Archive | April, 2011

The Latest Bathroom Trends – Thai Style

26 Apr

In many auction properties I come across I find a rainbow selection of bathroom suites – all of which “need” to be replaced with a contemporary white suite to suit today’s modern tastes.  Lines are clean, and patterns or bold colours are kept to a minimum – if at all.  Neutral and white are king.

So imagine my surprise when I came across this bathroom shop in Thailand which is selling the latest fashion in bathroom suites – coloured suites!

Yes we have in brown – a nice, dark, chocolate brown shade toilet – just imagine the matching bath and sink that would go with it…

And we have in pale pink:

And as it’s a bathroom showroom – we have the pale pink toilet “in situ” so you can see how it may look against the patterned tiles which accentuate and highlight the pastel pink hues of the cistern

And we have a pale yellow toilet – again if we see “in situ” how this shade may look against yellow tiles you can really see how this may look in your home:

The sink selection is equally stunning – from pale pink, mushroom beige, chocolate brown to navy blue:

How bathroom trends differ across the globe!

Now I’m starting to think about exporting those coloured suites I’ve been ripping out from the UK properties – I could do a roaring trade out East!

Today I ended up in a Bangkok Brothel

20 Apr

After my initiation into Bangcock beer I decided that I was starting to feel more adventurous…Yes I was getting into the swing of things!

So having heard so much about Thai massage I decided I should sample one! Okay so we’ve been here now – ooooh all of 5 hours. Call it jetlag, call it heatstroke – I was feeling brave (and this is after the sex-ploits of Anna\’s Bar!)

OK so I knew about the massage parlours and decided I wanted a massage that didn’t have a “happy ending”. So I decided to seek out a “proper” Thai massage – yes we’re talking just a massage.

And so I see a place which looks clean and very conservative.  The girls are all wearing smart pink uniforms and in a word I would say it looks “corporate” – which to my mind means safe!  There are a mix of both women and men in chairs who are having foot massages. I reckon it looks kosha – and so we go in. We order a foot massage, sit back and relax…

Then the guy next to me starts whispering in his masseuse’s ear..I start to wonder if he’s asking about the possibility of a “happy ending” and smirk to myself…Then suddenly he turns to me:

“Are you Russian?” he asks me in a perfectly cut English accent

I am rather taken aback – being far too short and dark haired to be mistaken for a Russian – I laugh out loud – “No” I retort “I am English!”

He looks rather embarrassed – and apologises profusely…but continues talking as my feet and legs get oiler and increasingly pummelled.

His name is Tony, he is an ex-pat who left England 9 years ago and has lived in Bangkok ever since. He’s a former antiques dealer who now teaches English. Tony seems pretty settled and living the ex-pat dream – married to a Thai girl, working one day per week and living in a great city with a fantastic lifestyle that few could afford.

I introduce him to the better half (being oiled up next to me) and Tony invites us to go to a few bars with him so that we can see the local sights. Given we have only just arrived and are getting our bearings and he has lived here for years, it seems a great opportunity to see some more of the city. So we leave the massage place and Tony flags down a taxi…at this point Dimitris and I exchange nervous glances *thinking* “what have we let ourselves in for!!”

A few seconds later – and just 300 metres further than from where Tony flagged the taxi down it stops. We get out. I’m rather confused. That has got to be the shortest taxi ride on record. The meter hasn’t even moved!

So we are now outside a bar called “Naughty Girls”. “Really?” – I say to myself.  Yes – really – we’re going into “Naughty Girls”. Now the name of the bar may sound raunchy – but it doesn’t really look much. It’s a long narrow bar with a few bar stools out front and pictures of the king. And the girls – well apart from the hotpants (which appear to be all the rage in Bangkok) don’t look that naughty – they look pretty normal if you ask me!

So as we sit drinking a beer, Tony talks about the importance of the King to Thai society and the importance of prostitution to the local economy. He talks frankly about all the bar girls being hookers.  Now I’m not a hooker expert – but I have to say they don’t look particularly “hooker-ish”

Tony then finishes his drink in super lightening speed and proclaims we are to visit his “favourite” bar.  Well after “Naughty Girls” I am wondering what will follow next…so we walk a few bars down to a rather bedraggled, boring bar which seems to have been tacked onto the end of a street.  It has a small bar, with some bar stools which are occupied by some ex-pat women, and a mix of Thai men and women.

We order some drinks and a Thai lady aged about 50, who looks like a good Thai home-maker, married with 3 kids brings the drinks over and sits down. Richard introduces the lady to us as Ying. I smile and shake her hand and say how nice it is to meet her. “And Ying”, he says proudly “is a hooker”.  “She’s my hooker”  and with that he grabs her round the waist and starts nuzzling into her neck…Hmm, this is one Bangkok sight I didn’t intend to see – we make our excuses and leave!

Finally, at our hotel I am scavenging through the mini-bar for a late night snack and I burst out laughing to find the following: no potato crisps for me – but I can have mixed fruit condoms!!

The Bangkok Bar With A Difference

19 Apr

Well as you may have guessed from the title I am currently in foreign shores – although you could be forgiven for thinking I may be using a euphemism!

So we have been in Bangkok about 2 hours. It’s hot, it’s humid and it’s frenetic with activity.  It’s also Songkran, which means water festival- and it is the Thai New Year.  You cannot walk down the street without getting water pelted at you from giant bazooka water guns, water pistols, water poured over you from buckets and bowls and any other water holding recepticle! And to make matters more fun – and to show that you have been “got” they also cover you in flour. The flour is applied in the loveliest of ways – they hold your head and gently “paint” you with flour stripes on your face!

So we were soaked through and we decided to stop at a street bar to immerse ourselves fully in the action. However, calling it a bar is probably being a bit generous – it was a piece of wood with a few bottles of beer in an ice bucket, a wireless radio blaring out Tina Turner and 3 plastic tables and some chairs.

Within moments we had realised that we had stopped at a rather “different” bar – It was called “Anna’s Bar” and Anna was rather, shall we say “different”. To look at she was a chubby, “homely looking” Thai lady.  In her late 30s, with a broad smile, a raucous laugh and dressed in tight denim hot pants and a loose blue V necked top.  We ordered 2 beers and took a seat at a spare table. Within moments Anna brings the beer over…and just a few seconds later returns. This time she pulls her top down, grabs her ample boobs from her top and protrudes her nipples proclaiming “you want some?… ”

Well I am not sure where to look – such an offering at a local street bar was not quite what I had expected. She looks me in the eye and repeats her question – this time more meaningfully while poking her nipple at me and gesturing wildly “You WANT some!” It was more a statement than a question. I smile and politely decline. She looks at me miffed. She cannot fathom why I have turned her ample bosom down.  She walks off laughing.

Then she returns just a few moments later with something she is hiding behind her back. She quickly whips out a toy which she winds and places on the table next to our beer. It is a tiny copulating toy…and she laughs madly!

“YOU WANT SOME!! She declares and smiles passionately

Again I return her smile and decline – to which she grabs her crotch and writhes on her hand…and I still smile and decline.

Hmm my first beer in Bangcock….


What To Expect At A Property Auction Viewing

13 Apr

Nowadays property auctions have become a more mainstream and acceptable way of purchasing property.  Gone are the days when it used to be more “secretive” and more “underground”. The days when Russians, Jews and successful business men used to hand over suitcases stuffed full of money to pay for their latest acquisition have gone.  The rules of money laundering and identity fraud put an end to that.  Property auctions have lost their seedier, “trade only”, mason like approach and are now open to all and any.

Property auction viewings are no different. There was a time when you would be a “particular” type of person who attended property auction viewings. You could always tell the type –  there were two: developers and builders. One had a fancy sportscar and dapper clothes, the other had a battered van and equally battered clothes.

But times have changed – property at auction now attracts a wide cross section of people – from first time buyers, to retirees looking for an investment income, to the avid buy to let investor, and of course the ubiquitous builders and developers.  Properties at auction almost always have block viewings, which can put many people off.   There seems to be a jostling, competitive atmosphere – and this is before we’ve even got into the auction room!  And it’s funny to hear some of the tricks that people play – like saying rather loudly “I think it’s got dry rot” to pointing out tiny cracks to try and put people off. I would reminisce and tell you about the olden days when people at auction used to helpful and it was a friendlier, more cliquey bunch…but truth is it’s still who wants the property most and who will pay the most!

Up until now I’ve always shown you inside the property. But today, I’m going to dispel the mystique of attending a property that’s going up for auction.  Here you can see how you have to queue along with a bunch of other people to take a look inside the property:

And this is a what a typical street will look like on a property auction viewing appointment – see the variety of cars…but note the Aston Martin, Range Rover and builders vans….always the way 🙂

Who Do You Call In An Emergency?

6 Apr


Today started as a normal day at the agency – we had tenants moving out…and we had tenants lined up ready to move in. Or so we thought.

So we’ve been waiting for the tenant who is due to move out to call us back. We needed confirmation of his moving time so we could organise the end of tenancy check out, ensure the property is up to scratch and get everything ready for the next tenant coming in.  So we’ve been calling him, texting him and emailing him for over a week to try and get this scheduled. Given the quick turnaround times we operate on, we have to ensure everything is ready for the incoming tenant.

So today was the day when the tenant was meant to be moving out…and still no word.  Until we get a call from a nurse at the local mental health hospital.

“Hello, is that Gorgeous Homes, I am calling to let you know we have one of your tenants as a patient in here.  Unfortunately, he has been sectioned under the mental health act and will not be able to move his belongings.  He has been detained here and we do not have a date for his release” the nurse says.

“Oh” came the stunned reply – there are many reasons I have come across for a tenant not leaving a property, but this is the first time I have had to deal with a tenant who has been sectioned and who’s flat we have already let and who’s new tenants are supposed to be moving into within 24 hours…

We had to work quickly to ensure the tenants who were due to move in had somewhere to stay for the time being – after that, we had to work out who was our tenant’s legal guardian – did they know what had happened?

Fortunately, on our application form we always take details of who to contact in the event of an emergency.  To many tenants when they complete this information,  it may seem like just another box to complete. However, this information is vital – if something ever happens or happened to your tenant –  who would you call? Emergencies, by their very nature, are unplanned. The best you can do is try and plan for if that emergency ever happens.  Get that emergency contact today.