Monday, August 30, 2010

TAT advises Stray's TEFL course has been cancelled...

This afternoon Stray received a momentarily heart stopping email from TAT (Teach Abroad Thailand), in answer to his Visa questions, as they had not provided any information to date. The email also asked him if he'd received notification of the CANCELLATION of the TEFL course due to commence in November. TAT advised that the other students were relocating to Pattaya. There was no offer of a later start date.

NO, he did not receive the notification and NO, Pattaya is not an option!!!!!! because I will be based in Chiang Mai...and we really like Chiang Mai.

So he requested a refund for the £450.00 deposit already paid.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

To Do-ne List (the cattery, laptop security and life in general)

So, how’s it all going? Well, good, but a bit stressful ...thanks for asking!

The To Do-ne list is getting smaller, but is still quite large and scary. About 80% of the house contents now resides in the donga in boxes labelled A-Z or 1 -  and their innards methodically logged in an Excel spreadsheet for easy (ha) relocation. The walls are pretty bare and cupboards look a little like those from the set of Ghost Town.

Some of our clothes and linen have been vacuum packed into those plastic sucky bags and now look like compacted road kill.

The gate, the essential loophole closer in the Rotty proof fence, has been wire brushed (by me) and is awaiting a coat of black glossy paint (by me).

*Note – the Rotty hasn’t chased next door’s sheep for a couple of weeks, but he has taken liberty with the open gate and was caught out on the road twice today. He is truly a beautiful dog and we have no doubt that we will have him, nearly, trained and adjusted before we go...but Bundy still glares at him with a ‘WHEN!!!! are you leaving????’ look.

The side veranda, AKA cattery for the daughter's three indoor nutty cats, has now had its slab (floor) laid. Our wonderful friends came to help and due to rain, the ordeal/partying lasted two days, not one. The event was not without its hilarity and tragedies.
Still before, but from another angle...

Friday, August 20, 2010

Google Translatastic! would be excused in believing I clearly have too much time on my hands, which I do not. I’m just biding time until we take off!

Part of writing a blog, and reading the blogs of others, is a journey of discovery. Usually a blog is born out of a purpose to share, educate and or entertain. While I’m pursuing my own interests I come across some remarkable and humorous material.

I (as many of us do) have a chuckle when I find those funny signs or menus written in Chinglish (to which whole websites have been dedicated like, but it was refreshing and amusing to read about just the opposite on China Hush. Some very poor judgements made in choosing life lasting tattoos...written in, well, Englese! I won’t be listing them, but you may like to take a look.

Brisbane’s China Town...and what about China Town? I sincerely hope that the Brisbane City Council, in its infinite wisdom, took the time and money to ensure we have not littered China Town with similarly ridiculous signs.

I’m really interested in what new comers to Australia think when they arrive. Are we hospitable as a nation? What do some people find odd about us or our customs?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Pilotage Cambodia

It's 2008 and Missy sets off from the US to Cambodia...her first time in Asia! She stays for eight months and revisited just recently. She spent her time there teaching English and Art at Aziza's Place (AP). AP is an orphanage of sorts, although in this case, the kids have parents. Pilotage Cambodia, Missy's blog, takes you on a journey of sadness and joy, as she briefly touches and enriches the lives of the kids doomed to an existence of scavenging at Steung Meanchey city dump, she in turn creates memories and learns lessons I am sure she never knew were possible.

"Words cannot describe the journey.. but they try." - Missy.

Steung Meanchey

I can't tell you how I tripped over Pilotage Cambodia, because it was completely off my normal blog circuits, but I am so glad I did. As a blogaholic, it's hard to pick a favourite...if there is such a thing, but there was something about the way Missy wrote that kept me glued from start to finish. 

AP also has its own Newsletter called Aziza's Courtyard and it too, is well worth a visit, subscription...or better still, a donation.

Cambodia, and of course Ankor Wat, is on my 'see before I cark it list'. Stray and I heard nothing but good things about the country from fellow travellers and I hope when we're in Thailand, that we can make the journey. I know I'll be making a special stop, whilst there!

If you have time or love a good, honest read, please take time to check out Pilotage Cambodia...from the beginning.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

What are these please?

Sunday morning markets.

Turmeric? and chillis.
Don't know what's in the bags, the guy selling these didn't know their any language. Here's a close up, any ideas? Small to big pea sized and shaped, each on their own stork attached to a main stem. Most were green, a few were turning yellow to red and you can just make out the small cream coloured flowers. Chillis?


Sunday morning market at Woodridge Station, Brisbane, Australia 6 am - 12 pm. We walked away with enough fruit and veggies to hurt my arms, for AU$20.00.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Dalat digs

A couple of weeks ago Retire 2 Thailand was calling for alternative retirement locations and fond memories of Da Lat, Vietnam came to mind. Then more recently American Vietnamese was blogging about university student housing in HCMC (Saigon) and of course I had to add my two bobs worth about our experience with the same, but in Da Lat
Earlier this year we caught up with an old, young friend, Dung, in the picturesque mountain city of Da Lat (a MUST SEE).

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Barcelona baggage

Stray and I love to travel, especially in Asia, but I really did enjoy our short stint in the Mediterranean and would love to go back there one day...only it’s so far away and our one time visit left a bit of a bad taste in our mouths. I mentioned this incident in brief, in a previous post, but here’s the whole story.
This was only our second trip overseas and our travel package included flights and a seven night cruise, leaving from Barcelona (Spain) to France, Italy and back again. We cruised with Royal Caribbean and the ship, Voyager of the Seas, was truly spectacular, dwarfing the others docked along side in port. It took a couple of days to get over the jet lag, but we had a ball. Every day was at racing pace, with only one day to see which ever city we had cruised into.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Life Update - the Rotty, Blackboards, getting ready etc.

Things are going pretty well to plan.

1. I have confirmed that there is NO alien infestation in the Donga...just dry rot and have relocated it's contents outside, to the yard , under a tarp, and am arranging for new flooring to be delivered. It has been a very INTERESTING exercise (CJ and LJ!!!!), since some of it's contents have been long buried and forgotten for may years.

2. I have completed and shipped off the last of my blackboard jobs off to their various habitats and am looking forward to completing my 'How To' Chalk Art ebook/tutorials, while in Thailand.

3. The Rotty seems to have (touch a freakin' forest's worth of wood) stopped chasing the sheep next door...YES, we have Kiwi's living adjacent to us. As big as he is, Conan is like a giant rodent and has a Houdini like talent of being able to squish, squeeze and slide under a few centimetres of barbed wire dog fencing. I take that back...I just had to retrieve him from the neighbours place, yet again.

Conan, the Rotty, in bliss!
 4. I feel like I am living in a bit of a war zone of late, as expected, with so many different projects happening, both in and outside of my head. Boxing up, repairs and building happening all around.

5. I have been investigating some really interesting and invaluable (to me) blogs...and am sure I have yet to discover many more! As much as I like to go off on a tangent...I am trying to focus on Thailand...Chiang Mai....learning Thai and having a ball! For now, anyway!

I've moved the Blogga Log (Blog Roll) to a stand alone page due to my growing addiction to reading and collecting blogs of interest.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Warning: May contain traces of peanuts

While I’m going about my Saturday morning chores, I like to catch up on some current affairs programs which I have undoubtedly missed during the week. If you watch a lot of SBS or ABC in Australia, you’ll hear and or see, from time to time: Warning! Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are warned that this program may contain names and images of deceased people.

Every time I hear this I say to myself, I must find out what it’s all about. Because, to be honest, lucky for me, it has all the relevance of a ‘may contain traces of peanuts’ warning on the back of a cereal box.