jane, stop this crazy thing

i keep getting asked, “so, how are you really doing?” like i might not be answering the question, “how are you doing?” honestly. the honest to goodness truth is, i’m doing just fine. i’m including a graph to help define “just fine” –

 

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now, i know that doesn’t look so good, looks pretty close to dismal maybe. But it is what it is. you know during the closing credits of the jetsons, when george yells, “jane, stop this crazy thing”? well, i’m pretty sure i know what he’s talking about. it’s not that i want to go home, or that i’m sorry we moved – it’s that it’s just so much, so fast.

i’ve already posted about the delayed flight, flying standby, bh going straight to singapore from bangkok and the kids and me coming on to chiang mai. which was a bit of a rocky start (if you haven’t noticed i have a tendency to minimize things, i learned that in our “are they the right kind of crazy to move to thailand” counseling session). you thought how brave and adventurous i was when we were here without bh – I got us out of the hotel, went to the zoo, the night bizarre, the internet café… well, the truth is, that while we did do those things, and while it may have seemed brave and adventurous, it was really just forward motion. i would have rather stayed holed up in our hotel room and cried. but what good would that have done, other than to further traumatize the kids. and we did spend a few mornings crying over breakfast – some very nice people who were also staying at the hotel were kind enough to check on us, maybe more to be sure the kids would be okay left in my care.

then bh got to town and we had to really think and act like this was our new home. we took care of the kids and school and got moved into our house. i drove a stick shift – on what i consider the wrong side of the road – in the middle of morning rush hour down and around the streets of chiang mai. and that really might go down as one of the most stressful and scariest things i’ve ever done in my entire life. we found furniture, the grocery store, the local market. i’m learning to shop by picture and that there are some places to shop that are more english friendly – not meaning they speak english, but that there is some english on the packages. i’m learning that things take more time. i’ve learned that i’m spoiled. i don’t like hanging clothes to dry or hand washing dishes. it’s not convenient and it takes time and your clothes aren’t really soft. i want furniture – now. i’m glad we have mattresses and a kitchen table and chairs. but i want some place else to sit in the house. i want my mattress off the floor. i want to be comfortable. and i want routine.

i want someone to talk to. i’m a bit of an extrovert. you know barbra streisand’s lyric, people, people who need people are the luckiest people in the world. that was written for me, about me, i’m one of those people – well, not really feeling the luckiest people in the world part right now. and i got no people here. i mean none that aren’t family and forced to endure me because of their genetic makeup or because they said, “i do.” and not only that, the only other adult in the house is introverted. which – if i understand what an introvert means- it means he’s some kind of freak of nature – you know, like a weird mutation or something. he’s drawn me a graph to show me the difference between extrovert and introvert, i’ve done my best to recreate it.

 

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lets say that the 0 – 7 are representative of how full up of conversation and interaction we are – with 6 being as full as you can get – and the 7 being there because i didn’t know how to make it go away. so, bh spends his entire day, either pretty full or totally full. i, however, start with plenty of space available and it’s not full until i close my eyes to go to sleep – and really, it might not be full then. this doesn’t really do his original diagram justice, but it gives you a good idea. the problems – well really it’s just one big problem – this causes are that he is all happy in his introverted little world, no one wants him to participate in any kind of conversation – it’s good, but then there’s me. sad little no.one.will.talk.to.me me. he tries, God love him. he uses exaggerated hand gestures, makes disturbing faces and he grunts, but those really aren’t good substitutes for conversation. so, i blog, a lot. maybe you noticed. and i check my email every chance i get. but it’s not the same. and the truth is, i want friends, but i hate making them. you know, the awkward small talk, the i’m not sure i’m gonna like this person, the i’m pretty sure they don’t like me. i know i’ve done it before, but once you’ve gotten past that you forget it and it’s like you’ve always been friends. it’s sort of like that mommy amnesia – the one where you forget how much it hurt to sit up in bed after a c-section so you go ahead and have another baby. that’s where i want to be, not having another baby – it took three, but now i remember the pain. i want to get to the you’ve always been friends place.

so, right this moment i would say life sucks. but it’s all part of it. i signed up for this. i know it’s where God wants our family and i know it will all be good. and i know i have a choice. i can move forward, get things done or i can curl up in a ball and cry. one is much easier than the other, but i think i’d miss out on all the misery fun.

not to mention the blog fodder.

so, what have we been up to

other than learning to drive…

so thursday night we get a text message from the lovely folks at the office here in chiang mai – we had spoken with them earlier in the day about arrangements we needed to make for friday and they had a solution. they arranged for us to rent a car so i could drive c13 to school to meet with the high school advisor and arrange his schedule. meanwhile, they would send a truck to the hotel to pick up bh, a11, s8 and all our luggage. sounds great? well, after i familiarized myself with a manual, drove around the round about the wrong way, stalled out a few times, i was ready to go – the only thing left was convincing c13 to get in the car with me. once we were off it took us 90 minutes to get to the school; it should have been a 20 minute trip – but we saw some things i hope to be able to find again. then we had to get from the school to our house. luckily, the office manager at CMIS knows just where our moo baan (neighborhood) is. and when we got to the house most of the unpacking had been done!! yeah, bh, a11 & s8! next to do was find something to eat. so we journeyed out – found a super store with a kfc. and look what they had –

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and, of course, we had to do some shopping. but it’s hard to figure out where to start when you have nothing! so, we started with some basic necessities. dishes, a pot and a pan, silverware. a clothes washer!! saturday and sunday were spent setting up house, finding where to get other furniture. stuff that works for us, but doesn’t cost a fortune. and the one thing i really, really wanted to find – a round dinner table – we found yesterday!

other highlights of the last few days… when you don’t inform your credit card company that you’ve left the country they shut you down. when you make purchases you should remember that you no longer drive a minivan, but are currently renting a small passenger van. if here’s what happens if you don’t remember… (and don’t worry, the kids really could breath and they are all still alive) –

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this morning i was highjacked by motorcycle riders and couldn’t get into the lane i needed to be in so took the long unknown way to the kids’ school. and now i sit in a coffee shop – which is a little weird because it wasn’t too long ago that i read about this very coffee shop here – writing this blog, wondering what normal will be like here.

just like an irish spring commercial…

it’s here. the luggage came in late last night. now everyone is fresh – no more stinky boys. i know all around us must be relieved.

today we’ve visited the zoo – it was a great distraction for the kids and now we are all exhausted!! today seems to be c13’s day to be out of sorts. i’m really quite glad they are taking turns, i’m not sure i could handle all of them at once.

thanks everyone for your comments. i appreciate them bunches. it makes my day a little brighter when i get to read them.

and a big thank you also to the wonderful ladies (winey & trish) who are busy sorting out my house. i know it is a ton of work and i can’t thank you enough.

thai tuesday

this whole move thing is getting slightly frustrating; it’s not the move itself it’s the standing still.  there’s only so much i can do but i want to get it all done now.  we’ve been assured that chiang mai is the place, but we’ve yet to get our visas.  and reading other blogs it might not be all that easy to get one.  bh has applied for his and we should hear pretty soon – then the kids and i will apply.  i did learn something interesting on another blog.  now i want to get all the bill paying figured out – and i don’t even know what kind of bills we will have.  we’ve still got 9 months – and in my mind i think i should be accomplishing something every day so that we’re not in a frenzy when the time to move finally gets here.  oh, and the possible trip to chiang mai over thanksgiving is no longer a possiblity.  maybe spring break… 

i pulled up my original to do list so i could see how far i’ve gotten…

  1. get passports for me, tb, lb and ff.
  2. visas – bh’s is applied for then we do ours
  3. figure out what to take and what not to take.
  4. sell a bunch of our stuff – i’ve sold the first thing and other stuff has been claimed
  5. find homes for the dogs. (we’ve got three, anyone want one?)
  6. get the house ready to sell – again. (it should be easier this time.)
  7. find a realtor.
  8. sell the house.
  9. get answers to our questions.
  10. find a school for the kids –  this is done, just have to get applications in and see if they get in
  11. find a place to live.
  12. pack.
  13. spend countless hours on the internet researching things i’m not sure aboutthis one i’m having no problem with

that’s some progress.

temporary wife

another excerpt from the book

“while most visitors find it completely acceptable to their preconceptions of morality that servants should be employed to wash clothes, sweep the floor and sit ouside all night to guard their property, many draw the line at hiring a temporary wife, even if she is much younger and prettier than the one who took the children back home for the sake of their education.  many others find this the most interesting aspect of their stay.”

i’m pretty sure which camp of “many” bh falls into – even if it’s only because there are none younger or prettier than me (i asked the mirror just this morning and she agreed, none prettier)  and by temporary, do they mean like hourly?