Daily Phuket #63: 01 August 2021 – Ten Years @ Thanaporn

I really want to get this new month of August off to a good start and that means attempting to relaunch my daily series of photos. On this particular day, however, the monsoon continues to hammer the island with constant heavy squalls and I am trapped inside once again. I would much rather spend my weekends walking around the Old Town or even further afield but at least the rains present a valid argument for staying home. It is safer, if not exactly exciting.

I do believe this may be the least exciting image I have shared in a “Daily Phuket” post but it does have a bit of significance. This is the receipt for my rent and utilities this month. What makes this piece of handwritten paper notable is that it marks ten years of living in the same apartment. I have never stayed in one place for such a long time, even when I was a child.

I have a number of reasons for staying put. Apart from my extreme laziness, that is. First of all, Thanaporn Guesthouse #2 is in a very quiet neighborhood just a few minutes’ walk from the center of Old Town. It’s also an easy walk to numerous schools contracted to our agency. When I was essentially a fill-in teacher, the location made it easy to travel throughout Phuket Town. The family that owns the building are quite kind. I have a great view (although the tree that shaded my apartment during the brutally hot afternoons is but a distant memory).

Lastly, how about that rent? My total rent, water, and electricity payment for July was 3,740 Thai baht. That’s exactly 100 baht more than last month due probably to my new computer and burning the midnight oil last weekend recording videos for school. In U.S. dollars, that comes to $113.07! I believe the exchange rate ten years ago made it around $75. Granted, it’s a studio apartment and I don’t have air-conditioning (the fans work well enough during MOST months) but it is still a steal. Even if I wanted to move, it would be impossible to find something similar for anything less than 5000 baht base rent.

While some parts of the room are quite cluttered with stacks of old school books and papers, the area in which I spend most of my time — the computer desk and micro-kitchen — are quite organized and comfortable. It’s home and will remain as such, I imagine, for probably another few years at least. As bad as the situation is in Thailand at the moment (“only” 18,027 new cases today, down from 18,918 on Saturday), once I am inside I feel more or less safe and secure. Even happy on the good days. And today has been a good one, despite the rain.

Please excuse me for the boring image. I will try to do better tomorrow.

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