February 23, 2010


Rejection comes in many shapes and forms. Sometimes its the ignoring of a phone call, or the casual 'no' of a friend. Sometimes its the awkward wave goodbye, and sometimes it comes in a small envelope. Today, my rejection came in the form of a single word on my UCAS Track account: 'Unsuccessful.' Yeah, I know it was a long shot, but it was still a dream.

But you what's worst about that rejection? The word 'unsuccessful'. It makes it seem like it was my fault, that I'm not good enough. Sure, it's probably true, but they don't need to call me unsuccessful so soon. I have potential, right. . . right?

I've been rejected before, but somehow this hurts more that not dancing with the Dane at the Freshman dance. And I've rejected people too, but I don't know how the boy felt when I ran away from him (up a mountain) when he told me he loved me in Junior year. Ok, that's a bit of a lie; he apparently got crying drunk that night, and didn't talk to me the whole of Senior year. It's pretty obviously that he hated me. It's entirely possible that he still hates me.

ANYWAYS! We deal with rejection in our own unique ways. Ok, mine isn't that unique, involving copious amounts of chocolate and a call to my Mom, but give me a break . Chocolate is gold, people. Thank God for wonderful boyfriends who send Valentine's Day presents late and chock full of sugar. And through the chocolate haze, we find peace, and new people and institutions to reject us.

Which brings me to the quote of the day, by Earl G. Graves:

We keep going back, stronger, not weaker, because we will not allow rejection to beat us down. It will only strengthen our resolve. To be successful there is no other way.

So I try to keep the chocolate consumption to a minimum, and come to terms with the fact that it's not going to happen right now. It's not going to happen right now, but it's not the end of the world.

It's not the end of the world.


P.S. Chocolate courtesy of JW's room, via Korea mail. God I love them!

February 16, 2010


J and I took T to the airport today. God, it just makes you realize how screwed up this world is. Her Dad is rich, her grandparents are rich, she's definitely an international kid, but today I say goodbye to her as she went off to foster care in the States. Now, I know there's a good chance that its temporary, but its so sad. It makes me think of how quickly its possible for us all to fall; what may seem like miles is only a minute one. That goes for lots of things though, not just falling. Even when we're far apart, we're close in heart and spirit, and technology (when it works) keeps us together. So, I've decided in this case to use the following quote by Ivy Baker Priest:

The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be the beginning.

And in all honesty, it is. I say goodbye to T, and I have to find friends elsewhere. She moves to live in a country she's only visited, and its an adventure, a foray into a new and strange land. That it will be difficult and awkward, I have no doubt whatsoever, but we'll keep in touch and stay as positive as possible.

If that fails, we'll always guilt her family into fixing this.


February 15, 2010

Reading List

An update on my reading, not that there's very much to report. Huckleberry Finn is done and gone! I have to admit, I sat down one sunny afternoon with a packet of biscuits and consciously made the goal to finish the damned thing! Ok though, it was good. Tom's obsession with doing things the right way, Huck's need to impress Tom, and Jim's way of protecting Huck made for and an interesting read.

The next book was lent to me by the very definition of 'nerd', Khun John when he saw me reading Hardy's 'the Mayor of Casterbridge." Knut Hamsun's "Hunger" (I'm reading the Robert Bly translation) is certainly very interesting. It's not just the subject matter, but also the simplicity of its language. Ego, oh my goodness, also plays a huge part in it. As a reader, we become almost annoyed by the unnamed character's (perhaps I simply haven't got there yet) obsession with keeping face. It's a very Asian concept, but he does everything possible to keep the innocent people of Christiania under the illusion that he's still successful.It's frustrating to see how he makes life harder for himself by believing that his writing is pure genius and that God is watching and waiting for him to slip up.

The hunger of the title is both of a physical and in an inspirational persuasion. As his starvation progresses, his well of 'brilliant' essays also dries up, leaving only the ravings of an intensly disturbed individual. A very very good reccomendation.

February 14, 2010

It's the Little Things that People Remember

So, here in Thailand it's Valentine's Day.

Yeah . . . Who cares? JW isn't here, so there's nothing really to remind me of the fact. G's disappeared, P's off in Hua Hin for a romantic weekend with her boyfriend (can I just say I'm jealous?), J's off doing her research, and T is leaving on Wednesday. Faced with such a bleak weekend, I chose to focus on Chinese New Year. T and I hopped on a bus yesterday to walk around China Town. It was fun, hot, and made me feel a bit more like home. All I wanted, and didn't get was JiaoZi*. Yes, that's what I remember; eating jiaozi in our favourite restaurant, and the fights Mum and I'd get into when I didn't want to go out and get them to go.

This morning I woke up early and watched as Lion dancers went through the streets of our squalid neighbourhood, walking through literally inches of red paper left over from firecrackers. Made me think of home again, and how every Chinese New Year Mum and I would hole ourselves up in the tiny bathroom to try and get away from the noise. Somehow I equate bathroom floors with 'House' Reruns now.

Another reminder of the new year was how yesterday Father Joe gave all the kids and staff at Mercy Red Envelopes containing 40 baht. The money came entirely out of his own pocket, and everyone knows this. That didn't stop them from coming into work just for that. Again, its the little things that we'll remember about him; his generosity in giving us all huge amounts of free money.

Like he told me; its the little things we remember.


* Chinese dumplings that most people will identify as 'Dim Sum'

February 12, 2010

Red Stikified

I started off the week think it would be reather depressing and disappointed. I have to say though, I was pleasantly surprised. There were a fewer stupid acts and kids than I expected, and the kids had fun.

Gun Boy of my previous post hasn't, as you can see, lost the title. He now officially 'mai mi ma la yat', meaning he has no manners. Others proved themselves to be gentlemen (I make that distinction because my contact with the female students was relatively little and limited to "she's wearing THAT?") and really carried the show.

They had a party today, it being there last day, that mainly consisted of eating chips/junk food, dancing around to random, well known songs, and putting stickers on each other.

Stickers you may ask?

Yes, the exact same you're grade1 teacher gave you for writing your ABCs nice and neat. These were mainly heart-shaped in honor of tomorrow being Valentine's day.The picture is of all stickers that I pulled off of my face and clothes after arriving at home. I know I lost some, and some were stolen, but that's all I could find. Needless to say, I far more loved that any Valentine's Day celebrations.

Since it's also Chinese New Year tomorrow too (and in my opinion the far more important holiday), I made up little Red Envelopes for my class and the three teachers I have the most contact with. The kids got 2 Baht and a candy each, and the teachers got 100 baht. Small price to pay for everything they've given me.

Anyways, nice end to a nice week.


P.S. My Dad put my inheritance from my Grandfather in; makes me miss him more, but also makes me happy that he actually did it.

February 8, 2010

The Lost Week

This coming week is going to be a lost week; you know, one where the time goes by but noting gets done? In the kindergarten, the week is wasted because despite the fact that they're graduating next month, a contingent of 80 (why so many, I have no idea) teens from the International School of Bangkok are going to spend the week making crafts with the kids and painting the outer wall. The wall thing, that's a great service; the cost of the paint itself is astronomical, but added labour costs would push it over the top. Using privileged teens as slave labour is fun! The kids in the classrooms though . . . that's a bit of a different story.

It's hard because none of them speak Thai and they're teenagers. I had few staring at me like I was an alien, I suppose because I'm a white girl who isn't part of their group, but its just immature. It's funny that I say this because I too am a teen, and a relatively priviledged one at that, but . . . I feel so much more mature. They had the kids draw and color their favourite things and make crowns out of paper hats, and everyone had fun. Annoying, awkward, but fun.

But one kid . . . stupid emo boy, he makes a gun out of paper. Kids die playing with their parents guns! Its not a toy, like in other places were they'll never see a gun; its a problem here! So I tell him that he shouldn't do that, and he makes it look better! He adds details . . . Don't say they're just kids, because he was maybe a year younger than me. Eugh, just made me not like him at all.

Anyways, with my other classes are put on temporary hold because one student has been a no show, and the other one, her grandmother has just died after a long battle with an unknown condition involving a coma. Oh dear, sounds like my grandfather.

Baha'i reflection meeting at the end of the week, and I have to buy gifts for Mum and Em. Well, I suppose a lost week is the perfect time to do these things. Anyways, put up pictures so you can see how fun these kids are.


February 4, 2010

Good Talk, Bad Talk

Yesterday was really nice, actually, except for the very end. My Kindergarten kids have two days off as the teachers go for a meeting in some distant city, and so I got to sleep in. I didn't sleep that much, but it was so nice to have the option. Then I got a video call from JW, which totally made the day that much sweeter. We had a bit of an awkward discussion however, but it was totally my fault for reading too much into something he had said when it was never intended that way. We must that talked for two hours before he had to go for class and I had to get dressed.

Another strange incident with children though. P, a volunteer who recently left for university interviews seemed to attract strange men; I seem to attract strange children. I've had kids sticking their hands in my butt pockets and feeling around, kids hitting my breast (you know its not an accident when they squeeze), and kids randomly watch me as I open the door. Today, as I was sitting in the privacy of downstairs talking to JW, I saw the gate open. I thought someone had come home (I was the only one with a bit of a break) but there were no key searching sounds, so I went to check it out.

I pop my head out of the window and find three bite sized kids, one of whom has taken off her shoes and is trying on some heels (we keep all our shoes outside as it's taboo to wear them inside), fooling aroung in the courtyard. They see me, scream and yell that they've been caught, and run away. 10 minutes later they come visiting again, but they were gone by the time I stepped out. I have no idea what they wanted, but there could be a new story on the street that the house is occupied by an unemployed, pyjamas wearing psycho lady. It amused me to no end as I got dressed and went to my first class of the day, where I teach physics to a single pupil.

That done, I grabbed the new part-time volunteer and went to tutor in International girls. It's a rather ironic title since they're all Thai with not an international bone in their bodies except for the fact that they go to an international school and might get to go abroad to school at some point. I had to help Rose with a summary of the Cultural Revolution, a relatively simple thing, but the exercise made me so frustrated. What do you say when a sentence is so jumbled and badly punctuated that if I hadn't been listening to her for the past hour I'd have no idea what she was talking about.

What the hell are we doing here? Are they actually learning anything? When they keep looking up words that they looked at not ten minutes before. If they don't respect you enough to apologize for being an hour late, what business do we have trying to teach them, essentially wasting our time on kids who don't care?

So that was my day; memories of the past carried me up to the happiness ceiling, and then reality comes in on tiny, angry wings to burst the bubble. I suppose it's par for the course, but does it always have to be so. . . shocking?

February 3, 2010

La Villa

So since you know where I live, you also know that it was founder by a guy we all call Father Joe. Now, he's a bit eccentric, and he's often shockingly blunt, but if I was a lost kid in trouble, I'd sure as hell want him on my side. I think he kind of veiws us volunteers as his kids too; he protects us from any threat, real or imagined (very often the latter), and is quick to invite us to his home for dinner, even when very influential people are present. That he trusts me not to send million dollar donors running for the methane-perfumed Klong makes me feel very grown up.

Anyways, he's never actually taken us out for dinner, so yesterday, he did. At 6 o'clock, T, J, P, Mah, and I all pile into a van with Father Joe and his assistant, and off we go to some unknown (to us at least) Italian restaurant. Now, when I think Italian, I think pasta, pizza, and cheese, and I was really looking forward to getting these things (Cheese is ridiculously expensive here, and I was really craving it). I have to say I didn't get exactly what I wanted, but I will say it was one of the best meals I've ever had.

The Villa (pictured above) is tucked away off Sukhumvit road, and is one of the many businesses that Mercy, and Father Joe, has a special relationship with. I never ordered anything, other than water. The chef brought us food, and introduced it all in a wonderful Italian accent. Among the dishes I sampled, most of which I had never had before and will likely (and sadly) never have again:
  • Porcuitto and Melon
  • Mozzarella Stick (My cheese)
  • Steamed Veal
  • Mushroom Tortelini (My pasta)
  • T-bone Steak with rosemary
  • Perfect Asparagus
  • Seasame Salmon and Spinach
  • Roasted Potatoes
  • Italian Sausage Pizza (My pizza)
  • Tiramisu
  • Cinnamon Mango and Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Some Heavenly form of Custard
  • Chocolate Lava Cake
I must have died and gone to heaven, because I left feeling so wonderfully full and satisfied, I simply pray I'll have a meal that good again.

February 1, 2010

Getting Organised

So I recently decided that I can't live without a planner. When I was in school, they gave you one for your assignments, and I loved it. I had everything sorted out, and when things got crazy, I knew exactly how crazy things were. Now that I don't even have a calender since the new year . . . I miss my planner!

So I went to the local grocery store. They have a relatively large selection of stationary, but they didn't have any. Neither did the other store. A week went by, and I still had no planner. I know I've seen planners in Siam, so I say hey, let's take a look, after I get some more shampoo.

Three hours and two malls later, I finally find a planner. It's bigger and more expensive than I wanted, but I got the damnable planner! Siam is Bangkok's CBD, I get it, but do they all have to be so expensive? And there are people who work here, how the hell do they manage to look dignified lugging such ridiculously cutesy, oversized date books? My feet were killing me, I got back much later than I had planned, and I ended up eating three times as much junk as I should have due to the stress of the epic search!

I thought having things planned, things were supposed to be less stressful! Anyways, the whole thing was good, because starting today I have a whole bunch of dates to remember. I have Baha'i gatherings (I finally got a schedule) and one of my teachers is coming next week for the Chinese New Year's holiday, and I must admit, I'm looking forward to it. Now I won't miss anything! (touch wood . . .)