Wednesday, August 01, 2007

"Hi, my name is Toby Ziegler and I work at the white house."

A few weeks ago, as some of you may have heard, I got into a motorbike accident. I was driving from work on the superhighway towards my Korean students' house and a pick-up truck did a U-turn and wasn't looking. The front of my bike hit the front of the truck and basically fell over sideways, skidding off of the highway. I was injured, but not too badly. I was wearing a helmet which was pretty scraped up, reminding me that it could have been my skull on the pavement instead of the plastic. The people actually stopped (unheard of in Thailand) to see if I was ok, then drove me to the hospital (I was a bit of a wreck). I sent a text message to my boss telling him about what had happened and that I probably wasn't going to make it to the Koreans, and he sent one back saying they'd meet me at the hospital. I got there and Nik was waiting for me. It was so comforting to see her there and she basically took care of everything. My boss Les came to see if I was alright (I think he was more shaken up than I was) and Moo and Om, two of our wonderful office ladies took care of everything about the bike, which the people who hit me paid to fix. All in all it was a rough day, and I went through many stages of shock, but it made me realize how many people are here for me and for that I am grateful. There are some pretty sexy pictures of my scraped up foot, but I'll spare you the gore and just get into the picture a day thing.
Tuesday: In the emergency room I was being a big baby, and Nik was doing her best to go with the flow. I was laughing and crying and talking a lot, like ya do. My arm doesn't look that bad, but the whole thing turned brown and then green for about a week.

Wednesday: no pictures. I took the day off and watched movies. Nik came over for lunch and to check on me, and lots of people expressed concern. I called home a few times to tell Mom and Dad and Trace about what happened.

Thursday: back to work. My kids love playing Simon Says, and this week we did prepositions of place, so I said "Put your bags on your heads" and decided it needed to be captured in picture form.

Friday: No pictures. Sean and I had a night in with wine, cheese, a movie and some scrabble in preparation for Harry Potter Day the next morning.

Saturday: Got up early (for a Saturday) and made our way to B2S where I'd reserved The Book. From there we parked ourselves at the Queen Vic, ordered big breakfasts and began reading. We spent all day following that pattern until we had to go out to a party Sean's friends were having. It took me 3 days to finish, while he finished in about 9 hours. All in all I loved the book and it was pretty much everything I wanted it to be. Sad it's over though.

Sunday: Yeah, I read most of today and in the interest of showing more of strange everyday Thai life things here is our most prized possession. It's a tennis racket that kills mossies. It lives in our kitchen and has saved our lives more than once. You hold down the button and swing it in the direction of local pests or roommates. There is a very satisfying zap sound that lets you know that the hit has been carried out.

Monday: I was leaving my last class of the afternoon when the students filed out and the teacher (who is supposed to be there for the lesson) filed in with a leaf and a mug of water. The students stopped and waited for her to dip the leaf in the water and shake it over them. Only then did they leave. I asked what the deal was and she said it was a leaf blessed by monks. As an aside this woman is probably one of the wackiest Thai people I've ever met. She asks us to do completely inappropriate things and then is surprised that we don't want to (like don a swimsuit and get in the freaknasty pool that never gets cleaned) and is very, very pushy.

Tuesday: I think I just have bad motorbike luck on Tuesdays. I rolled up to a stoplight on my way home from work and my bike turned off and wouldn't start again. You can imagine how convenient this was when the light turned red and everyone behind me started up at full speed. Luckily it being Thailand there are motorbike shops on every corner. The guy was great and even chatted about HP7. He asked if it was good and how far I was. I told him and he was impressed, and used vocabulary far beyond that I expected from a motorbike repair man. He couldn't tell me what was wrong with the bike, but it hasn't happened since and he was a cute old guy who didn't overcharge me.
Wednesday: Dick DeVos, eat your heart out. I see this sign every time I go past the mall, so maybe once a week or so, and it makes me laugh every time. I have wanted a picture of it since I got here and today I decided to stop and take one.

Thursday: This is my new friend Jay. We're at the pub quiz and he's volunteered to be the guinea pig who tries Sue's 'donuts' that were given to her by a student. Students often give teachers gifts of food here, but it's more often than not some cast off remnant that is no longer desired by the gifter. Needless to say these were of that variety.

Friday: I try to do things that are a bit more fun on Fridays, or at least things that involve less work for me. We're doing the 5 senses in science class and today I had 9 cups filled with mysterious substances. The kids had to take a big whiff and write down what they thought it was and afterwards we went over the answers together. Sahasawat didn't care for the smell of old blue cheese too much. But he made a great face.
That's all I have for you for now. After this week a bunch of us went on holiday for the 4 day weekend that is the beginning of Buddhist lent. I have loads of pictures that I'll put up probably sometime next year, which is when I forsee the procrastination wearing off. I haven't been taking any viable pictures since I got back from that holiday so what could have been a cool trend had sort of fizzled out. In the words of one avid reader after I told him I was getting back into The West Wing after a long hiatus: "so your week in thailand series crashed and burned in lieu of political drama" and there may or may not be validity to this claim.

This weekend was kind of depressing for me. Em and Dan's wedding coupled with Dad's birthday (something I've always been around for) made me sad not to be home. I was out with some friends but it just wasn't the same and all I could think about was how great it would be to be home just for the day. I've accepted that there's a lot I'm missing out on at home, but Saturday night was a culmination of feeling left out and like I just wanted to be surrounded by Em, Sarah, and my family for the day. Anyway it's over now and there are supposedly some great pictures.

We have another 3 day weekend coming up for the queen's birthday (also mother's day here in Thailand) during which Nomes and I are trying to cook up some wicked getaway scheme. We'll see how that goes. Other than that I'm just rolling along, wondering what I'll be doing in March and looking forward to the visitors coming very soon. :)


Geoffrey said...

Although I miss you here at Mackinac, I love looking at your pictures! I am glad that you are doing well over there--bike accidents or no.

Litzner said...

really...texting your boss? I guess that is the world we live in now. Glad to hear your head wasn't smeared on the pavement. I do enjoy your stories of everyday life.