Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Follow These Rules... or you could land yourself in some VERY HOT WATER

After reading Dave’s last blog about how some things in Thailand are just different, I found myself thinking about how crazy it is here on the roads.  Let me explain what I mean...
For example, if someone “flashes” their lights at you in Thailand, it’s not a friendly gesture alerting you to a speed camera up ahead but simply a signal to make sure you’ve seen their car coming and they’re warning you to get out of the way. 

The toot of a car horn is not given aggressively but as an alert that there’s a car passing you or turning that you may not have seen.  
Pedestrians in Thailand never have right of way- not even on what looks to be a pedestrian crossing!  
Drivers in Thailand must always be prepared for motorbike riders to be riding on the wrong side of the road, ignoring stop signs, riding with many passengers, cutting across in front of your car without looking and not indicating when turning.   All passengers also have to check for motorbikes when opening car doors on the side of the road as they frequently travel up the inside space between the road and the footpath.
And as a side note, it is not mandatory for children to wear seat belts!  Just the front seat passengers are required to buckle up! Scary hey?

Now, speaking of hot water… the answer is “no” there is no hot water in the kitchen of our home!  Actually it’s not too bad, I’m kind of getting used to it now.   Also, the mosquito situation seems to have settled down a little a bit now, which is good.  And, we are really enjoying living here. 

Tobi officially started ‘elementary’ school yesterday (primary school) at Grace International.  We can see his classroom from our house and Dave and I have taken it in turns to walk him across the road for his 7.55 am start to the day!  This is working well as Dave then jumps on the ZOE shuttle at 8am.  
As Tobi’s school program is just a half-day, he and some of his classmates, then ride the school bus to Hana Christian Kindergarten, where Eli attends (and Spencer goes for 2 days now too) to do an afternoon program there (including Thai lessons).  It’s very exciting to go on the bus and Tobi particularly likes it because there’s a TV/DVD player on board!!
His classroom is on the middle level, in the centre.

It’s nice to be living so close to Grace International School.  On Saturday, at the New Parent’s Lunch, I literally ran home and grabbed our bathers so the kids and Dave could have a swim.  How convenient is that?  I love the atmosphere here too in the mornings and afternoons as hundreds of kids walk and ride to and from school.  There’s a real “bustling” and community feel around the streets.

Last week we celebrated Thai Mother’s Day. On Wednesday Dave and the kid’s prepared pancakes for breakfast and I attended a special Mother’s Day service in the afternoon at Hana Kindergarten.  It was a proud moment when Tobi held the microphone and introduced his class song.  

Thursday and Friday were public holidays in honor of the Queen’s birthday and Mother’s Day, so we had a nice long weekend.  On Friday night we went to ZOE church, which also held a special Mother’s Day service.  It was very touching to listen as the ZOE children described how much their mums meant to them, even though they weren’t their biological mums.  This bond between child and mother is just so special.  These ZOE mums really care for the children as if they were their own. It’s just so amazing to see. 
Well I’d better wrap it up there.  I am so excited to have my sister coming to stay with us in September.  It will be such a treat.
Thanks for all your emails wishing us a smooth move and transition… I am trying to complete my replies as time permits.  We appreciate every email you send.  They’re often read several times as we enjoy them so much.

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