What I love so far...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

When you move to another country there is a huge learning curve, but
I have found many things I love so far. First of all, things actually cost what they should instead of being marked up a ton. Food is super cheap. I can feed our family of five at a restaurant for about $7!! Then there is usually left overs for at least 1 or 2 more meals! It is wonderful. I love that I can buy fresh flowers for about $1. A large iced coffee or frappe is only $1.25!! Now that's a steal! I love looking out my windows and seeing tropical trees that will be there all year long not just for one season. I love how kind the Thais are. The boys steal the show whenever we go out. I usually feel like we are on display because people stop stare and point at them. (But they are really polite about it!!) I am also getting a maid, which will be great. She will be working for us 3 days a week for 8 hours a day. I am not really sure what she is going to do for that many hours, but at least I can spend more time playing with the boys and working on schoolwork instead of cleaning.

Now on to what I am struggling with...

The language barrier had been difficult, but not as bad as I had thought. Ben knows enough Thai to get us around and I am going to start really focusing on learning the language too. No transportation is a pain. Taxis are really easy to get, but you always have to wait for them. We are planning on getting bikes and also getting a scooter for the whole family. That will help us a ton! Then we won't feel so stuck. Finding a routine for the boys has been difficult too. We had a great group of friends back home and the boys were really involved with activities. We do have plans to get them started in extracurricular activities at Ben's school and we also met some kids last weekend that the boys enjoyed playing with. Not being able to communicate with family & friends back home as easily as we could is frustrating. Getting used to the boys not using car seats has been a little difficult for me too!

Overall, I am really happy here. Just trying to figure out our new routine and making new friends will take time. I have to remind myself we have only been here for 1 1/2weeks. Before long I imagine Bangkok will feel like home!

A Whirlwind First Week!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sawatdee ka (Hello) from Thailand!! I can't believe we are really here. Our first week here has been an adventure so far. I decided to start a blog, mostly for me to remember all we have done on this trip, but also to share our experiencewith all of you. Let's start with our adventure here...

Thankfully, I was lucky enough to have my great friend, Susannah, come and help me on the flight. Our trip started out as having a great counter attendant check us in. I had packed 4 bags up to 70 pounds and was prepared to pay for them at an additional $75 a piece. She said she would give us the bags for free!!! What a blessing! Thank you Maryann for saving me some money and starting our trip out great!

Our first flight was a 13 hour flight to Japan. The boys did amazing! They all fell asleep between 7:30-8:00pm, but were back up by 11:00 pm because the rows in front and behind us kept their lights on. It was a little frustrating, but lots of snacks, games on the ipad, and bathroom breaks kept them happy.

Susannah and I were very nervous about making our connecting flight in Japan because we only had 50 minutes to get off the plane, grab our carry-ons, and make it through security. Thank God for nice passengers!! The family in front of us helped us get all of our luggage and to security. The security in Japan must have felt bad for us because they didn't even say anything to me when I walked right through with my shoes on! We had heard they were looking through all the bags and they didn't look through any of ours. So, 4 carry-ons, 5 personal bags, 4 pillows, 3 kids, & a stroller all boarded our plane as they were making the last call!! We were so thankful for making it to that flight.

What a huge relief landing in Bangkok. All of the stress I had had for the past two months just disappeared. Now I was just hoping all 11 pieces of checked baggage made it. Not one missing piece of luggage! Customs & immigration were easy and then we were on our way to find Ben. The boys were so excited to see Ben after 3 weeks of being apart. Of course they had lots to tell him. We also met Diane, Susannah's roommate from China. ( I should say, Diane was Susannah's roommate while they both taught in China.)

Our fun weekend at Big C (like a k-mart) buying new furniture for our house, finding a few American staples ( popcorn & mac & cheese), and checking out the pool we will be swimming at. Diane was only here for the weekend and we really enjoyed meeting her. Hopefully we will get to visit her in Vietnam in December! Susannah was a HUGE help. We miss her so much already and are so thankful she was able to come with us. We also hope she is getting settled in her new home in Egypt.

For the rest of the week we have just been getting settled, unpacking all of our bags, and buying new furniture to make the house feel a little more like our home. I did take the boys to the pool one day and we also took the boys to a huge indoor playground at Fashion Island mall. They loved it! I am really looking forward to sharing our experience here. There have been some frustrating moments, but overall, Thailand is an amazing place to live with wonderful people. I am looking forward to seeing more of this beautiful country.

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