as nobody is certain how the current outbreaks of the virus will play out. There were more than 900 new infections today which was the biggest one-day tally since the first case more than 14 months ago. There are still under 100 deaths for the entire Kingdom (just barely) and Phuket has had three in all. At this point, one can come and go from the island without any restrictions (the new governor vows to keep us “open”) while most wish they would prevent such travel.

As for myself, I have just been puttering around the house since returning home from work Friday afternoon. I was happy to receive my latest acquisition — a collection of German stamps, about 75 percent complete from 1872 to 1982 housed in a pair of very nice binders. I spent much of Saturday cataloguing the stamps within volume 1 and also spent some time working on my worldwide stamp collection. I also did a fair amount of reading during the evenings and also watched a few travel vlogs on YouTube. Have I mentioned that I am planning a trip for May 2023? It will be a real doozy but I am not quite ready to announce the details (I really would like to get vaccinated before proceeding to the next stage of pre-trip planning). The only times I left my home Saturday and Sunday were to go to the market for food and beverages. Mostly the latter as it is how I cope with the heatwave.

Today, I forced myself to the mall as I wanted to pick up my Thai tax refund check from my agency’s office. I was quite surprised to find the office closed — the signs on the door said they would be closed only 13-15 April but I guess they wanted an extra day of New Year holiday. That isn’t so bad — my postal carrier takes nearly three weeks off every year so last Friday was the last delivery for the month. While I was disappointed, I took the opportunity to visit the postal kiosk to finally mail off my U.S. Federal tax documents (yes, American citizens still must file taxes — we are one of only two nations worldwide that require its expats to declare their foreign-earned income). I filled out the documents several weeks ago and they had been rattling around in my backpack ever since. I had to convince the postal clerk that the address was good enough (the I.R.S. doesn’t have a street address, just a nine-digit ZIP code) and that there was “no value” to the contents. The postage was 255 baht and it felt good to finally send it on its way.

It wasn’t until I was nearly home from the bus stop that I realized I hadn’t taken a single photograph since Friday afternoon so I took a quick shot of the street near my home. That wasn’t photogenic at all so I took another picture from the balcony of my fourth-floor apartment once I arrived. That wasn’t much better…..

Tomorrow, I will try to get out and go somewhere interesting. I would like to go to one of our West Coast beaches but that involved a lot of waiting for local buses and an hour ride each direction which pretty much takes care of most of the day when all is said and done. Perhaps I’ll do a local walkabout and save the beach for another time. I am still trying to find out the location of a recently opened taqueria after a series of Facebook queries turned up nothing (the owner couldn’t even tell me the name of the street or a nearby landmark, only that it’s somewhere in Phuket Town!). That is my first and most important goal for my holiday — finding this restaurant…

Here’s the picture of my neighborhood, and a couple of photos of my new stamp albums (still in plastic). I hope tomorrow’s photos are much more interesting….

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