It sounds like everyone has had a pretty interesting week after reading all of the comments!  It has been great having Pookie around, but I am ashamed to say that I have only seen her for only a couple hours each day.  I have had to go to school each day that she has been here so far, and most evenings I have gotten back late or have had something to do which has kept me away.  From the little time that I have had to talk with her, it seems that Pookie is having a great time.  She has spent much of the time with Jet and Ben shopping at various stores and shopping malls.  I thought it was odd when Pookie arrived with only a small carry-on bag in tow, now I know why.  She is taking some of our luggage back with her filled with things that she has bought.  Apparently things are much cheaper here than in Switzerland, and especially with all of the winter clearance sales going on now (it was 70 degrees yesterday, by the way), the clothes that she is buying now will still get some good mileage this winter in Switzerland, where the weather is roughly pretty close to that of Wisconsin year-round.

Last night Pookie, Sup, Ben, and I went out for dinner to the Olive Garden to see Jet who was working.  It was the second week in a row for me to eat there, which is very out-of-character as I rarely eat at the Olive Garden here and even more rare, go having Jet serve us instead of eating there with Jet.  We met some of our new neighbors just before we headed out – a German family.  The husband just transferred here to work and was not there walking with their two young children, a girl of about 4-5 and a boy that is 21 months old.  Linda was there also and we were pleased to see that the woman (I forgot her name already!) was very nice as she spoke to us in English.  Unfortunately, the two children were very shy (the girl on a small bike, the boy on a big wheel) and avoided any eye-contact.  After a minute or two the woman explained that they don’t speak any English and didn’t understand anything we were saying.  At that moment, I ran inside to get Pookie and Ben.  You see, Pookie lives in Zurich, Switzerland, which is nearby the German border and thus, they speak German there.  Pookie was kind enough to come out and speak German with the family and get the children smiling.  The woman mentioned that she is not working right now, will be alone during the daytime with the kids while her husband is working, and really doesn’t know anyone here.  Hopefully Jet will have time next week to introduce herself and have some of her friends come over so she doesn’t feel so isolated.

While during lunch in my office yesterday with Sup, a student walked in my office asking if I was “Dr. Ciganek”.  Although she was Asian, she spoke perfectly like a Southerner with the accent and all.  The next thing I knew, she turned to Sup and spoke perfect Thai to him.  Turns out she is a Thai student here at JSU and she came to the U.S. with her family when she was in the third grade.  Her family lives in West Georgia and she was at the same ceremonies we attended at the Thai temple on New Year’s day and a few months back.  Ploy (her name) started school at JSU on a music scholarship at about the same time that I started working at JSU, but she has now changed her major and is a biology student now.  Sup and I asked if she wanted to get together for lunch sometime soon, but Ploy has a very busy class schedule, so we will see if/when we are able to meet again and talk more.

As for Thailand, we have just about made a decision.  Before I was thinking that it had to be an either/or proposition, either we go to Thailand for the entire summer or stay in Alabama for the majority of the summer (save a few weeks to visit Thailand).  Then Jet chimed in and asked me if there was a way that we could do both.  That is why I love her so much.  When I think I have all of the options, Jet can state the most obvious question that I never considered.  So we spoke with the university in Thailand and they are willing to let Jet and I teach a class during May and June, which would let us return back to Alabama to spend July and August here.  We are just working out the final details now, but hopefully by the middle of next week everything will be set.

Finally, happy birthday Dad!  I know that he will never read this, but at least a few others that have regular contact with him (myself included) can share this sentiment with him.  It was Donald’s birthday yesterday and we gave him a gift card to Lowes because we couldn’t fit a wheelbarrow into the trunk of my little Toyota Corolla (not even close).  Linda’s birthday is coming up on February 1, Sarah’s birthday was just a few days earlier, Buddy 1’s birthday is also coming soon (I believe), so this is really the busy time of year for birthdays around here.  Enjoy the steak in Milwaukee!


2 Responses to “Pookie”

  1. Kristin Says:

    Just to drop you a little note and let you know Dad’s birthday party was very nice. The food was excellent (expensive but excellent), the company was outstanding, the wine flowed, the cake was great, the only thing missing was you guys. I think dad was hooping for tickets to a NASCAR race, oh well I’m sure he will love going every week with Josh.

  2. jet Says:

    It has been 2 days that ben didn’t have his Paci. I am so pround of him. Andy said he is a big boy now and they both decided to throw it in the gabage. Ben still asks for it but we explain that he has agreed to leave it in the gabage and now we didn’t have it. I am so happy and excited for him. Will see how long it will last for him to ask for his paci again. Last night it took him 15 min to cry till he went to sleep. This afternoon he was yelling and complainning till he fell sleep which took about 20 min but no crying only complain. After we success breaking his Paci , we will start potty train and hope it comes easy. Wish me the luck for that !! Love .. Jet

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