Wednesday, August 26, 2009

fun weekend

We had a busy and excellent few days this past weekend. We greeted Saturday morning bright and early with the scrumptious treat of home-made pancakes, and then trundled off to the refugee center for a day of hard labor. Next weekend we're painting the classrooms, thanks to a donation from a local prep school. But before we can paint, there's a lot of mold-removal, scraping, sanding, roof-patching, window-fixing, bug-exterminating, and general cleaning that needs to happen. Hence Saturday found us attacking the classrooms with bleach solution and elbow grease, along with a handful of other young adults we managed to press-gang. It was satisfying work, especially for the desk-job crowd, who aren't used to immediate gratification from their labors. I had special fun ferreting out all the ant colonies (behind wainscotting, under floor, in ceiling tiles, behind air conditioner, in piano...) and forcefully encouraging them to relocate. An enterprising baby gecko gleefully stationed itself in the midst of one of the streams of fleeing ants and just sat there with its mouth open until it couldn't eat any more: truly hilarious to watch it waddle off. Tearing up the rotten floor of one classroom was also great fun. Not fun was realizing the astoundingly unhygienic and unsafe state that the classrooms had been in for years, and thinking what a toll that has probably taken on the health of the students.

After going home for a much-needed shower and nap, we went off to a young Australian's flat for the hip party of the month, celebrating Thai street fashion. The taxi ride over there was very eventful, as the city was deluged by a rainstorm severe even by monsoon standards. Many neighborhoods were flooded three feet deep or more. The taxi took a well-considered circuitous route to avoid most low-lying areas, but still often drove through water well over the doors' transoms, probably knee-deep or so. It was a testament to whatever modifications they do on those Corollas that the engine didn't so much as cough once, and our feet stayed dry despite feeling the impact of the waves on the floor and seeing the roof-high wake we were kicking up. The city barely slowed down: no mere water can flummox Bangkokians. (Oh, and the party was fun, too, despite the fact that Australians apparently think Thai street fashion is akin to clown costumes, and we were tired so left early.)

Sunday we, surprise surprise, went biking in the Bangkok jungle, Bang Kra Jao, again. This time we went with Australians Katie and Milena (who's also Columbian), both of whom really enjoyed the scenery and winding tiny 'roads'. We spotted a gorgeous bird like a bright blue kingfisher, as well as some kind of marsh hen thing, two giant monitor lizards, a neat roadrunner-ish lizard, some truely lovely butterflies, and a million cool plants. The community's weekly floating market was again hopping with ethnic Mon foods and... more food. I enjoyed my favorite fried tofu, corn, and taro fritters, while Petra delighted in her favorite rice noodles with soupy curry sauce. (Unfortunately, the later seems to have been off, since she spent the next two days violently puking, but is better now.) The highlight of the day was when, while hanging out at a forest temple after lunch, Petra started chatting in Thai with some local passers-by, and we were forthwith invited to her friends' nearby house, where we were led into their jungle backyard and fed delicious young coconuts straight from the tree by the delighted old ladies who lived there.

No wonder we are so tired this week!

1 comment:

A'Llyn said...

And here I felt tired just because I drove to Connecticut for a housewarming party!