Sunday, November 20, 2011

Reflecting on Marriage

Seems like a life time ago...and then again, just like yesterday. Nearly 33 years of knowing and 29 years of marriage. I think there must be some sort of medal or prize

 Must have been a bloody hot day, get a load of that candle.

Snap's other blog Chiang Mai Thai

Saturday, November 5, 2011

From Chiang Mai to Australia

From Chiang Mai to Australia  (23rd – 28th October)


It’s been three WHOLE days since we landed on Australian soil...we left with very mixed emotions, and that’s not taking into account dodging the flooding in Bangkok. For those living in, or keeping a close eye on, Thailand, the feelings have been mixed, if not angry at times. There have been many discussions across the blogging world about the ‘what ifs’ and ‘if onlys’. The fact is that this was and is a flood of phenomenal proportions. I don’t think anyone was or could have been prepared for its enormity.

The way we might handle such a national disaster in our birth land, could be much different to the way Thailand chooses to approach this catastrophe. I joked with a friend in Chiang Mai, when the river Ping was flooding (she was high and dry), who couldn’t swim.

“Just get a couple of empty 2 litre milk bottles and use them as floaties.” and re-enacted how LJ used to swim (flap) around the pool as a seems I wasn’t that far off. Kidding aside, looking at the sand bagging efforts in central Bangkok, the inner city residents did not seem as concerned as I was.

I did have the pleasure of meeting up with an email pen-pal of mine while there. A very educated man (engineer) and assistant managing director for a large construction company. We got chatting about the floods and ‘who was to blame’, if anyone. I mentioned the sandbags, or lack of, in my hotel area and he (not verbatim, but extremely accurately) said “Thai’s don’t prepare...when they see the water coming up the street, they might move...or, not...or if the flood is coming into there house...They live in the present.”

Whether it's possible to make such a broad sweeping statement or not, remember I’m only the messenger!


Most people write a list of what they’ll miss and what they won’t miss, but I’ll try not to go down that track. But, but, but.... Before we left Chiang Mai, Stray and I did ask each other what we would miss about Thailand, and I replied I wasn’t sure. He did point out that the $2 a week laundry fee would be hard to beat. And, I will certainly miss my fruit being pre-cut for me, the smiley 7-11 boys offering to open my large bottle of beer in-store (accompanied by a straw), the many friends I’ve made during my stay there...some still there and some who have moved on. Stray will surely miss his teaching and students...and massages. But, for every *thing* I’ll miss, there’s something to look forward to back home... especially working, to save the money for the next adventure.

The long part of the trip back home, from Kuala Lumpur to Gold Coast, was pleasant. Avoided (after a light dinner, inflating of a blow up neck pillow, snuggling under a sarong, come blanket) with the aid of a sleeping tablet. My first try and I highly recommend it. Never battered an eyelid until I heard the breakfast cart coming down the aisle.


We didn’t (quite) have to machete our way back into our yard, so that was a plus. CJ, less 20 odd kilos, looking just wonderful, and grandpumpkin met us at the airport, then chauffeured us to our house where frozen home cooked meals awaited us. Shortly after, my trusty steed (small car) was delivered back to me by its foster parents (thanks Dad and Mum) looking better than I’d left him. Not to mention an esky or two of food, cheese! ham! and and WHITE WINE...made in AUSTRALIA!

Getting in my own wheels and taking off, wherever, whenever, would have to be on the list of ‘biggest things I’ve missed in Oz', along with being able to drink water straight from a tap. However, I did feel out of sorts staring at the fruit today in our local store. Grapes $17.00 per kilo and nectarines, not much less. Nup!

And then, there was using my bank card at the shop. I had acquired a new one before leaving Australia and wasn’t sure if I’d remembered the PIN number correctly...and evidently, had not. A long (on hold) call to the bank is in order tomorrow.

Back in May, we received word that our house had been invaded by ‘termites’. A word synonymous to ‘cancer’, if it were in the human context. The deluge earlier in the year had no doubt driven the little critters indoors, away from the hundreds of more appetising trees on our property. It’s now October, and they’ve just apparently been halted, killed, exterminated. If it hadn’t been for CJ and her partner listening, touching, poking and crumbling off bits off our house, it would have been in much worse shape than it is. Still, they’ve eaten a path from the rear, through a staircase, in between floors, inner wall and door/window frames, to the front.

So, for now, it’s clean up, settle down, repair and back to work time.

Snap's other blog Chiang Mai Thai