Monday, June 04, 2007

Chiang Mai: The Legend Continues, June 3, 2007

Maybe because my intake of sugar cereals was so strictly moderated as a youth, but it still brings back a forbidden pleasure as I sit here eating a bowl of Thai-version coco crispies. In addition to the coco crispies, my room is also stocked with Mayo, chili beans, cream of potato soup, breakfast bars, tuna, and Mi Goreng instant noodles chock full of msg. I was able to obtain all these things at the farang supermarket, where my buddy Kati was kind enough to bring me. She’s actually been carting my bum all over town this past week, and while she pretends to think I’m crazy, I know that in her heart she has a soft spot for me. Kati’s age is impossible to gauge, so I had to resort to other measures in figuring out that she’s 32 (she’ll kill me if she ever sees this). She ages incredibly well being that she looks like a 15 year old, as do many of the other Thais that I have befriended (age well, that is, not look like 15 year olds). Kati also has a strange preoccupation with Winnie the Pooh as evidenced by her Pooh phone case and Pooh stuffed animal in the back of her car.

I asked Kati about products in the US that say “made in Thailand” and whether those items are manufactured in sweat shops. She said that those factories have perfectly decent conditions. What I’ve come to discover is that Thailand is fairly well developed and not as dirty as one might think. It’s Indonesia that’s more sketch according to Kati as she deterred me from buying the Tim Tam’s manufactured in Australia’s next door neighbor. “I don’t trust things made in Indonesia” she said.

I start teaching class on Monday. In addition to the 2 courses (2 sections each, so four in total) that I’ll be handling at the university, I picked up 5 hours of teaching 7th graders every Wednesday. Word on the street is that I’m gonna have more than my hands full with the 7th graders, but the people at the Junior High thought I’d be a good fit being that I can match the energy level of any 7th grader they throw my way.

Some random nonsense: In the Thai version of Wal-mart, twice a day the Thai national anthem comes on over the loudspeaker and everybody stops what they’re doing for the song’s duration.

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