Back At Work

Well, count me as upset.  I spent a good part of Sunday morning before church writing another long post only to have it ‘disappear’ as “WordPress” underwent maintenance.  That stinks.  Well, here’s my best to sum up the past few days.  After class on Saturday, Sup and I caught a cab to a nearby mall and ate some Japanese food which was tasty, but expensive (around $10) relative to what we could have just eaten from one of the vendors on the street.  After eating I asked Sup why we ate there.  His answer, he didn’t want my stomach to get upset from eating some of the local food.  What?  I had been eating (and enjoying) local food for over a week and had not experienced any stomach problems.  I let Sup know that he should not worry about me like that again.  As to the question whether I miss American food … I really don’t (yet).  There is so much variety of food here to eat and all of it is just so good that I really haven’t had the craving for either a burger, a brat, a plate of BBQ, or a pizza.  Sure I wouldn’t turn the food down if it was handed to me, but I really don’t miss American food.  I have seen places to eat American or Italian food, but I don’t think I want to try it after having a bad experience in Switzerland back in 2002.  Nearing the end of a two-week trip to visit Jet’s sister in Switzerland, we (Jet, her Mom, and sister) decided to try something different and visit the popular “All American” restaurant that served nothing but “American” food.  From what I can best recall now, the food was just plain awful and tasteless (especially the Apple Pie for dessert), but everyone at the tables around us were just raving about how great American food is.  I guess I just don’t want to make the same mistake twice.

Church on Sunday was an experience like no other.  I arrived a few minutes early, and I am sure glad I did.  When the service did get going about 5 minutes late, there literally was standing room only.  There had to have been nearly 500 people there in a church that only sat 300.  I had never seen anything like that at a church, particularly a Catholic church.  After service was ended, I waited a few hours until Jet’s friend (“Wow”) arrived in a taxi to take me to see Jet, her Mom, and Ben.  Wow had only arrived back in Thailand one day before us after having lived in Salt Lake City, UT for the past 3 years.  Jet was staying at her Mom’s condominium in Bangkok and it really was a good sight seeing all of them again.  Ben had several mosquito bites on him, including two on his face that looked pretty bad.  Still, it was just great seeing them again.  We immediately headed out to the “MBK” which is one of the largest shopping malls in the city.  Once there, we met up with Jet’s aunt and her boyfriend for dinner at a Japanese restaurant (Japanese again!).  After eating, we left to go back to the condo to catch some sleep.

The next morning we headed out early to meet Jet’s aunt and her boyfriend again near her boyfriend’s house in the northern part of Bangkok.  We ate breakfast and then did some sightseeing around the area at a very famous temple that had a big bronze Buddha statue and also a building constructed mostly of marble that had over 1000 large marble sections inside it that had gold writing on them.  I was told that the entire Buddhist “bible” was written on these marble sections, one marble wall for each page.  How impressive it was to see that.  Afterwards, we went out to get a bite to eat at a restaurant that was literally floating on the river.  The restaurant had bags of old, stale bread that they gave to customers to feed the fish in the river.  It was amazing to see so many large fish go after all of the pieces of bread that we fed them.  Once we were finished eating, our servers just took our table scraps (rice, pork, etc.) and threw it over to the fish to eat, and they just loved eating that too.  We then visited Jet’s aunt’s boyfriend’s house, which was very large and he was very nice to show us around it.  We then left with Jet’s aunt to meet another one of her friends for dinner at a very expensive seafood restaurant.  I thought my dish (cashew chicken with fried rice) was expensive (about $5), but found out that the lobster and the shrimp dishes that everyone else ate were over $60 each!  I couldn’t believe it when the bill was $200; I just didn’t think you could find food that expensive over here.  After dinner, we went back to the condo to get some sleep for the night.  We woke up this morning at about 7:00am (Ben was kind to let us sleep) and Jet and I caught a taxi to see Jet’s cousin (the one we visited once we first arrived in Thailand) who gave me her laptop to borrow for the rest of my visit to Thailand.  Unfortunately, the laptop power cord has three prongs on it and my hotel room outlets only take two prongs, so I will have to find an adapter to be able to use it.  Right after picking up the laptop, the taxi driver dropped Jet off at the condo where Jet’s Mom, aunt, and Ben were enjoying breakfast, I said “good-bye” to each of them, and the taxi-driver took me back to ABAC where I am now.  It was an enjoyable, but short two days away from ABAC.

Jet and the gang will be heading back to Phitsanulok later this morning.  I plan on taking a bus back to Phitsanulok to see them either after class on Saturday or early Sunday morning and staying there for another two days or so.  Next Monday is a national holiday here, so I do hope I will be able to find a seat on a bus.  Thursday night will be my first class for the second section that I teach, so I should be ready for that because I will be simply teaching the same thing that I taught this past Saturday.  Next Saturday’s class should be a tough one, though, as I have three chapters to cover and the student’s have their first homework assignments due.  Sup has asked me to teach his English class on Friday and I have agreed to help him out.  The university where Sup teaches is only about a mile or two away, so I will meet Sup there on Wednesday so that he can show me around and help me prepare for that class.  From what I understand, Sup said that the class is 4 hours long and that I could just show the same videos that I plan to show my classes this semester in Thailand, and then ask them questions about what they saw.  I don’t think that would take up even half of the 4 hours, so Sup said that I could just show them a movie to watch; Sup said that the point of showing the movie is that you can learn to speak English (like he did) by watching English-speaking movies.  It should be an interesting few days ahead of us.

I am sorry that I am not able to post any pictures for you at this time.  I just didn’t have access to a computer with Jet’s camera over the past few days.  I will make sure that pictures are available (and there are some good ones) during my visit to Phitsanulok next weekend, however.  Please bear with us!

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2 Responses to “Back At Work”

  1. Linda & Donald Says:

    Glad to hear from you all. We have been wondering if you felt the earthquake that hit China. Have you seen or heard of any effect to Thailand as a result of the earthquake?

    I think we are starting to miss ya’ll more now. I thought of Jet and Ben when I had to watch Wheel of Fortune and House Hunters all alone last night while Donald went to lodge. Tell Jet that Matt picked Shane. We’ll see how long that lasts! Donald is feeling much better, but the doctor cautioned him yesterday that it will be about a week or more before he is actually over this bronchitis.

    We are still having the same old weekly round of thunderstorms and tornadoes. Last week was particularly bad for the Midwest, but we were awake most of the night Saturday listening to thunder and warning sirens. Heflin was hit by a tornado with a few structures torn up and trees down. This week’s round is predicted for Thursday during the day and early evening.

  2. sandy k Says:

    Hey there,
    I was going to ask you the same thing if you felt any of the earthquake? Why would you not order lobster too? Well that english class sounds boring but for someone learning the language maybe it is enjoyable? I have finals tomorrow and then I can enjoy my vacation I hope! Be safe

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