When Life gives you Vitamin Enriched Prune Juice

Heeeey Peoples!!

As most of you know, the 21st was Mom’s birthday. We had spent the day so far opening her AmAzing presents and eating pizza at the mall. This is one of Mom’s all-time favorite foods. Pizza with pepperoni. No frills.

Anyways, after we had finished our meal at Pizza Company, (where this pizza is way better than it is at Pizza Hut) we headed home. When we got there we flipped on the AC and decided to chill for awhile before we continued with the partying.

That’s when Dad saw Boon Lurt (our 72 year old Thai worker) staring in our kitchen window. Boon Lurt has this thing, where he just can’t grasp the concept of knocking on the door. So, he will go around until he finds a window with the curtains drawn back and just stand there peering in until someone notices him.  It’s kinda freaky, because you’re just walking around your living room and then: BOOM. Boon Lurt.

He is watching you…

Dad walked out onto the porch and Boon Lurt began to tell him that we had just missed this student who wanted to interview us, and if we could just spend a little while talking to this student that would be great.

Dad walked back in and our conversation went something like this:

Dad: “Hey, Margaret, if the student is a girl could you just talk to her for a little while and answer any questions she has?  I really need a nap.”

Me: *long sigh* “Ok. What if it’s a dude?”

Dad: “If it’s a dude you can wake me up.”

Dad went to take his nap.

Ok, Before we proceed, you need to know a little back story. I like to do these workout videos on youtube and about 2 days before mom’s birthday I had done one (That I have done several times before I might add) that did something terrible to my calves. They were so tight and sore that it took me 2 full minutes to stretch them out enough to stand up straight, because I couldn’t put my heels on the ground. And if I ever sat down for 5 mins+ they would revert to their tight and painful state. This resulted in me walking with my legs spread 4 feet apart and on my tiptoes for the first couple of minutes.

Something like this:

That is actually more realistic than I care to admit.

Ok, back to the story. We hear a car pull up and Benj runs to the door.

“They’re here Marg!”

“Is it a guy or a girl?”

“Both. There are about 5 of them.”

I had been sitting on the couch using the computer, so I got up and walked like Mr. Bean up there into my bedroom to find a top to put over the tank top I was wearing. I spotted the jacket that I had taken off after we got back from the mall. My thought process went something like this:

“Oh, I’ll just throw this on. It’ll only be for a few minutes. It’s not that hot. I can stand it.”

BAhahhahahhahahahhahahahhahahhahahhaa

hahhahahhahaha

haha

ha…

*Facepalm*

Anyways, I throw the jacket on and walk out the door. I still haven’t had my full 2 minutes to un-zombify my walking. I greet them and ask what they need as I unconvincingly try to make my walking appear normal. They probably thought I was gimp.

They told me that they were from so and so university and if they could get an interview from me for their english class that would be helpful.  They smiled and flashed their gift of Vitamin Enriched Prune Juice — complete with purple poinsettia.

This is the stuff of dreams. In the comercial any guy that downs one of these instantly gets all the pretty girls in the immediate vicinity. It’s really magical. Use with discretion.
So, of course I’m in.  Besides, these interviews are a piece of cake. I have done them many times. Usually a group of young people approach me at the mall and ask me for one interview. I always do it for them if I have time because I know that they have to go white person hunting until they get their interview. And, If I was a schoolgirl, I would much rather talk to me than any of the 80 year old white guys who sit at Bud’s Ice-cream of San Francisco. Trust me.

I sit down on our bench with one of the girls. She pulls out her magazine and shows me the questions she is going to ask me so I can prepare. Her buddy pulls out his smartphone to videotape our interview. The interview takes about 2 minutes and goes something like this:

WHAT is your name?

WHAT is your quest?

WHAT… is your favorite color?

see? Piece of cake. I know the drill.

Or so I thought. I get up to say goodbye to them when they say, “Oh, no. we need to do this interview with five people.”

Great. That means I have to bribe, threaten, and finagle Benjamin, Isaac, Ruth, and Mom into doing it to avoid waking dad up from his nap.

I go in and begin the begging with phrases like, “Could you please?” “It’s SO easy.” “Seriously took me like, two minutes.” “They are just gonna ask you what your favorite color is.” “PLEASE?”

They head out and do their interviews. As Mom is watching Isaac do his interview she asks, “Do all five of them need five interviews?”

I reply, “No.”  Then less confidently, “Oh, I hope not.”

Let it be known that Mom is always right. Or, at least she was right in this case. Do the math people. TWENTY-FIVE interviews.

It took about an hour and a half, Mom telling one of the students that smoking would kill him, Me dying of sweat underneath my jacket (but hey, at least I looked fabulous), and a lot of snarky remarks from Isaac to get through the interviews.

A few snippets from Isaac’s interviews:

Thai girl: “What is your favorite food?”

Isaac: “Red Meat. And a lot of it.”

Thai boy: “What are you doing in Thailand?”

Isaac: *Puts his hands behind his head and props his feet up* “Livin’ the Thai life.”

We also found out that Benjamin is a pathological liar. At least about his favorite food.

The interviews were followed by a photo shoot.  You know, I don’t even want to know how many pictures of me there are floating around the Thai social networks.

Before they left, Mom gave them each a New Testament.  Dad woke up just as they pulled out of the driveway.

We finished Mom’s Birthday with some Settlers of Catan and a movie.

Oh, and Cake. #Duh

The Moral of the story is: When life gives you Vitamin-Enriched Prune Juice give it to the old Thai guy who stares in your windows.
…And Mom is the coolest woman I know.
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Just Some Errands

After living in Thailand for 9 years I sometimes forget how strange my life really is to so many people. My friends say, “So what did you do today?” and I say, “Oh, nothin’ much. Just some errands.”

But then I stop and remember most Americans have no idea what “Just some errands” entails. So, I thought I would enlighten you. 🙂 Aren’t you just dying to know what goes into the everyday workings of Livin’ the Thai Life? 
First we needed to stop over at the post office. While whatever business we were there for was being done I decided to walk over and check out a stand full of things for sale. Amongst the bags of soybeans and Menthol based balms I found these:
Yummy. Aren’t they cute with their little eyes?!?! You know you want to buy these and stick them in with little bobby’s birthday card. 

Or if those are too cute for you, we have these bigger one with genuine rotting flesh wounds.  They’re Aunt Martha’s FAVSIES. 
let’s move onto the hardware store. Ours is called “Global House” which is a way cooler name than “Lowes” in my opinion. Global House has one problem. Waaaay too many employees. There are about three of them to every aisle and they are trained to greet you as faithfully as Chick-Fil-A employees are trained to reply with, “My Pleasure” when you say “Thank you.” Since there are so many of them they don’t usually have much to do but stand at the end of their aisle and greet you. 
Now, picture this:
30 Aisles. 
3 employees to every Aisle. 
You have to walk to the very last aisle where your people are waiting. 
You are Angelina Jolie. 
Or… You are painted some weird shade of neon orange. How you want to translate the stares is up to you. 
Are you kind of getting the idea? It’s really hard for any american to understand what being a “Farang”(White Foreigner) in Thailand really means. The USA is a melting pot. You can walk down the street and see people of every skin color, eye color, and ethnicity in the world. In Thailand… everyone is Thai. And you have (extremely) white skin, green eyes, and red hair. Ok, maybe YOU don’t have that, but you know what I’m talking about. I am not Thai. 
How do I handle this popularity? Usually smile big and acknowledge them too, sometimes I stare straight ahead and walk as quickly as I can, and other times I stare at my feet and try not to look at anyone. It really depends. On whether I feel like I’m painted Neon Orange or not. 
And now, Grocery shopping time!!! We do most of our grocery shopping in the Thai equivalent of Sam’s Club. It is called Makro. In Makro we find amazing things like: 
The biggest produce in the world.
And… 
These green things. Wanna guess what they are?
Beef Gallbladders

and Spleens. 
We also buy our Dog food at Makro. Only, our dog food isn’t Purina chow with meaty bites. We feed our dogs chicken bodies. A chicken body is basically all the meat and bones that are left after all the cuts popular for human consumption are gone. They are very good for dogs and they look like this:
We have around 7 dogs that eat these regularly and as they grow bigger we buy more and more of these things. The butchers at makro have no idea that we feed these things to our dogs. All they know is about every two weeks this white girl comes in and asks in her sweet little Thai voice, “Sir, I would like to order 100 pounds of chicken carcasses please.” The first couple of times they were like, WHA? And now they smile, walk around the corner to get my chicken bodies, peer out from behind their glass window, look me in the eye, and we all bust out laughing. 
I can’t tell them what all those chicken bodies are for because Mom and Dad think it is way too hilarious to have them all befuddled and confused. (They have overheard employees discussing what we could possibly be doing with all of those chicken bodies)  
I feel like those two butchers are my buddies as we all laugh at each other.  I wonder what kind of crazy jokes they make about me behind their counter? Leave a comment and tell me what you would say about me.  😉  
These are just a few of the everyday adventures of living in Thailand. 
Love,
That white girl who takes pictures of beef gallbladders and orders 100 pounds of chicken carcasses

Rodents of unusual size? I don’t believe they exist.

Ok People,

I just have one thing to say R.O.U.S’s. They exist. I’m just assuming that you have all seen “The Princess Bride” because it is totally a classic. But, if you haven’t, “R.O.U.S.” stands for “Rodents Of Unusual Size”

 photo tumblr_lyqtv5pupw1qalf1no1_500_zpse6bc2f8c.gif Yesterday Dad started yelling from outside the house telling us to come look at the huge rat the dogs just killed. I didn’t really want to get up from the computer to go and see it as the dogs kill big rats all of the time. When everybody started freaking out I decided to go look…

It was HU MUNG US. The biggest rat I have ever seen in my life. I immediately thought, “Ooh, I should take a picture of that for my blog.” But… I’m sort of a procrastinator so…

later that day, I asked Dad what he did with it and he said he had double wrapped it in plastic bags and thrown it away. Benjamin offerred to get it out with me so I could take a picture for you guys. But we had been working on plumbing and I am sort of a procrastinator so…

Well, I woke up this morning and was all like, “Heeeey Benj, let’s go take a picture of that rat.” He was not buying it. He told me that that offer had expired due to the length of time since the rat had ceased to live. He had a point but I couldn’t just let it go. I mean, you guys deserve to see this thing. Because, If I tell you it was “Thissssss BIIIIIIIIIIIG” You wouldn’t believe me anyways.

I was making some muffins and I determined that as soon as I put the first batch in, I was going to go for it. I am used to stink. I live in a land that produces some of the most horrifying smells you can imagine. Huge dead rat can’t be that bad… right?

I got the camera and marched out to the trash can and opened the lid. There was the bag sitting there all by itself. Unmistakable. I pulled it out of the bin. I could see flies and other UFO’s buzzing around inside the bag. I’m beginning to think this isn’t such a good idea. I gulped for breath and started to untie the first knot. (Dad always double knots trash) The stench that was unleashed with the untying of that first knot was overwhelming and unbearable. I jumped away from it trying to breath… Why am I doing this??? Remember the blog Margaret… do it for the blog.  Another huge gulp of air and I go in for the second knot. Finally releasing the full stench of the dead rat. I dumped it in the ground, and ran up to the porch to get one of Benjamin’s size 12-13 Flip Flops for size reference. I thought I was safe to breathe a few yards away. I was wrong. The smell was enveloping the whole yard. I ran back and snapped the two pictures.

Ok, Margaret, the hard part is over now. You just have to get it back in the fly infested bag and throw it away again. No big deal. Wait, did I mention that there was dog poop on the bag too? Nevermind…

Using the clean outside part of the bag to shield my hand I tried to pick it up. Riga mortis should have set in right? Wrong. It felt like it was filled with water. It was squishing around like one of those weird water snake thingys we all used to play with.  I used to LOVE those things. Despite having a plastic bag between you and the actual fur of the dead rat in question, it is not fun to play with a stinky, dead, furry rodent-water snake.

Eventually I got it in the bag. And I cast it back into the filthy chasm from whence it came.

*Warning there are disturbing images ahead*

That is Benjamin’s Men Size 12-13 flip flop. Yeah.
So, other than the dogs killing the R.O.U.S., my day yesterday involved assisting some kind of surgical procedure (involving extracting clear liquid from an infection) on a dog, assisting in the installation of a new water pump, and assisting in the laying of a few hundred feet of PVC pipe. 
What did you do? 🙂  
Marg

Agent 12

Ollo!
If you don’t know what that means… You need to be educated. It is Megamind’s way of saying “Hello” and, more often than not, that is the way I greet people.

………….. I’m so weird. Acknowledged, moving on.

Today was Isaac’s twelfth birthday. It was filled with all kinds of good eats, amazing nerdy presents, and video cards.

In the birthdays in our family, we are lucky if we get to eat breakfast before all of the presents get opened. Waiting until after dinner so you can look forward to it all day? Who wants all that noise?
We have some visitors here right now. Pat and Taylor Blount are here with us. And you should know that Visitors from USA + An upcoming birthday = Presents from AMERICA.

Isaac has been wanting(begging) to see LOTR for years. This year his dream came true… just in time for the Wii game to come out. WHAT! On a side note, pray that our Wii starts working. We thought we had it fixed for today but… let’s just say the word of the fix-it man was not his bond. 
Isaac with his present from Me. Mine was actually bought in Thailand and I think it #NAILEDit. It is “The Hobbit Official Movie Guide” My close Thai friend, Ping, gave me her employee discount at our bookstore. I love her so much. ❤
Benjamin: “Here, let me carry that heavy book for you.” 

Hero factory’s from Granny. He looks a little excited right?

Pat and Taylor gave Isaac the Orc Factory lego set.
And… THE BIG ONE. “The Mines of Moriah” from Mom and Dad. The cave troll is way cool if I do say so myself. 
Then it was time for the video card. Isaac has been wanting one of these for a while. Last year, on his birthday, I could tell he was disappointed that he didn’t get one. That’s why Benjamin and I worked from 9 am until 4 pm on this. Around noon Benjamin told me I needed to go get a shower and get ready. Not sure what he meant by that. You don’t like my face without makeup?!?! 🙂
Then came Lasagna and Cheese Herb Bread by Susan. It was Amazing. Seriously, guys, you have no idea. 
And then Pie. 
Isaac is not a traditional kid, he is a rebel, and therefore, he requested three chocolate pies for his birthday. Two for the family and guests, and one, just for him. 

I love this kid. 
In the afternoon, we watched “The Kid” with Bruce Willis. One of his finer films in my opinion. 
And the moon was all Orange-ish tonight. 🙂
Love you guys!
Marg
UPDATE: Just watched Johnny English to finish off this amazing day. OMGosh. LOL

Home

Hey People!
First Post! First Post! *Fist Pump*

So, I guess you noticed that I named this blog “Livin’ the Thai Life.”
Thank you to Aletha Arkley for the AH-mazing suggestion. You’re  a genius.

Thank you to Missy and Mom for inspiring me to start this blog. I hope it lives up to your expectations! 🙂

Let me tell you a little about where I live. It is a village called Non Sung. It is about 45 minutes drive to the big city of Korat. The first thing you see is a rice field when you turn into our driveway. It is totally in the boonies and I love it. The sunsets and sunrises are incredible and you can see shooting stars any night of the week. There is only one good restaurant around here, but it is SOOO good.  I feel like I know my neighbors here better (after living here only one year) than I knew the ones I lived next to for seven years in the city.

Welcome to my world. 🙂

Please comment and tell me more about what posts you would like to see in the future! Would you like to hear more about everyday life? Ministry? Would you like to see videos and vlogs? Let me know.

Love you guys!
Marg