Saturday, September 3, 2011
Where Did The Week Go?!?
Wow! Here it is Saturday afternoon already! I cannot believe how quickly this week went by but I expect this is our new "normal" so I had better get used to it.
The kids had a great week at school. Homework was not too bad and there were no tests to study for so the week was meltdown free. Always a good thing! Christopher has been playing intramural basketball three afternoons a week and Caitlynne joined in this week as well. Try outs for the school basketball teams will be this coming week and I think Caitlynne and Christopher are going to try out for the 13 & Under teams. I am sure that if both of them make their teams, it will be busy around here. ISB belongs to BISAC (Bangkok International Schools Athletic Conference) and, although the other schools in the conference are right in/around Bangkok, there will be a lot of travel time involved in getting to and from the games because of the traffic. I think ISB has the best facilities in the conference though so I hope more of the games are held at home.
Yesterday afternoon, the Middle School had a "Sports Bash" after school and then a dance in the late afternoon/early evening. For the Sports Bash, the P.E. teachers offered different sports in the different gyms and around the athletic complex. Then they had pizza and the dance. Rumor has it that Christopher was impressing everyone with his "worm" dance moves! He also had a basketball game last night so by the time 6.30 pm rolled around for the tip off, he was exhausted (and quite sweaty)! It was a total nail biter of a game and his team lost by 1 point. However, they all played really well and more of the boys were making their shots. There was another game this afternoon and they won by almost 14 points.
Every Tuesday and Thursday, the Embassy provides a "family shuttle" from Nichada to and from the Embassy. The shuttle leaves Nichada at 8.30 am, arrives at the Embassy at 9.30 am (if traffic cooperates) and then goes back to Nichada at 2.00 pm. It is nice to have this transportation available for medical appointments, functions at the Embassy or even just to go downtown for shopping or lunch. Thursday, some friends and I took the shuttle to go shopping at this mall called MBK Center. I am including the link here in case you want to take a look (http://www.mbk-center.co.th/th/). There are 7 floors of craziness - lots of people, loud music, flashing lights and tons of shops and stalls selling everything imaginable. Total sensory overload. People refer to MBK as the "indoor Chatachuk" (the huge outdoor market Caitlynne and I visited a few weekends ago) and, other than MBK having the benefit of air conditioning and being smaller, they are very similar. A lot of the stalls sell Thai crafts, products made from Thai silk, and other good quality souvenir products so MBK is "the" place to go for nice gifts to send back home. Everything is to be bargained for and you can be a bit more aggressive in your negotiations here as there are so many vendors offering similar type goods. If you can't get the price you want, it is easy to walk away knowing a vendor right around the corner will have the same thing and you can negotiate for a better price. My friends made several purchases (mostly home decorating items) and we had a nice lunch together so the day was a success.
PeePorn made several nice meals for us this week but somehow I only managed to take photos of two dinners.
Authentic Thai lettuce wraps - definitely not P.F. Chang's!
Here is a close up so you can see the chilies! It was a bit spicy but not unbearable.
I wish I could remember the name of this dish (below). Kevin had it in the Embassy cafeteria one day and he wrote down the name of it so I could ask PeePorn to make it. I can't find that piece of paper now but I know it had wide noodles, chicken, egg and probably some other things in it - very delicious.
Another neighbor hosted our Wednesday morning coffee this week. It is fun going into the homes of other Embassy families and seeing the style of furniture and types of fabrics that they ended up with. Having seen a few of the fabrics used to upholster some of my friends' furniture, I consider myself very lucky. My rugs, decor, art, etc. will coordinate really well with what we were given. One friend has her furniture upholstered in a dusty blue-grey fabric and I think that is probably the ONE color that I just could NOT work with as far as decorating is concerned. Unfortunately, neither can my friend. I think it will be a long three years for her!
Another friend recently became certified to teach "zumba" so I took two of her classes this week. According to http://www.zumba.com/, zumba is "an exhilarating, effective, easy-to-follow, Latin-inspired, calorie-burning dance fitness-party™". The classes were fun but I don't know how much of a work out it really was. I was sweaty and out of breath at the end of class but, really, anyone would be if they tango'd and salsa'd for an hour. I will probably go once or twice a week (more for the social aspect than for exercise) and keep up with my running. Our running situation has improved a little bit as Fall approaches. There have been a few "cooler" mornings this last week and it is amazing how much easier it is to run when it is 82 degrees and not 88 degrees. Two months ago if someone told me 6 degrees would make such a huge difference, I would have laughed. Now, I understand and appreciate.
We had our AFN satellite installed earlier in the week and that has provided us with yet another connection to home. AFN stands for Armed Forces Network and provides U.S. television programming to international locations, primarily for Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine installations. However, in certain locations (Bangkok being one), other U.S. Government missions can "piggy back" on to the service. There are 3 AFN channels available to us in SE Asia - a sports channel, a news channel and a channel that runs a variety of U.S. programs and shows (sit-coms, miscellaneous talk shows, etc.). While we (I) were hoping to have the system up and running for the New York Giants - Jets game on Monday night, it didn't happen. However, this wasn't such a bad thing considering how horribly my Giants played! I hope there are some big improvements this week as they play the Redskins on Sunday and (believe it or not) there are a couple of people in this home who are actually Redskins' fans! Christopher and Kevin have been able to watch a few baseball games and watched the TCU-Baylor football game this morning, which had a fantastic ending. I don't think VA Tech football games will make the AFN programming cut, but at least we can catch the replays on Sports Center.
Have a fabulous weekend!