A Shopping Spree

I have never done so much shopping in my life. With the end in sight at the townhouse, I decided I should start buying furniture. I had already done quite a bit of research these last few weeks so I had a fair idea of what I wanted to buy and how much it would cost. I checked out the big shopping malls of Central City, Seacon Square and Seri Center. These malls are extremely large and it is hard to believe that they are only 10 minutes away from each other. Actually, Seacon Square and Seri Center are next door to each other.

I used to go to Seacon Sqaure the most, mainly because of the book stores, the 14 screen cinema and the bowling alley. But the mall started to become so popular that it was difficult to find a parking space despite there being enough parking for 6000 cars. I then started going to the nearby Central City which also has about 14 screens but less crowds. It was easier to watch a movie there. Then I discovered that the 14 screens at Seri Center was just as comfortable and hardly any crowds. In addition, it has one and a half floors of computer shops. So, I go to that one quite often now.

Each of these shopping malls have one complete floor of furniture shops. I never really explored these floors before. So, it has been a new experience for me these past weeks. The prices in these shops vary quite a bit. It was really important that I did my homework in order to get value for money. Index and Koncept had some good furniture but it was quite expensive. Some of the smaller shops had just as good furniture at better prices.

I started the week at Seacon Sqaure. I needed some computer tables for the office. We debated about just getting some cheap computer tables to start with as we haven’t really set up the company yet. Gor is the only full-time employee at the moment. But we decided to look to the future and buy something a bit more up-market. I had my eye on a circular set of four computer tables that I had seen at Central City. But it was way too expensive. But, at Seacon Square I found a shop selling the same tables at 30% discount! At 27,000 it was still quite expensive, but I decided to go for it. It looked good and would last us a long time. I ordered the 4 computer tables and they arrived at the townhouse today. I’ll take some pictures for you later.

Next on the list was the bedroom furniture. There are three bedrooms in the house but I decided to buy for only two to start with. My studio apartment on the 4th floor and the room with a balcony on the 3rd floor for Gor and his wife. Most of the shops sold a bed, wardrobe and dressing table for about 30,000-35,000 baht. Sometimes more. On top of that you have to pay for your own mattress. We eventually found a shop that sold similar furniture but a lot cheaper. I didn’t really want to go for the cheapest but these were good. We debated for a while but decided to go for these bedroom sets that were going for about 17,000 baht. These actually came with a free mattress too. But, as they were too hard, we decided to pay 3000 baht extra for a spring mattress.

We asked for the bedroom furniture to be delivered on Sunday. Which is tomorrow. Next on my list was a sofa. Not really that important but it would be nice to have somewhere to sit while I was waiting for the furniture to arrive. Again, some of the sofas were really expensive. For example, 30,000-40,000 baht. Some weren’t even that comfortable. The cheapest sofas were probably about 6,000 baht. I didn’t really want to spend too much but comfort is really important to me. I eventually ended up with a three piece set for 12,000 baht. Very comfortable and it comes with a low table too. They will be delivering this on Sunday.

That was more than enough for one day. Two days later I was back out again. This time heading for Seri Center. I needed to buy a couple of computers for the office. Gor has his own computer, but I needed one and also one for Phong who does ethaimusic.com for us in the evenings. We have another part-time worker but he will probably continue working for us in the evenings at the school because he is a teacher. It will also save me buying another computer!

Brandname computers can be quite expensive in Thailand. However, it is a lot cheaper if you get the computers made to order. All you have to do is go to the one of many small shops and tell them what you want inside the computer. I got a Pentium 4, 2.4, with a RAM of 512 MB and 80 Gig hard disk, DVD drive and a 17 inch screen for about 22,000 baht. Not too bad, but two of them then cost 44,000 baht which has put a big dent in my budget.

On the way back home, I stopped off at a couple of furniture shops along Srinakarin Road. Many of these shops sell exactly the same furniture as Index and Koncept as well as a lot of other choices. What is more important is that the prices are a lot cheaper too. I had been looking for a long time for some book shelves for all the books we have for the online books store at thaihypermarket.com. Most were too small. I don’t think Thai people are keen readers. But this shop had a book shelf which was nearly 2 metres wide. We ordered two of these which were 1,800 baht each. I also bought some narrower ones for my own very large book collection. The final purchase was a big t.v. cabinet big enough for my large DVD collection. We paid and again asked for everything to be delivered on Sunday.

Yesterday we were back out again. This time visiting Home Pro in Seri Center. I needed a refrigerator, which we bought at 12,000 baht, a washing machine, which was 21,000 baht and a water filter which was an expensive 14,000 baht I think. I wasn’t too sure about that latter purchase as it was more than what I wanted to pay. But, for health reasons, I think it is important to have good clean water which is also cold on tap. All of these will be delivered next week on different days.

Today was the most expensive day of a very expensive week. Four of the rooms in the house will have air-conditioning. This is when I wish the house was in the UK where there is no need to make the rooms cool. But, I suppose, people back home have to spend a lot of money making their homes warm in the winter. The two small rooms only needed an air-conditioner that was about 17,000 baht each. But the two larger rooms need an air-conditioning unit that was nearly 30,000 baht each! Altogether, about 100,000 baht!

I think I am now starting to run out of money. I won’t buy the kitchen table and chairs for now as well as the chairs for the back yard and roof garden. Other furniture can also wait. Tomorrow will be a big day. I will start moving a lot of my stuff to the townhouse in the afternoon. I have already arranged for some friends to help out with the moving. Now it is time to get some sleep. Goodnight!

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