A ceiling leak in tropical Thailand; a worn and broken condo

August 22, 2016

So, I went to tropical Thailand. Wow, what a place. We all know about the girls and pleasure massages, but it’s also a country with potholes in the road, mind-boggling traffic jams, and worn and broken condos — with ceiling leaks.

Plumbing in Thailand.

Plumbing in Thailand, a bathroom.
My beautiful bathroom with a gaping ceiling hole 🙂 WTF, right?!

I had to MacGyver my own containers to catch excess water from the floor up. On a bad day it’d be like half a gallon. The water wasn’t swamp-like, polluted and filled with feces, but I doubt it was drinkable. The local mosquitoes loved it though. It must’ve been like one big fest / tropical pool party for them.

The thing is that I’d signed a contract and couldn’t move out. At least not without losing my deposit, which was a few hundred bucks. Maybe I was also a bit “lazy.” I’ve moved around a lot in my lifetime and sometimes you just want to stay put.

Sure, there was a “chief plumber” who was more than willing to help out. My foreign landlord had sent him over. “Take it easy,” the plumber would say in Thai every time he was around doing his thing. He’d show up after lunch, toothpick in hand, and go at it — again.

I sort of liked him. He was the kind of guy you’d want to be friends with and invite for your kid’s birthday party. He was like the uncle Harry who always kept everyone entertained around the fireplace.

It was just that it kept “raining” in my bathroom. The leak remained a leak and slowly it started to get to me. Weeks had passed.

Plumbing pipes. Broken condo.
Several MacGyverized containers next to the electrical wiring.

I asked the landlord every other day basically for a progress report and he always knew how to bring it in the gentlest way. “No no, AJ, it’s really going to be over soon. Tomorrow I’ll bring in another guy and everything will be redone, the entire floor. Tomorrow is going to be different.”

But tomorrow wasn’t any different. The same jolly good fellow showed up again and the days turned into weeks.

Plumbing pipes in Thailand.
So many pipes, so many leaks.

Maybe I should’ve asked for a reduction on my rent, but I didn’t. Just thought it wasn’t worth getting worked up about. I was in the land of smiles after all where everyone seemed to be polite and happy, like all the time. What’s more, I was working on my first novel, (in full water gear), and just wanted to get it done.

It seems they rent out these 10,000 Baht ($300) a month condos till everything is worn and broken. In my unit surely everything was pretty much substandard: air conditioner, fridge, and pillows — to name a few. I get that it’s a business and you get what you pay for. But personally … I do like it dry. Next time, (in case I want to write the sequel), I’ll splurge for a penthouse … LOL.

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