"Thanks and thanks again to Him who offers to the man whom the sorrows of life have assaulted and left naked–offers to him the fig leaf of the Word with which he can cover his wretchedness." -Søren Kierkegaard

Updates

Posted in Day-To-Day, Travel by matt on Monday, March 8, 2010

TEDxBKK

Lasy month I attended a locally-organized TEDx conference right here in Bangkok.

If you’re not familiar with the TED conferences, you should check them out.

Now.

Like, you should stop reading this and go stream this video.

But the conference was great, the speakers were interesting, and I met some great people. Though I gotta admit, it was a bit of a nerd-fest.

Anytime you go somewhere and people are introducing each other (me included) by their Twitter names, you know you’ve entered a new level of dweeb.

This is the level right before the one where you wear a Spock outfit to the new Star Trek movie. Let’s hope I never get there.

Valentine’s Day

If romance can be had in nasty Bangkok, it can be had anywhere!

Cayla and I overcame this sticky, smoggy, sludge-ridden metropolis and had an awesome V-Day by getting dressed up and heading over to a snazzy Japanese restaurant.

A few pics.

Ryan’s Been Resettled!

Faithful readers (I love all 4 of you!) may remember my friend Ryan Lei and his refugee situation.

Well, 3 weeks ago he and his family were resettled in Monterey Park, California – praise God!

They’re adjusting well and enjoying the insane population of native Chinese speakers. All 3 of them have begun searching for good job opportunities and are involved in a Chinese church in their city.

Please continue to pray for them. Pray especially that Ryan’s parents would adjust to life in the States; all that Chinese speaking could make language learning a bit slow.

Also, if you live in that area and would like to help them out more directly, you can message me and I’ll get you their info.

Future Stuff

Cayla and I will be Stateside in a month and a half, but there’s a lot that needs to happen before then.

I’m in the thick of finals week and only have to persevere one more week until the school closes, but we’re now hearing that there will probably be political riots this weekend that could cut things even shorter. I’ve been told to get my exams finished asap.

We’ve got a visa run to Rangoon, Burma (aka Yangon, Myanmar) at the end of this month. Pray we don’t get kidnapped and sold as slaves. That would be sad. (kidding, Mom…but seriously)

Then April rolls around and we’ve got a fun-filled week with my brother-in-law and his girlfriend. Let the good times roll! We’ve got all kinds of fun in the sun planned for their week here.

After that it’s 8 days in Indonesia to see orangutans and then we’re in San Diego for the month of May. We found out that Cayla’s work ends on April 1st instead of May 20th, so we’ll be back in America a lot sooner.

I almost can’t believe we’re leaving Bangkok. I love this weird city. I’ll miss so much about it – especially the great people we’ve met. We’ll just have to soak up as much time as possible during these last few weeks.

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“The 12 Days of Christmas in Bangkok”

Posted in Day-To-Day, Videos by matt on Saturday, January 16, 2010

Following suit with Western tradition, you were probably enjoying a little time off on Christmas day; friends, family, food or some lovely combination of the three.

I’m green (and red!) with envy, because I was at work.

However, having to work on Christmas day turned out to be not-so-bad. We had a “Christmas show” instead of taking the day off. Like I mentioned awhile back, the Thai teachers informed me, “We want to show the kids what all the farang (Westerners) do on Christmas day.”

I’ll admit, my attitude was pretty sour beforehand, but I think my students learned and had a lot of fun, and that’s my job, right? Right.

So here are the “days” from the song we sang, “The 12 Days of Christmas in Bangkok”, and below is a shortened clip from the show. You’re more likely to appreciate this – if at all – if you’ve spent some time in Bangkok – just a forewarning.

On the 12th day of Christmas Bangkok gave to me!

12 police whistling,

11 football players,

10 sellers selling,

9 dancers dancing,

8 traffic jams,

7 boxers boxing,

6 shoppers shopping,

5 sticks of meat!

4 cookers cooking,

3 tuk-tuks screeching,

2 lost farang,

and a durian so big and smelly!

To watch this video, enter the password: christmas

And here’s the video of our pandemonium:

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Updates and Such

Posted in Day-To-Day by matt on Monday, December 21, 2009

Hey all. So here’s a quick list of what’s been going on with us over the past month or so.

  • Cayla and her coworkers recently had their last performance of Cinderella. The show was really fun and I enjoyed being the proud husband with the camera. You can see clips of it here. Also of note, her boss took all the cast and their families out to a really nice dinner at some ritzy buffet downtown. Our jaws dropped when we saw the spread, and I couldn’t pull my eyes away from all the cheese and dried fruit. Dinners like this are one reason I currently weight 201 pounds – heaviest I’ve ever been!
  • I’m coordinating a Christmas show at work. My Thai coworker proudly told me, “We want to show the kids what all the farang (white people) do on Christmas day.” I responded with, “They eat, stay in their pajamas, and avoid going out in public!” She didn’t understand, so here I am…cutting out paper snowflakes. It should be fun though.
  • Cayla improvised and made our first Christmas tree. I’ve posted a picture of it in my Flickr stream below.
  • I went with a friend on a crazy biking trip around central Thailand. If you know me, you know I really don’t like bikes. I’ll post more about that soon.
  • Cayla’s putting together a Christmas party for expats who couldn’t go home for the holidays. There’s going to be some serious food involved, and we’ve even set up a friend of a friend’s huge flat as the venue. They. Have. A. Grill! I’m really excited!
  • Our first anniversary is only 8 days away! Last weekend we booked a flight to Chiang Mai for a few days to get away and celebrate. We’ve been up North a few times, but we’re really excited to finally explore the Northern capital. I’ve only passed through, and Cayla was sick when she went. More on that to come.

We miss you guys – especially this time of year. Thanks for staying in touch despite our absence. Lately we’ve been having even more internet problems than usual, but we’ll try our best to stay in touch. Cheers!

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A Morning At Play

Posted in Day-To-Day by matt on Sunday, November 22, 2009

Located in the heart of commercial Bangkok, Wat Pathum Wanaram School is pressed between two gigantic shopping centers in the backyard of a Buddhist temple. Also surrounding it is a parking garage, an unfinished hotel (complete w/ noisy construction sounds), and a couple slum neighborhoods. So ya, things are cramped. These kids don’t have the fields for running and playing that I enjoyed, so they make do with a small courtyard.

A post about the layout of my workplace may seem a bit menial, but the familiar sounds of children playing outside my office has become an endearing part of my day, so I decided to film the little buggers as I walked in this morning.

Have a watch:

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A Day In The Life Of Cayla

Posted in Day-To-Day, Videos by matt on Saturday, August 1, 2009

The teachers at my school had seminars this past Thursday and Friday and, thanks to my inability to follow their lightning-fast Thai, I wasn’t invited. The conversation went something like this: “Mett, we have meetings in Thai. Wary fast Thai. You no need to come. Enjoy your long holeeday!”

And I surely did.

Thursday was spent enjoying a little mind-numbing videogamage, and on Friday I went with Cayla to experience “a day in the life of Cayla” (her title, not mine). She gave me the grand tour!

We rode the busses, walked constantly, were tempted to buy lots of fruit, and, the icing on the cake, I even sat in on one of her classes. Everything about her day is the opposite of mine – especially her students. Mine are poor and can’t speak much English, but hers are well off and are fluent little brats.

Below are a few pictures. Enjoy!

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