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Formerly a Spanish teacher in Wisconsin & Illinois, I moved to Bangkok with my husband in July 2011 to teach IT at a new American International School.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Getting Down and Dirty in The Big Mango-Finding my own GROOVE!

When I think of Bangkok, I think of friendly people all around, smiling, even when they are in a shitty place. My new friend, Ruthie, has ingrained the 2 phrases "Shit Show" and "TIT" (This is Thailand) in to my head. Now, when I think of Bkk, I think of the allure, yet how fake things really are. Sort of like being in a dais in Chinatown last Sunday. "Is this really my life? Am I really here, at this moment?"  So, I am sort of starting to really dig in and see things in a different light here. Don't get me wrong, I still force people to smile on the street when I smile at them.

I think being here almost 2 months, I am still so new to life here in The Big Mango, my job, the people, the places, etc. Everything is a new discovery, yet I am coming in to my own here. I think I am finally starting to recognize things and people for what/who they are, and I am starting to acclimate and form my own opinions about things. For the first time, the dark sarcasm of Sharin unleashes herself and brings new perspective. Bringin' it!

So let's talk a bit about accomplishments and observations. Not in that order. So a few months ago, I dragged my husband to Las Vegas to experience it all. Well, on some levels, Bkk and Sin City are parallels. Yeah, they are. Patpong anyone? Just venture to Nana a bit past 8 o'clock, any day of the week, and keep the kids at home. You'll understand if you have been here and you've got your own stash of lady 'playing' cards from the LV Strip. And then there is VARIETY. Well, the TV here is one thing. I'm sorry, but I still don't get the Thai programming. I got my nails done a couple weeks ago and the entire time I was watching this group of early 20 somethings sit around, eat, and then practice their singing, LIVE. That was an hour I will never get back. I guess it is their version of American Idol meets MTV's The Real World and one groupie gets eliminated by votes, or whatever. And then there is last night's experience. Note: You will have to scroll the bottom to see that adventure... Mom' it was no Hofbrau adventure. No Pound The Peg for us...

And an accomplishment to note. I got my nails done, and then walked about 100 feet to get my teeth cleaned for less than the cost of my nail fill. Gotta love Thailand, right? Massage parlors abound, and squished in between each massage venue is a dental clinic or maybe a plastic surgery clinic where they will whiten you up. Remember, whitening is IN! Throw away the suntan lotion and just go MJ-style.
I'd love to show you, but apparently Blogger doesn't like me uploading stuff right now. So you'll have to use your imagination. Think..."1970s chick in white spandex polyester jumpsuit flying magestically through the air in an acrobatic circle  over hundreds of drunkards while people gawk at her" There, I said it.

Moving on. Then there's all the 'show' of BKK. Ruthie, you couldn't put it in plainer sight. Shit show and "WOW, isn't that pretty?!" go hand in hand here. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Bkk  until further notice. But at the same time, you cannot put up these gorgeous fascades and have people sleeping on the streets along the BTS stops. But it is Bkk so YES YOU CAN! Here's an example: The Thai love their King and Queen, and who wouldn't? They have been an integral part of most people's lives for decades and they represent peace, solemnity and piece of mind about where Thailand was, where it is not and what the future holds for its people.
How would you feel if Barack and Michelle Obama were plastered on many city buildings wherever you walked? The King and Queen are EVERYWHERE in Thailand!
And people dearly love their shrines. Remember when I wrote about changing the name to LOI? I think incense is second nature here, and so is leaving your half-full juice cups with their straws inserted when you finish up worshipping at the shrines. But they are pretty!

So I am gearing up for my 10K Bangkok Post run tomorrow, and today I decided to do some shopping at Platinum Fashion Mall for some cute dresses=Bargains.

 What do you think?  3rd Floor is all handbags, and a 1980s flashback apparently.

 But I also picked up another race packet for a 6K midnight charity run on Oct. 8th at the Amari Watergate Hotel. We get free cocktails after the run at Henry J. Bean's pub inside the hotel! SCORE!
 And now for something completely different...or just realizing it is Thailand...
A group of us celebrated a birthday for a co-worker at Tawandaeng German Brewery. So we walk in and I am expecting schnitzel, pretzels, weiners, wursts, maybe some sauerkraut and good steins of German beer. We got our beer. But what we also got was a Cirque du Soleil show, coupled with Thai-style German food in a beer hall. At least the beer was good. Did I also mention that The Price Is Right was also there? Josh tried getting in on that, too. Jeff, I hope you enjoyed your birthday with a few laughs. Lord knows we walked away wondering what we just experienced and why on earth others keep coming back to that German hall.

Josh and I before we knew what we were getting ourselves in to.

So I will update you on the run(s) and I participating in and hopefully I start to really fit in here even more, you know, running alongside the Thai with all their run gear on. I am still the only female I know here who wears a sports bra, a pair of shorts and stops at 7-Eleven to buy an iced coffee after my run. So maybe not...but if anybody wants some run jerseys, they seem to like those here a lot. I plan to hit up the local brew pubs for brunch after these early runs. Six o'clock start time tomorrow is sure coming fast.

More ramblings to come as we close out September and move beyond the rainy season in to the cool(er) season here. Vacation is right around the corner!

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