Monday, December 26, 2011

Xmas 2011

Christmas felt more special this year. A happy butterfly fairy princess pranced around in her pjs all morning. Happy holidays!

Monday, November 07, 2011

Slow going going going

We prepared three weeks too soon. Tense days involving frantic searches for sand bags, bottled water, buckets, canned food and other things could have been spread out over a longer period of time, and with much less stress. The huge volume of water is still out there but it's probably not going to come gushing in, although my paranoia entertains the possibility that it could still spew out from the sewers or rush in from river or canal overflow.

Moving a a pace of 1.5 to 3 kilometers per day, the water is making its way down towards us in inner Bangkok. My best guess (based mostly on how I feel, not fact, mind you, because none of that exists) is that it will take 60 days to completely drain out to sea. (This is actually the government's estimate times two, because they really are that far off the mark.)

No one has a clue when/where/how much. The water comes silently, inexorably. But the good thing is that it'll surely pass. Finding much sense in the British WWII poster: Keep calm and carry on.

Friday, October 21, 2011


On Wednesday evening, we left Sukhumvit and headed to my parents' place on the other side of town. Not that it is safer or drier but it was too nerve wracking to stay and twiddle our thumbs, waiting for the flood and listening to conflicting news reports on the city's fate. Here, we stacked sand bags, filled buckets and bathtubs with water, and stocked up on necessities. Today, the sun is shining and all is dry but maybe it's the calm before the storm. Kept reading in editorials that it's not a a matter of if, but when, the flooding will occur. Feelings are mixed: we're bracing for the worst; others are fairly certain we will be sparred.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Thailand drowning

Floods have inundated much of the nation, with waters moving down toward Bangkok. It's pretty frightening and people are starting to get nervous, leading to hoarding of bottle water, instant noodles, and canned foods. This morning Tesco on Rama I was a madhouse, with grim-looking shoppers filling carts with food and drinks. One man loaded up on alcohol (not a bad idea).

Mostly stocked up things we normally buy: diapers, UHT milk, formula, and cereal. Also got some jarred baby food even though N doesn't really eat them anymore. Don't know if we're going to stay put in Sukhumvit. No one can say if/when the deluge is expected to hit. Eeeagh... it's that feeling of impending doom for Bangkok (again).

Saturday, August 20, 2011


Rain, rain, rain...and with it, a most unwelcome visitor: cockroaches. Since we moved to our apartment, these harbingers of filth have multiplied in size. In 2006, they were little babies, easily squashed and subsequently flushed down the toilet with nary a second thought; in 2009, they grew to medium-sized suckers that scuttled over the floor, requiring more dexterity (and a rolled up newspaper) to squish; today, they are frighteningly big and capable of flight. And smart, menacing even.

So one of these, the mother of all roaches (or MoaR, a well deserved title), recently took up residence in one of the bathrooms and terrorized us for a couple weeks, darting under the shower stall late at night whenever someone would switch on the light in the room. The cat refused to get involved in its demise, sauntering out of the bathroom looking for something more interesting (and safe) to do.

One night the MoaR was hanging out by the faucet in the sink, and it crawled up M's arm when he turned on the water in the dark. Shrieks ensued, and the roach zipped back to its lair under the shower stall. M proceeded to spray the area with Baygon. A little while later, the roach was on its back, frantically kicking its legs in the air. Presuming it was on its death bed, M tossed it into the trash can, slammed the lid. The next day, I opened the lid to throw away a tissue and the MoaR was very much alive and attempted to escape immediately. Asked M to finish it off. Tentatively opening the lid, M peered in and the MoaR flew out. It managed to land on and scamper up M's arm again (poor man) before jumping into the sink where it got smashed by a magazine. Heart-pounding, we felt relieved the ordeal was over. Until the next one appeared.

This one hitched a ride on M's leg and made it outside the bathroom to the kitchen, where it is still at large. *Shudder*

Monday, August 15, 2011


N has picked up a lot of words lately, chatting non-stop. She's mostly coherent, but it sometimes takes awhile to figure out what she's saying. Interestingly, while we speak to her in English and Thai, she mostly speaks Thai. She also refers to herself as Sa. Some recent phrases:

Upon wanting to play with my phone: ษาทำได้ Mama ทำไม่ได้ [Sa can do it, Mama cannot]
To her Thomas trains:
จูบกันะ [Kiss each other, ok]
Wanting some iced tea: Tea
Waving to her stuffed animals: See you ะ bye bye
Climbing on the bed (since falling off and banging her head earlier): Mama ช่วยดูษาน้อยค่ะ [Mama, please watch me/make sure I don't fall]
Frustrated, trying to point out something that I couldn't see: Mama
มองไม่เห็น [Mama cannot see]
Upon wanting to buy a book: Mama ตังค์อยู่ไหน? [Mama, where's the money?]
In her sleep and very often, while awake: ไม่ไม่! [No, no!]
Every so often:
ทำรเอ่ย? เสียงรเอ่ย? นี่ร? [What are you doing? What's that sound? What's this?]
Upon being carried in a precarious manner: Mama อุ้มดีดี [Mama, hold me properly]
Upon seeing a Buddha image with a bare torso: ไม่มี boobs ะ [Got no boobs]
Upon being asked who's the apple of Mama's eye: ษา [Sa] apple eye (while poking me in the eyes)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Mom's Day

Yesterday was the Queen's birthday and Thai mother's day. Told N it was mother's day, and asked what she was going to do for me. I suggested she behave. And she said: "จะเกาหลังให้" ('gonna scratch your back'). Hmmm. I'll take that.

M was working and the nanny was off so I had N alone. Took her to the toy store and she headed straight for the Thomas trains and then to the kitchen play set. She stayed there for awhile, pretending to make soup while chatting away to herself.

When we left, she was good and didn't demand anything. I picked up some bubble solution and a couple shape and number puzzles that understandably, weren't very exciting for her but I let her get some Thomas trains from the egg vending machine. The very nice cashier offered to open the machine and let us pick the ones we wanted. It took awhile to choose but in the end, N was happy with little Percy and Toby wind-up trains, and a model of Cranky the crane.