Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Mulberry House ICP

If you knew me at all during high-school, you know I worked at the 7th Avenue Ice Cream Parlour (ICP) for many years. This week at school my classroom made/role-played ICP and it was great! We used paper cones and plastic balls for the "cooks" create the cones. We had menus for the "customers" and order forms for the "wait staff" It was really fun, so I decided to share it with you!
Alexander and Ayako are serving up some ice cream
We set it up in one of our outside areas. You can't see the other table in this picture, but it's to the left. 
Hannah gets her ice cream cones to bring back to the table.
Rehaan takes Edward's order
Tyler gives Annika a strawberry cone to take to the customer.
The girls give their orders to Hannah
Tyler is your waiter, looks like he's getting 2 strawberry and 1 lemon. Great tally marks Tyler!
Edward is taking the orders

The whole Rabbit Class, including my wonderful assistant Ms. Pu!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Lost in Translation

We've had many situations here in Thailand where you don't really know if your point gets across because of the language differences. There's probably more times than we know that the translation gets lost and life just goes on.

Go back 1 month...
When my mom was here we had a whole day of people working in our condo. People cleaning the air-conditioning, people spraying for bugs, and our landlord checking our leaking ceiling. Before our landlord left we set up a time for the workers to come and fix the leak in our ceiling. They needed 3 days to fix it.

What I thought I said: We are going to Hong Kong until January 2nd and we are both back to work on January 6th so we won't be here to let them in if we are both at work. Please come on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th. Ok, they were coming!

What he thought I said: Please come on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th because we will be gone the rest of the month.

Jump to last night...

Result: Since our landlord thought we were gone and wanted to make sure the leak was actually fixed and not leaking anymore, he used his own key to come in a check the leak himself. He came at 8:50 and if we were up, we'd had seen/heard him right away. However, we are trying to get caught up on sleep and were already in bed. (we sleep with the door closed) Here's how it went down: 1) Landlord decides to open the door to our bedroom and it immediately lets in light. 2) Greg starts yelling, "Who's there? Get out!" over and over as he gets out of bed. 3) I start screaming and put the blankets over my head. 4) Greg chases landlord to the door in his birthday suit and then turns around to grab some clothes. 5) Greg heads to the elevator and it's already closed going down and comes back inside to console me.  Greg immediately says he thinks it was our landlord (only other one with an elevator key and a key to our place) and we give him a call, sure enough it was him. Greg goes down to talk to him. We figure out the loss in translation and realize everyone is ok although Greg says he was nearly crying. A few minutes later we got a text, "So very very sorry!"

Still, it was hard to sleep last night and it's going to be a long Wednesday.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

New Friends

If you read the post about my mom and I visiting the palace, you know that we ended up meeting Kerstin and Phillip from Heidelberg, Germany. Before the end of that day, we exchanged emails and kept in contact. Last night on their way home to Germany they stayed in Bangkok again and met us for dinner and drinks. I think we will be life long friends.

My mom and I with Kerstin and Phillip at The Grand Palace. 

We learned that Phillip, at 28, has his doctorate in molecular-biology and Kerstin is a German history teacher. Phillip is starting a job with Proctor and Gamble in April working on developing a non-petroleum low cost fiber to be used in diapers. They are hoping to be expatriates in SE Asia themselves within the next few years.  Kerstin is hoping to find work wherever P & G gives the opportunity to move. I enjoyed talking with Kerstin about teaching, the perspective that many people have of teaching, and the joys we both find in teaching. We also reflected a lot on US and Germany relations and the fact that if it were 70 years earlier we would have never met under such circumstances. We had a lot in common and by the end of one evening it was as if we'd known them for a long time.

It's things like this that make us love living abroad. Who would have thought that we would make friends with a German couple while they were on holiday in Bangkok?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Glad We Did It, but Not Recommended

This blog has been a long time coming, with a few more days until I go back to school I'll take the time now to post about a trip we took about one month ago... 

The second weekend in December we took another train trip. It made stops at The Bridge Over the River Kwai as well as Sai Yok San Waterfall. It was a long day. We left our condo at 6:00am and returned around 9:00pm. While parts of the trip were great, it was a long hot day on an open air train. We are thinking we'll return to the bridge someday by car, but not by train. We're glad we did the trip first though so we could advise our visitors accordingly.
Our train pulling into the station, 6:30am
In a town we stopped in along the way
The Bridge of the River Kwai is open for pedestrians when it's not in use by a train.

The country side as we rode in the train 
The conductor

The conductor's view while going through part of the Death Valley Railroad near  Kanchanaburi
The waterfall, a little slow running in the winter seasons.

Monday, January 3, 2011

We Heart Hong Kong

Greg and I have a confession, we both have fallen in love. We love Hong Kong! We have just returned from our trip there and already can't wait to go back. We loved everything the city had to offer...  easy/cheap/an abundance of public transportation, easy to navigate streets complete with signs pointing you in the right direction, beautiful landscape, opportunities for hiking just outside of the city, cleaner than Bangkok streets, and I know Greg will want me to mention the local bars have a good selection of beer including pale ales and IPAs. While HK was not easy on our pocketbook, it was a city we know we will return to soon.

We went with a list of things we wanted to do, but no real schedule. Here's a day by day look on what we ended up doing.

Tuesday: Using the Octopus Cards (a card with money on it that you can use on every kind of public transport) we took the airport express train to Kowloon where we'd be staying for the week. We found our hotel relatively easily and realized we could see the harbor, a nice surprise thinking we'd booked a room with a city view.

Night  view from our room

Rose Garden in Kowloon Park (the park right  by our hotel)

Wednesday: We explored Hong Kong Island by foot including the botanical gardens, ate our first bowl of Chinese Noodles, took the historic peak tram  up to the highest point on the island to enjoy the sunset, and ate dinner at the East End Brewery where Greg enjoyed his first IPA in about 5 months.

Central Pier

Enjoying a big bowl of noodles!

Walking up a pedestrian only street.

Hong Kong Botanical and Zoological Gardens

St. John's Cathedral

The Peak Tram picking people up at the bottom

Night view from The Peak!

Greg enjoying his dinner at East End Brewery
A list of the beers on the wall to make our friends Eric and Melanie drool

Thursday: After another lunch of noodles, we took the train north to Tai Po to explore the Hong Kong Railway Museum. We dressed up to go out for the evening, including navigating the Central Mid-Level Escalators  up through Hong Kong's steep and hilly terrain.

Kowloon and Canton Railway Logo, not in use anymore but the old railway that connected Hong Kong to Guangzhou

Greg by the old engine "Sir Alexander"

The river in Tai Po

We stopped for some train pictures of course!

Taking the Star Ferry across the harbor

A night out

Enjoying a bottle of Italian Wine

Friday: We toured the Hong Kong History Museum (a quite through museum starting when the earth was formed through present day) and enjoyed the evening at a harbor side bar to enjoy the fireworks. Unfortunately we did not see the majority of the show, but the YouTube video we found of it looked amazing. We ended up meeting some British Expats, now living in Vietnam but have lived in the US too. You never know when you will make connections.

History Museum

Beautiful City

Happy New Year!!!

Saturday: We took a ferry out to one of Hong Kong's many outlying islands, Lamma Island. The island has a nice set of trails leading from one side to the other. The main trail was quite crowded in parts, but we did some side loops and then only saw a few people. We enjoyed a fresh seafood dinner before catching the ferry back to the main island.

 Yung Shue Wan, Lamma Island

Taking a break from hiking

Bananas growing right over the trail

Sok Kwu Wan, Lamma Island

I'm tired! We'd just hiked down then back up this side of the island

Sunday: After checking out of our hotel room and leaving our luggage with the bellmen for the day we headed to a traditional Chinese tea house from some Dim Sum and of course tea! Next we took a double decker (most of the public buses are double decker) from central HK to Stanley a cute touristy village to the south. We explored the shores and toured the Hong Kong Correctional System Museum . After taking the bus back to central we boarded a wooden double decker tram to make our way east to visit another location of the East End Brewery to enjoy our last meal of the trip. We arrived back to Bangkok early Monday morning and thus brought an end to a great vacation. Next time you should come with us!

Dim Sum and Tea

Stanley Beach


Our last meal, enjoying eating outside and not sweating to death. Actually we were a little cold and were thankful for the portable heaters :-)