Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Goodbye again, Thailand--Hello again, India

This is my farewell picture of Thailand: green rice fields and colorful housing.
I left this week after finishing all the office and training work I had to return to India.

In India today, I went out to buy some groceries. The store I purchased my bread, cheese, tomatoes and melon from does not bag their customers' items. Shoppers must bring their own bag. This is a very commendable and responsible policy. But for those, like me, who had no idea I wasn't going to get a bag to carry these things home in, the idea of buying a melon is not a good one. Once they were aware, though, that I had no bag for my purchased items, the clerks went and hunted up a box I could use to carry it. It wasn't the easiest way to get it all back to the house, but at least I didn't have too far to go.

Did you ever wonder how dominoes delivers in India? By motorcycle, of course.

By the way, this is my 100th post, so congratulations and thanks for reading along with me this far.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Where to go for a strawberry smoothie

I still love the night market for taking photographs. It doesn't matter how many times I go, there's always something new to notice.
Besides, so many of my pictures were stolen that I need to go back to where I've been and replace them, right?

After all that picture taking, I was thirsty. So I had the fruit drink stand whip me up a yummy strawberry smoothie.

At the top of the mountain

A year ago (almost to the day), I traveled up the same mountain for a view of the city. It was the same view both times: fog and smog.
Next time I want to try it, I should go at a different time of year, perhaps.
But there were other things to see.
Buildings dripping with gold-ness.
I discovered a shifty-eyed buddha sitting among the many others.
And I liked the statue of the lady I saw last year just as much this year.
The best thing about the trip this time around, though, were groups of dancing little girls. They were fun to watch.

The last picture in this video is my favorite one of the day.

Friday, March 13, 2009

New theme song

As I anticipate going to India soon, locating a new place to live, starting a new job, building community, and just starting a number of things from scratch--it feels rather lonely.
So this song struck me when I heard it on the internet radio and I decided to make it my new theme song:

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Drive a motorbike, save money

Here are some photographs of my recent motorbike victory. It's only cost me approximately $2.50 in gas this past week. That's a saving of an average $39 in taxis. How nice.
No wonder I'm smiling.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

A pretty pool

A friend and I heard that there was a nice quiet place to go swimming at a hotel in the city. We decided it was a good Saturday afternoon thing to try.
It was true. The pool was big and blue and the surrounding gardens were pretty and quiet.
There were even elephants.
Before we left, we tried the outdoor cafe, but that didn't prove to be a good idea. We were attacked my swarms of mosquitoes. I had to run with the last of my french fries in my hand and pay our bill from a safe distance away.
Besides the ending, it was a nice, relaxing afternoon.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I did it!

And what did I do?
I drove a motorbike from the house where I'm staying all the way to where I work. I didn't stop there, but took the u-turn and headed right back home. It took me about 45 minutes all together. Because I didn't drive faster than 58kmph.
So why didn't I go to work?
I'm able to get a ride to work most days with the lady I work with. But she leaves the office a lot earlier than I do and I usually have to take a taxi back to the house. It costs me $6 every day.
My pocketbook was saying "be braver".
I could have been driving the motorbike for the last month, but I've been too chicken to go out on actual roads with actual traffic.
Today when I arrived at the house, handed over another $6 to the taxi driver, I went straight into the house and got the motorbike keys. I started out driving around the neighborhood for a few minutes. Then I felt brave enough to leave the neighborhood. I wondered just how far I would dare to go and thought maybe I'd drive all the way to the highway and then turn around.
But at the highway there was no good place to turn, so I just joined the merging traffic and drove all the way to the office.
Now I know I can do it. And I can drive to work tomorrow and save myself some money.