Landed in Bangkok

I arrived in Bangkok, hustled through customs and pulled out a little cash at the ATM.  I wasn’t quite sure the Baht to Dollar ratio, so I pulled out 1000 Baht.  (Turns out the ratio is 30 Baht to a Dollar, so I had about 30$)   I made my way outside to get a taxi, at 11 pm the taxi line was about 30 people deep.  A man came up beside me and asked if I was looking for a taxi, I said yes.  He said, here follow me I have a taxi and you won’t have to wait in line. I handed him my paper with my hotel name and address on it. I asked how much, he said “I know where that is, 800 Baht”.   From previous internet searches I knew the taxi ride should be about 500, but I wouldn’t have to wait in line and that was a bonus.  We began to walk together. We walked past the big parking lot and into a further away parking lot.  This was seeming like more and more of a bad idea. We walked further.  He led me to his taxi where his girlfriend was sleeping in the front seat.  The spooky music got a little louder in my head.  I got in the car anyway.  He introduced me to his girlfriend and started the car.  We drove for a bit and he said that he needed to get gas.  We stopped at a large filling station, with lots of taxi cabs filling up.   He turned to me and said he would need the money now. “I’ll take 800 baht now and then you give me 500 when we get there.”  I really did not have that much Baht on me. “No, I only have 800.”  I felt pretty confident that if he kicked me out here I would have no trouble finding another taxi cab. He replied with “ok ok” and took the 800 and left to fill up the car. (Which by the way they fill the car up by lifting the hood and filling through the engine.) His girlfriend and I sat in silence, her English was not so good and my Thai was worse.  My cabbie returned after 5 minutes or he had treats for his girlfriend and away we went.  He assured me he knew exactly where we were going.  We turned out onto the main road and he stepped on the gas.  I noticed a couple of things, first, if the car in front of him put on his brakes, he did not apply the brake. He continued to drive at his pace and just swerved moments before hitting the car in front of him.  Second he drove straddling two lanes almost the entire time. Both of these actions made me look for my seat belt.  When I found the belt there was no receptacle to click it into.  It was at that moment that all traffic slowed, there had been an accident, two cabs and a Honda.  My Cabbie just giggled “heeehehee two taxis” and sped off. If I had thought he had been driving recklessly before, I hadn’t seen anything yet.  After we passed the accident he turned up the radio, munched on one of his snacks, chatted with his girlfriend, mashed the gas, swerved with traffic and smoked a cigarette. I gripped the edge of my seat a little tighter.   He asked me for the sheet of paper with my hotel on it.  He pulled out his cellphone (while still doing all those other things) and called my hotel. He talked back and forth for a minute with them, hung up and said “okay I know where we are going”.    The drive continued as it had for the past 15 minutes, swerving, munching, mashing buttons and accelerating.  I felt slightly better that he might not murder me, but still was concerned that I would not arrive in one piece.  When we got off the highway I noticed that there were very few traffic lights and a lot of intersection similar to roundabouts, except not a roundabout and no traffic light. I do not understand how he knew it was okay to pull out into traffic.  After a few more jukes and jives we pull up to an alley and he says “here we are”.  Skeptically I looked out the window and down the alley, it is dark.  With some squinting I could see the banner of the hotel at the very end.  I got out of the Taxi and was instantly hit with a strong smell that I could only guess was sewage. He hands me my bags, we say our goodbyes and I roll my things toward the banner of my hotel.

Let the adventure begin.

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Cookie Monster’s Munch

When I was a kid there was an Atari game that we owned called “Cookie Monster’s Munch”.  This was my personal favorite of all of our games, beating out Q-bert and pac- man. There were 3 modes of play:
1.You are cookie monster and you are traversing a little course to gather cookies, at the end the cookies are counted.
2. You are boy and you are trying to gather cookies before Cookie Monster, on the other side of split rail fence hops over and tries to eat the cookies. Again, At the end the cookies are counted.
3. (My favorite) You are Cookie Monster on the other side of the split rail fence looking for an opportunity to hop over and steal cookies from the boy. (I might have made this 3rd level of play up… and the third level of play might actually have been an invisible map that was hard as hell to play. So maybe my 4 year old brain blocked that out and made up this new version which I like more.)

I digress, I think of Cookie Monster Munch every time I’m up to something no good…. Like trying to get chocolate chips out of the pantry without sharing with my children or explaining myself to my husband.  I sneak down the stairs and open the pantry door. (All the while humming the theme song to the game in my head) Damnit! I can hear him coming, I pretend to be do something else (cleaning maybe) or high tail it out of there (It really depends on the situation).
Or I am cleaning  and I’d rather be watching dramas or surfing the net or really anything else.  Ack! I can hear someone coming, So I must quickly do 2 hours of cleaning in 45 seconds. Oh, only the dog. Okay back to TV watching.

Mind you I am about as sneaky as a 200 pound blue monster climbing over a split rail fence and waddling over to a cookie, and will normally get busted for this behavior.

I had another episode of “Cookie Monster Munch Syndrome”, but it was far worse.  When I was pregnant with my daughter I developed quiet a sweet tooth.  One day a fellow from the sales department offered me some pretzel M&M’s.  They were delicious.  After that I would spend hours thinking about these M&M’s and how I was going to get more.  The company that I worked at had quite a few cubes.  I would look down the corridor and if I could not see the owner of the M&Ms, I would get up and waddle my way down there.  If he suddenly returned or had just been in a position where I couldn’t see him, I would duck into another cube and chat with the person inhabiting it.  I was in management, I could always find an excuse to talked to somebody about something.  Even if it was under the guise of “Moral boosting” also known as idle chit chat.  M&M friend would eventually need to get copies and then I would continue on my quest to get more M&Ms.  Once at my destination, I would pick up a handful, scurry back to my desk (as fast as anyone can scurry with an extra 40 pounds on the front end) and then eat them at the comfort of my own desk.
By the way it was a 5 pound bag of M&Ms so it would take me quite a while to eat them all. . . but when I did, I bought him a new bag.

Blog Update March 14

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One month ago I started this blog. The purpose was to help keep me accountable and on track to reaching my goals. Here are the goals and my progress for the month of Feb-March. (I don’t plan to publish this every month although I will write it.)

1. College Degree – I am in the process of taking my first class and I’m approx 2/3 the way through. As soon as the summer catalog comes out I’ll load up.

2. Learn Korean -This improved more than I thought It would. When I started I had approx 200 words in my vocab,understanding of sentence structure and basic verb conjugation. Basically, I could speak like a toddler. This month I learned all about the 6 levels of politeness (and improved my conjugation skills) , more vocab and I’m starting to be able hear in the dramas when the subs are wrong. I wish I had better stats than that, but maybe next time.
New App aquired: “ANKI”
New books purchased:Korean at a glance, 500 Korean verbs and “Dr Desoto” (in Korean).
The goal for next month will be to learn the 1000 most common Korean words, 1 chapter in each of my workbooks (TTMIK level 1 & Basic Korean) per week.

3. Travel – I got my map up on the wall and I stare at it. I have 2 international trips in the next couple months and 3 countries to visit. I’m already starting think about where to go this fall and spring ’14.

4.Open up – I make it my goal to talk to everyone I come across in the real and virtual world. I will be joining a language group next month and traveling.

To Everyone who has stopped by and read what I have written thank you!

Me… just better.

Some days I’m awesome! On these days I don’t fall out of bed a crawl to the coffee maker, bleary eyed and cursing. No, on these days I leap from the bed, landing on the tips of my toes. I dance down the stairs while singing in tune. I’ll do small spin in front of my coffee maker, all the while pushing the correct buttons to make the coffee magic happen. On these days I have all the right words for receptionist at school, who is checking my son’s yogurt label for nuts. Today she will smile and say more than “There yah go Hun!” We will do finger guns at each other, and it will be funny and not weird,creepy and one sided.
On these days I will go to the ups store as normal, except I will think of a funny retort for the joke from the UPS guy scanning the package. Not only that, I’ll deliver it in the same moment. On other days I’ll be 5 miles away before I slam my hand on steering wheel and cry out in vain “Damnit! I should have said {insert hilarity}!'”
My feelings won’t be weirdly hurt by the goodwill attendant who can’t be bothered to say anything more to me than “need a receipt?” and then walk off before I give a reply. I call back to him while waving goodbye, “nah, I’m good!”.
This day will be a breeze. Cartoon birds and animals from the forest will practically beg to come help me do the house work. I’ll enjoy vacuuming!
When I do go to the grocery, I will have fabulous small talk with the tiny old lady who is spending too much time at the samples stand.(How can I blame her chex mix in Dixie cup tastes good). I will still babble on a little too long about nothing in particular and worse give her way too much information, but instead of awkwardly looking down and walking away quickly, I’ll just smile sweetly and say “nice chatting with you.”

The entire day I will float 3 inches from the ground …

I was the best version of myself.

Urban Pirate. . . Almost.

Today I took a walk with my dogs, destination “Dog Park”. On the way I walked past a truck, in the back were a couple of dining room chairs and a small love seat. I’m not quite sure why, but I had the sudden urge to just take one of the chairs… I stood there for a minute, thinking. I’ve never stolen anything (at least not on purpose). I have a perfectly good dining room set at home. I would have to end the walk prematurely and go home to put away my ill gotten gains or take the chair with me to the dog park and walk around with it.

Lugging a chair around with me does sounds bothersome. Alright goodness, you win again.

I didn’t take up a life of crime today… I just thought about it.

No title at this time. . .

I feel very tired right now.  I’ve worked so hard to be friendly and outgoing and now I have  tightness in my chest.  I have heard these stories of people who in real life are quiet and reserved, but then on the internet are wild and outgoing.

I am not that person, I agonize over every message I send out; their permanent nature makes me crazy.  In real life you can back track or explain a misunderstanding or give a look or employee sarcasm. However, in the virtual world, It’s out there.  Your words hang and float in space.  No matter how hard you try, there they are in black and white.  Staring back at you;constant reminders of your inappropriate behavior or poorly chosen words.
Even as I type this… I feel ice cold prickles run down my arm to my fingers. 

No, I want to crawl back in my bed, pull the sheets up high over my face until the tight feeling in my chest goes away.

On a positive note, it does make we want to study. Hide inside the pages of my books.Image

*If you get a chance to read this book, It’s a great little read.

I have fallen to a new low. . .

My son attends school 2 days a week. He sing songs, practices letters, works on art projects and makes friends (not to mention giving both of us a much needed break from one another.) Last week he worked on the letter “M”.  That means this week in his “going home folder” was a construction paper letter “M” with Mini Marshmallows glued to it. Very clever. 

It has been very cold and Icy here.  We ran from the school to the car.   It was a rough and tumble run, lots of hub-bub and what not.  The Marshmallow “M” was left up in the front seat with me.  Then I noticed that one of the little marshmallows had come unglued and had rolled a little away from the paper…. I couldn’t help it, I picked it up and popped it in my mouth. Then another had come unseated, I ate it.  I then thought ‘I’d hate for any more to come off’ so I rubbed my hand across the “M” and 2 or 3 more came off. I ate them too.  It suddenly dawned on me what I was doing.  I was eating my son’s art project. 
I hang my head in shame.   

In my defense… I was incredibly hungry and already have weakness for marshmallows.