Trip Start Sep 05, 2009
54Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
I had a great chat with Joe, Kim Liebel, and Patti Dunn this morning. You gotta love that Skype. Except they usually call in their evening, which is my next morning, and you have to make sure you're dressed or have the camera unplugged.
I went to visit my old school and teachers in Phanat Nikhom on Friday. After a bit of bus confusion - thank God for Samarang, the principal, who calls my phone and talks to everyone along the way - I think she tells them "Watch out for the falang, she's clueless" - I finally arrived at Bang Bung, near the principal's house
It was so good to see my old friends! They are as sweet and gracious as I remember them and the school is every bit as lovely, with the addition of what looks like a grape arbor over the walkway - they told me what viney fruit/vegetable it was, but I couldn't understand.
Samarang took me to an "early retirement party" for a teacher in a neighboring school. The plastic chairs were all covered in white and there was coke, Fanta, water, and a bottle of whiskey at each table.
On the wall was a huge plastic sign with pictures of the retiring teacher and I suppose a commentary on his life - of course, I couldn't read it. Some ladies had a golden bowl and people went up and put money in it to pay for their dinner. Some beautiful young girls danced Thai dances, a young boy sang (badly) and someone from the audience got up on stage and gave each one of them a 100 B note.
Shall I tell you what retirement gifts the gentleman got? Two huge standing electric fans, a picture of the king in a gold frame, a Buddah statue, many beautifully wrapped packages, and two lovely baskets, shrink-wrapped and tied with colorful bows - one contained Nescafe', creamora, sugar, and juice boxes, and the other contained 18 little jars of chicken soup (I think like our bullion) "for good health."
Not a Kindle in sight
We left early as Samarang had to make a power point presentation for her class 9 am on Saturday and I had to catch the bus back to Ban Phe. Samarang is working on her PhD at Budapa University.
Unfortunately, my bus was over 1 hour late (Samarang wouldn't let me take the local bus to Rayong as I would have to get a taxi and "it's too dangerous.") Honestly, I never sense any danger around here, maybe I'm oblivious.
I had a pleasant ride home except for some ugly American tourists who were embarassingly inconsiderate. But that's another story.