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Archive for August, 2007

Our wonderful mae baan has been cooking us tasty dinners three days a week for the last two weeks. What a treat to come home and have a delicious Thai meal waiting for us on the stove! And since my day starts at 5:45 in the morning, I’m usually ready for dinner at around 4:30 pm…

Sweet, sour and spicy mango

Yesterday one of the tasty Thai treats Khun Duang Lam left for us was green mango with sugar, salt, chili dip. Delicious! Like Sour Patch Kids – only real fruit! Try some prik kab kleua at your house – all you need is a green (sour) mango, and some salt and suger mixed with crushed chili for dipping.  I promise you’ll love it!

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My brain is full

Have you ever gone through those times where you’re just experiencing and learning so much you don’t have room for anything else? There has been so much going on at my new school that by the time I come home I basically just pass out on the couch and then veg out for the rest of the evening (which, as you know, is not very long at all, since I now have to go to bed around sundown (7pm) in order to wake up in time for school the next morning). I can’t even get my own thoughts straight in my head because I seem to have so much swimming around in there… And then there’s the rare occasion when I have a brief swell in energy levels and decide to venture out around the city. Thus begins the fantastical world where superkimbo believes she can communicate accurately in Thai after no Thai lessons whatsoever…

Yesterday Alex and I decided to go see the 5pm showing of the Bourne Ultimatum (at around 4:50pm), so we scampered (not really, it was more like trudging, but I like the image of us scampering better) out to the taxi stand behind our house and flagged down a motorcycle taxi (the driver of whom would, for a mere 20 Baht, drive slightly farther down the street and return with a full-fledged taxi to transport our lazy behinds to our chosen destination).

In my modest attempt to communicate in a thorough and less novice-like way (I’m no foreigner, I live here!), I stated our intended destination and (and this is the important part) the street name where the cinema is located. We started to drive a little ways and then the driver pulled over, turned around and insisted that there was no Major Hollywood Cinema on Chaeng Wattana road. We tried to discuss it for a few minutes in our limited Thai and then gave up and instead asked him to drive to a different destination on the same road as the cinema.

Throughout the four minute drive our driver kept insisting that there is no cinema where we said it is (and that’s how we learned the word no in Thai). Then, as we expected, up it looms in the distance. Only it wasn’t actually on Chaeng Wattana, it was on the corner of Chang Wattana and Pakkret. Technically speaking, it was actually on Pakkret, but you could obviously see how we would think it was on Chang Wattana, being a cross street and all. But now I know. There is no Major Hollywood Cinema on Chaeng Wattana road. Next time less chit chat, more driving.

And that’s why we stayed home today…

Image: http://content.answers.com/main/content/wp/
en-commons/thumb/2/20/300px-Scooters_Bangkok_Nana.jpg

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It’s been a rough week for superkimbo….

On Tuesday morning, at the wee hour of 5:45 am (which my body continues to resist each and every day) I attempted to climb into the tub to take a shower. Sadly, I misjudged the hight of the tub wall and slammed my toes into the terribly unforgiving porcelain. Assuming it was just a bad stubbing incident I took my shower and waited for the pain to go away.

And then I leaned forward to turn off the water, putting all of my weight on the foot that I had stubbed (a smooth move, if I do say so myself). And that’s when I realized: my stubbing of the toes had gone horribly wrong. I have broken a toe before, but I guess I just forgot how much it hurt. This was like some sort of stabbing, searing pain from my toe all the way up my leg. I almost fell down, it was that painful. It’s quite astonishing really, such a small toe causing so much pain.

Of course my loving husband came over at the sound of my howl of pain to reassure me that I could never have broken my own toe stepping into my own shower, a daily act that has never before resulted in physical injury. And thus, I hobbled my way down to school, tears prickling in my eyes, so I could go see the nurse (secretly I love working in a school so I can go see the nurse whenever I want).

She took one look at the swelling and the redness (and of course the pathetic look on my face) and declared my toe broken. So, I’ve spent the last week with my toe wrapped tightly against it’s healthy neighbor, limping around school like someone with a real injury. When people ask me what happened I pause, frantically trying to think of something better than “I broke my own toe getting in the shower,” but nothing ever seems to come to mind. And, so my reputation as a klutz extraordinaire begins.

Unfortunately this was also the week that we had Back to School Night, which entails me standing in the library for four extra hours in the evening, and our “Hello” Assembly, during which all of the new teachers were tricked into making complete idiots out of themselves on stage in front of students, teachers and, of course, parents.

Sadly, my toe is not feeling much better today, so I think I’m going to have to go to the actual clinic tomorrow. You already know how I feel about doctors, so I’m not happy about this development. Not one bit.

Image 1: http://www.global-b2b-network.com/direct/dbimage/50157692/Bath_Tub.jpg
Image 2: http://www.moonpost.com/jeremy/archives/brokentoe.jpg

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To be honest, it doesn’t take much to make me happy. Last night we went out with a group of teachers to a beautiful Thai restaurant called River Tree, right on the Chao Praya river:

River Tree Restaurant

We sat out on the patio over the river, enjoying our cocktails and then a fantastic Thai meal, while the setting sun turned the sky a stunning shade of pink.

Sunset

Just being by the water, enjoy an excellent meal with new friends, was more than enough to make me quite happy.

What makes you happy?

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The Parking Lot

Living here in southeast Asia for the last two years has taught me to relax, smile, and just go with the flow no matter what horrendously annoying and frustrating thing is bothering you, but there is one thing that is going to drive me absolutely bonkers about living in Bangkok:

This is what it’s like whenever you try to get anywhere here. Midnight on a Wednesday, one in the afternoon on a Monday.

All. The. Time.

And I don’t even live downtown! I’m out in the suburbs of Nonthaburi!

My teaching partner and I went on a school-related errand today to a Tesco-Lotus about 5 miles away from the school. Our errand took about 10 minutes. We left the school at 1:30 and returned at 2:30. You can do the math.

I suppose I am a bit spoiled. I grew up in a rural area, then I moved to Germany (the birthplace of efficient traffic systems), and KL is too small of a city to really work up some serious traffic like here in Bangkok. I guess I’m just going to have to work on my calm and placid acceptance of all things frustrating when I get in the car from now on…

Image: http://www.break-fresh-ground.com/photos/161/121/1/1638.jpg

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Yesterday a group of new teachers headed out to the Thai Army Nursery about 5 minutes away from Nichada. They had a huge selection of beautiful plants and, of course, they deliver right to your living room. After about an hour of perusing the wide variety of plants, we had picked out quite a nice selection for ourselves. A few hours later, they were delivered and in place in our house. Now the house finally looks nice enough to share some pictures (full set here)!

Here is our living room:

Living Room

dining room (from the living room):

Dining Room

little kitchen:

Kitchen

upstairs balcony:

Balcony

view of upstairs from the balcony:

Upstairs

view of our pool from the balcony:

Pool & Clubhouse

steps up to entry door, and down to the bedrooms (our first apartment with stairs!):

Two Floors

guest bedroom (still a work in progress) with second balcony:

Guest Room (a work in progress)

main bedroom (also a work in progress):

Main Bedroom

When we finally receive our shipment in September it will start looking a little more like home. Right now all we have are our suitcases and the small welcome kit that we were given upon arrival. In the meantime, we’re planning a weekend trip up to Chang Mai for some furniture shopping and I’ve scheduled an appointment to view a handmade teak futon for our second bedroom in early September. Slowly, but surely, our new condo will look better and better!

Anyone have any design or decorating ideas?

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Temple of Dawn

Two is the number of weeks since we moved to Thailand – and we love it! Two also happens to be the number of times we’ve been downtown since we arrived (sad, I know, but we’ve been really busy). Ironically, two is also the number of times we had been to Thailand before we moved here. I had two interviews to get this job and two years is the minimum duration of my current teaching contract. We have two sets of friends that are planning to come visit us this year. And of course, there are two of us living in this two bedroom condo with two bathrooms and two balconies.

For those of you that are curious, sawng means “two” in Thai, dua is “two” in Bahasa, zwei is “two” in German, and due is “two” in Italian (in case you couldn’t tell, I’m in the “counting” stage of learning Thai. Why is it that whenever you learn a new foriegn language all the other languages you’ve learned in the past seem to be so fresh in your memory?)

What kinds of twos have you been noticing lately?

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