haiku friday – speakin’ it

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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

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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.

it’s been awhile

since i’ve had a pretty coffee to show you and as you can see it was worth the wait!

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this pretty coffee was bh’s. he enjoyed it while he waited for me during language class.

and speaking of bh… today i realized i haven’t given closure to the bh has gone dark in mongolia tale. he wasn’t injured – or worse – in mongolia, he’d just switched hotels and had no internet or phone. and he won’t do it again. at least not without making contact with me to let me know what is going on. he’s very sorry he worried us all.

cooking school

i loved cooking school. this might be the best thing i’ve done here. and now i understand why people take cooking classes when they travel. from now on it will be on the top of my list.

i made pad thai (stir fried noodles in thai style).

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and i made tom-yam-gung (hot and sour prawn soup).

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and i made gang-keow-wan-gai (green curry with chicken).

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and i made gai-pad-med-ma-muang-him-ma-pan (stir fried chicken with cashew nut). which looked like, well it looked good. because at this point i was too full to even think about taking pictures. but i wasn’t done cooking. because i also made paw-pia-tawd (non-greasy spring rolls) and kao-neaw-ma-muang (sweet sticky rice with mango).

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that’s what the rice looked like after it had been soaked but before it was steamed.

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and that’s what the rice looked like after it had been steamed. trust me, the finished product looked fantastic.

it all tasted great. and best of all, i’m pretty certain i could make it all again – on my own.

monday, is it over yet?

today started bright and early with parent/teacher conferences for s8 and a11. which means the kids were out of school, but bh and i had to go. so off we went.

we met with s8’s teacher first. he’s doing okay academically, but is a poor citizen. he’s rude to her and his classmates. he seems angry and he’s still having difficulty adjusting. and, as his mom, i so wanted to make excuses for him. but i couldn’t. i’m pretty sure they would have fallen flat. because the truth is he’s just not all that happy. i mean he has days that are great, but far more of them are not so great. and i’m not really sure it’s improving for him. so i sat with his teacher – and in all fairness to her she was wonderful, she fully understands how difficult this is and how he’s never been the new kid before – and i listened and tried not to cry. sat there and wondered what have we done? how have we damaged our son?

next up was a11’s teacher. an equally wonderful teacher. very understanding about our move and adjustment and all that goes with it, but… a11 isn’t doing well either. she’s withdrawn and really somewhat cold to her fellow students. the other girls in her class have given up on trying to be friends with her and now a11 has an uphill battle trying to make friends with them. and she’s become very unsure of herself. in the last year she has made some great strides in her self confidence levels, really come out of her shell. and now she seems to have completely regressed. so for the second time in an hour i’m absolutely certain we have damaged our kids.

also on the agenda today was a birthday party for c13, harp lesson for a11 and a school project work session for a11. i got c13 to the birthday party on time and got lost on my way home. which made us late for harp lessons. which made us late for the school project work session. we ended up getting home in time for me to make dinner and then head off to get c13 from his birthday party. and, of course, i got lost on my way to get him. and so you don’t think i’m a total loser – the pick up place wasn’t the same as the drop off place. it took me an hour and a half to find where i was supposed to be. turns out it’s only about 10 minutes from our house. so i was very late getting him. when i do get him he mentions that he left the change of clothes he was supposed to take to the party in the song thaeuw they had ridden in to get from the first location to the second. which might not be such a big deal if it hadn’t been one of the four pair jeans he owns. and since he will only wear jeans at this time – his thing, not ours – that leaves him 3 pairs and one of those three has a nice rip in the upper inner thigh (also known as the crotch). and then he says to the birthday girl, “the gift i got you got all wet, so i’ll have to get you another.” (they’d had a water balloon fight, thus the need for a change of clothes.) it was a gift voucher to swenson’s. not like we could take it back. so i gave it to her mother so she could lay it out flat and then they would be usable.

and now i’m home. working on a to-do list for tomorrow. it only has two things on it. one is go to cooking class, which i’m very much looking forward to. the other is call the counseling center and make appointments for our whole maladjusted family… we need help and it’s available so we’re gonna get it. i have no doubt that they are going to tell me that what we’re going through is normal, that it will all be okay and i’m hoping that they will give us all some tools to help us get through this and thrive here, i’m sure that they will.

field trips in thailand are just more educational

s8’s class went on a field trip to the fire station this week. he came home all excited and i couldn’t figure out exactly why. he’s been on a school field trip to the fire station, several, as a matter of fact. but after i got the details of this particular field trip i have a much better understanding of why an 8 yr. old boy might think this was the coolest field trip ever.

as i said the field trip was to the fire station. and the kids were promised that there would most likely be an opportunity to operate a fire extinguisher. how fun is that?? what wasn’t mentioned was that they would be putting out an actual fire with the fire extinguisher. an actual fire that the firemen themselves started right there in front of the entire 3rd grade from s8’s school. an actual fire that they started by pouring gasoline on the ground right there in front of the entire 3rd grade from s8’s school. and then lighting a match. i wouldn’t be telling the truth if i said i wasn’t ever so slightly disturbed by this. and this is one of those times that i’m seriously hoping s8 doesn’t have his facts exactly right. because if he does, it seems to me that about 42 8 & 9 yr old boys and girls now know how to use accelerant to start a fire. and i don’t think that was on the permission slip that the school sent home.

how he loves his diagrams

bh went to pick up the kids from school for me. this is usually my chore favorite thing to do, but yesterday i just wasn’t feeling like it.  and turned out it was his lucky day.

in a11’s class they are studying decades. they are broken up into small groups and each group has a different decade. a11’s group has the 70’s. another group has the 80’s. (i love the 80’s) and in their report they seem to have including a bit about aids, and homosexuality, and prostitution. and when bh picked up a11 she was just chock full of questions. see these things were just mentioned, not actually discussed, but she had the feeling that everyone else in class knew what they were talking about, everyone but her. so she asked bh a few questions and bh believes in telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth and didn’t feel like he could give her a proper answer unless he started at the beginning – with a talk about human anatomy. and for those of us who know and love bh, we know that no serious conversation can happen without a diagram. and because i like to share, i scanned it so we could all see. here it is…

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i wish i could tell you after seeing that i felt some relief, but instead what i felt was a growing sense of panic. because i wasn’t sure exactly what was included in this diagram and i’ve got those parts. so i had him explain. and here’s the diagram with the explanations…

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and after bh explained it to me he said, “maybe you should have a talk with her, too. you know, just to clarify things.”

and so you guys don’t worry.  a11 and i have actually had this talk – but it looked nothing like this.  and i’m assuming that’s why she didn’t recognize it.