Heather's Thairy

Heather's journey to Bangkok, Thailand: a year of adventure!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Keeping You Posted

Oh man, I think my new thing might be to make HILARIOUS post titles like this one and the previous one. Comedy GOLD, people, comedy GOLD.
Anyway, here's the promised triple-threat post, which was to be called "Wai Kru, Chinatown and Stroganoff" before I discovered my hidden talent for hilarity.

Last Thursday was Wai Kru Day. Wai Kru means "pay respect to the teacher". It is a flowery affair steeped in tradition. The students bring little bundles of flowers, candles and inscence and after a lengthy assembly, they give the flowers to their teachers. It was nice to watch (although I had, generally, no idea what was happening, and also often felt out of place as we had not been told what to do or where to go), and at the end I received armfuls of flowers.



A lot of "respect" in Thailand is shown through ceremony, which is often difficult to deal with when I consider showing respect in the classroom to be listening, putting in a complete effort and doing one's best. However, the Thai staff and the students seemed to enjoy Wai Kru Day immensely, and I thought aspects of it were great.



One of my Thai teachers had me join her class, and they all gave me flowers; I had a few students from other classes come over to give me flowers specifically, which was touching. One student (a favorite, I admit, because of his wit and his energy) bowed in front of me for such a long time I didn't know what to do! The students also wrote paragraphs about Wai Kru Day and I have to say, it is quite nice to read about how "Miss Harder is my favorite teacher". I don't know who this Miss Harder is but apparently she's a pretty good science teacher (wink wink). It was also great to see how the students appreciate the other teachers, too, and how they seem to see us as a friendly, unified staff.



On Sunday I went to Chinatown with Stephanie and Joanne. We were pretty proud that we managed to get there without any problems, taking the BTS (overhead train), taxis and a tuk tuk (yes, I did that again, this time it was A-OK). At first it seemed that Chinatown was shut down on Sundays, but we found a very lively couple of blocks and shopped quite a bit. We found some great deals- Chatuchak and Chinatown seem to be the bargain hubs of Bangkok...if I can find shirts for less than 20 baht (60 cents) I'll know I've found home.



For some reason I am incapable of taking a normal picture. This one is purely hideous, but sort of amusing at the same time. The apparent affinity for throwing the peace sign I blame on my asian genes being magnified by my surroundings.



The final section of this epic trilogy is my latest culinary exploit: beef stroganoff. My family will know that this is one of my top favorite dishes, as made by my mother. My attempt to recreate her glory fell short, but it was still good. I'm skeptical about the authenticity of the cream of mushroom soup- I'm not sure, but I think it's different here. Marilyn at school brought me a box of Kraft Dinner today- she found it at Foodland, an apparently very well stocked grocery store right here in Bangkok. Now it will only be a matter of time before I discover if the KD is the same...or somehow just a little different.

That's how so many things are here- somehow, just a little different.

Until next time,
Heather

2 Comments:

  • At 2:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Heather,
    Here's a riposte for your postponed, etc. Yes, you get your strange sense of humour naturally. That was really nice for you to be reognized by your students. Now if only this Miss Harder would stop stealing your thunder!Mom

     
  • At 10:48 AM, Anonymous snivelservantdad said…

    Um- maybe the photo quality is a bit compromised, but until I read that you'd made stroganoff, I thought you were eating some weird blend of raw squid and snail.

     

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