My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.



Just to bring us more or less up to date:

We've moved almost everything from our old house to the new.  In fact, my office is nicely setup in our (huge!) master bedroom.  All that remains at the old house is a few odd pots & pans, cleaning supplies, and the modem and broadband cable.

I'm still operating with a barely-functioning computer — I have to connect to the Internet while using the Linux OS and then only in brief sessions at the old house since the telephone company still hasn't shown up to install phone lines and broadband (worse than the cable companies in America, TOT will tell you the week they will be out but not the precise day or a range of hours).  I can't even play MP3's on Linux as I can't figure out how to properly install the decoder through the command line and don't have the time to learn right now.  I'm still burning backups of my photos from the crippled Windows system; once that's completed, I'll try reformatting the hard drive and see if I can reinstall XP (or, perhaps, Vista).

We had a tough time getting Alex ready for school this morning.  This was much more than the usual kicking-and-screaming we endure just getting him into the shower.  It took us almost two hours just to get him down the stairs (sans shower and teeth-brushing).  We finally got him outside by making a big show of my giving his his mom 1000 baht which she told him was to buy his bus ticket back to live with his old father.  It worked but I felt guilty about using such a frightening form of blackmail.  But at least Tim and I worked as a team and really played off each other very well.

There really isn't much other news.  Doug left for Vietnam this past weekend and isn't sure if he'll return to Phuket.  "Little" Mark managed to create havoc during the brief time he stayed with us and is now on Tim's "shite" list.  He left last night to retrieve his things from Bangkok; he's been offered a job at Kajonkietsuksa as well but he may take a job at a Krabi resort instead.

Tim's friend Tom (a Lamphun girl) has been staying with us — she came down a few days before "little" Mark arrived as my wife had planned to do some matchmaking.  Needless to say, it didn't work out (hence part of the reason Tim's upset with him right now) but she's a lovely woman who should have no problems finding a boyfriend.  Quite reserved at first, she's beginning to open up a bit more although she still seems overwhelmed much of the time.  Tom's started looking for work (mostly at local spa's so far) but it's low season and jobs are few and far between.

Since my wife and her friend both have nicknames that are boy's names in America I'm considering writing them differently in these blog entries.  It might be less confusing for new readers if I spell the "T" sounds in their names as "Dt".  Since I've been learning the Thai language, I do actually hear the "Dt" sound when they refer to their names with each other than just a plain "T".  Think of it as a hard "T".  So, I'll try to remember to write "Tim" as "Dtim" and "Tom" as "Dtom".  It looks funny to me right now but might be better than someone thinking my wife is a man rather than the 100% woman she truly is...

It looks like we'll also be purchasing a car very soon.  I've always told my wife that I'd consider it once I'd found a job and we had more income.  Yesterday, she gave me a brochure for the new Mitsubishi Triton 2WD pickup truck.  It can be financed with 39,000 baht down then 7000 baht per month for five years.  I'd rather not finance a vehicle down here, preferring to buy and be done with it.  I've seen good-condition/slighly-used Diahatsu Mira's out here for 70-80,000 baht (USD $2000-@2500) that (I think) suit our needs.  They're similar in size to a Ford Festiva — which I owned once and was always amazed at how much stuff I could cram in one.  Last night, I told Dtim that if I was offered the job today that I would buy a car in either June or July (once I got past the standard three-month probationary period for new teachers).

I'll be glad once we finish cleaning our old house (and, hopefully, having the lion's share of the deposit returned).  There's still plenty to do with the new house but at least it's liveable.  The ground floor will require the most work (such as installing a kitchen as there isn't even a sink or counter or anything) but we're saving that for last.  It does get dreadfully hot in the master bedroom despite having two fans on and a cold-water air cooler operating almost constantly.  This is mainly because of the large sliding glass doors leading to the balcony.  Once we hang curtains it should remain much cooler in there.

Alex made a big deal about us buying him a bunkbed when we took him to the furniture store last week.  Last night was to have been the first night he was to sleep in it.  But when Dtim told him that she wasn't sleeping up there with him he made a big fuss and she ended up sleeping on the floor of his room with him while Dtom slept in the bottom bunk.

The night before was supposed to be Alex and me spending the night alone in the new house.  I'd finished putting together all of the furniture and setting up the video system in the master bedroom.  I had the first (Episode III) Star Wars movie on a Thai-language DVD and my wife thought it would be a good bonding experience for us to "camp out" together with movie night.

Unfortunately, I don't think she told Alex he would be staying with me alone.  Dtim dropped him off and hung out while he did his homework and had a bit of dinner.  I started the movie and then walked her downstairs to let her out — she'd planned to pack up the kitchen and a few odds & ends.  I sat watching the movie with Alex for around 45 minutes when he suddenly began looking around and asked, "Where's Dtim?"  "She's staying at the old house tonight," I told him.  Tears welling in his eyes, he jumped up and ran to open the door.  Peering out, he screamed for his mama.  I didn't waste any time getting her on the phone so she could talk to him and calm him down (past experience has proved that is the only thing to work).  That just made him more upset and angry; he screamed at her over the phone (cursing in Thai sounds even worse than in English) and even threw my phone to the floor (luckily, it's pretty sturdy).  Picking it up, I asked Dtim if she could come back and help calm down Alex.  She said it would be about an hour.  It turned out to be almost two and during that entire time Alex was crying, throwing his entire body around on the bed (he doesn't just hit with his arms but with his head and legs as well), and screaming (I worried if the neighbors thought he was being tortured).  The only time he quieted down was during the attack on the Death Star at the end of Star Wars.

By the time Dtim and Dtom arrived, Alex was coughing and hoarse from screaming.  The three of them ended up sleeping on a mat on the floor while I slept alone in the big new bed.  Unfortunately, this crying-and-screaming routine is the norm everytime Alex is left to sleep without his mom.  Usually, she ends up sleeping in his room and I'm left alone.  The few times both of them have slept with me I haven't been able to sleep at all because he tosses and turns all night long (I call him the Tasmanian Devil when he's sleeping).  The first night that "little" Mark stayed at our house, he made a big deal that Alex could sleep in the bed with him (mainly so my wife and I could have a badly-needed night alone); Alex thought that would be great fun.  But he flung himself around so much while sleeping that Mark put him out of the room and locked the door.  Alex began screaming and managed to empty the contents of Mark's backback all over the living room floor before I had a chance to go out and see what was happening.  He quieted down as soon as we said he could sleep with us and, again, I was awake all night because I had to avoid getting hit from his constantly flailing arms.

Sometimes, Dtim is able to sneak out of Alex's room after he's fallen asleep so I at least get partial nights alone with her but those aren't near as often as we would like.  When Alex first came to stay with us, I never could fall asleep when Dtim wasn't by my side (so accustomed I'd become to her constant presence) but now I've become (more or less) accustomed to it as the norm rather than the exception.  My hope is that Alex will (soon) grow out of his constant need for mama to be with him.  I don't think this is normal behavior for seven-year-olds, not even in Thailand (however, Dtim did sleep in the same room as her parents until she was in her twenties but then again they only had one room in their house).

Well, I suppose that's all there is to right about on this hot, hot day.  I'm in a great mood now that I'm employed (a little fearful as it's been a long time since I had somewhere I had to be on a daily basis.  And I'm very happy that I have this nice new house (the view outside my window as I write this makes it ALL worthwhile) despite the amount of work that remains.  And I still think coming to Thailand to begin a new family was the best decision I've ever made, despite the setbacks and oddities.

Until next time...


TOT showed up soon after I wrote the draft for this entry.  They hung a spool of telephone cable on a pole at the end of our row of shophouses (five houses away) and then ran the line by threading it through holes just beneath each of the houses' second-storey balconies.  Finally, they leaned a VERY LONG one-section bamboo ladder against my wall, climbed up to the third floor and drilled a hole underneath the side window.  They ran a bit of cable through the hole and tied it off in a loop before dangling a small phone box connector to the end.  I suppose it'll work but it's looks rather primitive.  I'm supposed to wait for 24 hours before calling for the ADSL to be connected.

While the TOT guys were at our home, my wife talked the supervisor into drilling holes and hanging the new wall fans she'd just purchased.  This only required a "tip" of 150 baht — a bargain (and I'm considering doing the same for our mailbox, etc.).