Sunday 2 December 2007

Thai time and faloxing around...

I have grey hair. I'm surprised it hasn't gone snowy white in the last few days, but close enough. I found numerous grey hairs sticking out and proud in my fringe this morning! I'm getting the impression that building a house, or bungalow in my case, is not an easy task to accomplish (to make a grand scale understatement). Thais and farang (foreigners) think oh so mo so differently about how to achieve a successful outcome. In the past I've worked with many wonderful Thais and found them to be enthusiastic with a lot of ideas. It's the efficient streamline tactics that don't go so well. I am a multi-tasker (am woman hear me roar) which means to kill 5 birds with the one stone and I kind of have issues when I can SEE the outcome within an easy 2 step reach but must wait an eternity 500 steps turning corners and butting heads to get to the very same outcome.

Example: I have spent many an hour drawing up 3d bungalow plans on the computer to show the builder exactly what I had in mind. I said from the outset that I am only too happy to change things to make it easier and cheaper. Builder number 1 came back 2 days after looking at the plans and said "I can't do it". Half cement half wood = too difficult. I said "no probs, what do you suggest?". He said "all concrete, 100,000 baht". I ran off screaming in hysterics at the crazy man in my lounge room, pulling my hair out due to the thought of living with my MIL til I die.

Builder number 2 (gambleholic uncle) barely glanced at my professional looking plans before drawing up his own set that doubled the size of it, added 2 more rooms and a barely visable balcony! I'm trying to breathe while explaining the cost/budget factor and the fact it's a BUNGALOW, not a house. This was met with childlike laughter and "no problem, no problem!" Very typical Thai expression!

Although this dude is a retired architect and his isometric plans were visually very impressive, they left me a bit confused. I need a floor plan damn it, not fancy lines and arrows! So, when I finally convinced him to draw a floor plan, he couldn't explain how the person in bedroom 1 would go to the toilet without going through bedroom 2. His plan ended up having 5 doors... in a bungalow! and I was getting complaints that my one room, one door plans were too complex...puh-lease! After a couple of hours of meeting resistance from everyone regarding shrinking his plan and all of us walking over the property and me making subtle suggestions, I finally succeeded in using my plan (although he thinks it was his plan..hehe) but extending one side by a metre and adding an extra balcony down the side! It's unbelievable that about 6 hours were wasted when all he had to do was extend my plan out by a metre!

Thai time is a very famous phenomenon for anyone living in Thailand and this is a fine example. Everything in it's own time! It can be a blessing and a curse, but it's the way of life here and you'd think I'd be used to it by now! I just thought of something I can add to my resume: The Art of Subtle Mind Manipulation...oh wait, I'm a woman, completely unnecessary adage ;-p

3 commentaramas:

Jenny Beattie said...

Oh, it just goes to prove that it's men the world over: *sigh*

Anonymous said...

Oh no! We have a potential bungalow disaster too. Chose a speccy location for a weekend shack. No neighbours within earshot and views of the water feature (dam). Visions of cocktail sipping and swanning around in minimal clothing... HA HA oh I was an innocent in this game! MILTB (MIL to be) is now lobbying for house smack bang next to hers and right on the lovely red dust road. Time to get out the voodoo doll? 99 percent of the time I really like the woman. So maybe just one pin!

Mel said...

JJ - It IS men then, not a specifically Thai thing!!

ghs(?) - haha soo typical! My doll looks like an overstuffed pin cushion. I'm guaranteeing that you won't be quite so fond of her in a years time!!