Ayutuhaya in Black and White
(has nothing to do with this writing, I just like the image)I hope to be in Thai language training by the 15th of June. The course start was delayed a week by the recent political upheaval. We’ll keep the house in Chiang Rai and commute back and forth once a week. There is one very exciting possibility of volunteer work which I dare not jinx by reporting just yet. A full article will follow as soon as I can safely report. The work with Chiang Mai University is on hold till August or so (it’s just short term cash flow). The next visa will likely be obtained in Singapore during the last quarter of 2010. I have a definite idea of when my next visit to the States will be, but I need to discuss it with my son before making public mention.
Oh, let me tell you a couple things I’ve learned about my Maliwan since we’ve arrived back in Chiang Rai. Her ability to understand English is a lot better than her ability to speak this crazy language. I have no idea why that should be newsy; after all my ability to understand Thai, Spanish and even Vietnamese is a lot better than my feeble attempts at speaking.
My favorite photographic assistant
It turns out Maliwan, like my daughter-in-law is an avid reader. They have many other traits in common, but I won’t bore you with all that here.
For the past week I’ve been trying to get through to TOT with no results. If they actually have an English speaking representative, I’m sure he’s on maternity leave, or perhaps some sort of sabbatical. The drill is call, press 2 for English, enter the phone number and go into a wait queue. Exactly 5 minutes later the line disconnects. Maliwan has made several calls using the Thai operators and she usually gets through. A week ago the story was that they would come tomorrow. After several days of that, they changed to “will come today”. Gentle reader, as you may have guessed no one has ever showed up or even called to say they were / weren’t coming. This morning I rather insisted that Maliwan tell them that if they didn’t come today we would cancel (Can you here the frustrated bravado)? She called and was told they would be here today. After the call ended, I asked why she didn’t tell them we would cancel. (I’m getting to where I understand just enough to be dangerous). I loved her reply! She just smiled and said sometimes it’s better to do than to say. Perhaps, all the chest beating I’ve been doing for years and years is even more useless than I already knew. “Thank you teacher”.
Maliwan is an excellent cook! I have been in the habit of taking a large bowl of my chicken soup concoction to Khun Choke, my friend and landlord, and his wife Khun Kan. Maliwan decided to give them a bowl her “Tom Yom Gai” yesterday. The Thais are very polite and would, of course, comment on how delicious it was. Would they do so on three separate occasions if it were not true? I think not. My first soup got two compliments and my last effort only one. Three seems to be a very high score!
The past two days I’ve been sitting on the porch reading and waiting. Mick suggested an author and now I can suggest him to you. Colin Cotterill wrote a series of five mystery novels set in Laos in the mid 1970’s. Look for the “Dr. Siri mystery series”. He chose to publish the books in Laos and arrange for the proceeds to go to local charities. They shouldn’t be too hard to find since they have won numerous awards in both Europe and North America. Just as I finished “thirty-three teeth”, Khun Kan” came by with iced coffee for us both. A very pleasant afternoon, I assure you.
The same is true for the one who can read and does not
Sunday we’re going to Chiang Mai for three days. This trip we’ll stay at the Anodard Hotel so we can hang out with my friend Jeff and enjoy the pool. We’ll be carousing several book stores, showing up at “Taste from Heaven” and I have a dental exam and cleaning on Wednesday. Don’t ya just hate the boring stuff? LOL
Tanon Tae Pae, Soi 4, Chiang Mai. Excellent!