Saturday, December 29, 2007

New Specs

Here's my new specs that I got in Bangkok. The chicks and doods dig 'em.


Friday, December 28, 2007

Back home, but change of plans!

I made it back home from Thailand a week ago and have been trying to adjust to the time difference! So far so good, I guess? I've actually been going to bed pretty early, around 9-10:00, and have been getting up pretty early, between 7-8:00. Anyone who knows me knows that those are not my usual hours because I'm such a night owl! :D I really don't know what to do with my time now that I'm not having to go to work. I haven't done anything really productive yet, but I've got some things on my list ;)

There's been a pretty big change of plans though. Burin and I were supposed to come back from Thailand together on December 21st, stay in LA for a couple of days, and come back to MS on the 23rd. Well, due to Burin's mother's condition, he decided to stay in Bangkok for a few more weeks. Long story short, his mother ended up having several complications from the surgery she had on November 19. She had another surgery around the 19th of December, and has been in the SICU for several days. During her time in the hospital, Burin has been overseeing her care and treatment because, well, the Thai healthcare system and the American healthcare system are different, and he is treating her the 'American' way, which has literally saved her life. So, in that regard, he was not ready to leave his mom when it came time for our flight on the 21st. But, I decided to come on back home by myself due to the holidays, etc., and I had my flight back to MS on the 23rd moved up to the 21st.

Burin cancelled the five shifts he was to be working at CMMC this week. And as far as him starting work in Long Beach on January 1st, he has postponed that as well, and is thinking it will now be February 1st, providing the medical group allows him to do that. So, we shall see. Until then, I'm hanging out here at home.

Most of my time in Bangkok was spent hanging out at the hospital with his family (there are lots of 'em!), and every once in a while his sisters would take me shopping or something.. haha. No touristy sight-seeing things on this trip, unfortunately. We tried to have some fun though. On my last night in Bangkok, several of us went out for pizza and then went to Swensen's for ice cream! And since Burin's birthday was the next day, we got him an ice cream cake. :) Here's a photo of us with only part of his family - brothers, sisters, nieces, and nephews!


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Long Life the King!

I know English has to be a confusing and diffucult language to learn.

However, it makes me chuckle when I see embroidered on a shirt: Long Life the King! (One of the current favorite phrases around here is "Long Live the King!")

Guess I'll get back to the movie I'm watching on TV:
Live as a House.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Sawatdee Kaa!

Sawatdee kaa (hello)! I know, it's taken me forever to make a decent post since we arrived here in Thailand! We've been fairly busy, but today I have been at the house all day by myself so I figured I'd update while I had the time.

Burin's mom has been in the hospital for about three weeks or so due to surgery and subsequent complications from it, so we're actually at the hospital much of the time visiting with her and the rest of the family.

However, we have had the chance to go shopping at a couple of malls, shops, and street vendors. So far, I've bought about four shirts and two pairs of shoes. The shopping here is great because the prices are so cheap compared to the States! The two pairs of shoes together cost around $17.00! If you're ever in Bangkok, you should definitely check out Siam Paragon, a very nice upscale mall with lots of major restaurants, movie theatre, etc. I haven't done souvenir shopping yet because I plan to do that this weekend at Chatuchak, the world's largest weekend market, where there is a huge variety of items at really good prices.

I've had a variety of food here, both Thai and American (McDonald's, KFC, Starbucks!). The photo above was taken at a really good restaurant, one of Burin's favorites in Bangkok, called Ban Khun Mae (which translates to My Mother's House). It is located in the Siam Square area, which is filled with tons of restaurants and little shops with the coolest stuff!

We saw the King of Thailand the other night! His sister is in the same hospital that Burin's mother is in. He was visiting his sister (security was obviously very tight), and when he got ready to leave, they blocked the streets off and people lined up along the sidewalks to get a glimpse. We just happened to be walking back to the hospital from getting something to eat and showed up just in time. When the motorcade came through, the king was sitting by himself in the back seat of a car that was all lit up so that everyone could see him! It is so different here because the entire population loves and worships their king (as opposed to the US where half the population dislikes President Bush), so he doesn't have to worry much about assassination or anything of the like. So, that was kind of a neat experience.

Some everyday observations:

  • Beverages: most people drink water, and it's only bottled water here. Refills on sodas, coffee, etc., are not free.
  • Snacks: Thai people love to snack all day long. At any time, day or night, there are street vendors selling all different kinds of food. If you go to someone's house, they have all sorts of snacks out on the table or counter. Anyone who shows up to the hospital room usually has some kind of food or snack! Seems like people are always eating, and they love to bring and/or offer you food! :)
  • Shave-free Thailand: Thai women do not shave. So when I ran out of the travel-size shaving cream that I brought with me, I set out on a venture to find some shaving cream. Men's only. No tangerine-melon scented shaving cream for me. Um, yea..... :(
  • Traffic: is horrendous. Enough said.
  • Pedestrians do not have the right of way. They will run you over! Especially the ones on motorcycles!

Essential things you should always have on your person while here:

  • Hand sanitizer, Kleenex hand wipes, something.
  • A small pack of Kleenex tissues, travel size roll of toilet paper, something.
  • A calculator so that you can convert baht to dollars while shopping (most cell phones have calculators now though).
  • A camera, for obvious reasons.
  • A Thai-English dictionary (although I don't have one; Burin usually serves as mine).

A haiku, or two:

chao phraya river/longtail boats, water taxis/in bangkok, thailand

thai wats, lights come on/gold against the dark blue skies/along the river

(We were at a restaurant last night that overlooked the Chao Phraya River, which runs right in the middle of Bangkok; Burin was visiting with a couple of friends and I was kinda bored and being neglected. Haiku happened. Note: a "wat" is a temple.)

Hot Chili Squid-flavored Lay's potato chips anyone?


Sunday, December 9, 2007

From Bangkok

We made it safely to Bangkok and have been here for a week now. If we weren't leaving the house so early in the morning and getting home so late at night (and tired), I'd love to update. Coming soon though, I promise. :)


Saturday, December 1, 2007

Off to Bangkok in the morning

It is cold and wet here in SoCal! Two things you wouldn't imagine it would be.

We went to Huntington Beach today to look around at apartments and townhouses. We didn't actually look at any places but we did find a couple that had a 'for rent' sign in the front. We called the number to get info, but there was no answer. There is one place we're really interested in. It's a townhouse that we found for rent on before we left and we went to check it out. Of course it was almost 5pm so we didn't get an answer for that place either. It's a 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath, 2-story house with garage. Really nice. Here's a photo of it courtesy of the website.

We really like the area. It has all the essentials - Target, Starbucks, and Barnes & Noble. haha.. Seriously though, there are some really nice shopping places there. I could get used to it. :) We're going to try to call back in the morning about this one. Keeping our fingers crossed!

My next post will be from Bangkok! Our flight is at 11:30 in the morning out of LAX. Travel time: about 18 hours. Ugh. Need to go pack and break out the trusty Ziplock bags.


Friday, November 30, 2007

Final stop: Cypress, CA

We left Tucson around 11:30 yesterday morning and made it to Phoenix about an hour and a half later, where we stopped to visit my aunt and uncle in Glendale. I haven't seen them in probably over a year, so it was nice to make a pit stop by their house and see where they live! Aunt Hazel had made some brownies and they were sooo good.....mmm..... wish I had one right now. Oh wait, I can have one right now because she sent some for the road. :)

We stayed about an hour at their house and had to hit the road again. I tried my darndest to get a picture of a cactus, so here's a picture of one I got through the window while driving about 75 miles an hour. Why I didn't get a picture of one in one of their neighbor's yards, yea, I dunno. I guess I thought it'd be more of a challenge to find one while flying down the interstate. I like to keep things interesting.

So anyway, we made it to Burin's friend's house here in Cypress, CA, which is somewhere between LA and Long Beach, around 9:00 last night. Burin had an appointment/drug test/etc with the company he will be working for this morning, so I'm here waiting for him to get back. This afternoon I think we're going to go look around at houses and/or apartments, and do any last minute things since we're leaving for Bangkok in the morning.

And one last bit of exciting news for Southern Californians: it is raining, and I mean pouring this morning!! From what I understand, it has been quite a while since they've seen rain, and I'm sure with all the recent wildfires, they're glad to see it. I'm sure some kind of record is being set right now. Of course it would have to be the day we had planned to go out and look at apartments and all. Nice. :)

(Ok so maybe the rain isn't such good news.. it has resulted in flash flooding, mudslides, and fatal car accidents. eep!)


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Second stop: Tucson, AZ

I think driving on I-20 across west Texas is the most boring thing I have ever done in my entire life. No, seriously. Between Abilene and El Paso there is nothing, and I do mean nothing, besides you and a million truckers. I got so bored I had to dig out my camera. Here are a few results.

A nice sunset:

Some kind of self-portrait:

And a thumbs-up from my chauffer:

When we finally made it to El Paso, we made a Starbucks stop (surprise?). El Paso is a really nice place. I was impressed.

However, I was not so impressed with New Mexico. It stinks. Literally. No sooner than we got crossed over the state line did it start stankin'. It smelled like.. well.. the stinky end of a farm. Then we had to go through "Border Patrol," which consisted of stopping, the guy asking if we're citizens, us nodding our heads yes, him saying "ok," and us going about our business. I mean.....?....

We called it a night about 11pm when we got to Tucson, AZ, and by that time I was reeallly tired. We stopped again at a Best Western, and I was highly disappointed when I found out at breakfast that they didn't have an Arizona-shaped waffle-maker.

Til next time...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

First stop: Abilene, TX

We finally left Jackson yesterday around 4pm, a few hours later than we had originally planned. We made a Starbucks stop in Shreveport, an IHOP stop in Arlington, TX (between Dallas and Ft. Worth), and we are now in Abilene at a Best Western (which I highly recommend - very nice). We took turns driving and got here about 3:00 this morning.

Here I am with a waffle in the shape of TEXAS!

No, I'm not pointing anywhere near Abilene. And please excuse the bed-head/no-makeup-sleepy-face.


Thursday, November 8, 2007

Globe Hopping

November 21: My last day at work!

November 27-29: Drive from MS --> L.A.

November 30: L.A.

December 1: L.A. -->Thailand

December 21: Thailand --> L.A.

December 22: L.A.

December 23: L.A. --> MS

December 31: Burin goes back to L.A.

Whenever: Brandi goes to L.A.


Monday, October 29, 2007


So two weeks ago today I turned in my resignation at work! It was tough, but.. gotta do what ya gotta do. I'm gonna miss that place; the people mostly.

As it stands right now, my last day at American HealthTech will be November 21, the day before Thanksgiving, and we plan on heading out to Cali on November 28. Since they may or may not have someone hired in my place by the time I leave, I offered to come back in January on a contractual basis to help train the new person (if needed).

Once I get a timeline firmed up of where we will be and when (between MS, CA, and Bangkok) I'll post it here. Probably for my own sanity so I'll know where I'm supposed to be! :D


Sunday, September 30, 2007

Trading Pine Trees for Palm Trees

Back in March of this year, Burin went out to California to visit some friends for several days, and basically loved everything the area (L.A./Long Beach) had to offer - the beach, the mountains, the weather, the food, and just the diversity of it all. He began thinking about how he might like to live and work out there, and possibly in the future open up his own urgent care clinic for the Thai population out there (~100,000). So, "for fun," he applied for his CA medical license back in April. According to the Medical Board's website, it would be a six to nine month approval process, so we weren't expecting to hear anything until at least the end of the year. Well, only nine weeks later, he received his very own California medical license in the mail. We certainly weren't expecting things to move so fast!

Over the next several weeks, he began applying for jobs (as previously mentioned, he would eventually like to open up his own clinic, but instead of doing it right off the bat, it would be better for him to get to know the system, get to know people and locations and all, so it's better that he get a 'regular' job to start off with). Eventually, he got three interviews lined up for the first week of August, so we took a little vacation! It was my first time to visit Southern California, so we did lots of sightseeing and touristy things around LA, Hollywood, Malibu, Venice Beach, Long Beach... and while it still felt like a vacation, it was weird knowing that we could possibly be LIVING there within the next few months! But somewhere in between all the fun stuff he went on the interviews. He didn't feel too positive about the first two he went on, but the third one, everything clicked. This was the one he felt the best about all along (a hospitalist position at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center - comparable to Baptist or St. Dominic's here in Jackson). About a week after we returned from the trip, he got a call and was offered the position. ( ! )

So yes, that's right: we're moving to California! He is slated to start his employment with LBMMC January 1, 2008.

"What about you, Brandi?" you might ask. I'm excited as ever and scared to death all at the same time! I've lived in Mississippi (and right around my family) practically my whole life, so this will definitely be a life-altering experience. One I'm looking forward to though. :) The world is so much bigger than Mississippi, and those who know me well know that I'm a city girl who loves to travel and experience different places. And, I've always wanted to live somewhere else, so here's my chance.... I guess to Burin, this is "just another move," since he's lived on the other side of the world and a few places in between :)

Burin actually does not want to sell the house here just yet because it's in a good location, businesses and shopping centers are popping up all around here (thus making the value of the property go up), and we will have somewhere to come back to when we visit! He may rent it out temporarily to someone we know, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there. We're planning to rent an apartment in the Long Beach area for a few months or so until we can get to know the community and what areas are good and what areas are not, and decide exactly where we'd like to be (there are so many towns out there). The only stipulations: there MUST be a Target, Starbucks, and Barnes & Noble in the area! :)

So now comes the not-so-fun task of resigning from our jobs. The way it's looking right now, we will be here through the end of November, and in December, we'll drive out to California, then fly to Bangkok to visit his family for a few days, fly back to LA and attempt to find an apartment, and then fly back to MS for the holidays. And then, back to California! I'm tired already. :)

As for a job for me, I'll more than likely wait until I'm out there and then try to find something. I think the whole job searching and interview process would be easier if I was actually out there. But, we'll see what happens. Maybe I'll just be a barista at Starbucks ;)

Well, I think that's about all I know for now. I will update once I know more!

Brandi (& Burin)