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.