Thursday, September 30, 2004

See that? That's me way out there, knee deep in the Straits of Malacca!

Yep, I did it! Heh, heh....I REALLY did it!

By "Really" I mean I was S-T-U-C-K in the mud.

Minutes after Annie so graciously snapped this picture, I became stuck even worse....hip deep. Finally, after my pleading, Annie came to rescue me and ended up falling in the mud herself. Eventually some Portuguese restaurant owners ended up rescuing the "Stupid White Guy."

Annie and I lived to tell about it (although I think her version is less comical) and the two of us spent the rest of the afternoon hosing the mud off ourselves.
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This is me and "Big Ben" one of the Portuguese guys who lent a hand to rescue the "Stupid White Guy." Ben made a good point, saying I was lucky they were nearby, as the tide was coming in rapidly.
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Wednesday, September 29, 2004

This is my pal. His name is Mr. Soamboon Chlomusig. He speaks some pretty good English and operates one of the local stores here in our village, with his wife Wontip and daughter Watsanan.
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This is a picture of me and some of the local kids in my neighborhood. A good number of the kids around here are my students.
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Monday, September 27, 2004

Just a couple of noteworthy items:

First off, I am still sick. Ended up in the hospital last week and was finally seen by a doctor at Bangkok/Hatyai hospital, who said I had a severe case of bronchitis. The good news is: I don't have pneumonia. The bad news is: It's a virus and can only be treated symptomatically. So, I'm at home resting and trying to ride out this nasty illness that has plagued me for the past month and a half.

Secondly, although I have been able to log-on to the internet a few times and have successfully done a trial-run of the awesome "Hello" program by Picasa, my laptop is sh*tting the bed on me and I'll eventually have to take it in for repair or replacement (like I've got the money for that). I'm getting a continual "Operating System Not Found" on power-up, which I believe is a fan error.

So, if you don't see any posts from me for awhile again, that is the reason.

The nearest Dell repair station is in Penang, I won't be taking it there. I'm hoping to find a local repair shop who knows how to work on Dell laptops and won't end up costing me an arm and a leg.

"When it rains, it pours...."


Sunday, September 26, 2004

One of my ever-present pets
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Friday, September 24, 2004

Recent internet news headline on Yahoo:


Well "Duh!"


Sunday, September 19, 2004


Jeeez....That was a pretty long absence huh? Well, sorry for that but I just couldn't tolerate that internet cafe in town anymore and had to wait until I had a phoneline installed in the house, which in itself ended up becoming a major production. But, now it's installed and I'm buying up "Internet Cards" at the local 7-11 for $178 Thai baht apiece - giving 12 hours of internet usage a whack.

Life here in Thunglung is quiet to say the least. This village is small and relatively calm. But there are always the little surprises....

Yesterday, after a long day teaching at the school, I was walking on my usual route home when I spotted an elephant in the road. Not a very tough item to spot I must say, since despite this guy's size, he was drawing quite the crowd. I wormed my way through the crowd of mostly Thai students dressed in uniform and heading home, to get a closer look at this massive beast.

Once I was close, a tall, dark and thin Thai guy approached me, speaking rather good English, and saying, "You want to buy some banana stalk to feed him?"

Elephants have quite literally always been my thing and one of the things I've always dreamt of doing in life is riding one. Well, I didn't get to ride this fellow, but I quickly shelled out the $20 baht for a small bag of banana stalk and started approaching this massive creature.

I had hardly gotten the banana stalk out of the bag when a very big, rather firm elephant snout began worming it's way towards me. The old boy (yes, BELIEVE me, it was a BOY) was rather persistent and didn't seem to have the patience for me to wrestle with the plastic bag holding his treat, but finally I managed to get his small snack out of the bag, and he took care of the rest.

The whole ordeal took about ten seconds and then the stalks were gone. Soon afterwards this great elephant took a "bow," his form of a Thailand wai, to say thank you.

Just TOO cool! It really made my day.

It seems there is some sort of Elephant "farm" nearby and supposedly this public exposure is used to supplement the cost of feeding these huge guys and assisting their caretakers with their upkeep. I'm hoping to see another one soon.

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