Random thoughts on food and school

Trip Start May 06, 2010
Trip End Apr 14, 2011

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Thursday, July 1, 2010

On Sunday night I got a call from Susanna saying our landlady was taking her to temple and dinner if I wanted to join. I figured, why not? Our landlady walked us over to her temple and showed us around, and invited us to a big celebration they're having there on July 8th.  We tried to keep it open as a possibility, but she wouldn’t take no for an answer, so I’m sure I’ll be blogging about that soon.  Afterward, she said she’d take us to a place to eat.  Susanna reminded her that we like vegetables, and our landlady said she knew just the place.

She took us to the food market.  Where we eat dinner every night.  She took us to a stall that serves whole fish roasted on a spit.  The three of us shared one (even though I didn’t really want it-I have enough issues eating meat in Thailand, I don’t need to pull back its skin and look into its eye while I do it) and it came with a giant basket of greenery-basil, mint, cabbage, lettuce, and other herbs.  Those were the vegetables she was so proud of finding for us.  I couldn’t be mad at her because she is so sweet and this is what Thailand considers a vegetable-rich meal.  However, gnawing on raw mint does not make me feel like I’ve met my 5 a day suggested serving.  Also, though I ate the mint that is supposedly so good for the stomach, I have never felt more ill in Thailand than I did the morning after that meal.  I will be avoiding fish on a spit for a while.

One interesting thing about the evening was that she pointed out the prison.  Turns out we pass it every day going to and from school.  I’m a little uncomfortable with the fact that the prison is right in the middle of just about every school in the city.  She also pointed it out on the night I was deep into reading my book about a girl who spent 4 years in a Thai prison so I was wondering why this was becoming a theme in my life.

Funny tidbit about my kids: they have to say goodbye to me every afternoon that I’m in the room when they leave.  Most of them just say, "goodbye" or “see you again tomorrow” but one day this week, Choke (yes, Thai nicknames are bizarre) decided to liven things up.  Keep in mind that this is a kid who has almost no English understanding, at least not that he ever demonstrates in class.  He came over to my desk, put on a deep voice and said, “Love you, baby” and ran out the door.  Never a dull moment.  Then yesterday, a bunch of kids were complaining to me that it smelled, and it did.  I tried to get them to carry on with their work, but Choke just kept holding his nose.  Then he looked at me and said, “Teacher, it’s a fart” and pointed to his butt.  He cannot formulate the question, “what is your name?” but he can flirt with me and talk about farts.  He’s set for life.

Yesterday was my first day with the kindergarteners.  My original schedule had me working with them on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons.  I was supposed to alternate with another girl so I would only go every other week.  Then my schedule got changed around a million times and I hadn’t had to go at all.  Then this week, my coordinator roped me in.  Luckily, I have crossword club with the fourth graders on Tuesday afternoons, so I can only go on Wednesdays.  It’s only half an hour, so it’s not horrible, but it is ridiculous.  And apparently now I’m going every single week on Wednesdays.  How do I keep getting roped into these extra classes with small children?  I don’t like teaching them that young when they understand what I’m saying!  It’s horrible trying to teach when they have no idea what’s going on.  I end up just singing and dancing around and being a clown.  At least when I work Saturdays I get paid extra.  Kindergarten is just taking away my planning time.

Last night I met up with some girls from OEG who are in Chonburi and we got some all you can eat sushi.  It was sushi and the kind of thing where you have a pot of boiling soup that you put the raw stuff in and cook it yourself-like a Japanese Melting Pot kind of deal.  It’s all you can eat, but there’s a time limit, so it’s stressful.  The Coke and ice cream was also all you can eat, so that was exciting.  I won’t be going back because it was really overpriced and not as good as I would have hoped, but it was a hilarious experience.  Lizzie mostly just played with the food.  She grabbed anything she saw off the conveyor belt and cooked it, but only ate about a bite of each thing.  She said she was just promoting American stereotypes by piling food in front of her. 

On a related note, I am so sick of rice.  Good thing I bought myself a rice cooker.  No really, I’m glad I did because I can cook veggies in it (which are insanely cheap at the market), but I am bored to death of rice.  I was talking to a Filipina teacher about it yesterday and I asked how they don’t get sick of eating it every single day, usually for more than one meal a day.  She just shrugged and said, “We’re used to it.”  That didn’t satisfy me.  I told her that there is not a single food in America that I eat every single day.  I may go on a kick where I eat something every day for a week or so, but never something I eat every day, several times a day.  She just laughed and said they eat a lot of rice.  My frustrations are amusing to her but driving me crazy.  Even when you order an omelet, it’s served on a bed of rice.  They eat sticky rice for dessert.  The noodles are made of rice.  Rice isn’t even that good for you.  I could really go for a vegetable Panini on some whole grain bread.  Someone mail me one.  Or open a Panera in Chonburi.
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Sal on

2 things:

1- (about your dinner the other night) "look at the expression in his... eye. he knows it's over."
2- there is one food I could (and did) eat for multiple meals a day, every day. that food is s'mores pop-tarts. I will be happy to bring you a box when we come visit.

caiter on

i can barely stop cracking up enough to reply to this. classic shag commentary. well done.

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