you would think it would come in really handy to be able to speak thai when an accident happens. and it probably would. but turns out what happens is i completely forget all my thai. i even forget how to understand thai. and i wasn't even involved in this acccident. i didn't even know an accident had happened until someone appeared at my gate asking me about it.

khun pairat, the thai lady who manages the property down the street from us, rang my door bell. she's never rung my door bell. i head out to see what she needs. she's with her daughter. they ask me about my son. the one who was just almost hit by a motorbike. like 5 minutes ago. i have no idea what they are talking about. all my kids are home. all my bikes are home. she says it was my son. my son in the blue shirt. my tall son. so i go in and get #1 - who is wearing a blue shirt. he's pretty casual about it. yeah, that happened. no big deal. and that's when i went thai language stupid.

#1 has no other information for me. khun pairat says something else to me, but i don't understand what it is. about this time my mobile rings. it's another neighbor calling to see if i need help translating. i say i think i'm okay, but will call back if i do. i hang up and immediately another neighbor calls to let me know that another neighbor, bill, is on his way to my house to help me. when he gets here he says that the motorbike rider is still down the street and he wants to see me. i head back into the house to change clothes and grab some money. i'm not sure of the proper protocol, but want to be prepared.

i get down the street and notice skid marks in the street. skid marks that start a pretty good ways from the intersection. and i can see the motorbike guy. he's got some scrapes - nothing horrible, but certainly painful looking. and then i see his bike. it has some minor body damage - paint scraped, side mirror missing, bumper a bit caddy-wampus. now we come to the tricky part. and i don't mean determining fault. the tricky part is figuring out how much and who this is gonna cost. (the who part wasn't really tricky at all. we're farang, he's thai. there's pretty much only one solution to that problem.) there are also all kinds of cultural nuances i'm completely ignorant to. i do know i need to look very sorry and express it, but i cannot even remember how to say i'm sorry in thai. i think bill has realized by now that i'm completely useless and he steps in for me and translates what i should be saying. i don't know if i'm supposed to offer money or if i'm supposed to wait for him to name a price. the group gathered around to help me says we should not rush, wait to see what the driver has to say. the driver is consulting with his friends and khun pairat. he says his only concern is that his bike be repaired. (did i mention that this motorbike appears brand new?) khun pairat suggests that she accompany him to the repair shop tomorrow and then they can bring me the estimate. i discover someone from our family should go to the hospital with him, but it would be inappropriate for me to be go. thankfully, a male neighbor, jeff, volunteers to go in my place. i give jeff some money to cover the hospital bill and he heads out. jeff spends a good portion of his evening at the hospital. he returns with good news. there was no charge at the hospital. he says it's some sort of health initiative or something. he wasn't exactly sure. the doctor did give the guy a doctor's note for 2 days off of work. and jeff arranged for all parties to meet again on saturday.

while jeff was at the hospital i returned home to see if #1 could fill in any of the blanks in this story. like the when and the how and the exactly what happened. #1 and i had had a bit of a heated conversation and we'd gone to our separate corners. tonight, he had chosen anywhere but home to be his corner so he went for a bike ride. he didn't make it far before the accident happened. it seems this accident was quite loud. loud enough that many neighbors came out to check and see what was going on. one of the neighbors accessed the situation and sent #1 on home. and about 5 minutes later khun pairat was at my door. #1's version of the story has it being not his fault. and it matches up with the evidence (thank you law & order and csi for my detective training). the other version that has been suggested - and not from an eye witness - places #1 clearly in the wrong, but doesn't fit. however, it doesn't really matter. i can see it happening just the way #1 says it happened and the guy still going down.

i've been coached a bit about what should happen saturday. i should once again be sorry. #1 will be with me and he will be sorry. bill and jeff will be with me and they will be sorry - we will be one sorry group. then i will offer to pay for the days of work he missed and for the repairs on his motorbike.

there is one thing i find very interesting and that is that the medical report says it was a single motorbike accident. no bicycle mentioned.

posted under , | 3 Comments

on edge

as you may have heard the political situation in thailand is heating up. for the most part, all the turmoil is in bangkok. we have had some demonstrations and a few bomb blasts in chiang mai, but, so far, we've personally witnessed none of it. the most we see are people wearing red shirts or flying red flags. however, the warnings for chiang mai are becoming more serious. (chiang mai is the second largest city in thailand and a predominantly "red shirt" area.) we're (westerners) being warned to avoid certain parts of town - one happens to be very close to where we live. the constant news updates and warnings have caused me to become a bit fearful. last night i heard loud explosions, normally i would put them off to fireworks, but i couldn't see any fireworks and it was early in the evening and i couldn't think of any reason that there would be fireworks - not that they need a reason here. i immediately became concerned.

people make lots of guesses about how this will end. i've heard everything from new elections to civil war. and just hearing civil war scares me. my imagination is just wild enough to jump to lots of conclusions when i think civil war. i've seen glory, gone with the wind, the red badge of courage, cold mountain, the outlaw josey wales, and shenandoah. so i've seen enough to think i can imagine civil war here. (how realistic is what i'm imagining? that's highly debatable.) i think of troops seizing homes to use as base camps. which immediately makes me think of how perfect the house we live in would be for a base camp. i wonder all about logistics if things turn ugly. where do we go? what do we do? will we be safe?

the thing is, i really don't feel like we're in any danger. but the constant feeling that something could happen is tiring. it's making me jumpy. turns out last night that it was just fireworks. a celebration of some kind. i don't know what was being celebrated, but i am glad that things haven't turned so serious that celebrations have ended. i don't know how long this will continue. i do know that every day it goes on the damage being done to the entire country of thailand grows and i suspect that the longer it goes on the more difficult it becomes for either side to step away.

posted under | 5 Comments

the happiness project #2

the rules:

  • simply post a photo of something that makes you wildly happy.


great tropical fruit. it's the hot season. and it's so hot that happy doesn't come easy. but the hot season means great fruit. and that makes me very happy.


media kid

these are instructions for an assignment from #1's health class. i'm guessing that they're talking about the all encompasing influence of media. (i'm pretty good at the whole deduction game).

all the tv we see is pre-recorded and no commercials. other media influences my son has are movies, internet, and music. i would think this would allow for a sufficient amount of media influence, but after seeing his "media kid" i'm thinking we might need to get ourselves some tv. because his "kid" is more weird than cool. and probably not cool at all.

here are some interpretations of his labels. and my best guesses at the what influenced them.

a) legit monocle - didn't someone in harry potter have a monocle?
b) gangster beanie - he's recently seen all the godfather movies. so, i guess he'd know about beanies.
c) ghetto earrings - the blind side. sandra bullock goes to big mike's old neighborhood. it's in the ghetto. i think some of the guys had earrings.
d) fancy tie - probably another thing learned from the godfather movies. they wore ties, right?
e) bling bling - i would guess the wire, but the use of "bling bling" has me thrown off. it seems a bit sissy.
f) coke - it's everywhere
g) low riding boxers - i don't even know what they are. i thought the pants were the low rider and the boxers were to stay up so they could be seen.
h) levi's baggy jeans - maybe friends. he's seen a few episodes and i'm thinking they were still doing baggies in the '90s.
i) orange converse - chuck. except chuck's are black. this is about the only cool his "media kid" has got going for him - if the opinion of an approaching 40 year old mom counts.
j) sexy toupee -possibly from a cohen brothers movie. but i think sexy toupee is an oxymoron.
k) grillz - i'm stumped.
l) fake mustache - maybe inspector gadget. it seems a silly spy gag kinda thing to me.
m) rainbow suspenders - i don't think he's seen mork and mindy, but mork's the only rainbow suspender wearing person i can remember.
n) the straight man's sweater - mr. rogers. his influence is eternal.
o) cuban cigars - once again, the godfather
p) chains - i'm certain this is from a christmas carol. he played jacob marley and had to wear chains very similar to these. just much heavier. and more noticeable.

posted under | 5 Comments

in my yard

this stuff just grows in my yard. without any help from me. score one for the tropics. we've made a deal with our house help - if they pick it, they can have half. unless it's the jack fruit. then they can have it all.

ขนุน (jack fruit)
i've tried jack fruit. it's okay. i would eat it again if offered, but wouldn't go out of my way to get it on my own.

ชมพู่ (rose apple)
in the not too distant future this will become rose apples. dipping them in sugar/chili powder is my favorite way to eat them.

น้อยหน่า (custard apple)
i've not tried these, but i will. as soon as they are ripe.

ลั่นทมขาว (frangipani)
we've had this plant in a pot and moved it from house to house with us. we planted it here - in the ground, since i'm planning on not moving again. i'm not certain how it's managed to stay alive - i've mostly neglected it.

พู่ ระหง (hibiscus)
these grow like crazy here. my bush/tree is probably 8 foot tall.

posted under , | 2 Comments

a brief history

leaving behind the old blog - and it's 2 1/2 years worth of posts - also means i've left behind alot of history. i've been trying to figure out what to do about that. i don't really want to link between the two blogs - that's part of my super duper evasive spy techniques - and i don't really feel up to moving the old posts over -that's not being evasive; it's being lazy. so i'm gonna give a brief history here. and if you wanna know more you can email me at leakingcrazy(at)gmail(dot)com or leave your email in the comment section and i will send you a link to my previous blog.

it all began in april 2002. we were living in texas and took a vacation for most of us -working holiday for the man - trip to colorado. we spent a few days in denver and then headed to colorado springs to spend a few days with my old college roommate. as we drove into the springs we felt, very clearly, that God had a home for us here. (for me this was a huge deal, my kids are the 5th generation born in the d/fw area). so, at the end of the week, we headed back to texas to see how we were to make this happen. at every step doors opened. we sold a house, we bought a house and by july we were in colorado.

october 2002

jump ahead 2 years. the man had a desire to be self employed. to provide leadership training to churches. we pray. we seek advice. and he quit his job. a company he had worked for for 16 years. and we were blessed. for almost 3 years things were good for us. his work didn't involve churches, but he was kept busy doing consulting work for corporations and he got to travel the world. but, as they say, all good things...

2007. the man's work had dried up. the economy had changed and it started to begin to look a bit desperate for us. while the previous 3 years had been good for us, they hadn't been the kind of good that allowed for us to have no income. the man felt very confident that God had a job for him in ministry. he didn't know what that would be, but we began searching. in the mean time, i got a job. i had not worked - outside of the home - for 10 years. and pretty close to the day i got my job, i found a listing for a job for him. a job in training with compassion international. he applied. and we both wondered what it might mean that this job didn't list where it was located. they called him for an interview. and mentioned that this job was in asia. would that work for him. we talked. none of the reasons to not do it could top the reason to - we were certain this opportunity had been provided by God for us. and he got the job. and it was in southeast asia. nowhere specific. that was up to us. so, we turned to google. and again we prayed. within the first week i began looking at chiang mai. we felt good about chiang mai. we knew the man's travel schedule would be heavy and we wanted some place that i would feel safe being alone with the kids. we also wanted some place that we could live in the community, not on a compound. july was our move date.

november 2007. the decision was made that july was too far off. that the work the man needed to do would be done easier and better if we were in asia already. so the date was moved up. to january.

january 10, 2008. we left colorado.

arriving in bangkok 13-01-2008

january 13, 2008. we landed in chiang mai.

it hasn't all been a bed of roses. leaving was hard. getting settled was hard. and living here is still sometimes hard. we feel very blessed to be here. our faith has grown. we've seen our children struggle and grow in amazing ways. we don't know how long we'll be here. or where we will end up next. we're learning to live in the here and now. to appreciate where we are and not worry too much about what's coming next.

in the next few weeks - or months - i might decide to move over some of the old posts - slowly. there's alot there. plenty of it junk, but plenty of good memories, too. i hope they don't jam up people's feed readers. if they do, sorry in advance!

bad decisions at the grocery

i have not had a real american hot dog in two years. what i wouldn't give for an honest to goodness chili cheese dog with onions. yum. i feel faint just thinking about it. now, what i have eaten - once - are thai hot dogs. each individually shrink wrapped (shrunk wrapped?) and it's near impossible to get that wrapping off. and once you do, you discover what your eating is probably more closely related to the vienna sausage (you know, the ones in the can) than a true blue hot dog. not yummy. and guess what i found at the grocery the other day??

yep, oscar mayer hot dogs (okay, turkey dogs, whatever.) imported from the good ol' u s of a. i found it difficult to contain myself. then i started scanning the labels for the price. and found it. 320 baht!! that's like 9 dollars and 95 cents in american money. which is why i didn't get them, because that would have been fiscally crazy. i just couldn't bring myself to pay 10 dollars for hot dogs. especially when i'd had a bad food experience while we were in the states last summer. i'd made a list of all the foods i wanted. had to have. could not survive without if i didn't eat them at least once before returning to thailand. and in every single case, they just weren't as good as i'd remembered.

but #2, who happened to be shopping with me, did come across something she just had to have. she said they'd had them on the mission trip and they were yuh-uh-uh-uh-meee. they were reasonable (so reasonable i had her get two different flavors) and i was curious. (curiousity killed the cat, remember?)

yep, those are potato chips. the kind that should be salty, not sweet. and they are not at all yuh-uh-uh-uh-meee. they aren't even yuh. they're gross. so gross that we each had one, put the lid on and put them on top of the pantry. where they will sit for a mighty long time. i couldn't even get our house help to take them home. maybe they have these in america now, i don't know. if they do, and you haven't tried them consider this your warning. and don't.

posted under , | 8 Comments

one is silver and the other gold

as a general rule, i don't do friendship well. like any rule, there are exceptions, but they are few and far between. i am great at acquaintances. keeping things surface is my forté. see, i sort of keep people at arm's length and i can be a bit prickly - which really gets in the way of getting below the surface.

part of my struggle is that i'm pretty sure i lack the friendship forming gene. i honestly don't get how people become fast friends - and by fast i mean, like, taking less than 4 years -
and where i find myself now is a difficult place. and i do mean that literally. because it's a very transient community. people are constantly coming and going. and it's a diverse community. people from all over the world, with different customs, expectations and not to mention languages and accents. it makes it all a bit more difficult. but, i also mean that i'm in a difficult place figuratively. because i've reached the point that i have become fully aware that the root of the problem is me. i've been resistant to putting myself out there - to being vulnerable. and i want to be different. i want to have people (heck, i'd be happy with just a person) that i can be completely me with. that i can laugh with and cry with. that i can share the ups and downs with. i'm tired of being lonely. and i'm tired of wishing and wanting.

and what's really frustrating is that those people. those people who can be friends - really good friends - are right in front of me. and i've made excuses, pushed them away and sabotaged relationships. but it's time for a change. it's time to take control. it's time to mend fences and take risks. i'm not so confident of what the results will be, but i'm willing to give it a go.

the happiness project

the rules:

  • simply post a photo of something that makes you wildly happy.
i can do that.

it's the restaurant that's just out my front gate. the restaurant that serves a pretty awesome western breakfast and lunch. the restaurant that was closed for 10 days. but it re-opened yesterday. and i was there. being happy.


mission trip 2010

#1 and #2 (unofficial names until i figure out what i wanna do about names) went on a mission trip to two akha villages in northern thailand over april break. this was a first for #2. #1 had been on a trip to one of the villages two years ago. they went with mixed feelings. they were excited, but also bummed that they'd be missing out on the songkran festivities here in chiang mai. turns out they both had a very good time. except for the day and a half that #1 spent puking. at least it happened in the second village. there they stayed in a hotel and not a hut. and had real toilets and not squatty potties. and also better that it happened there than here. because a) i'm not so much for the puking and b) there he had aircon and tv. neither of which he would have had here.

from what they've told me and what i've gleaned from the pics it apears their job for the week was volunteer jungle gyms. and it looks like they did it well.

posted under , , | 5 Comments

april break

april break is coming to an end. and we did a bunch of nothing. or at least i did. the oldest two, #1 and #2 (that's their unofficial names for the time being) went on a mission trip. they spent a week in two villages in northern thailand. they played with kids, assisted with vbs and returned with packs full of stinky clothes. #1 also got sick. he spent a day and a half puking his guts out. probably better he was there than here. because a) i'm not one for the puking. and b) there he had aircon and tv, neither of which he would have had access to here.

april break is 2 weeks here. two very hot weeks. for the first week and a half, the mr. (that's his unofficial name and one i'm pretty sure i'm not too fond of) was home. that meant for the first full week it was the five of us home. it's been a while since we've all been here, together, with not much scheduled. we played games. helped the mr. with some projects. finished getting a music room together for #3 and slept in. the second week started with the #1 and #2 headed out for their trip. leaving 3 of us here to play songkran. what could be better than the biggest water fight in the whole wide world? especially when they are very fond of using ice water. and throwing it on you by the bucket full. wednesday, the mr. left. that left #3 and me. alone. #3 was certain that the few days between the mr. leaving and the return of #1 and #2 would be the most boring time in his entire life. i proved him wrong. we made a day trip to the flight of the gibbons - where we had our fill of ziplining and waterfall hiking. and we were not bored at all.

#1 and #2 have returned. monday it's back to school. and then the countdown to the end of the school year begins.

i bet she'll regret that

our แม่บ้าน (that would be our maid - rough life i have) took the past week off. she and her family went to กรุงเทพฯ (krungthep, i mean bangkok- i know, now i'm just being obnoxious) and to the beach. this is the first trip any of them have made to bangkok or the beach. in their entire lives. and i think that when she gets back here on monday, she's gonna wish she'd never left. cuz this place? it's a disaster. or maybe she'll wish she'd never come back.

i did do some dishes. and i did do some laundry. but the sweeping and the mopping and the toilet scrubbing and such - didn't even attempt them.

so bright and early monday morning i'll be walking the kids to school and then i'll spend the rest of the day hiding out. too ashamed to show my face.

posted under | 4 Comments

not my first rodeo

way back when - like a week ago - i had another blog. but i've up and quit it. i didn't put alot of thought into the quitting of the other blog. i just did it.

i didn't really wanna quit blogging, just needed a change of scenery. so - here's to new beginnings and fresh starts and all that jazz.

posted under | 6 Comments
Newer Posts Older Posts Home


Recent Comments