D on the Road

November 29, 2011

Ok, Ok, Ok. I'm not the best at regular posting, but I have been in Thailand for one week and there’s no A to pick up my slack, so here it is. It’s been a bit of a crazy trip. I lost my “orientation” day to a 7 hour late flight from Kwaj that left me staying in Guam overnight. Guam is like a more Americanized version of HI. So, I mostly holed up in my room. Enjoyed some AC, some internet, some alone, non-hectic-ish-ness and properly set mind on vacation. I had a long swim in very shallow ocean water, had some beers thereafter at the pool and walked around enough to decide upon a swarma for my “first meal” off Kwaj. Oh, yes, I did shop at the world’s largest Kmart, which really isn’t all that big. It’s nice. It’s bulk like a Walmart, but nice like a target, and way less miserable and soul sucking than a Walmart. Here’s pics of just what you need: Jalapenho Cheesy Poofs. En Masse.

And here I am cheesing.

Once in Thailand, at 0130 in the morning, I took the wrong, expensive taxi, but look at this pimp retro classic Lorry! I’ll pick A up tonight, and will use city taxis for less than half price, I hope, because I’ll need one to get there also.

Since I lost the extra day, my first day was spent figuring out directions to the hospital,, getting my appointment, heading back to hotel to pack, back to hospital for another appointment, back to the hotel to pick up bags and then onto a crowded skytrain to go find a mini-van that would cheaply get me down to Hua Hin, where I took my three day kiteboarding class.
So, Bumrungrad Hospital. I’m in. Hook line and sinker. I want to get all my medical care done over here (thus far.) The most succinct way I could describe it is, I think the Thais have not forgotten they are providing customer service. They just said, ok, we need to find out what your problem is. How does this afternoon work? This is the free market system that the ideals of capitalism tout, but America seems to fail miserably at. Sorry, I shouldn’t put my political rants in a blog, but I have to say just once how much I hate Tea Party Extremists that claim an ideal (Ayn Randianism, really…I refuse to call objectivism) when what they’re furthering is not true capitalism, but the deadlock that is today’s aggressive monopolies (confusopolies, from Scott Adams) and simple gambling/scamming on the stock market. Sorry, again. I’m done. Ignore me.
And…Kitesurfing. Wow. I can’t sleep at night now, because in my mind I’m harnessed in and ready to roll. On this one hand, I’m actually eager to get home so I can start playing around. Here’s some pics of me:

Just kidding. Who’s taking the pictures? That’s a pro out there.
I did a three day course and did well. I made my instructor yell for me to stop when he asked me to do figure 8’s, just to see how much power the kite had. He said he’d never seen anyone pull that much out of that kite. Whee! I was ready to keep going. I was a bit more soprano, and I don’t mean like the HBO special, but loving it all the same. The second day I rode some. The third day I rode a fair deal and worked on going both directions, as well as tried, and failed pretty badly to go upwind. A necessary, but hard learned skill. Prior to that skill, you spend a lot of time walking up the beach w/ a lot of heavy/cumbersome equipment. I’m absolutely in love w/ the sport, so hopefully I’ll find enough time to do it on Kwaj. I live in the prefect place, I figured I had to…
I then checked out of my hotel and tried to make my way back to Bangkok to check into my next hotel and hit another hospital appointment. That soon became, let’s try to just get to the hospital, w/ all my (new, large, cumbersome) baggage. Bangkok traffic finally made me settle on just take me to the hotel. I was crabby from not eating and late and hot. That day was really bad. At the end, I felt like I hadn’t accomplished much. I’d been in Thailand for a week and hadn’t really done a single thing like see a sight, or temple, or anything.
Granted, I travel different from A. I’m a big fan of just seeing the streets, cars, merchants, merchandise, everyday culture, and buying some local a few drinks until I get a real feel for the place. But still. One week. Nothing but hospitals, restaurants, bars (and mostly behaved at that,) kiteboarding and transport.
This morning I atoned. I followed the “cynic’s” (Lonley Planet’s) walking tour of China town. It was rough at first, as it started at a subway station leading up to a (exaggeratedly, but not greatly) 9 way instersection. So after the first hour of walking up and down all the streets and comparing the map, I began. I took the following picture in that time because I liked seeing the, well, just look:

I passed by a lot of temples, but didn’t go in. I get templed out pretty quick and I know I have two in my future. Additionally, I wasn’t wearing pants. Long pants, for those who know me well enough to ask. I woke up at 0530 and dressing around sleeping hostel mates wasn’t necessarily thought out. Anyway, here’s the obligatory pics:

The point I REALLY starting digging my morning tour happened when it led me to these twisting little crazy back alleyways. This is what excites me, just seeing a life so far alien to my own. America, with all its space and little history compounding on top of itself, rarely leads you to such a crowded space. Philadelphia had a similar feel, but nowhere near THIS. I loved this little garden:

I got to see the streets really starting to awaken. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a girl on the street give me whiplash like the smell of this little coffee stand:

And the iced coffee, for 15 THB (THB *pi = US Cents, so ~50 cents), in bag:

So good! So, so good! I didn’t mention breakfast was street-meat chicken, fruit and Chinese street fired donuts, did I? At the coffee, I was really disappointed A couldn’t be with me having one of those. (Also, often felt like having my baby to show off.) I knew I was in the right place because the whole street was customer-less and this little coffee cart had about 5 people standing waiting.
I then went through a lot of little markets. China town doesn’t hassle you w/ sales, which is nice. The food markets were awesome:

A lady making a cauldron of soup starting w/ about 3 huge whole chickens:

Wow, I wanted to go back for the final result.
I did pretty well following the guided walking tour considering how high maintenance stopping, reading, comparing maps, and checking unclear road signs was, but one wrong turn, and little concern about that fact had me cut and pasting the tour. Then I rapidly just decided to follow my own paths. I ended up on a wrong street and wanted to see where it went. It should have gone to the other subway station, but I had misread, headed away from any subways, and instead moved toward a boat station that would do me no good. So I returned to my usual solution. The moped-taxi. Fast. Cheap. No scamming/ haggling. Very convient. These guys dart in and out of traffic like nothing else. (Knees in, if you dare it.) Here’s a great pic of him swearving in and out of traffic while talking on his cellular:

Am I any better? I'm holding on to the back and taking a picture at the same time.
Ok. I posted. Hope I didn’t lose my readers. If you just scanned the pictures, rad. That’s what I’m here for! Trust me, I understand. I will now pass the torch to A, whom I am SO eagerly awaiting. And my girl! I’ve got both the girl's beds made up, w/ stickers for Sky, a stuffed pet, the room clean and organized, and both their pajamas, ready, at an arm’s reach.

What I Am Thankful For:

November 27, 2011

  This year, I'm thankful for Ms Cheri.  Yes, of course, I'm thankful that I have a wonderful daughter and husband and that I have a job and that I live on a tropical island.  I'm thankful for a family that supports me and loves me and that I miss so much, especially on days like today.  But this year, I'm most thankful for Ms Cheri.
  Sky had a rough day today.  Things just aren't normal here, with D being gone and school being out for the day, and she had a hard time dealing with it.   All of her behaviors were normal toddler behaviors but they were... more extreme than they usually are.  There was more crying, more saying no, more throwing things and some biting.  And I couldn't be out of her sight- she even napped with me today.
  So tonight when we went to Thanksgiving dinner at my neighbor's house, I let out a huge sigh of relief when  Ms Cheri walked in.  As soon as she sat down, I pointed Sky in her direction and told her that it'd been kind of a rough day for both of us and she took right over.  She carried Sky around, entertained her, fed her dinner and gave her her milk.  For the first time today, I got to sit back for a little bit and it was wonderful.  I had a chance to eat some wonderful food, have some great conversation and a little bit of wine.  Ms Cheri and I talked for a little bit and she gave me some great pointers on getting through these rough days and offered to help out some more when she could.
  Thank you, Ms Cheri, for helping me end Thanksgiving Day with a smile!

A Little Catch-Up

November 25, 2011

 Sky demonstrating exactly how high up she can pull her pants

I think I can, I think I can...

November 22, 2011

  D left for Thailand today and I'm nervous.  Sky and I are own for a week and then we're flying to Thailand to join him.  I am really scared that she is going to push my buttons all over the place and I'm not going to be able to just let it go.  She was what D and I call "a pistol" yesterday and I was shorter with her a lot more than I should have been and I don't want that to be the pattern for the week.  I'm also worried about flying with her for so long on my own and navigating new airports where we don't speak the language and to have us be tired of each other by then will only make that anxiety worse. 
  Luckily, we're going to be pretty busy and I'm hoping that will help.  Tonight her best friend P and her mom are coming over for dinner and tomorrow is her afternoon with Ms Cherie.  Friday is Thanksgiving, which we're spending with friends, and on Saturday, Santa arrives on island (by fishing boat, of course!).  P's birthday party is on Sunday and Ms Cherie will be watching her for a few hours on Monday.  Hopefully, all that will be enough of a distraction for both of us!
  I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!

Adoption Fundraiser!

November 21, 2011

  Hah, gotcha with the title!  Nope, this fundraiser isn't for us, it's for another family working to bring home their son from the DRC.  The family is selling hand-made jewelry and it is beautiful.  Here is the blog: http://weagreatparade.blogspot.com/  with pictures and if you like what you see, the email address is there.  Click on over and check it out!

And we're back!

November 18, 2011

  Hi folks,
  Sorry for the break, but we have been workin' fools lately!  Being that we work for The Man, I can't tell you much about what we've been up to but since some of it made the news, you can read it here for yourself: http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/16065612/advanced-hypersonic-weapon-launched-off-kauai  I'll just say that it kept us busy here and that afterwards, I literally slept all day yesterday. 
  Now that that's over, we can get on with the fun stuff!  D's birthday is this weekend ( 36- how'd that happen?) and we're having two parties for him, one for friends and one just the three of us where there may or may not be mint-chocolate ice cream cake, maybe.  After a very birthday weekend, D flies to Thailand on Tuesday for some vacation and maybe surgery, while Sky and I stay here for Thanksgiving and some mom and daughter time.  We'll be having Thanksgiving at our friends Bridget and David's house and then Sky will be going to her BFF's birthday party before we fly to Thailand on the 29th. 
  Exciting times ahead for us!  Keep an eye out here for updates and pictures!

On Hold

November 10, 2011

Sorry but things are pretty busy lately and I don't think I'm going to have time to post for a few weeks.  So scroll back through the old posts to get your adorable-Sky-photo fix and standby for updates.

Halloween Pics

November 9, 2011

 D went to the Halloween party at the Vet's Hall- can you guess what he's dressed up as?

Marshall Islands Trade Fair

November 6, 2011

 Once or twice a year, the command hosts a trade fair for local Marshallese artisans to sell their crafts.  There was a trade fair this weekend and I was able to purchase some very unique and beautiful items.
 The Marshallese are known for their weaving and I've wanted one of these mats for a long time.   This one is about 5 feet long and 3 feet wide and we decided to display it on a wall (it's still unrolling).  We hung it while Sky was napping and when she saw it for the first time she pointed and said pretty! and kept saying that every time she walked past it.

We're Number 1!

November 4, 2011

The soccer team I played on , K.A.T, took first place last week.  We played a hard game against the second place finishers, Go Green, but beat them 2-1.  I had a blas playing soccer and I hope I get a chance to play again next year!

 K.A.T. team photo
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