Monday, September 30, 2013

Mandalay Photos

Since I'm still stuck here in a hotel in Bangkok, thought I'd take advantage of the internet to post some photos I've taken at school/in Mandalay.  Actually, being "stuck" in a hotel isn't bad.  I have air con, cable TV, multiple restaurants/food carts within 100 yards.  This is a nice way to spend a rainy afternoon in Bangkok.  I'm not sure how I'll cope with life when I'm expected to be other than a couch potato.

This is my apartment in Mandalay...kidding.  I was feeling homesick so was looking at photos of my home in Florida.  Thanks to Patrick for staying there while I'm gone and taking care of everything for me.

I could have sworn I'd added these photos.  The next several are from our field trip to Nature's Life.  Sort of like a giant petting zoo +.

The kids LOVED riding horses.

But were scared to death of the chickens.

She loves her mom, Hello Kitty and this hat.  She's a sensitive sweetie.

Digging soil for our first planting project.

When you see smiles like this everyday, how can you not enjoy your job?  I love these kids.  That's Sam, btw, who is the one I wrote about recently who commented "Oh no!  We're not very clever!"  Yes, Sam, you are clever.  And cute.

Two Ayeyarwaddy International School flags and the Myanmar flag.

We were studying plants in Science so went outside to draw different types of grasses, shrubs and trees.

We challenged a 3rd grade class to a throw down - who could correctly classify words by part of speech.  First grade won!

We had five minutes before recess so I broke out the ping pong balls.  The goal is to blow it off the other guys side.  Very fun.

This was during the 3rd grade grammar throw down.  It's blurred because they never stop moving!

Drawing + science = fun and learning.

I'm a sticker for making the kids follow rules and not run wild.  It makes it possible for us to spend time outdoors doing studying science.

May not look like it from this photo, but this charmer is one of the most social kids in the class and is rarely without a smile.

We celebrated pirates all week long.  Here, they're making pirate hats.

Teacher May made this project happen - she's great!

We had a pirate parade to the principal's office where they greeted Dr. Gary with "Arrrgh, ahoy matey!" followed by a pirate chant.

They wore their hats for a week.

It was his birthday so his parents brought this tiny little  cake plus gallons of ice cream.  The kids were out of control for the rest of the day.

I've seen smaller wedding cakes.

The birthday boy and I cut the cake together, much like a wedding ceremony.  He was in hog heaven to be the center of attention.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Still in Bangkok

I've caught doctor, a charming and attractive Thai man, is in love with me.  He hasn't said it out loud but the fact that I keep wanting to go home to Mandalay and he keeps saying "No, it is better for you to stay in Bangkok." leads me to believe he has a crush.

Sure, it could be that the infection isn't responding as quickly as he or I would like.  But really, isn't it more fun to think he has a crush on me rather than just being concerned about my health?  Seriously, he seems to be a great man and doctor.  My only complaint (on behalf of his wife and children) is that he works too much.

I'm trying to look at the bright side of this.  While I'm burning through my sick leave from school, I'm enjoying cable tv and internet, both of which I don't have in my apartment in Mandalay.  I'm feeling at home here at Dubliner Place.  They've been very kind about continuing to extend my stay.  The cleaning woman is also great - she keeps the place sparkling clean and now, rather than putting all the pillows back where they belong after making the bed, she puts them where I need them - some to lean on and some to prop my leg on.

I asked the dr. if I could get out of bed and do some walking.  He said that if it doesn't increase the swelling or pain that I can walk.  I commented that just standing up causes pain.  His logical response?  "Then you shouldn't be walking too much."

My journey to become the consummate couch potato continues.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Bangkok from a Taxi

Since I'm on doctor-ordered bed rest, aside from visits to the hospital each day, I'm not seeing much of Bangkok, which is a shame.  The good news, though, is many of the taxi drivers take the back roads to avoid the very crowded Sukhumvit and Thanglor roads.  Some things I've noticed...

  • I keep passing a Japanese pizza place.  I'm intrigued and a wee bit frightened.  Raw fish on pizza could work.  Wasabi could be ok.  But in general?  No, the idea of Japanese pizza doesn't appeal.  But, they deliver and it's not far from my hotel.  I might have to give it a try.
  • Clearly Bangkok is the place to go if you'd like to do a little something to improve your appearance.  The 6 minute drive from the hospital to the hotel stretched into almost an hour today even via the backroads.  While I sat in the back of the taxi I contemplated all the signs at the clinics offering all sorts of treatments to make me look younger and more beautiful.  Frankly, I'm just not sure where I'd even start.
  • I love the creativity in the driving here.  The back roads are very narrow.  If traffic is heavy in one direction, cars and motorcycles will just take over the other lane as well.  Too bad for oncoming traffic, who actually have the right of way.  They just pull into a side street.  I also like how people will stop to let cars turn or pull ahead.  If they didn't, traffic would eventually just stop.
  • How much do you suppose the security guards are paid?  Part of their job is to step in front of on coming traffic to stop it so that cars can come out of whatever business/residence they're guarding.  They do the same thing in Myanmar.  I've never seen anyone hit but I've seen some guards leap out of the way when drivers don't stop for them.
  • Bangkok is divided, informally, into ethnic areas.  My hospital is in the Japanese area.   One hotel where I stayed was in an Arabic neighborhood.  My current hotel seems to be in an Irish area, or at least a neighborhood where Irish pubs are popular.
  • I ordered food delivered from Sunrise Tacos.  It's a good Tex-Mex chain that offers 24 hour delivery.  I'm using the excuse that I'm supposed to stay in bed as an excuse to order the delivery.  And because I like Mexican food.  The desk clerk at the hotel just called my room to ask if I was having American food delivered.  Yes, I guess this type of Mexican food really is American food.
  • Driving past the many high end furniture stores and car dealerships says a lot about the amount of money people in Bangkok have.  Mercedes?  Bentleys?  Really beautiful Persian carpets and extraordinary furniture?  All readily available.
  • There are many high-end eateries in this part of Bangkok.  In front of or very close to many of them are food carts on the street.  I wonder if it bothers the restaurant owners or if the clientele is so different that it doesn't matter.
  • As I sat is completely stopped traffic, a food vendor road his bicycle past.  I knew he was a food vendor because he'd tricked out his bicycle to have a "table" holding his cooking area on the front of the bike.  It included a small grill, which was cooking some type of meat skewers as he pedaled past.  Smelled delicious. 

Photos - School, Bangkok and Hospital

Here are some of the photos that were in my camera.

More gardening - more sand than soil but you have to work with what you've got.  That's garage under my apartment in the background.

I like to do classes outside.  So do the kids.  This day, they were practicing map reading skills by using a pirate map to find buried treasure.

The kids were totally into the treasure hunt.

$3 worth of Myanmar take out food.  Delicious.

My $.30 ring from the Nat festival.  I took it off in the hospital because it was turning my finger green.

More Myanmar takeout.  Barbecue skewers of potato, garlic and pork.  Delicious but every single bite of meat had a bone in it.  That's Myanmar food. 

Sadly, this was my next door neighbor Jodi's last day in Mandalay.  She's holding "Brownie" the cat we all share.

First night in Bangkok.  I walked to Sunrise Tacos at Terminal 21 and brought home nachos and chicken tortilla soup.

And I worry about plugging two things into an extension cord.

For mi amigo Juan in Santa Fe

On the Istanbul floor in Terminal 21

Bling is popular in Asia.

My $2 lunch from the food court at Terminal 21.  Pad Thai and mango and sticky rice.

Toilet options in public restroom at Terminal 21

Public toilet

The San Francisco floor at Terminal 21

Food court at Terminal 21

Jodi and I went back for Mexican before heading off to get me fingerprinted.

Yup, that's me - being fingerprinted in the Bangkok police station.

The bad leg just before I went to the hospital.  Really, does it look that bad?  I expected some pills, not  a week in the hospital.

My view in ICU.  After the first few hours they upgraded me to a glassed-in room in ICU.

I believe if you're healthy enough to be taking selfies, you don't belong in ICU.  Those are the GIANT pajamas I wore everyday.  All other pairs were pink.

Plugged in to the antibiotics.

My very nice private room.

Lunch - chicken, cauliflower, salad with tuna and sliced asian pear.

Breakfast - bacon, toast, apple and grape juice.  Since they delivered tomatoes and lettuce I made a BLT.

The giant pink pjs.  Note that they cover about half the bed.

On8 Hotel.  The flash doesn't show the ambient lighting the room provided.

Room service - a hamburger with no egg.  Guess they missed that part about no egg.  That's the tiniest piece of incredibly stale blueberry cheesecake I've ever tasted.