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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Lost in Translation

I saw this at a friend's place tonight and just couldn't help but empathize with this guy.  
Language is so funny!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Three Months

Three months in Thailand has flown by.  I'm so thankful for the opportunity to be here and to get to know some wonderful people.  Here I am with my Thai language teacher, Ploy.  She has been such a blessing to me, and I am so thankful for her.  We study at a coffee shop inside the rear gate at the hospital near my house.  All the ladies know us there.  Coincidentally, just outside the gate is a row of coffin shops... Not sure what that says about the hospital...
Ri-en pasa Thai gup Cru Ploy (Studying Thai with Teacher Ploy)

Rainy season has begun here, with consistent heavy rains that soak the ground and then steam the air when the hot sun reappears.  This morning the rain is deafening on the tin rooftops in my mubaan.

Rain clouds over my neighbor's house

He keeps his bike dry under the awning

Sunday I renewed my visa by crossing the border into Tachilek, Myanmar.  This town is just a few kilometers away from the epicenter of the March 26 earthquake.  Victims of the earthquake continue to suffer, many without homes which is becoming a larger problem with rainy season setting in.  The wet streets of the market were lined with everything imaginable for sale: shoes, bags, electronics, motor-scooters, ice cream, dishes, sunglasses, pirated DVDs, bedding, cell phones (the "Nikia" seemed to be a pretty popular brand) tourist trinkets and animist ritualistic artifacts like monkey skulls and amulets.

Tachilek market

Bags and bags of mushroom: big ones, short ones, fat ones, lacy ones...

Monday, May 9, 2011

A Matter of Perspective

If you have never experienced exhilarating cliff-hanging moments, an impetus for rock-solid determination, agony, confusion, and frustration and near-despair all wrapped neatly into one event, I highly recommend taking a turn at attempting to navigate the governmental system of a foreign country in a foreign language.

Just shy of 3 months in-country, after 2 applications, 3 visits to the appropriate office, hearing different things from 6 people, 4 pictures taken, countless copies made, paperwork redone, and white-out liberally applied, I have successfully obtained a much-needed work permit.

It's a good day in Thailand.