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Published: February 25th 2012
I woke up to Bob shaking me. The sun was shinning so I knew it must be past 7am. Confused and blurry-eyed, I took in what he was telling me. The fire alarm was screaming from the hallway. Was this a drill? I hadn't seen any notifications about a drill. We better get out. Shooting out of bed, we scurried around the condo collecting only what we deemed absolutely essential. Passport, bank card, wallet, phone. Beginning the descent down five floors of stairs to the lobby with fingers plugging our ears to retain any hearing ability due to the deafening alarm, we ran into a maid cleaning windows on the second floor. She didn't seem to be in a frenzy to exit the building. Maybe this is a drill? Emerging into the lobby the doorman was sitting down, he stood when we enter and said hi, like he always does. Aside from him, no one else is in the lobby or in the parking lot, not what I would expect to see if there actually was a threat of fire. Well, I guess that was a drill. But no one left the building so I guess this was testing the fire
alarms. I should really learn more Thai. It would have been nice to ask someone if we should be running or going back to bed. However, it's nice to know the fire alarm works. This is a step up from when we lived in China with no fire alarm system or sprinklers. But I don't posess the Thai language skills to ask if there's a fire. I should work on that.
Last weekend we joined 200,000 other people and went to the Chatuchak Weekend market. We've been many times before but the market is enormous, and I would say impossible to see all of in one day while maintaining composure and enjoyment. This trip was specifically to visit the “pets” section. I was toying with the idea of getting a fish, so I wanted to check out my options. We found so much more than fish! Dogs of all breeds, cats, bunnies, freshwater fish, saltwater fish, turkeys, parrots, geese, geckos, lizards, frogs, snakes, squirrels, sugar gliders, turtles and even stores selling just coral. The phrase, “Is this legal?” and “What is that?” was the theme of the pet section at the market and really I have no idea what
Who needs the aquarium?
Just head to Chauchack market
was and wasn't legal. A whole lot of shops didn't allow photos to be taken, but I'm not sure of the reason. But we sure saw some cool stuff! I left without a fish. We have some long trips coming up that would pose the problem of who would feed the fish.
We're now entering the seventh week of school and we both love it. Our professors are knowledgeable, our largest class has 11 students and we're meeting people from all over the world and getting some interesting perspectives. With the exception of some dull aspects in accounting, I'm always happy to be sitting in class learning. Our marketing professor has great stories about his experiences that make me wish class was longer than four hours once a week. I never imagined I'd be yearning for more after sitting in class for four hours. I'm stunned to think about how much we've learned in these past seven weeks.
We're fallen into a nice almost-daily routine here. Normally I'm one for set routines but this one is easy to get into. You'll see why. We get up between 9:30 and 10:30am. This sounds like a lazy time to wake
up but on nights we have class until 10pm, we stop for some food on the walk home and get home around 10:30pm and we need some decompression time after such a long class so we don't get to bed until 2 or 3am. After we get up, we make some coffee at home or walk down the street for some 50 cent to $1 coffee. Iced drip coffee with sweetened condensed milk is 50 cents and incredible. A standard latte, cappuccino, Americano, mocha or straight espresso is $1. We drink our coffee poolside. By 11:30 we're in the swimming pool. The buildings that surround us are tall so the pool gets mid-morning and early-afternoon sun and is out of direct sun by about 2pm. This is what we like though. The pool becomes an increasingly desirable place to hang out as the temperatures rise, but a pool that's in direct sun all day poses sunburn issues. Depending on the day and how we feel after swimming we either go to the gym or head out to get some lunch. It's a tough life we lead over here.
I will admit graduate school is demanding but with 10 or
11 students in each class, I'm finding it would be impossible to fall behind. The professor can immediately tell if a student doesn't understand or gets lost. Each professor teaches a maximum of two classes at one time, leaving a lot of time and availability for out-of-class meetings if needed . So far I'm impressed with the way our school works.
Every weekend we walk about 15 minutes to the heart of Bangkok shopping to see what events are happening. Last weekend was the Grand Sumo event where they brought in Japanese sumo wrestlers from Japan for the first time ever. On the other side of the mall was the World Musiq Festival and world barbecue festival. We spent both Saturday and Sunday night listening to music from Thailand, India, Malaysia, Australia, America. We also ate some global cuisine. This weekend there's a football tournament (soccer to Americans), a ukelele festival and a knitting festival.
Two more weeks of class left then we're heading to the islands for our week off of school! After that starts the next round of 8-week classes.
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