Monday, September 27, 2004

Monday Madness

Name THREE of your........
1. Pet Peeves: rude drivers, rude people on the cell phone and rude, clueless people who have no idea that they share the world with others (which pretty much includes people in the first two categories as well!)
2. Favorite Sounds: ocean, waterfall, ambient music
3. Desk Items: pens, whiteout, paper
4. Biggest Fears: not being financially independant when I am old, not being a good future parent, being poor and homeless
5. Biggest Challenges: the Annapurna Circuit (19 day trek in Nepal), travelling solo, living in a foreign country alone (but not any more -- I have my husband with me now and a baby on the way!)
6. Newest 'Toys': digital camera, DVD Player, Books
7. Most Used Words: never thought about it.
8. Most Mispelled Words: definately, immediately, calander
9. Favorite Disney Characters: Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy
10. Bookmarks on Your Homepage:
Babycenter, San Francisco Chronicle, Thai Visa Forum for Expats

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Out and about

So yesterday Golf and I ventured downtown first and foremost to go to the Goddess Tiptum shrine to make merit to her for granting our wish for pregnancy. We gave rice and 3 main dishes, drink, fruit and dessert and then lit incense and a candle each as part of the ritual. It felt good to do this. :)

After our obligation had been met, we went shopping! First we had some food, and I ate some lamb curry and garlic naan. I kind of miss Indian food sometimes, and this food court they have at the nearby department store has all different kinds of cuisines, so Golf had his roast duck with rice and I had my Indian. We shared some good dim sum too.

Then he he went to get his hair cut and I went to the book store and got the book set What to Expect when You're Expecting along with Baby's First Year. Golf knows nothing about babies or pregnancy so this is good material for him to absorb. He's also learning even more English words that he had never heard of before, mostly medical terminology.

I'm at 5 weeks and one day today. I'm greatly concerned about gaining too much weight, as most women are. I put on a few 'contentment' pounds about a month after getting married, and now I'm preggo and already nearly fitting my size 12 pants again. I'm normally a 10 or 11, but I have a few of my 'fat' pants here from when I first moved back to Thailand and I was heavier. So I'm really going to try and eat carefully and not gain much my first trimester. It is my goal to be back to my size 10 or 11 close to the time when we come back to the States in one year. I'll have had 4 months to work out by that time. Hopefully anyway, there is no telling what the reality will be once the baby is here.

I've been noticing my mood sensitivity. I went into the grocery store that's in the basement of the above mentioned department store and there is a ton of imported 'farang food' from the States, Australia, Europe and Britain. But do you think you can find any decaffinated black tea?!!? NO!!! I was so frustrated I was nearly in tears and I really missed home, where you can get it with no problem. I did, however, find some Celestial Seasonings Wild Berry Zinger tea and got a box. I also splurged on some canned salmon (no mercury in it like tuna, which I had been eating fairly regulary) some tortillia chips and salsa and 2 small breads (like single servings) to go with some salads I like to get during the week. It made me feel better.

What made me feel worse though, was taking a tour around the maternity section at one department store. The pants are made for tiny Thai women with itty bitty hips. Sure the stomach part will fit me, but it will do no good if I can't get my gargantuan ass in them. I was ready to cry, because the alternitave is giant UGLY muumuu-type dresses most Thai women have to wear in this country because they are cheap. So we checked out another department store and the clothes are decent, even cute, but VERY EXPENSIVE. Like about $50 US per piece!!! There is no in-between here. You either look hideous in a K-Mart equivalent muumuu tent dress or you have a Macy's equivalent department store. I might have my mother get me some things at Old Navy maternity, where you can get really CUTE things for $20 or less. Today made me feel very homesick for some things. But I can get through it.

My colleague from my former school is leaving after being in Thailand for 3 years. She's had enough and her contract ends in October. She's so looking forward to going back home and her going away party is tonight. I'm looking forward to seeing all my friends from Chatrwittaya. I will break my preggo news to them this evening. :)

Friday, September 24, 2004

Another story of the Thai way

The Ministry of Education is due to visit today to look at the changes required by them for the school to get it's school license. The school has been expected to improve the library and the science lab, so today the MOE is coming to check out the changes.

The new library looks beautiful with lots of wonderful books. Come to find out, most of those books have been borrowed from the publisher only to be returned next week!!! It's so typical about solving the immediate problem and making it look nice, then when the authorities are away, go back to "normal". LOL! I just had to laugh, and many of the Thais were also laughing. I mean, we all know it's ludicrous!

I can finally break the news!

By now all my close friends and family know, and now I can make it official: Golf and I are expecting our first baby!
Our estimated due date is May 28, 2005, but of course, this is before my first doctor's appointment, which is scheduled for October 9th. I will be 7 weeks by then. You can see our baby's website here. It took us only three months of trying to get the bun in the oven, so we are very much aware that we are extremely lucky and blessed.
This Saturday, Golf and I will be going back to that fertility shrine and give our thanks and ask for a healthy pregnancy and baby. Then going to the mall to get some BABY BOOKS!

Monday, September 20, 2004

Back from a school field trip

Oh, so tired. I just got back from a long field trip all day affair and the whole school went. Sorry to say it was rather boring because EVERYTHING was in Thai, of course.

I also hope I'm not getting sick, but my throat is getting sore and I'm very tired. Golf and I went on a little walk yesterday, so if I end up skipping exercise today, I won't feel too guilty. We shall see. I'll for sure chow down on some Vitamin C.

Not much else to report!

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Got to see the BABY!

Golf and I just returned awhile ago from seeing May's new baby girl, Grace. She is so tiny and precious! I got to hold her too, and it felt so good holding a newborn baby, only one day old. I'm really hoping it has made my future child jealous so he or she will hurry up and get conceived! :) We also shopped in the baby section of the department store today for a fellow colleague, the school nurse, who will be leaving probably this week for her maternity leave. It took her two years to conceive her baby boy, to be born next month and she looks like she is more than ready to give birth. I got her a baby carrier, the kind you wear. Babies, babies, babies!!!

Going to see Grace

Today is the day Golf and I will go to see his brand new great-niece, Grace. Golf's niece, May, had a C-Section yesterday afternoon and her third child, a baby girl, was brought into the world. We are both excited to meet her. It will also be interesting to visit the maternity ward of this hospital, because this is the hospital I'd like to go to if I get lucky and get pregnant soon. It's called Bumrungrad Hospital if you are interested in checking it out. Look under the Women's Center link for the maternity information. I'm pretty happy with it.

I'll write more tomorrow about the visit, and anything else we might do today while we are in town.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Friday's Feast

I haven't been able to play in awhile, but have the time today. It's time for Friday's Feast!

How are you today? I am fine thank you, and you? (the standard Thai child's response to the same question.)

Name 3 television shows you watch on a regular basis. We only get Thai TV here in BKK, we don't have cable, so I don't watch TV shows. Only DVDs and my favorite TV series I have on DVD is 24. I love it! Just finished the 3rd season, how will I live until the 4th season is done and out on DVD?!?

What's the scariest weather situation you've experienced? Some of the thunder here in Thailand is so loud it knocks you off your feet. The rain gets so torrential that it floods within the hour. I'd say the thunder and rain storms here in South East Asia.

Main Course
If you could wake up tomorrow morning in another country, where would you want to be?
Well I already do wake up every morning in a foreign country! LOL! But if I had to choose only one other country, I'd like to wake up in Italy and sample all the wonderful food and see the works of art.

What do you usually wear to sleep? My cute little nightie -- I have several I wear.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Long week is nearly done

It's never a dull moment around this school. My American colleague has shingles and can't come back to work until it's passed. It's a virus that is caused by the dormant chickenpox virus, apparantly, so the school, understandably, doesn't want her to accidently spread it around. She teaches G2 and may not be able to return until the beginning of next semester at the beginning of November.

Then we got news this morning that her Thai partner's husband had a heart attack the night before and died! The poor woman, I feel so sorry for her. It was most unexpected. Her Thai partner is a very nice older lady (in her early 50's I think) and it was sad to know of her loss. Now G2 has no homeroom teachers! ACK! So they've been scrambling to get some teachers in there to sub for I don't know how long.

Tomorrow is my easy Friday. I will be so looking forward to the weekend!

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Very little sleep

Golf and I went to see a Thai ghost movie last night. It had English subtitles, of course, and it was SCARY. Thais absolutely love ghost stories, but many are rather poorly made, however, this one was fantastic. It's called Shutter, about photographers who hit a woman and kill her, but drive away from the scene of the accident. Afterward, the ghost of the woman appears in their photographs. The couple go to a spirit photography magazine to get more information on such phenomena, and then the story goes on to become more complex with many surprises. I was exhausted by the end of the movie because of adreneline from all the startling and scary moments. Needless to say, that night I did not sleep well, and this morning I had to be to work early for my weekly duty. UGH!

Last night I got to eat lasagne too! MMMM!!! We went to an international cuisine food court, so while Golf got to eat his roast duck over rice, I got to have my Italian fare. It's a wonderful compromise.

We also had to go baby stuff shopping. Golf's neice is having her third baby and she is scheduled for a C-section on Friday, so we will probably go to see her either Friday night or Saturday. She's going to have a baby girl -- she's already got two boys, so she is thrilled to be adding a daughter to the family.

Golf told me about a Thai belief that if a woman who wants to be pregnant holds a newborn baby, then the jealous child will come. Meaning the un-conceived child will hurry up and get in the womb so the woman can be mommy to him or her and not give attention to any body else's baby. I like that idea. I hope I can hold May's new little baby girl. :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

More on the idiot movie

Got to thinking after reading other American expats' reactions to the movie poster of the guy sitting on Buddha's head. I think the movie poster should not be banned in the USA. This is because we have the right to free expression, even if it means protecting something that is offensive and in poor taste. In Thailand, they can ban what they want, it is their country. But in the United States of America, we have rights that protect our freedoms. There have been controversial films about Christianity too.... if you find it offensive, do not watch it. I certainly will not.

Some people are COMPLETE idiots

I learned about this a few days ago: Thais are angered at an American movie called Hollywood Buddha. The movie promotional poster shows the lead character sitting on top of Buddha's head. Anyone with an ounce of sensitivity to sacred holy objects would know this is wrong, or at least you'd think that since the story is about a movie director who adopts Buddhist practices, the writers would have done a little research about Buddhist cultures and found out that the head is the most sacred part of the body, and certainly climbing on top of the head is considered blasphemy. There is a BBC article about this story here and the Thais have since decided to publish a booklet about do's and don'ts when visiting their country and even ban people from Thailand who know better and decide to be rude anyway. I don't know how they will enforce such a law, but good luck to them.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Work is back to normal

It feels SO good this week to be back on a normal schedule. Some teachers are still not quite finished with their exams, but I finished on time, did my lesson planning, and now my last few minutes at work are for playing (blogging and surfing!)

My husband is so fantastic. The other day, he bought me Kylie Body Language Live at the Appolo Theatre. I'm so happy. Thank you tii rak!

I do like Thai people very much, my husband is one of them, but my GOD they are loud people! I don't know where they got the reputation to be quiet and polite and sweet, but they talk so loudly, as if they are across the room from one another. In the teacher's room there are two who sing often. SIGH. It gets on my NERVES. And they speak loudly and fast, and since I don't understand, it's just NOISE.

It's so loud in this country, you would not believe it. People talk loudly, the traffic is noisy, loud music is everywhere: restaurants, aerobics sessions, promotional advertising at stores, machinery.... the list goes on and on. Thank GOD that it's quiet inside our apartment. It's beacause of the double glass, I'm sure of it.

Monday Madness

It's time finally for Monday Madness. I was too busy to play last week, so I'm happy to be able to now. :)
1. You are given 1 million dollors. You must give it all away before the donor gives you $1 million. Who would you give it to? I would give half of it to an international charity, such as Amnesty International, a quarter to AIDS research and the other quarter to cancer research.
2. If you had $1 million what would you do with it FIRST? Invest it in an annuity or some other sort of retirement fund, so I can be taken care of when I am ready to retire (early!)
3. Do you participate in lotteries? Yes, when I lived in California I would buy ONE Lotto ticket when it got over $20 million. I plan to play like that once I return.
4. Name 3 of your best physical features. eyes, smile, hair
5. ..... 3 of your biggest virtues. being on time, being loving, being understanding
6. ......3 or you biggest vices. love of sweets, smoking (have since quit!), coffee
7. ...... 3 of your favorite pleasures in life. Being with my husband, reading in bed with a cup of coffee on a weekend morning, and surfing the internet.
8 If you were a member of the opposite sex, what would you choose to do for your occupation? I'd be a Travel writer kind of like Nick Danziger, who goes undercover and travels to "forbidden" places and learns about what goes on there. Or an Indiana Jones type of archaelogist. Or maybe a astro physicist. I know women could do all these things, but perhaps the travel writer occupation would be more suited for a man, since world-wide, women do not have the same rights as they do in the USA.
9. If you were to come back after death as another animal, what animal would you choose to be? A very beautiful, big, black stallion. Horses like that are so beautiful.
10. What kind of 'baby' are you... water, clouds, beach, garden? Hmmmm.. beach I guess.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Finally some rest

I came home early on Friday afternoon after my very long week getting exams ready. Today Golf and I just lazed around the house. He cleaned the bathroom and I swept and mopped the floor, so at least our home is nice and clean. After that we went for lunch and then watched two episodes of 24 and then Flatliners.

Tonight we're going on a walk as soon as I'm done here and then eat dinner out then come home and watch some more TV. Lah! Such an easy day. I like it! :)

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Oh so much going on!

I wish I had the time to post this week, but I have simply been so busy getting the final exams ready. Yesterday it took all my free time to make the science exam and today I am beginning the English exam. I had lousy lessons though today because I didn't have the time to fully flesh them out. I've been cheating and printing out coloring sheets off the internet for my students to do when they are done with the lesson. Things should be starting back to normal next week once our tests are finished.

I also am doing the final art project in my Art Club. I had to have a Thai colleage come in and translate my instructions since it was very important to do what I said, step by step. Some of these kids know hardly any English. I got frustrated that they didn't know what to do, or would do the wrong thing. I LOVE art, but I simply cannot teach it to children who don't understand what I'm saying. I am glad I made the decision not to be the art teacher here. I'd end up not liking it, and I don't want to not like art!

Will be able to post more probably on the weekend. I'm FRAZZLED!!

Monday, September 06, 2004

Let the insanity begin!

It's Monday already and the day is going to be very busy. I've got more final exams to create as well as lesson planning to do for the rest of the week. And of course, meetings and actual teaching time. These few minutes before the flag ceremony begins at 8 are the only time I have to write in my blog, check the news and return emails. I still didn't catch up over the weekend!

Yesterday Golf and I did have a good day shopping and seeing The Terminal. I really enjoyed that movie and Golf especially liked seeing all the American shops you see inside an international terminal. All the usual franchises. I think the US has too many and it is making the landscape sterile and boring. Thailand is beginning to be the same way. UGH, how monotonous and boring.

Golf bought a new DVD player for less than $100 US. We can bring it back to the States and use it because it has an adapter. It's real nice and compact. He also bought Season 3 of 24. Woo hoo! It's arriving by mail and I can't wait. We are both so addicted to that show!

I also bought a new book yesterday called Color Harmony. I've been wanting to get a color guide for years now, just never got around to it. It will help me with my new collage passion. I bought some new papers, some varieties of glue sticks and a cutting mat with exacto knife. I just wish I had more working space at the apartment, but I suppose I could eventually use the floor!

Well, I have a few emails to answer before my day begins. There is no A/C here this morning, it's only 7:30 AM. My co-worker is threatening to go home my mid morning if it's not back on because of the extreme heat and humidity. I am sweating in my already uncomfortable uniform. At least the internet is working though!

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Been so busy!

I haven't had a whole lot of time to post in my blog last week, or next week either, for that matter. Last week I had to prepare the art club final project, which will be a collage picture using cutout shapes from different colors and textures of paper. I had to make an example to show the students and I thoroughly enjoyed it, since I am taking a personal interest in collage anyway. So all my free time was spent doing lesson planning and doing my art project.

Next week we have to have our final exams prepared and ready for submission by this coming Friday, so in addition to making the exams, I will have to do all the lesson planning to. Such is the life of a teacher. I will also have to plan the art exhibition at the end of the term too. Yesterday (on Saturday) I spent about 3 hours making the math exam, writing it out and then putting it onto the computer. I have 4 more to make. This is much less work than what I did at Chatrwittaya. I had about 10 tests to make in addition to teaching 23 hours per week. AND we had midterms in addtion to finals. UGH!

Today Golf and I are going to go to our favorite mall in town (because it's the least crowded and somewhat quiet!) to see the new Steven Speilberg movie The Terminal. I love Tom Hanks too, so it should be a fantastic movie. I will also go to this nice little art supply store that's there as well to get some collage supplies. I am also going to check out the bookstore there to see if there are any books on collage techniques. I'm excited about making beautiful works of art, I just hope I will actually do it and not just think about it. I need to be more of a doer! I am quite a dreamer... It's going to be a good day!

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

In sickness and in health

Poor hubby has been sick the last few days and he's just about better today, but not 100%. He started feeling lousy on Sunday evening and we had to do Chinese mid year prayers to his family's ancestors on Monday, and that's what did him in ultimately because there is alot of standing around outdoors and lots of smoke from burning offerings, candles and incense. With all the smoke, heat, humidity and standing, it was no wonder he fell ill.

Other than nursing my poor sick husband, not a lot going on. I have, however, taken on an interest in producing collage. I've always liked it, and we are doing collage in my Art Club at school as the final project, so making my example has been lots of fun. I'd love to do a style like Eric Carle, bright, colorful and engaging for children, and very well done and beautiful. I found this website called Collage Art and there are many wonderful links to so many websites for good ideas. And supplies! Thailand has so many beautiful papers. I think I will stock up on them before I return home to the States!