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Today was to have been Nadia's first day off since she returned from Kalasin over two weeks ago so Tim picked her up from work last night and she stayed here to get a jump on her holiday.  She's been working a brutal schedule usually on the clock up to 13 hours per day at no extra pay (her salary is a paultry 5000 baht — USD $139 — per month) and was looking forward to the break.  The three of us really miss spending time together and we had a lot planned for tonight (including a special trip to the new Jungceylon shopping center).  It wasn't meant to be as her boss called her early this morning asking her to come in at seven tonight.

We did make the most of the day, however, with a trip to the beach.  We chose Kata for a change; we used to come here late at night for picnics but never swam here.  It was nice but there were a fair number of people — mostly teenaged Scandinavians (a fair amount of the women were topless to the great amusement of Gaow).  Despite it being the middle of the day, it was rather cool and the water was downright cold once you swam beyond a certain point.  We left around three once the waves began getting too big.

Back home, Gaow and I played badminton in front of our home for an hour or so.  I'd bought the rackets and shuttle-cocks for Tim and myself back in May or June but we never ended up using them.  Gaow had a lot of fun seeing how far he could make me chase the birdy as he delighted in trying to hit it outside of our gate.

A package arrived today from my favorite return address in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, addressed to "Mrs. Saengwan Jochim".  My friends in Marillion had sent a Christmas present to Tim of two (very nice) shirts promoting their next album, Somewhere Else, due to be released on April 9th.  Thank you h, Steve, Mark, Pete, and Ian!  Here, Tim models one of the shirts on our side patio:

About the only way we can get Gaow to sit still is to put on a VCD or DVD.  His favorite is Ultraman — a really cheesy Japanese superhero program.  These VCD's run between 79 and 119 baht (USD $2.19-3.30) and each contain two 30-minute episodes.  They're worth their weight in gold for the quiet time they buy Tim and myself.  He's also been quiet during such movies as Toy Story (an excellent dubbing job with even the Randy Newman songs translated into Thai), Madagascar, and the excellent Thai animated film, Khan Kluay.

Gaow has completely fallen head over heels for his new "big sister", Nadia (as do virtually everyone who meet her truth be told).  It's hard to get him to actually pose for a photo, but he oblidged here since Nadia was involved: