sawadii pii mai

thailand is in the middle of their songkran celebration – which is the thai new year – and party animals that we are we had to get into the middle of it. so we loaded up the family in the car and headed for the moat. actually, we headed out to find parking and then made our way to the moat. now, we had been warned that it was a bit of a moist celebration, but we weren’t exactly prepared for the soaking we got.

we left the rear windows to the car open intentionally so the kids could get a sample of the party.

our first taste of the trouble to come.

a11 recieved a shampoo – no joke. they wet, applied shampoo, lathered and rinsed. we were very glad they didn’t give a hair cut, too.

when we finally made it to the moat, here’s what we saw. and the real water fight began.

the first thing we did was hop in one of these little jobs – it’s a tuk-tuk, with the top taken off.

and it was decked out with it’s own barrel of water and a few smaller buckets so we could throw it on those in the beds of trucks, other tuk-tuks, and people just standing on the sidewalk. the only problem with this scenario is that there was so much water being thrown in at us we could barely manage to throw any water out. i think farangs – (a)in a topless tuk-tuk (b)that is not moving at all – are really sitting targets. and one other important thing about this water – it was ice water, freezing cold ice water.

after an hour in the tuk-tuk we were ready to head home. but we still had about an hour to walk to get back to the car.

as we were walking we were able to get some good pics of the water fight on the other side of the moat.

those folks aren’t fishing, they are gathering water to hurl on to the people in the trucks, tuk-tuks, and riding on motorbikes.

as we were making our way around the moat, bh and the kids found the energy to conquer the walls of the old city.

our camera’s both took a beating during this outing. we tried to protect them in plastic bags, but still they got a little damp. so, the pictures end here. and niether of us captured the stupidest thing i’ve done since arriving in thailand.

bh and the kids had gone to get drinks and i was waiting on the sidewalk when a truck pulled over. and out climbed some lovely young people with a container of red water – it looked more like red koolaid – and they wanted me to take a drink. having read somewhere something about it being rude not to added to the fact that i just really, really want to be liked, my knee jerk reaction was okay, sure, give me some of that. it took me no time at all to notice that my only option was to drink from the straws that were in the container. it took a very small sip for me to realize this was a tad bit whole heck of a lot stronger than red water or even koolaid. and they were absolutely tickled that i partook of what was probably some roofie laden cocktail.

and thus ended our first songkran. fun was had by all and we are all completely exhausted.

s8 has declared it the second best holiday ever. coming in right after his birthday.

you can read bh’s songkran story here (the last pic he has is my absolute favorite, it’s s8 enjoying all the fun!) and a11’s take on songkran here.


normal, that’s us

it’s official. the counselor’s declared us and all that we are going through as normal. i know, i’m just as surprised by that as you. actually, i’m not, i knew it. everyone keeps telling us that this is all normal, everybody who moves across the world goes through it. but yesterday, finally, someone said to me – that while this is normal – it still sucks. and that’s really what i needed to hear. deep down i have no doubt that we will make it through this transition. but every once in a while i do have those niggling little thoughts that scream, “what in the world were you thinking!?! you are a crazy woman and nothing is ever going to be alright again!!” niggling little thoughts can be quite loud. but yesterday we decided to embrace the normal. we went to eat lunch at normal ol’ kentucky fried chicken, then we went plant shopping where the boys did what boys are normally wont to do and complained that they had to be there. but we did get home with these

and once we were home a11 pointed out in her very normal way that if i was intending to pot these plants we had no pots and if i was intending to plant them in the ground we had nothing to dig with. (but i really have a much more sinister plan. since my mom is coming in may and she has an excellent shade of kelly green thumb and i have a not at all green thumb i’m hoping she won’t be too put out if she gets to take the lead on help with some landscaping. and that looking at the tropical plants that are so easy to come by here will get her very excited about the prospect of traveling half way around the world to garden. mom, don’t worry we will do so much more. gardening is just an if we get time kind of a thing. oh, and i will get those plants potted before you get here, i’ve purchased a green permanent marker to color my thumb with so the plants will feel more confident in me.) where was i, oh yeah, normal. (don’t all normal people have sinister gardening plans?) anyway, once home we went swimming at the very normal swimming pool in our neighborhood. and then i worked very hard at convincing the kids that cereal would be great for dinner since it was 900 degrees outside and that was way to hot to be cooking over a hot flame.  i finally convinced them when i told them, “all the normal kids are doin’ it.”

haiku friday – culture shock

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

are we adjusting
is ev-e-ry-thing normal
today we find out

no joke culture shock
thailand’s not america
that’s not suprising

kids are still having
occasional crying jags
don’t know how to help

think that it’s best to
look to the professionals
help us get through this

~~~~~~~~~~

today we, the kids and i that is, head off for a head check. the kids are going to meet with someone while i’m meeting with someone else. and then i get to meet with both of these someones to see what’s next.

so far c14 really seems to be doing great. my only concern about him is that he seems to have developed some sort of funky accent. i have a tendency to mimic the accents around me, not intentionally, sometimes i don’t even realize i’m doing it and i think he might do the same. it seems that c14 apparently is turning japanese, i think he’s turning japanese, i really think so… okay, well, maybe not japanese, but you get the idea. however, i am worried that maybe there is something hovering just under the surface, waiting to break or crack or whatever it’s gonna do.

a11 is doing okay at this moment. but that might not be true for the exact moment we walk into the counselor’s office or even the exact next moment from this exact moment. things change quickly with her.

s8 hated thailand before he got here and this hasn’t really improved at all. he has good moments, but when he’s having a bad moment – it’s bad. it’s heartbreaking.

hopefully today we will get a bit of help. really, i think for the kids someone other than their parents saying this is normal will be very helpful, but also some tools to help process all of this.

bh isn’t left out of all this because we think he’s doing all that great, he’s left out of this fun because he isn’t here to participate. he gets back saturday from a two week jaunt to india and singapore. and this time his being gone has been so much better than mongolia. no freak-outs on my part. it has helped that i have had some contact from him, but i think the biggest difference has been that i have been so very busy informing the whole of thailand that i farted.

excuse me, um… i farted

“you keep using that word. i do not think it means what you think it means.” inigo montoya, the princess bride

one of the first phrases i learned to say after i arrived in thailand was “excuse me” or “i’m sorry” and i’ve said it a lot. everywhere. all over the place. all the time. any time i felt i’d made some sort of error – which, really, was every time i had any reason to interact with anyone. you know, accidentally bump into someone, “excuse me”. not moving fast enough to get out of the way, “excuse me” i didn’t understand what was said and had no idea how to communicate that, “excuse me”. and the list goes on and on. today in language class i learned that i hadn’t exactly been saying what i thought i’d been saying. instead i’d been saying, “i farted.”

did i mention i’ve said it a lot?

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first birthday in thailand

today we celebrate our first birthday since our transplantation relocation. and it’s c1314. he’s really a teenager now, no more just pretending. cuz 13 seems almost like your just fakin’ teen, but 14? that’s the real stuff. so, today, in honor of c1314 – it’s all him, all the time.

sleepin\'

c2 and his great-grandad. c2 seemed to have an extra portion of that hold me and let me drain the life out of you gift that so many babies seem to have.

c4 was a ring bearer and he was less than impressed with the tasks entailed.

c10, first day of not homeschool.

c11, too cool.

c13, i’m sure there is some cool new verb for zoning out with your ipod, but i don’t know it.

c13, just a few weeks ago.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, C14!

haiku friday – speakin’ it

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

a good week i’ve had
something to do ev’ryday
occupied is good

not a thai master
but simple conversation
am able to hold

ask for directions
order at a restaurant
give some opinion

need to be braver
and try to talk to locals
i want to improve

~~~~~~~~~~

i am enjoying my thai class very much. but still have a great deal of difficulty using what i’m learning. i know i need to and that i won’t ever be fluent if i don’t, but i have this thing about not wanting to look like a fool. i am taking baby steps – i order in thai at the food stalls and am understood pretty well, i sometimes have to repeat myself 2 or 3 times but i get there, and only once have i ended up eating something that i know i didn’t order – but it was good. of course, i have no idea what it was so i couldn’t order it again.

and, this just in, i’ve gotten word that company might be coming my way. to see me. here. in thailand.