It was one fine morning. After few hours of sleep, I finally got through my first night in Bangkok in peace. Though the flight arrived Bangkok past midnight the night before, I was glad that the room arranged for me was a nice one (clean and white). At least I could save some energy to just put all my luggages aside before unpacking them tomorrow.
This would be my first day working as an ‘expat’, or that I prefer to call “an overseas worker”. Yes, the kind of life I dreamed of since I watched Sex and The City eleven years ago. Ever since, I’d been wanting to work a ‘proper’ job overseas. It wasn’t like I didn’t appreciate people’s choice to go abroad and try working at the restaurant or Starbucks. For my wild dream that time, I just thought of working in an office once I finished university, holding a cup of Starbucks on my way to the office every morning, stepped into the elevator where everyone dressed up nicely, and walked into the office in confidence as Ally McBeal’s moment where the Barry White song was played. So, it had to start from working in the office.
Now, here I was. Starting that life, today. The day I would remember. The day that started my new life all the way through to this day.
The room I got was in a 7 floors building. It wasn’t an apartment. People here called it “residence”. In Indonesia, it’s like a premium boarding house (kos-kosan) you could find in Kuningan area 5 times more expensive than normal room. My room was on the second floor, just few rooms after the elevator. This, I’d planned to to just take the stair rather than the elevator.
I woke up early that day. Dressed up as how I usually was in Jakarta; in long pants, shirt, flats, and my tote bag. Only this time, I chose to walk. My friend has told me before that the office was only 1.3 km away from my place, so it was under my walking distance. And this should be fine to just take a walk.
8.45am, I stepped out from the house, greet the security by bowing my back a bit. I wish I could say “good morning” in Thai, but too bad I couldn’t. So, I just smiled. He smiled back at me. “He looked nice,” I thought, which turned out right, even after my last day in this house.
The environment around my building was also nice. There was one old apartment next to my building, a small cafe, and 2 (turns out to be a famous) Japanese dining restaurants. Trees were planted along the way. It took about 200 meters to reach the front side of the small alley. Next to my alley, there was a Starbucks (where I ended up buying 1 cup of coffee only for my whole staying in that house, 6 months), and Big C – a big supermarket chain in Thailand (that became my first and only stop everytime I worked late from the office).
I kept on walking. Perhaps it’s because that was a Monday morning, so the traffic was quite jam. Motorbike, car, taxi (or “ojek” in Jakarta), were all over the street. Even it was only 1+ km distance, I’ve met 3-4 traffic lights along the street. There were also 3 Seven Eleven shops and many small restaurants on the left and right side of the street. This was indeed a crowded area (again, my friend has told me this).
A first thing I noticed that made this city was different than Jakarta, are people were driving with less tense. No horn, no people shouting, only the motorbike who tried to rule the world but cutting the line left and right anytime they want – this one made them the same as Jakarta or other cities in our country. The traffic looks… fine.
After 15 minutes walk, here I was. Arrived at my office located in one tall building, with over 30-ish floors.
I smiled again. I was so ready to start my first day in Bangkok. Living my dream from real, as an overseas worker.
19 March 2018
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