The time has come

Trip Start Sep 04, 2008
1
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Trip End May 19, 2009


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Flag of Thailand  ,
Sunday, October 5, 2008

I get the feeling that it is time for another blog entry. I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to blog about, but I know it's been long enough now, that I probably have new things to say. I've got some time to kill, sitting here on a Sunday morning (Church isn't until 4:30 PM :-), so I think I'll blog it up a little.

First things first.
Thai, as a language, is ridiculously hard to learn. I'm getting slaughtered by my note cards, and despite the fact that I've poured many hours of my most precious time into Rosetta Stone, it continues to politely remind me that I have no comprehension of the language whatsoever.
On a more positive note, I've been able to read alot this week. I've had quite a bit of free time, and by shaving my sleeping hours down to 8 a night (yes, yes, I know... all of you reading this have super busy lives in the states, with school, jobs, family, sports, and so forth... so 8 hours a night is a dream situation... but I had been maximizing my vacation from reality, and capitalizing on the opportunity to successfully bag 10 to 12 hours of sleep a night :-). Anyways, what I was saying was, by shaving down my sleeping hours (aka staying up until midnight, and not crashing at 9 PM) I have alot of time to read. In this last week I've finished In a pit with a lion on a snowy day, read Ethix, read The Next Wave, and read most of the Toolbox for Video Storytelling. I also started a book yesterday called On My Own (fitting title, eh?) and I think it'll be pretty good. I've been spending some quality time in the Bible, which seems to make more sense each time I pick it up the read it (weird, eh?).

I went down the the YFC Thailand office in Chiang Mai twice this week. I got the walking tour of the district. The Asia Pacific office is on the 3rd floor, and there are some pretty cool pictures to be taken from up there (again, my apologies for not satifying your appetite with good photos... the time hasn't quite come yet... I promise you this: when it stops raining every day, I'll be more comfortable carrying my camera around taking pictures of things... plus I'd like to at least learn enough Thai to say, may I take your picture?)


Other discoveries this week include: Hot tea tastes better with more sugar. Pulling the choke out on the motorbike makes it much easier to kick start. Wearing a poncho makes a mini monsoon a much more enjoyable experience. Its much easier to sleep in a room with A/C.  Apple Mail makes email much easier than logging onto web based mail. Stuff made in Thailand is always a great deal, when bought in Thailand... Stuff made in the U.S. is NOT! A Mr. Clean Magic Eraser can make someone's day.

Want some deatails about my discoveries?

Tea - I once dumped raw sugar crystals in my hot tea, and the resulting sweetness greatly improved the smoothness and aftertaste of all tea. Yum.
Choke - I used to work my butt of to kick start the bike, with a combo of revving the engine and super kicks, I usually got it started 2nd or 3rd try, but it was always noisy. Then, If I didn't keep the enine at a slightly higher idle, it would sputter and die.... Then one day I realized there's a choke lever. I can't see it when I sit on the bike because I'm too tall, but finding it was even better than finding the button for the headlights... and that was a big discovery :-)
Poncho - I was going home earlier this week during the hardest rain I've ever seen in my life... ever. Luckily Ethan gave me a poncho... saved my day.
A/C - Scott and Cat went to Bangkok this weekend for a meeting, and they left ME in charge of their house and family. As a reward for the extra responsibility I took on, I was granted permission to their bedroom. There's really nothing better than having a porch, high ceilings, a desk with a speaker system, a HUGE bed, and of course, AIR CONDITIONING!!!! I've been sleeping, studying, reading, emailing and browsing the web in so much comfort, I'm really afraid to go back to my place. It's literally been like a resort vacation for me here.
Apple Mail - I set up my Yahoo and Gmail accounts to work with the Mail cleint built into Mac OSX and it is incridible. My world has been revolutionized. I could go on and on about how much better it is, but since I've been spending considerable time in the Biblical book of Matthew, I'll leave you with a simple parable: Discovering and utilizing Apple Mail is like a parable of a man who lived on the bank of a large river. He could not keep food at his home, because it would rot quickly. In order to eat, he had to travel many miles up the river bank to a bridge, and then many miles back down to a food market, that was situated directly across the large river from his home. Over time, he grew used to traveling these great distances to get food, all despite the fact that he could see the market from his home. Then one day he realized that the contract he made for adding a garage to his home also included provisions for a private bridge being built from his home over the river. He loved that his favorite restaurant, Google, would now deliver food to him for free, since it was a simple trip across the bridge... He then realized that for only 20 denarius, the grocery supplier, Yahoo!, would deliever new groceries to his home as often as every minute for the entire year! Such is the wisdom and joy of choosing Apple Mail.
Thai stuff = cheap stuff - I bought a decent pair of scissors for 60 cents. Red bull costs 30 cents. I pay 3 cents per liter for purified water. I bought a full size broom for $3.
American stuff = expensive stuff - ever paid $20 for an issue of National Geographic. $15 for an issue of Motor Trend? $8 for a bag of Pepridge Farm Goldfish crackers?
Magic Eraser - I cleaned Tim and Cat's Macbooks, in 10 minutes, and they look like new... they were ecstatic.

OK. Enough for now.
Untill next time:
stay classy USA.

Much Love,
Stephen

P.S. I realized today while eating lunch, that I've been gone over a month... Time sure does fly when you're having fun.

P.S.S. The formatting of my posts gets messed up every time I post these things, so I usually do have more clear paragraphs and things... but I can't do anything about them.
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Comments

martha717
martha717 on

Nothin'new here
Hey nephew-
Love reading the detailed blogs you write. This one provided some information I was wondering about. I wondered if the price of goods in T. were cheap to buy while there. Any really good deals you can't pass up? Rachel would die to know that her beloved goldfish would cost her US $8. Yikes, you would have to have a mighty strong craving.
Saw your mom and dad today and Uncle Kenny's fiftieth birthday dinner. They sure do miss you. I bet it seems like you have been gone for way more than a month- for all of you. I re-read your blogs today and am amazed at how you are embracing all of the opportunities God has placed in your path. You are awesome opossum.
So is it the rainy season there now? You mentioned not being able to take your camera out and about with you becuase of the monsoons. Are they intermittent or regular parts of your day? Hope you are resting and getting ready for the next challenges of visiting the 'K's' - you know, those two forme Soviet countries that start with K and end with stan. When do you leave for them? You do not have to answer any of my questions. Just wanted you to know I am continuing to pray for you, your travel safety and your good health.
Much love-
Aunt Martha

terryb
terryb on

Priceless
You forgot the cost of one month in Thailand:priceless!

lukelovessteve
lukelovessteve on

heart
everytime i read your posts i can see you saying them in your super descriptive, intense-hand-motion, speed talk..
and it makes me love and miss you even more.

Love reading the blogs,
-Luke

citric563
citric563 on

hello
hey man, its kevin hannaford, i finally singed up for this site. Ive probably read it blog like 10 times. all of them are very interesting and kool to read. keep on writing blog, stay safe and have fun man.

fictiveauntpam
fictiveauntpam on

Hi from Atlanta
Hi Stephen! Love reading your blogs...gotta tell you though, you sound more and more like your Dad every day ! :) And...BTW ~ I think that's a GREAT thing! I adore your parents. We were able to spend the day with them in exotic and beautiful Parris Island when SMW graduated from Marine Basic Training. He told me to tell you Hi and he can't wait to swap stories. He's now on the way to NC to more training. Love reading your adventures ~ blog on ! God Bless you each day! You are loved ! xoxo

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