First Day On My Own…

Peter and Sandra are out of the country for a bit, so I am officially on my own right now. No worries, though – I have lots of great people I can call if I need anything! 🙂

Here’s what this “party girl” does when left on her own in a foreign country… (hehe – are you ready?)

Last night, I changed into my pj’s, turned on the television to the Home and Health channel (with all the TLC family shows – how come all of the “human interest” shows seem to be about people undergoing gastric bypass surgery???), and broke out my puzzles magazine for the first time (not on a plane) since leaving home. I curled up on the couch and did puzzles while listening to the TV until really late. – wait… Was it really only 10:30 when I went to bed??? Yep, it sure was, but it felt like at least past midnight!

This morning, I woke up several times super early, and finally got up around 6:30. Now, I get myself up on time (okay… occasionally in the nick of time…) every day. I’ve never actually still been asleep when it’s been time to go. For some reason, knowing that there was no one here to wake me up if I didn’t seemed to make me panic and wake up all through the night. Weird.

I ended up ready to go by 7:00, and the taxi didn’t come til 7:40 (which is when it’s supposed to come), so I had a good 40 min to just sit, listen to music, and wait for the rest of my day to start!

Language school was so much fun today!!! We learned how to say/ask/tell dates and days of the week (amongst other things! I can’t believe how much we learn each class!) and it was a lot of fun. Every class that goes by, I leave feeling like I’ve got a better handle on things and feeling braver in trying out my new words on Thai people. I still get a bit clammed up in class, but that’s okay – I’m learning! For example, at first when I wanted pineapple, I just pointed at the pineapple and smiled at the man. Then, I started pointing and saying “sapparot”. Today, however, I said “Ow sapparot neung chin kha” which is “I want one slice of pineapple” in the best Thai I could come up with on the spot (there may be a word missing or something… Dichan ow…?). In case you’re curious, those words literally mean “Want pineapple one slice kha” (kha is what girls tag on the end of pretty much everything, and guys say khrap). There are no plurals in Thai (or tenses, or a number of other things that we have…), so you always say the object, the number, and then the classifier. “Pineapple 2 slice”, “candy 5 piece”, “sugar 1 spoon”, etc.

I picked up lunch at the grocery store at Central Chidlom. I ended up going with Indian today (international Asian food is in abundance here – and it’s all good!), and got rice with butter chicken and chicken vindaloo. Mmm!!! One thing I’ve gotten really good at since getting here that I could not do at all at home is leaving food on my plate. Honestly, I used to eat whatever was on my plate; even when I was full, I’d find a way to finish off what I’d taken. Since coming here, I have *almost* always not just left a dab, but a fair portion on my plate. And not just because I’m trying to watch that area but also because for the first time I have managed to get myself into a routine where I really do stop eating when I’m full (!). You buy lunch, and it looks huge, but then you get to where you’re full and realize you had all the meat and veggies and only half the rice (I know “half” depends on how much you started with – just trust me, it’s WAY less than I would eat before). Honestly, even if I never lose any weight at all, I feel like I’ve finally learned how to eat, and that makes me feel so much better about myself. 🙂

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I *did* just eat a chocolate bar, and have had a couple other *treats* since coming here, but those were treats I’d been saving literally for months and now that they’re gone – no more! 😀 I’d rather have pineapple or farang, anyway… So it’s all good. 🙂

Okay… then I went back to NightLight and got my ESL lesson all ready to go. I was SO excited for the lesson this week because I felt SO much better prepared than I did for the other weeks. And… it went great! I had so much fun! We did “Questions with ‘To Be’”. First, we learned the verb “to be” in the present and past tenses. This is important because Thai has no tenses. To indicate time, you say “Today I ride the taxi to school” and “Yesterday I ride the taxi to school” and “Tomorrow I ride the taxi to school”. All the same verb tense. So, we spent time on the different verb forms, and then looked at how if you switch the order of the verb and subject, you can make a statement a question. “They are late.” becomes “Are they late?” Poof! Just like magic! 😛 Then, we played charades with different verbs like “playing”, “reading”, “throwing”, etc. They had to guess what the person was doing by asking the question correctly: “Are you reading?” and the person would respond, “Yes, I am reading.” They seemed to really enjoy it and we had fun watching each other ham it up!

After my ESL class, I went to the ESL class Rebecca runs for the girls. She’s great – she has so much enthusiasm and comes up with great ideas to make the class as engaging as possible. It’s definitely not the easiest audience to please, but she has some trademarks (catchy songs, actions for certain sounds, a great sense of humour) that the girls really seem to respond to! I really enjoy sitting in on her classes not just to see her technique, but because they’re fun – and I also really enjoy the time to sit with the girls. It’s not a lot of interaction, but it’s a connection point. 🙂

Then, I finished a little admin task I’d been working on. And then I started on my way home!

I love taking the Sky Train – not so much because of the novelty of riding on an elevated train, but because it makes me feel like I know what I’m doing, you know? I

[excuse me while I interrupt myself here to inform you that another human interest show just came on called “The Fat Family” – everyone in the family has had gastric bypass surgery except for the one guy who’s doing it during this episode. Honestly – is it some kind of special week or something?… I have nothing against the topic; it’s just weird that with all of the other health issues in the world, they’re doing the same one over and over and over… Anyway… back to our regularly scheduled paragraph…]

I really like feeling like I know how to get around by myself and can take care of myself. With all of the people going their own ways, I always end up where I intend to, just like a local. 😛

Anyway, when I got to On Nut, I went on a walk through the grocery store there simply because I could. That is the last time I go for a walk in a grocery store here without good purpose!!! It’s a great store, but there is something in the food area that smells like “not fruits, not veggies, not dairy, not carbs, and I-can’t-believe-it-therefore-must-be-meat”. Seriously. Now, there are very unusual smells around food stalls on the streets, but those are strange to me because they are types of seafoods and other things with which I’m not familiar, prepared differently, too. They are smells that I can’t identify, but have come to recognize. This particular smell in the grocery store, though, I have never smelled before in my life and I really hope I don’t encounter frequently enough to come to recognize it! 😛 Well, I quickly made my way back outside and grabbed a taxi.

This taxi smelled like wet corn on the cob.

Yesterday’s taxi smelled strongly of fruity perfume.

Thailand should be called “the Land of Smells”. hahaha

Enough about smells (I don’t really mind them – it’s just one of those things about moving somewhere with totally different foods and whatnot…).

I came home and practiced my Thai again. For example, yesterday, I used my new words to tell the taxi driver to “liaw khwaa” and “joot thiinii” (“turn right”, and “stop here”). However, today I used my other new words to put more of a sentence together: trongbay leew ko liawkhwaa leew ko trongbay (not sure all my spelling is right, but I’m not going to go find my notebook now…). This means “go straight, and then turn right, and then go straight”. And it worked! I’m home!

I had left over lasagna for dinner, started my laundry, washed my dish (yes, singular…), booted up my computer, put on Night at the Museum because the tv channels were messed up from the storm, and listened to the movie while writing this update. Now, the tv is back on, I am still writing this update and I think I need to go check on my laundry.

It’s almost 10:00 and I should go to bed pretty soon. There’s another day coming soon… 🙂

Remember to feel free to leave comments and ask any questions about anything. Or send me an email. I love to hear from people!!! 🙂

God bless, and have a great day!

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