Tag Archives: Rimping

Easy-Breezy

21 Feb

Ah, it’s a great Sunday afternoon.  After a super-busy week filled with… so many speaking tests… it feels really good to have some down time.  My apartment is not far from the Ping River, so my windows are open and I am enjoying a warm, yet luxurious breeze flowing through the room. This Sunday is especially luxurious because Monday is a holiday and I colorsofthailandhave a three-day weekend.  Ah, what a thrill.  Sunday is really a different day when the hustle and bustle of the workweek hasn’t started to creep in. And for that, I am grateful.

Things are still moving along at work getting closer and closer to the finale. With an extra day to relax, I feel I am doing a pretty good job of enjoying where I am while still being poignantly aware of the change and transition on the horizon.

As we shift away from “cold season,” the most “friendly” time of year to be in Chiang Mai, and (hopefully) slowly eek into hot season, the trees are starting to brim with color.  Strangely enough, some trees leaves are changing color and falling from the trees, sort of like autumn, while others are beginning to blossom and explode with color.  This is undeniably a colorful country reflected not only in the blossoms on the trees, but in the colors the people wear and the things they create.  The students where I teach easily sway into vibrant creativity and I am often amazed by the things they create.

IsitFall?

I had a typical Sunday morning… which lately has included a regular trip to the JJs farmers market.  This market, while not fully organic, is one of the higher quality markets in town.  I’ve come to enjoy my regular trips there and the simple pleasures of purchasing avocados and other favorites from local farmers.  After the market I made my way to my favorite Rimping grocery store and then a few practical purchase at the local Tesco/Lotus store.  Ever the American, I can’t deny I get a secret pleasure from such periodic shopping diversions…even for the simplest of things.  My big purchase for the day was a new fan, a necessary item with the heat starting to turn up.

My thoughts are filled with many of the practical things I must do before I leave.  Admittedly, I like closure… and I like the process of organizing myself and planning as I shift from one location to the next.  I am handling some practical things like going to the dentist, which is a super affordable “treat” (if the dentist can be a treat) here in Thailand.  I am grateful I was turned on to a high quality dental clinic, the Bangkok Hospital Dental Clinic.  It makes a big difference to be assured that I am receiving quality care… in addition to the affordable price.

My big plans for the weekend don’t extend much further than where I am right now.  I am soaking up the slow…  earnestly so glad to be here but also leaning into the upcoming change.

A short week and a lighter load awaits me at work.  In the meantime, I am gratefully and happily here, basking in the added reliable breeze courtesy of my new fan.

Wild World

14 May

Well, it’s been quite a transformation…. switching from the cooler temperatures and refined structures of Vienna to the infernal heat and wild, wild world of Chiang Mai.   The land of goulash and mass public transportation has given way to the world of fresh mangos and scooter rides for three. Scooters

I am slowly and happily assimilating here to my teaching job and tiny budding life in Chiang Mai. I am starting to grow accustomed to the wild nature of this city affectionately called by my new boss “a hot mess.” My new and developing cultural affinity did not come without a few bucks and snarls. But after a few days my mind, body and being started to settle down and began to be with that which I am coming to know… is Thailand.

In Thailand, I have a resident gecko in my room. I think he lives in my air conditioning. He mostly shows his face when I have just arrived home… startled by the unexpected visitor. Geckos are my friend I am told because they eat many of the other creatures that you really don’t want in your room. After just over a week I am starting to relax as they scamper the walls and hallways of the residence where I live.

I have heard stories of folks living in areas surrounding Chiang Mai encountering an 8 foot long snake and getting bit by a scorpion. I have been told of the village cobra catcher and couldn’t help but notice the snake repellant for sale at my local grocer. I have always considered myself a nature girl, but alas, I am reconsidering my claim.

RimpingGroceryAmidst the wildness of Chiang Mai, I am comforted by the civility of its “western” creature comforts like Rimping, a quality grocery store chain where I have found organic products, unsweetened peanut butter and familiar brands including Amy’s and Bragg’s. After a successful shop, I was innocently exhilarated by my ride home through the narrow back streets of the city courtesy of a local tuk tuk driver.

At work we are preparing for our students who will arrive next week. Our “modest” campus of 8,000 students will soon be flooded with new faces and energy. In Thailand the school year begins in May, and so as many teachers, parents and students around the world are coasting into summer we are just beginning.

So far I am content in my new “home” on campus, a mostly quiet haven so far aside from the symphony of squawking birds and assorted insects that crescendos at sunrise and sunset as well as the neighboring band (I think perhaps church related…) that likes to start their celebration at 8:30am on Sundays.CampusView

For tonight all is well. My eyes still grow sleepy a bit early as the adjustment, heat and work week are still making a claim on my energy. Friday has come with the blink of an eye and soon it will be the weekend and then the first day of school. While I feel good about being here and the job ahead, I must admit I still have the first day of school jitters.

As night comes fully here, the only sound I hear is the quiet purring of my air conditioner, a much appreciated companion as it whirrs in a gentle 28 degrees C (82 degrees F)… a notable break from the balmy 35 degrees C (95 degrees F) outside my window. Even so, my body has a natural bend for the heat and heaves a sigh of relief being greeted by its thick tropical ways.

Good night for now as I find myself amazingly and surprisingly beginning yet another international chapter… in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

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