Saturday, December 24, 2016

Thailand 2016 trip Part 1


  • T 6yrs old.  On encountering turbulence.  "This is fun!"  By the end of a flight which included an aborted landing due to a wind shear alarm, he threw up. 2yr old sister was not far behind.
  • By the end of the D.C. -Tokyo leg, commentary from other passengers, if they are this agreeable when tired and uncomfortable, they must be wonderful children from day to day.
  • Tokyo airport play area. We meet someone we know and our kids play for a while.
  • 5:30 in the morning wake up to roosters crowing. 2 yr old had been awake since 3 and thinks she has company in her morning concert. She knows that roosters say Cock-a-doo-doo 
  • First of many trips to the next soi (small street) market over to get morning breakfast. T learns to give food to the local monk. The next day we find out that the monk we picked can speak English. Wai phra becomes our daily ritual and we are usually not rushed by others waiting their turn so we can talk with the monk.
  • Cousin has a piano. That means T has daily piano practice. 
  • Visit great-grandma. T is getting the wai for hello thing down.
  • By the third morning T and I have made the first trip with just the two of us. T has learned to wai and say sawasdee khrab to every vendor we buy something from. We have gotten a discount from one vendor who knows that a 6 yr old boy is learning how to wai phra. People ask about his mother. Random people want to say hello. We get freebies when we buy things in the morning market.
  • Take train and boat to go to Museum of Siam. They are closed for renovation for the month. Major fail. T thinks that the boat trips on the river express boat were really cool. Maybe not so bad.
  • Go to Kasetsart to give a talk. The guy picking me up from the train station asks what am I wearing so he can recognize me. Thailand is in morning so everyone is wearing white or black, including me. I suggest my green bag is more identifiable.
  • Change the morning workshop based on the conversation over the drive. Three hour workshop, with two hours created as we go. It did not completely fall apart. Everyone learned a lot. 
  • Faculty member teased because we were talking about exchange programs, and she is thinking about what her daughter will do. Said daughter is currently 5.
  • Conversations at a couple of universities focusing on the difficulty in teaching programming to engineers. Everyone is relieved to know that they are not the only ones. Conversation then moves to how some places are trying to improve it.
  • This morning's market run was with grandma and granddaughter, but without grandson. Everyone asks what happened to grandson. We do not get our usual freebies. We can now put an economic value on the difference in cuteness between a very well behaved 6yr old boy vs a shy 2 yr old girl.
  • T and I go without mommy and sister to Siriraj medical Museum. We get to see actual hearts, lungs, etc in various states of health, including smokers, gun shot victims, stabbing victims. We are pretty sure that is unique in his first grade class.
  • Shop girls love T. Museum staff girls want pictures with him.  Maybe we should charge for the privilege.
  • 2 yr olds having a get home by __ spell means we can define an effective radius that we can have dinner if we want to go out.
  • Go out for a late dinner that involves taking a boat. We get recognized by a family that was on the boat with us this morning.
  • Lunch, I find a table with a sleeping A while everyone is finding lunch at a food court. Lady comes over and tries to help wake up and feed A. (If you did not know, Thai girls rival Japanese girls in their attraction to things cute, and my kids count when they are with us)
  • Christmas Eve on a very crowded BTS system with lots of tired and cranky people. A is sitting in a sling and is singing away happily. Most people are too tired to appreciate how cute that is, but there were a few.
  • Tired T, very happy to take a trip in a Tuk-tuk. Includes laughing at another family who was also crammed in another tuk-tuk and a motorcycle riding Santa Claus.

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