Saturday, October 30, 2010

Aroy (Delicious) Food

Pad Thai, Sweet Corn, Grilled Chicken Wing= Yummy Dinner for about  $1 per person
I've heard from a few of you that you like the entry on food, so here is another...

When people ask us, "What do you miss from the US?" the answer has to do with food. I miss the convenience of it. A trip to the store never took too long, it involved getting into a car and driving though easy traffic, and knowing where everything was located once you got to the store. It also meant that making our favorite recipes used ingredients that are not imported and thus not too expensive. Deciding to make something special for dinner at 3:00 meant it could still be on the table by 6 within a budget.

We decided to make a pot of chili this weekend. It would be our own little Thailand tailgating night. It was even completed by calling my brother and best bud Steph who were tailgating for the Iowa Hawkeye game. After an hour trip to the store via subway and $30+ later I made some pretty good pork chili. I couldn't find any beef. At least we have some left overs.

When people ask us, "What don't you miss from the US?" the answer also has to do with food.We wish making food from home was cheaper, but things cheese are pricey! I don't miss the time spent in the kitchen EVERY day to make yummy food. We are still enjoying the walk down the street, saying hello to our favorite street vendors, and bringing home a delicious meal in less than 20 minutes. We have even found Pad Thai now and that is by far my favorite Thai dish. Or we always have the option of eating out. It's much cheaper than the US and we have haven't even been to all the restaurants within walking distance from our place in the 2 months we've been here.  The biggest thing about eating street food, you don't have pots, pans, or bowls to wash. Just plates, silverware, and maybe a bowl. Now what for dinner...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Just the Right Timing

We had a great lightning storm last night and Greg caught this amazing picture from our window.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Little Things are Sometimes the Big Things

I'm trying to get rid of my bangs, almost there!
Any female knows that right before you move you  go to your favorite place to get your hair cut and visit your favorite person for your last haircut before you leave. I did that in Hutch. No, it wasn't any place real special, but for the past two years only Lindsey at the Great Clips cut my hair. It's been about 3 months since I last saw Lindsey and I needed a haircut. I emailed Greg's bosses wife to get a suggestion. Today I went and could not be happier. For just about $20 I got the best haircut I've ever gotten, got pampered, and felt so relaxed. Milie, from LoveHairPro, even made my hair the smoothest I think it's ever been. It's even stayed that way all day in the humidity. Here's some self shots of my new do (not that new looking, but feels so good), plus you can see our kitchen. I'm sorry if this entry was boring to you, but when you move to a big new city the little things like figuring out where you're going to get your haircut for the next few years feels like a big thing. Plus, it's just another step in making your new home feel home. Again, I think the females reading can relate:-)
It lays so nicely!
Just the haircut took about 45 minutes, she got everything just right until she was satisfied.
Did I mention getting my hair washed took about 30 min? It was part washing part head/neck massage!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Haad Chao Samran

Going to the beach during the rainy season is a big risk. A risk we were willing to take. We woke up Saturday, grabbed some Dunkin' Donuts for the road, and headed to Haad Chao Samran in the rain. It took us about 2 1/2 hours to navigate our way there and we checked in to The Fisherman's Resort.

A fishing boat tied up during low tide. 
 At first we were both skeptical. It's a small place in a small town. The beach was white, filled with shells, had less garbage than Jomtien (see previous blog entry), and it was not raining. The hotel did not have chairs out, but with only a small amount of people out (some from the resort and some local people looking for crabs) we had our pick of sand. It really felt like a private beach. The water was warm and calm. We stayed out for a little while and then headed into town on foot to grab some Coca-Cola for our rum and bottles of water. We didn't make it back in time and our umbrellas put forth a good, yet  failed, effort to keep away all the rain.      

It rained hard and long on Saturday night. We brought along some of our favorite games and made the most of the downpour outside by staying inside. We did venture out again in our car for dinner and stopped at a small place with GREAT food and cheap beer. Greg claims to have ate the best cashew chicken he's ever had and I enjoyed a chicken curry dish. We wish we had gone their again on Sunday night instead of just eating at the hotel which was a disappointment. Now we know for next time.

Sunday was another beautiful day. We arose to sun, ate a lovely breakfast, and walked along the beach collecting sea shells. I took my second attempt at driving here and successfully took us down the coast to the next beach, Puk Tien. Here we discovered giant statues in the water (click here for some background or here for better pictures), ate an amazing lunch of shrimp salad and fresh fish with chili sauce and enjoyed the cool sea breezes. We ventured down to Cha-Am Beach as well, but discovered it was a lot like Pattaya. Covered with umbrellas and packed with people. We started to realize how nice our quiet, mostly deserted beach was compared to the others.

There was a giant turtle as well.
Greg standing by the giant lady.
We had a great few days on the beach and now we even have the rest of the day today to get some errands done, start the laundry, and maybe find some sushi for dinner. Since Greg has been working long hours, including last Saturday, he is even home today without using vacation. We've begun talk about what to do for New Years. Anyone want to meet in Hong Kong or somewhere else?
You can see the beach behind us, this is how busy it usually was.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Days of the Week

Twice a week at school I sit down beside my students for Thai class. Ms. Pu is our teacher and she really does a great job. She says most things in English and in Thai. We work on letters (all 48 of them) and numbers (they use our numbers 1,2,3 but they also have their own numbers) and on things like greetings. We start every lesson with days of the week. Did you know every day of the week has a color associated with it? Greg and I have been noticing many Thais dress in the appropriate color each day. I now realize the King was born on a Monday, that is why the color of Royalty is yellow.  If you come to visit us, here is how you should plan:


Saturday, October 9, 2010

World Wide Communion Sunday- 10/03/2010

Last Sunday our church took part in World Wide Communion Sunday. We learned that takes place the first Sunday in October. When you're attending a church with a congregation made up of people from all over the world, this makes it especially special. The week before we were encouraged to bring a bread or staff of life food from our home country. If we wished to participate, we were to bring our item for the table before church so that it could be used in the service as part of communion. We decided to participate and appropriately picked up a dozen Dunkin' Donuts to offer others.
Preparing the table!

After the service all the foods were put out to share. We ate rice balls, swiss chocolate, French cheeses, hummus, fresh bread, and homemade peanut butter to name a few things. We also met a man name Samson from India. He recently moved to Bangkok from Dubai, but is from India. We told him that we would love to go to India sometime. He told us to let us know when, his family lives in the north near the Himalayas and we could stay with his parents. You never know when you are going to make connections in this town!

Friday, October 8, 2010

It's Beginning to Feel a lot like....HOME!

Greg decided to put things as he found them unpacking. He wore his straw hat, ski goggles, and headlamp for hours.

Wednesday was a big day. Greg and I both had the day off to do many important things. All of these things are helping make Bangkok feel a little bit more like home.

1st) I was picked up at 6am along with our friends Melanie and Erik to go get my driver's license. Long story short, now both Greg and I can drive here! I have yet to actually do it, but I am planning on driving to church on Sunday and then to the store.

2nd) Our sea shipment arrive. Greg got the day off (no vacation day necessary) and was here to let the 9 movers move all the boxes in. We are in day 4 of unpacking and are hoping by Sunday to have things organized. We have realized we brought too many "things" or just have too many things in general. We already have a large pile for Second Chance Bangkok to come and pick up. There a GoodWill of the area that is connected with the same organization that I did my cooking class through.

Storage is our number one concern right now. We have a lot of books/games that were being stored in our storage closet that we really don't have a spot for. Greg's boss told us about a guy that custom makes things though and we may go to him for a TV stand as well as some matching shelves. Right now all those things are just in a pile.

It has been very nice sleeping in our bed though as well as waking up to coffee! Yum!

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Many have asked me, "How is school going?" It's going really well actually. Going from middle school to kindergarten has been easier than I expected. There are many similarities and some things that I just feel blessed about. For starters, I only have 10 kids in my class and 1 assistant. We can do lots of things. My assistant, Ms. Pu is also great. She gets things ready without me asking, makes my bulletin boards look fantastic, and works well with the kids on top of it. The kids are also very cute, smart, and for the most part nice. Most have nannies and drivers, but overall they are just kids. They like to play, learn, and they still like to give their teachers hugs!

This past week at school was safety week. We did all sort of special activities and role-plays. We made a pretend BTS (the sky train here in Bangkok) to practice getting on and off the train. We taught the little (2 year olds) how to be safe on the school slide. We also learned about fire safety from the local fire fighters. When they came, they even brought the fire truck with the ladder. Ms. Pu did a good job translating for us as the man speaking only spoke Thai.

At the end of the presentation that included things such as lighting propane on fire to show that it flammable and using a fire extinguisher, they had one last thing to show us. One of the men was dressed up as Spiderman and came jumping out of the truck! By this time we already had quite of few kids crying and scared and this just added to the number. For those kids not crying, they got to go up around 15ft. in the air with spider man in the ladder's bucket. I don't think this would ever be allowed in the US, but my entire class actually went up. It was quite the experience for all!

Some kids going up in the ladder. Here they were only about half way up! Don't worry moms and dads Spiderman was with them!
His costume was very authentic. It did not leave much to the imagination. My boss was a little uneasy about this...