I started a new job in August, I absolutely love it - but I'm in a dilemma.
We live in the suburbs in a three-bedroom house in a quiet village but packed with lots of busy restaurants, bars and places to go. The house is detached with a garden full of fruit trees that backs on to a rice field. The most noise you will ever hear comes from the birds or the occasional over-zealous gardener.
The daily commute into central Bangkok is over an hour and that means leaving at 6:10am. Five or ten minutes later and it's game over, I won't see work much before 7:45am. So we trek in, witnessing some interesting driving techniques as we go.
If I can leave before 4pm then the journey home is less than 40 minutes but if I'm late because of school business then it could take up to three hours. We have to drive because there is no BTS out this way and taking a taxi to the nearest airport link means by the time you've done that, you may as well of driven the extra 5ks anyway.
So we looked at some condos. Actually we looked at a lot. With agents, without agents. This search began in July 2014. We knew we would have to up the budget but that's ok because you get what you pay for, right? Um, nope. I have become the Bangkok real estate version of Goldilocks.
Everything I have seen, is too old, too damp, too small, too cramped, too expensive.
One place that was described as 'two bedrooms' didn't even have a window in the second bedroom (and I thought London's rental market was bad!) The list goes on and when we did finally find somewhere we could potentially call home, the apartment owner casually dropped in the water bill was fixed, shockingly at 1000B per month and that wasn't all, the electricity price was three times the government rate. Even considering it caused alarm - what if he decided to increase the rate mid way through contract? There would be no recourse. So the search came to an abrupt end.
There are other factors such as having a three year old who finds the travelling time and long day at school hard going, mid week, we often find ourselves asking why we are putting ourselves through this everyday when we can just move. But moving to something much smaller and higher in rent doesn't appeal especially at the weekend or in a school holiday.
Bangkok strikes again. There is never a happy medium is there? It is always from one extreme to another. What do we sacrifice? A beautiful, affordable home for some extra sleep and less travel time? I'm just not sure how to square this circle.