Sunday, 28 September 2008

Rain On

The rain continues to come down. I was going to play football today. The regular ex-pat game is going again in Patong after the latest tournament finished. My usual injury problems are currently clear. Unfortunately, it has poured down all day so I gave it a miss. The school holidays have started now so at least it is easy for me to get to the weekday games. My legs only really hold up to one or two games a week so I will wait until Tuesday.

There is no sign of the rat. I think it must have slipped out somehow. Pon thinks it might have died inside the cooker but I think we would be able to smell it by now. I still feel like replacing the cooker - it is very old and two of the hobs don't work anyway.

Ben has been suffering with a runny nose for two or three months. We have taken him to Phuket International Hospital a few times to check it out. At first, they thought it was sinusitus and gave him antibiotics. After that didn't work, they sent him to the ear, nose and throat doctor. He reckons Ben has developed some sort of allergy. The only way to be sure is to give him allergy tests which apparently are quite painful. For the moment he is on a nasal spray to quieten it down. I wonder if he might be allergic to the rat -- I blame everything on the rat.

We had a great meal at a new restaurant yesterday. There is a guy called Jamie Monk who runs a good blog about all things Phuket, outside of the main tourist places. He covers a lot of the sort of places I like, so I sometimes find myself following his recommendations. So we headed to the Pak Naam Seafood restaurant, just north of Phuket Town. It was a fabulous meal of really good Thai food, friendly service and nice setting. I wish more tourists could see these sort of places as they are so much better than the restaurants they will experience in the tourist resorts.

We had a great meal for four (plus two kids), we were all stuffed and the bill came in at 1,000 baht. To get to the restaurant, drive north out of Phuket Town on Thepkrasattri Road and turn right at the traffic lights just after Mission Hospital. The restaurant is about 3km up this road on the left hand side.

The football season is now in full flow and Spurs continue to prop up the league. At least Hull made my weekend by beating Arsenal. It is a bit sad when your main source of sporting satisfaction is seeing your rivals lose but that is what I am reduced to. It is a bit like being Scottish. Anyway, time to settle down and watch Spurs struggle at Portsmouth.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

A Rat in the Kitchen

It has been a quiet couple of weeks. It is the height of the rainy season and it is difficult to get out and do anything. The rain has been coming down pretty hard and regular. September and October are the two months of the year where you know it is going to be a bit miserable and you just have to get through them with plenty of indoor activities. I take the kids to the play areas in Big C or Tesco or we go and see a movie. It is a bit limiting but it is only a couple of months.

Ben made a big breakthrough on his bike yesterday. We took his stabilisers off. It took a few minutes with me running along beside him as he wobbled along but he soon got the hang of it. He is delighted with himself and wants to do more this evening.

Gil has been back in Phuket so we have had a few drinking sessions and a night in Patong. It was the first time I have been in Patong for quite a while. There are actually a McDonalds and Starbucks in Bangla Road now, which weren’t there last time I went.

In the meantime, I think we have a rat in the house. I have seen a couple outside and around the house next door which is only semi-occupied. There had been a few indications that something was inside. A corner of our sofa was gnawed, a bin bag shredded and the rice bucket opened.

Then there was scrabbling in our roof. Every morning we were woken by scrabbling across the ceiling above our heads. I hate rats so I couldn’t have them running around above my head. I bought some of those glue rat-traps. I was going to put them above the ceiling. I stuck my head up through the little trap door into our roof and I could hear scrabbling all around me. I hated it. I was about to lay the traps when I saw the culprits. It wasn’t rats at all. We had a mother cat and her family of kittens in the roof. I was so pleased it wasn’t rats that I was happy to leave them there.

Then Pon saw a rat in the kitchen. It darted into the back of our cooker. No matter how much we shook the cooker, it refused to come out. We have circled the cooker with glue traps for the last week but we still haven’t caught anything. Pon swears she still hears noises in the cooker sometimes so it is still inside. Can rats actually stay inside that long? I don’ know. I think I might just buy a new cooker and throw the old one away.