Howdy. Despite the fact that I've been done with school now for almost 3 weeks I've been keeping very busy. I moved into the new house on the 1st of March and so far it's been stellar. I have a ton of space to keep me occupied, along with a new roommate and a dog. I went to Bangkok for a week on a field trip during which I didn't do much work and got paid, as well as free accommodation, food, and entrance to all of the things we went to see. I'll update on that later with pictures and such.
My computer seems to be having some issues so I'll have to take care of that this weekend, but for now here are some pictures of the new house. It's actually a townhouse, one of 5, 3 of which are occupied. It's a great place for now, but very atypical of Thai houses in general. It's in a quiet neighbourhood outside of the city and close to the university where I did my TEFL certificate. It's at the base of the mountain, which is useful for about 2 months of the year (when you can actually see the mountain) but not right now because of all of the awful smog. I can literally walk to the base of the road that takes you up the mountain, but you can't even see a faint outline of it most days out of my window. It's sad, and we're all coughing the the dirt bowl that is Chiang Mai right now, but it's all part of life in a third world country where there are no emissions standards and people will burn just about anything to get rid of it.
On to the pictures...
Here's our front 'yard' where we keep shoes, motorbikes, Lucy (our dog), and a few potted plants. Note the sliding double doors and my motorbike on the left hand side.
This is our front room, used for watching movies (TV is to the right of the picture, in the corner), reading, eating, and last minute lesson preparation before running out the door in the morning.
This is part one of the kitchen, where we probably should eat but mostly just set things on the table. Featured in this picture are the placemats that Mom sent for Christmas. They add much needed colour to a house outfitted in mostly dark wood. Through the door is a bathroom, and outside the windows is part two of the kitchen, accessed through a door out of sight on the left.
Part two! This is the outside, where we actually cook and clean, which is why there is both a stove and a sink. It's about the size of our kitchen in Germany, which was very very small and awkward for more than one person to occupy at one time. Most Thai kitchens do not look like this, but most are indeed outside. Ours has already seen its share of geckos, mosquitos, and cockroaches (my least favourite kitchen visitor) but is so far free of ants. The gas range is hidden underneath a covering on top of the oven, but it's there. We haven't actually used our oven yet. It has no temperatures, just low, medium, and high. It seems silly, but I have never heard of a house in Thailand that comes with an oven before. Another reason we haven't used it yet is that we don't have anything that would withstand being in an oven- no dishes or pans that would survive. On the list of things to seek out: oven thermometer and baking dishes...
On the second floor is my room, which is more space than I need, but quite nice all the same. I have a balcony that I haven't used much (yet), a large wardrobe that houses almost everything I own, and a king size bed. I also have AC that hasn't been used yet either, but which will come in handy in April, the hottest month of the year. All of our windows have those bamboo rolling blinds over them which are very pretty but don't keep light out too well. They remind me of the ones Trace and I bought at World Market for his room in The House.
Other side of the room, to the left of which is my very nice and shiny bathroom complete with bathtub and almost hot water. I love our dark wood floors.
The other half of the second floor is known as the office, where we have working space that us busy teachers need. Actually it's more like the space we use to spend countless hours searching the internet for who knows what. Our house is outfitted with wireless thanks to yours truly. It's a feat I'm very proud of, especially because I've always relied on my roommates to take care of computer things. Oh how I miss my geek boys. My desk is the one with the chaos, while Garrett's, apart from being clean and orderly, is the one where he is sitting.
On the third floor is Garrett's bedroom/bathroom (which are pretty much identical to mine) and a spare room which we use to house the library. I should mention that my roommate has lived here for 3 years and has accumulated quite a lot of furniture/books, hence the need for a library. Yep. Also this is where anyone who might want to visit can stay for free! Hint, hint... I hope to have blankets available by that time, for now it's just a tacky sheet.
I took some pictures of our 'view' but for now it's not much of a view of anything besides some trees and a smoggy sky. Dustbowl, remember?
Ok, that's it for now. Soon to have more pictures of my bizarre 5 days in Bangkok with 150 students between the ages of 10 and 17. Happy Pi day!