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So I taught myself how to ride a crotch rocket. I'm a biker babe now.

Cross that off my "To-Do list before I die".
Now about that skydiving thing? Haha



We'd been in Chiang Mai for about a week. We woke up one morning, I looked at the time on my cell phone, tossed it aside and got up for the day. A few hours later, can't find the cell phone...

We'd been living in Chiang Mai for about a month and a half. Wake up one morning, Duan had stolen 7500 baht...

We'd been living in Chiang Mai for about 2 months. Wake up get some money out of the bag, take note of how much is in there. 3000 baht comes up missing later on...

We'd been living in Chiang Mai for 2 1/2 months. Went to the pawn shop, cashed in a game boy. Came back took inventory: Brian's Ipod and unopened Ipod. Mental note to cash those in later too. Krystal's Ipod, no where to be found...

Motorbike stolen from Spiceys...

****End Flashback****

About 3 days ago, I was rummaging through my bag looking for my perfume and thats when i realized the Ipod we had hidden to cash in later was missing. I tore up my bag and my room. No where in sight. I questioned Brian and he didn't move it. Not in any of his bags. We questioned Danny, and he hadn't seen it. We tore up the house looking for it. And there sat Mook. Playing Pangya (google it) as innocent as the day she was spawned.

I had had enough. I kept my cool as long as I could as we were asking her about it. Keep in mind that, not counting my ipod that vanished, we have Danny's Ipod and Brian's Ipod that are always in a constant state of floating around the house. We asked her if she saw the ipod. Her response, "The one in the box. The white one? No I haven't seen it." Admitting her own guilt there, the interrogation continues. Ironically the wallcharge to the ipods is also missing. So now we know it had to have been her. Any doubt is now gone. No one knew where we kept the ipod or what the heck that white thing was plugged into the wall.

I blew up.
I started telling mook everything that she needed to know to know that she was the scum of the earth. Basically it went like this, "Mook. You know we have no money? right? You know that I make only 4000 baht 2 weeks? Right? You know we cannot live here no more because not have money? And you take from us! You live here for FREE, you eat for FREE and you take from us? You are a bad friend. You are bad." And she proceeded to evolve from innocent spawn to demon spawn and "threatened" to "just go". Of course I wouldn't have cared. At some point Brian jumped in on the attack, and Danny feeling sensible to her feelings stopped the whole affair and said she wasn't going anywhere.

I never had the intention of kicking her out into the street. At some point she was a nice person to me. But I wanted to let her know she was not welcome here anymore. She hasn't talked to me since then, but...

That was a few nights ago. Saturday night, Mook is still around, biding her time. We were waiting for Danny to make a move. He was planning on going to a buddhist temple for a week or so, at which point he would take her with him and then she would have that opportunity to make arrangements to move out. But Danny was having a hard time finding a temple that would allow him to bring in books to read. Anyways, we had our guard still up, but we were still so very stupid...

James Bond. In all his interestingness and his buff glory he is the reason why i have to write such a sad ending. James bond... We'd been looking forward to seeing this movie for a while now. And we finally get the chance Saturday night. We buy are tickets, Mook pays for herself and surprisingly for Danny too. We eat some pizza and we head into the movie. Before the movie starts playing Mook says her stomach hurts and she heads out of the theater. Danny says she didn't come back immediately, but he assumed she had just sat down some where behind us. It was James Bond's interestingness that kept Danny glued to the screen instead of looking for Mook...

The movie ends we look around, no mook. We glance around outside, no mook. I'm not concerned at all. I was hoping she had ran off with some friends into the night and then we'd officially be done with her. We decided instead of taking a taxi home, to walk instead. It was maybe only a mile or so. And then when we got to our neighborhood, a nice stop off at the ol' milk zone was in order. So basically, it took us quite a while to get home.. if it had not taken this long, maybe....

We get home. I say goodnight to the boys and head up to sleep. It was already 2 and I had work early in the afternoon.

I was woken up at 5 a.m. Brian is shaking me gently and informing me that we have a problem...

He makes sure I am awake before he tells me anything. And he informs me that...

Mook had taken what was left of my paycheck from working at london house, 3100 baht, and our piggy bank that was full to the max of baht coinage, maybe less than 2000 baht. And she did this while we were at the movie and then went to stay at a guest house. She confessed to taking the money to Danny when he came back home and signed onto MSN. She said she wanted to give him the money back, and so he went to where she said to meet him. They met up, she led him on a goose chase and eventually he ended up waiting for her for an hour and a half. He comes home, sure that he will never see her again...

Maybe an hour passes, and a tuktuk pulls up outside, Mook gets off and comes into the house. Boys are a little surprised, she says she's tired and heads up to bed. Danny of course won't let her sleep, begins interrogating her. At first she says that she had the money, she would give it back. She promised she would give it back. Then of course under pressure she tells a better truth, she gave the money to a friend.

He brings her back downstairs and I am awoken....

****End Story****

As i'm getting up and dressed, I do an inventory count in my head. Cell phone? Check. Grandma's necklace? Check. Sunglasses? Check. Camera? Thats downstairs...

Head downstairs. If you've ever seen A Clockwork Orange, and Alex's P.O. officer sees him in the interrogation room, well thats about how i felt. Like I was glad she put her in this situation, gloating. Well that was until I finished my inventory... she'd taken my digital camera.

I was furious. If you look back, nothing of Danny's has ever come up missing. Nothing! She and Duan have only stolen from me! I haven't done anything wrong!

The end to this story. We were waiting for the sun to come up so we can flag down a taxi and escort Mook to the police. No taxi's run this late/early in the night/morning, so we could only wait. Somewhere along the line, Brian got mook confessing on a recording on his phone. We were set. I headed for a shower and Danny escorted mook upstairs to the 4th story...

Well as all criminals do when penned up, she looked for an escape. She scaled out of the 4th story balcony and escaped into the night/morning...

Lessons learned:
-Thai people cannot be trusted. Their society makes them think lying and stealing is ok. If a thai person steals from another thai person, just lie about it. No one will question your integrity.
-Instincts are all that count. You cannot deny your gut. And if you're wrong, then you're wrong, but your gut wasn't. If you do something to have some one lose faith in you, then you never trusted them in the first place.
-Anything you treasure, never let anyone know. She was deliberately stealing from me because i made her hate me. When she stole the ipod and we knew it, I made her hate me as much as anyone on the earth can hate anyone else because i questioned her about it. So she stole from me to hurt me. But had she taken what I truly cherish, then we'd have a problem.

So in the long run. We're floating dead on the water.... And i'm going to be late for work...

Walk in Chiang Mai...

Well since our rental motorbike was stolen I've been walking to and from work.. Ok more like just from, I have to get up early so I usually make Bj take me, but thats not the point.

The "only in thailand..." blog I posted was a story of my walk home. I have uploaded some pictures to flickr and updated the map to include the walk home today so you can see it in its entirety.

Nothing too strange.. just a motorcycle with a buffalo skull, the return of the purple puppy, a squished snake, my wedding dress (teehee) and the schools I work at.

We didn't go to Royal Flora today, so I thought i'd make it up to you. :) Enjoy.

Will post more soon!


So I've decided to spend an hour or so this morning organizing my photos at my flickr page. I've thrown them on a convenient map that you can zoom in and see where exactly we've been and what exactly we've done. <---map <---photos

The map includes the 3 el paso pictures so you can see where we started our flying journey from. No Dallas pictures though, but i do have bangkok pics posted. It was difficult finding all the places we took pictures at but you can see where everything is. Same thing with Chiang Mai and Mae Sai. You can't zoom in on either of the latter cities because the satellite photos aren't detailed.

No new pictures to upload, but tomorrow I am going with my class to Royal Flora, a huge flower exhibition here in Chiang Mai, and I will be sure to take pictures of the flowers, my students, and the school.

Only in Thailand...

Here's a neat spiff about some random things that happen to you in thailand when walking home from work...

On your way home from work, you're walking along and spot a street vendor selling goods. It is two wicker-bowl baskets, draped over a length of bamboo, filled with items for sale. You stop to buy something that intrigues you. You hand over 30 baht and carry away your newly purchased item... a blue elephant piggy bank...

As you continue walking you run into people. Mostly thai people. But also occassional farang. Speaking german, french, spanish or english. Sometimes you might run into a farang thats talking with another one while walking and only catch the phrase, "...but i knew it wasn't serious. It was just a rash..."

You will of course, being a farang as you are, be checked out by guys and girls alike. And that does include a monk in the bed of a pickup truck listening to his ipod...

But if you're really lucky, when you finally reach your street, you'll be approached by the smallest puppy you've ever seen. And it will be excited to see you. And it will be painted purple.

All these things happened to me today. Now excuse me, I have a few baht i need to put into my new piggy bank. My last one is full. :(

Ummm, what now?...

Remember a few blogs back, I let you all know about all the bad things that had gone on? Well then I started working again and had a rocking halloween night, things were ok. I was optimistic, things could only get better.... wrong.

Lets put things in a chronological order of least affective to most affective.

I don't make enough money. haha, i know thats not really a problem, but I had to start with something. I work for an hour and a half twice a week and six hours on the weekend. I have committed myself to doing this for the next 10 weeks at least. I make seventy dollars a week. Oh em gee. I have to dedicate myself to going to sleep early, waking up early, preparing lessons all to work for 9 hours and make 70 bucks.

Ok ok like I said thats not a problem, just annoying. A real problem is the fact that some one in this house is stealing money from us. That some one I can guarantee you is not Brian, Danny nor myself. So that leaves yet another fun loving thai girl that keeps taking advantage of us. In total at least 3000 baht has come up missing. Which isn't that much, but when you're money supply is dwindling away and you only make 3000 a week and your rent is 10,000, you need every "baht ya got".

So money problems, ya ya, everyone has money problems. Lets talk about something else. Oh how about the piece of trash bicycle I bought to get around town on? The one that the chain keeps popping off of, the metal keeps grinding into the tire, with the screws that have fallen out. I will never buy anything already assembled from a thai superstore, again. Doesn't matter if its a bicycle or a lampshade. That bike is junk now. The screw that was holding the chain plate in fell out and the chain having fallen off its track, lost a link connector and wedged itself very firmly on the outer metal rim of the bike. Its hard to describe, just know that its in such a position i would have to break the chain off in order to remove it from its stronghold on the bike.

Also thats not necessarily a problem... not a problem in the least.

What is a problem is the rental bike we had been renting, getting stolen from out in front of a nightclub. Yes that is a definite problem. It would have been better if they had stolen the bike and it was actually ours. But it wasn't.. so now we have to deal with the police and the bike owner. And if the bike is never recovered then we'll have to pay for it. Anywhere from 250 dollars to 1,500 dollars. Who knows, its all up to the bike owners descretion. Which is horribly unfair. But ya, thats the jist of it.

So now I can say optimistically that things will look up from here, they cannot get any worse. I know thats when something bad happens in any dramatic movie, but honestly it just gets to a point where it cannot get any worse...

Loy Krathong...

Well I've officially experienced a Thai festival. There are numerous holidays laced sporadically throughout the year. These holidays typically don't last just one day, oh no, that wouldn't be Thai. No the holidays officially last roughly between three-five days. But the Thai people enjoy celebrating a few days early and carrying the celebration out a few days late. So what you're left with is a week long celebration.

And Thai holidays are not particularly organized or safe. Loy Krathong initially sounded like a beautiful celebration. Children and Adults alike create sweet little boats made of banana leaves and flowers and send them down the rivers and canals. The boats represent their eagerness to repent for their wrongdoings and to hope that they will be swept away like the water in the river. They even repent for the banana trees and flowers that were destroyed in the process of making their boats. And on top of each one is a single candle. So at night it really is a beautiful thing to see watching all these floating flowers go down the current.

But then after you take away everything beautiful of the festival you are left with the carnage!! Lights and flowers are fine and dandy, but people get impatient. They want to get bigger and better ways to express their joy of the holidays. What better way to do so than with fireworks?! Small quiet sparklers, loud cannons, mortars, roman candles, black cats and the shower of sparkles, it's like the fourth of July! But it lasts for 7 days... and there is no hour time line. The fireworks started one day last week, and carried on into that night and through the morning and when the main day of the celebration drew nearer it sounded like a war zone. I'm not complaining I just thought it was very funny waking up and going to sleep to the sound of "gunfire" and "bomb blasts".

The idea of the boats with candles floating down the river was an innocent one. If there was a problem and the candle caught fire to the boat it would calmly burn and then go out. It is in water after all. But what if you take the idea of the boat down the river and change it up a bit. Like lets say you attach the candle to a paper lantern and let it fly off into the night sky. Well then you have the beautiful scene of the boats on the river but they're flying above you. Very very beautiful to be driving through the streets of Chiang Mai and every where you look there are hundreds of lanterns slowly weaving their way through the night sky. Some caught fire and fell calmly to the ground, but nothing serious.

But that's not Thai enough. Nope, not by far. So of course they had to attach fireworks to the lanterns and let them streak across the night sky in a shower of sparkles.

It really was fun, and besides the constant barrage of smoke and the hordes of people meandering about, it was very serene. Unfortunately I didn't get any decent pictures, as my camera doesn't take very good night shots. Oh well, there is always Songkran.. the 3 day long water festival, which will most likely last a whole week. Can't wait for that one!!!

Happy Halloween...

New pictures!

So should I start off with the small talk or the serious stuff? I guess i can get the serious stuff out of the way and end it all on a happy note.

So London House has once again snagged me into their staff. I work at London House Saturdays and Sundays for 3 hours a day teaching the same range i was before. And thats fine, I enjoyed those classes and the students so I was happy with that. And then I was offered another position... teaching at a school.. not at london house... and teaching... Kindergarten.

Its 2 days a week 1 1/2 hours a day in a small school in the middle of a rice field, very rare to see in chiang mai city, not far from my house. So now i get the luxury of dealing with 20-30 raging terrors and attempt to teach them english. This is going to be fun. And highly illegal as i don't have a TEFL certificate or a Bachelors Degree. But oh well, i won't get in trouble.

So thats the serious stuff. Now lets have some fun!

Yesterday was Halloween, maybe where you are you're still partying as its 5:30 p.m. here, hopefully one of you has what it takes to party for 8 hours straight Halloween night!! Haha.

Well in true farang spirit we did dress up, with what we had. Brian went as a Vampire without teeth, Danny went as a "key" "nok" (a keynok is a type of farang that runs around in hippie clothes that don't quite fit them to well and looking very raggedy) which directly translated means "bird sh*t", and I went as the ever charmingly handsome Todd.

Now apparently there lies dormant inside me a beast. A beast of a man raging to get out and throw around some testosterone goodies! And so when i doned on my halloween costume, the beast awoke. And nothing was the same again.

It started out good we all went up to Milk Zone (the trendy restaurant/maltshop we go to eat at every night) and gave our waiters a good laugh, some not recognizing that i was the same girl before. I caught many a woman's eye last night! haha.

Then we went out and surprised a few more friends and made our way to a bar we'd never been to before to meet some other friends.. and blah blah blah. We ended up drinking and taking a few pictures and then headed out to our final destination.. Hot Shot!

Hot Shot isn't a club and its not a bar. Its a place you go to drink and watch entertainers and impersonators and have a good time. And then when the entertainers are done performing, you dance in between the aisles of tables. Its always fun, even though they all sing the same songs and i can do the dance moves to one, on command by now, how many times i've seen it.

But last night it was dressed up very nicely and all the performers were wearing costumes and it was very spooked out.

Halfway into the usual routine they had a group of bouncers go on stage and start doing drawings for tables to win bottles of whiskey. We waited excitedly to see if our tables numbers would be called, but luck wasn't on our side. That is until they announced the costume contest...

Of course Brian was ushered on stage by Sa and Mook. And I followed afterwards. They helped Brian up but didn't even attempt to help me over the ledge separating the stage from the floor 3 feet below. But I didn't think anything of it and then got on stage. I was the first in the line, but instead of coming to me and asking my name and where i was from first they went to the person beside me, which was Brian.

It was then that I realized they thought i was just some Farang man on stage!!! They didn't even know I was in a costume. So when eventually they got around to asking me where I was from, I said in the best girlie voice i could come up with "America" and I almost thought the announcer was going to faint. He did a double take and then stood there babbling in thai on the mic. All the girls in the audience cheered and it was really hilarious.

Now unfortunate for everyone else on the stage the winner was decided by audience vote. And in order to influence the audience, there was a dance off. Now this is where Todd took over. There are no pictures because the camera was in my pocket but you'll just have to take my word for it that no man had danced as awesome as Todd had danced on that stage. I think I can quote danny on saying later that I-- "..opened a can on them".

And so when it came down to the judging, it was no contest. The prize, a giant bottle of whiskey! We ended up mingling with the girls at the table next to ours and drinking the night away. We would have continued the party onto another club, but we were all pretty worn out.

So that ends the story of Todd and of Halloween and of dance contests that have no pictures...