Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Weekend Roundup: Gardens, Giraffes and the Great Battle of the Baby Cockroaches

Sick as a donkey. That's how I was when the weekend came to a close. As the great battle of the baby cockroaches ensued in the bedrooms of the children I was watching I wanted nothing more than to fall into bed and stay there. Instead I got to spend an hour killing cockroach maggots while my body was on fire (literally, 102.5 temp, that's the highest since I was 12!). Apparently my immune system has immaculate timing as to when to get sick, like when it's least convenient. And I would have loved nothing more than to have called in sick the next morning but alas, temp 97.6, I could no longer justify it.
My weekend however wasn't all this pile of nasty. Actually it was quite enjoyable. Starting with the fact I didn't have to teach on friday due to our annual field trip to Safari World. Although I ended the day with the worst headache of my life and an hour later than we were supposed to return, it was 100 percent worth it.
So, you may ask," this was your second trip to Safari World, how did you like it?" Hmmmm. Well aside from half the schools in Bangkok and the entire UAE being present it went pretty well. I got to stand in a glass box with 50 screaming elementary students as white tigers pawed at us through the invisible barrier, I once again got licked by a giraffe, nasty, saw more animal shows than I ever want to see again, sweated enough to fill 3 bath tubs, got to take a ride on the "world class" jungle cruise and I got pooped on by birds, 3 times. Once on the head and then on each shoulder. I have been told this is good luck. I think they tell you that just to make you feel better. Seriously though, I did enjoy myself. I think the greatest joy I get from going places like Safari world isn't from my own experiences, it's from watching the amazment on my kids faces and seeing how excited they are. Especially the first timers. Honestly, if I hadn't been there with my class I don't know if I would have liked it so much. They really made the day for me.

That night, after the aforementioned headache was taken care of I made the last minute decision to go and watch a 4th and 5th grade production of "The Wizard of Oz" at the International School of Bangkok. We got there a little early so we could grab subs from Subway and then went to wait in line with a horde of anxious parents fighting to get the best seats. One hour later we came out with big smiles on our faces. I thought the play was AMAZING! The kids did such a great job. It was the same story line as the movie, so there were songs and dances. It was so cute and so creative. The main characters (ie Dorothy, tin-man, etc.) were all played by multiple children which was smart, that way one kid didn't have to many lines to learn. My favorite scene was the one where the flying monkey's went after Dorothy and the others. They were running all over the theater. It was chaos. I can only imagine what the first rehearsal of that looked like.
After the performance it was still early so we headed over to Que Pasa to get some snacks. I got my first chocolate milkshake there in a year and was reminded just how amazing they are and how ingenious the extra fat straws they have are. Seriously milkshake makers everywhere should take note, skinny straws+milkshakes suck!
On to Saturday. Remember that list I mentioned before of things we wanted to do before we left Thailand in April and how we were trying to cross off as much as possible? Well, I've got another check on the list. Since we were doing our second annual girls night out Valentines Day celebration that night in downtown, Bridget, Ruth, Kelly and I decided to head down a little early and visit the Jim Thompson house since it was in the same area.
Now I know most of you are thinking who the heck is Jim Thompson and why would you want to visit his house? Well, let me tell you. Jim Thompson is hailed as being on of the most significant figures in making the Thai silk business what it is today. He built up his own company as well which makes scarfs, ties, handbags, etc. and is widely popular in Thailand. Now, his house is popular because he took several old style Thai houses, brought them to his property in downtown Siam and connected them to make one house. He then planted gardens around the house and also displayed collections of art and antiques he had acquired. Then in 1967, while he was on vacation in the Cameron Highlands in Malaysia he went out for a walk and was never seen again. Still, to this day "there is not a single valid clue" as to what happened to him (or at least that's what it say's in the brochure :) ). So his house was made into a museum for all to see. You're not allowed to take any pictures on the inside but the outside is super beautiful.

After we were done at the Jim Thompson House we still had a couple hours to kill so we went and checked out the Japanese Dept. Store LOFT at Siam Discovery. It had some cute things but it was super expensive. Then we chilled in the food court at Siam Paragon, eating almond pretzels from Auntie Anne's before we headed over to the Hard Rock Cafe to meet everyone for dinner. I must admit, I've been to several Hard Rocks before, in all different parts of the country/world, and I've never been super impressed with their food, but the food I got on Saturday night was awesome (and it better be for 350 Baht). Macaroni and Cheese and Chicken. Who knew? Afterwards we headed back over to Siam Paragon to watch the most fitting movie, "Valentines Day." I thought it was super cute and although it was slightly reminiscent of "Love Actually," I liked it so much more, it just wasn't as dirty....

On comes the dreadful Sunday. Now, I didn't start out Sunday sick, I just ended it that way. I had agreed to stay over at a family's house from my small group that night to make sure the kids got up and to school the next morning while the parents went away for Valentines day. After church I went along with them to the mall to watch "Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief" (cute, definitely a middle schooler movie) and then the parents headed out while we stayed back to hang out at the house. Now I don't think they could tell I was feeling sick. I played Mario Party on Wii for a couple hours, walked to the grocery store and even made dinner. I think I did a pretty good job. Then there was that battle of the cockroaches.....

At least this week is looking up. I now have almost 1300 votes on my STA video. New videos are posted everyday. Some are really good, some are just.... not, but it always makes me wonder, did I approach mine the right way? I am happy with what I put out, but will it be enough? Will it be what they want? I hope I'm given more chances to show 'em what I've got. I've got so many ideas, so much determination, creative juices flowing from every opening I just have to share it! So, for now, I've got my fingers and toes crossed, a lucky rabbit's foot and 3 plops of bird poop helping me out in the luck category. I can do it, I just need them to believe in me.

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