We finally arrived in Thailand at about 2:30 this morning. We were supposed to get in at 1 a.m., and all was on track across the country, then across the ocean and even boarding our plane from Shanghai to Bangkok. And then, for reasons I cannot fathom, the plane just seem to drive at about 10 mph around the airport – for about an hour – before finally getting in line and taking off. So, in the end, we were a bit late getting here. But once we navigated Customs, Visa, bags – they all made it! – we found our friend waiting for us right by door number 10, just like he said he would be.
Getting outside, it turned into a great game of Tetris to get us loaded into the van and then we drove the 40 kilometers or so to their house. Being 3 a.m., the roads were deserted, and we were assured that this was the only time we would get to see such a sight. As soon as we left the freeways the roads changed quite a bit and I have no idea how they ever learned to drive here. He had to take an exit, but really intended to be going the opposite direction. However, to do so you had to take the exit make an unlabeled right hand turn onto a road that looked more like a paved bike path than a road, looped around, and then took another completely unmarked turn and doubled back on the first road we had been on. This then looped around again and led to another road – and as far as I could tell, none of these were labeled. It was all very confusing. I asked how in the world he figured out how to do that the first time, and he just said trial and error.
When we got to the house, everyone was asleep, so as quietly as possible we brought our bags into the house and divvied up between the rooms. By the time we were all settled and ready to go to sleep, our host had 45 minutes until his alarm was going off for work!. That’s a good friend.
Well, I slept in until noon, which was not my plan. It took me until nearly 5 to get to sleep, but I was hoping I would be able to get up at about 10 a.m. But even with sleeping in until noon, I am a bit foggy and having trouble focusing on my book.
When I did get up, the housekeeper arrived soon after, and confirmed that she would be making lunch for us. Tuna salad, white bread, and fruit – some of which I could actually identify. Everything was good & my stomach was grateful. The kids arrived home from school and the house was filled with talking, storytelling, laughing, and bundles of energy ever since. It’s amazing how the kids pick up like they just saw each other last week, instead of 6 months ago. I love the happy sounds.
After a bit of gushing and catching each other up, they decided to go to “the Villa.” I’ve no idea where or what that is, but I’m trusting that the kids who live here can take care of our kids and they’re not being taken to some dangerous underground club or anything. Since they were headed out with helmets and Ripsticks, I think it’s all good.
Once the parents got home from work, we caught up briefly, and then went for a walk through the neighborhood. I needed the fresh air to keep my eyes open. First stop was one of my favorite things – their grocery store. We wandered through what was a surprisingly western grocery store, but I suppose being within an international expat community, that is more to be expected. Their were a number of fruit I couldn’t identify, and the meat selection was more limited and prepackaged than we are used to, and the wine was plentiful but pricey for the families names. However, a South African or Australian wine is downright affordable.
We stopped at the neighborhood rug store, but it was closed and none of us could tell why, it being well within the posted hours. A return trip is planned.
We also gazed longingly inside a foot massage place, and that is definitely happening while we are here. The equivalent of $6 for an hour long foot massage! I wonder how much it is to take an employee home with us?
Dinner was prepared by the housekeeper and consisted of ham & pineapple rice, homemade spring rolls, and a soup with pork stuffed celery, tiny mushrooms, and rice noodles in a broth. It was excellent. I had seconds, Lydia had extra spring rolls, and we all tried everything.
The rest of our evening the moms sat in one area to catch up over a glass of wine, the kids gathered in the TV room, and the husbands split their time between both.