I'm back in Phoenix now, enjoying time with Dave and my family.�I'm trying to adjust to the new time and to seeing people�drive on the right side of the street.� I already miss some things about Thailand.�
I didn't get a chance to write anything last week during my mom's visit, so I'm going to be writing some more posts about Thailand.� I have a lot of pictures that I want to write about, starting with this picture. It was taken during my last week at�KKU.�This is my office door, but you'll notice that my name isn't�on it. When I first arrived,�everyone assured me that my nameplate was coming.�They said they had ordered it and were waiting for it to arrive.� It never arrived.� I suspect that they didn't want to spend the money on a nameplate if I was only going to be there for 1 year.� When I didn't renew my contract in October, they probably decided not to bother ordering a nameplate for me. If I had renewed my contract, my name would probably have been on the door.�
Most of the time, I didn't mind not having my name on the door.� I laughed about it a lot.� There were a few moments when it bothered me, though. Sometimes I felt unimportant. But I got over it.
I have a lot to write about my mom's trip to Thailand.� We had a great time!� I'll be posting pictures soon.
We're in Taipei right now; we left Bangkok this morning.� The airport was really crazy.� We arrived 3 hours early, and there were a TON of people there.� We had to wait in the check-in line for a long time and when we finally got to the front, there were no seats together for the 14-hour flight from Taipei to LA.� The check-in guy must have felt bad, because we were upgraded to Business class for the first leg of our trip!� It was FABULOUS!� Really fun.� I didn't let myself fall asleep because I wanted to enjoy every minute of it.� But now, sadly, we're about to spend 14 hours sitting in middle seats in the back of the plane.
Today is Thursday, which means I really only have 6 days left in Thailand, including today.� I think I should feel excited, but I mostly feel stressed.� I've been trying to finish everything up at school, pack, and spend time with people. I've been having a lot of fun with friends, but I'm getting tired because I stay up late every night packing.
In a few minutes, I'll get on a bus heading to Bangkok. The bus trip will take about 6 hours, so I'll arrive at about 8 pm.� I'll check into the hotel and then go to the airport to pick up my mom!� She'll arrive at 1:10 am, so it's going to be a very long night!
We'll spend a couple of days sightseeing in Bangkok.� I'll try to post some pictures on Sunday.
This afternoon Job, Golf, Fon, & I went to the lake downtown to ride the paddle boats!� It was really fun!� We got some fish food to feed the fish in the lake, but we didn't see any fish.
After our boating adventures, we ordered some noodles and som tam from a little shop near the lake.
Here's a picture of me drinking a bag of coke.� Sometimes when you order a coke you get it in a bag instead of a cup.� I don't know why.� It's kinda inconvenient because you can't put it down.
Today I got a cooking lesson!� I learned how to make som tam and pad Thai. This�is me and Mod shredding the green papaya for our som tam. Mod made a batch of som tam and then let me try.� My som tam wasn't very good.� It was sour and bitter. I'm gonna need some more practice!
I didn't actually make the pad Thai.� Doy's friend (he's the one in the background of this picture) started making it. Then his neighbor (the one cooking in this picture) saw what we were doing and decided to take over.� We were lucky that he did, actually!� He's a former chef and makes GREAT food.� He was very nice.� He asked what Thai foods I like most and offered to teach me how to cook all of them!� I'm not sure I have time for that, but I would love to get another cooking lesson!
Here's the finished product!� Only a little of the som tam in this picture was made by me. Oil, the chef, made another batch for us!
You can see more pictures of my cooking lesson here.
So I was right not to get too excited over the bars being closed last night. It turns out they were closed in honor of a Buddhist holiday. I'm disappointed.
Anyway, check out the first year students' TESOL shirts! Every year, the first year students get to design shirts and jackets for their programs. The TESOL jackets are�baby blue, and the T-shirts are pink!� The shirts aren't very manly because there are only a handful of boys in the class. Most of the girls are really into pink, and the color of the shirts was determined by a vote. So they have some nice looking pink TESOL shirts. I'm proud of the boys.� They've been such good sports about it!� All of them wore their shirts last week even though some of them were very unhappy about the color.
It is 11:21 pm on a Saturday.� You know what I hear?� Nothing.� For the first time since..when?..sometime in July?, my apartment is quiet and peaceful. The bars are closed.
The optimist in me wants to think this means that the bars closed for the summer since all of the students are gone. But I have a sneaking suspicion that the bars are closed in honor of some Buddhist holiday I don't know about. Now that I think of it, Mod mentioned something about Monday being a holiday…� But surely someone would have told me if we were having a 3 day holiday, right?� Unless it's some kind of religious observance that really only affects bars. Which is possible. When I was in Kanchunaburi for the start of Buddhist Lent all the bars were closed and everything else was open.� hmm..
Anyway, keep your fingers crossed.� It would be great to be able to go to bed at a decent hour during my last week and a half here!
This is durian. It's a fruit in Thailand that is famous for its bad smell. A few people have told me not to try durian. They say that once you try it, you have to have it again and again. My friends reasoned that since you can't get durian in the United States, it would be bad for me to get hooked on it. Not to worry, though.� I tried it tonight, and I'm pretty sure I can live the rest of my life without it.
I think durian is mai arroy (not delicious).� It's kind of slimy and soft and buttery. It's not sweet. The taste wasn't terrible, but the texture was. As for the smell, it's not that bad. I've been smelling it regularly for 9+ months without realizing it. It just smells like the streets of Thailand to me. Not that the busy streets of Thailand are particularly appetizing…
This is my good friend, Job.� Obviously, the picture was taken around Christmas. I have some more recent pictures, but I'm wearing my glasses in all of them and I don't like how I look in my glasses.
Job is my workout partner. We like to do aerobic dance together in the evenings and then go to the night market to eat and shop. It was on one of those visits to the night market that Job introduced me to the best dessert of all time, "roti".� I think I've written about roti in my blog before, so I won't go into it now.
Job is a girly girl. She loves shopping for earrings and playing matchmaker for Daniel. (I'm so lucky to have escaped all the matchmaking efforts!)
Job is�the kind of student teachers dream of. She always seems happy to be at school, she does excellent work all the time, and when I assign homework she acts like she's excited to do it. Her English is excellent, and she's already tutoring a lot of students.�I know she's going to be a fabulous English teacher.
Job has helped me so much in Thailand. She's the one I call when I need help at the bank or I need�to buy something that isn't sold at�7/11. She's been helping me from the start. When I first arrived, I got lost every night on the way home from school. I would ride around the neighborhood, sometimes for hours. Job (along with Khim and Kib) showed me the best way to get home.�Another big thing Job did was write out�a list of foods�sold at the restaurants around my apartment. All of the menus at these restaurants are written in Thai. I can't read Thai, and I didn't know the names of many Thai foods when I first arrived. Back then,�I only knew how to order two dishes: fried rice and red curry with chicken. I ate a lot of fried rice and red curry chicken!� Job wrote out the menus in the roman alphabet and wrote descriptions of each dish. Now I can order all kinds of things!
I have so many fun memories of Job. I'll miss meeting her for aerobics and hanging out with her at school. But more than anything, I'll miss talking and laughing with her.