This isn’t going to be quite the post I expected it to be when I took the photo. I snapped the doors of Chiang Mai airport’s international arrival hall while waiting for Dom to return from his visa run in Malaysia fully expecting to make a post about the joys of reunion.

While I waited I read bits from The Wisdom of Yoga by Steven Cope. I am reading it a second time in the hope that exposure to yoga, even passively, will make my leg feel better; which is a revealing comment in itself about the current poverty of my spiritual and physical health. I was reading about Duhkha, the cycle of suffering that we experience through continual craving, aversion or delusion. The author gives an example of longing for a banana muffin, getting and eating the muffin and mourning the fact that the pleasure is lost as soon as the last morsel passes our lips. There is so much pain around this experience – found in the longing and mourning stages that it is not worth the scant pleasure of eating, especially as we rarely eat with full attention to the pleasure anyway.

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Bye Rob

As a teacher you try not to have favourite students and as an Academic Manager you try not to have favourite teachers. If I were the kind of person who was to flout this very sensible guideline and pick a favourite, I could do worse than Rob (pictured, left). He is one of the most talented teachers I have ever had the good fortune to observe, and one of the most laid back and self-reliant staff members I have had the good fortune to… well sit back and watch him not need me.

He also has fab taste in music and cool tattoos, so it is very lucky that any temptation to stick a gold star on his forehead and make it official has been removed by his leaving to go and work in Poland. The staff room at Chiang Mai is a little poorer for his absence, but I am sure the one in Poland is much richer for his presence. Sharing the love is important too, isn’t it? Good luck Rob, enjoy life and embrace new experiences.

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Falling A Bit Behind

Hey all. I know I’ve kind of missed a little on keeping up with my writing, but I have been a bit distracted.

One of the small distractions has been my own Visa for Thailand. It’s become a bit of a rig-a-maroll. Before, all I needed was a letter from the British Consulate, but things have recently changed. As I am an American working for the British Council, I now need to go to the American Consulate and get a letter from them stating that I am working for the British Council. Now the American Consulate understandably doesn’t want anything to do with this, and thinks that they should be removed from the circle, but the Thai Immigration doesn’t agree. So the first letter I got, my boss’s, boss’s boss (John) who is friends with the American Consulate General, got the letter for me. But John isn’t there any more. He has been transferred as his 4 years in a position are up, and he needed to move to another country. For my second letter, I needed to go to the American Consulate and get the letter myself. The American Consulate General was on vacation and didn’t inform anybody about this letter I was supposed to be getting, so I didn’t get the letter the first time I went, that’s when the American Consulate informed me that they didn’t know what the letter was about, and didn’t want to do the letter. Now Tracy contacted John, and the American Consulate to let them all know what was going on. The American Consulate informed me that they wanted me to come back in to get a notarized affidavit instead of the letter. This affidavit, I would have to fill out myself, and swear that it was all true and correct, which is no big deal. But I didn’t know I was supposed to put on the affidavit a request to extend my Visa. Nobody told me this and Thai Immigration decided that my letter wouldn’t do. So I had to do another Visa trip to Malaysia, with out Tracy again.

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Creative Juices

I’m feeling really good lately. As most of you know, I’ve started 2 threads. Once is called 55 Word Story, that has taken off quite well, and it and some of the stories in there have inspired me to start writing again. One of the weird things for me is, I’ve never been very conservative with words. As a matter of fact, when I was doing my CELTA, we had to write papers every week and my first paper was almost 2000 words and my instructor told me not to write so much next time or he would make me re-write it, lol. And, when I write a poem, I hate editing it, because I’ve felt it takes something away from the poem. When I write a poem, I let the words pour out of me, on to the paper. Once the poem is completed, I don’t like to change it. I’ve changed them before, and to me they lose their meaning and feeling. But with writing this 55 Word Story, I have to really be conservative with my writing, and be hard in my editing. Just last night, I wrote a story that started off with about 150 words. I had to trim it down to 55 words, and it was really hard. Having to trim it down and keep the same feeling for the story. But, I did it, and I think it turned out really well.

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Someone to watch over me

There is nothing like waking a bit earlier than your loved one and watching them sleep to make you realise how blessed you are. It doesn’t happen to me very often, I love my bed and Dom usually has to drag me out of it by my feet, but this morning – thanks to a powercut that woke me up and set me worrying about a range of things from the water pump to the third world debt – I got my moment. I also discovered I was not alone in my watchfulness. Lily is very much a daddy’s girl and I found her nestled in the crook of Dom’s arm, leaning against his chest and enjoying the rise and fall of his sleeping body as the morning sun warmed her whiskers.

That’s cool, I can share the moment.

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Sick wolf

Dom enduring the hardships of hospital life. The nurse on the left places an ice pack on his forehead, the nurse on the right gets ready to take blood samples while he chooses his meals for the rest of the day.

Yeah, Dom got a bacterial infection that had him Chiang Mai Ram hospital for just over 24 hours (the time it takes to absorb 3 bags of saline solution). We were worried for a while that it might be the dreaded H1N1, after a night of fever and chronic diarrhea, alarming blood pressure and high pulse rate. The doctor however reassured us that it was probably bacterial and once in hospital tests confirmed that. He was badly dehydrated though which is why they opted to keep him in. Luckily I got to stay with him as Thailand hospitals are very reasonable and our health insurance allowed him to have his own “VIP” room on the international ward though, as you can see from the picture, the bed is Thai sized. Poor baby.
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H1N1 (Swine Flu) Scare

I have to give you some back story for this before I get to far into this.

Since the start of the Swine Flu scare, I’ve been kind of taking the piss out of it. Someone coughs and “OH NO, IT’S SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU, SWINE FLU!” That type of thing. At work we were told that if a child coughs a lot, sneez3s a lot or has a runny nose we should ask their parents to take them home. So I would joke cough and say I’ve got swine flu, can I go home. And things like that. I was also scoffing at people wearing masks, because it’s a virus and the mask is totally useless for this. They are to help prevent dust inhalation.

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