Friday, September 30, 2011

Red in the Morning

Well, a few weeks ago, I did the second annual Khatachuk Amazing Race Scavenger Hunt. There were about 16 of us that took part in it, and it was a lot of fun, and a lot of hot. Probably dummied a good 4-5 waterbottles that day. Anyway, while Natalie and I didn't win (a respectable 5th place out of 8 teams), I got a decent wife-beater tan while is almost as classy as wearing a wife-beater in general. Overall, a lot of teams had some unreal costumes and team names - The Loewen Grangers (the last names of one couple) was my personal favourite and a classy homage to the Lone Ranger, in case you didn't get the joke. Everyone made a spectacle out of themselves, and I'm not entirely sure why anyone would give us a double-take.

I think the crowd were good sports. You know, if you weren't Thai, or if you were like this couple who found it hilarious when we asked if their 7 year old son would feed a stranger a chocolate-covered banana so that I could post it on the Internet without their permission. 

And now, welcome to the new blog addition - "Only in Thailand" (food edition):

Only in Thailand do:

1. People willingly eat chicken feet, pig's tongue, and chunks of black coagulated blood in their soup, but find mashed potatoes and gravy absolutely disgusting.

2. People use ketchup packets on their pizza. Maybe I'd give this a try if there wasn't already tomato sauce on the pizza.

3. People love ketchup on pizza, but think that ketchup chips are the strangest idea. This is while they snack on shrimp and seaweed flavoured Lays.

Last weekend, I went to Linkin Park at Activ Square with Natalie. After a two and half hour cab ride., we finally got there. I should know better, but this consider this a tip if you ever take a cab in Thailand: If your cab driver doesn't immediately say "okay" after you tell him your desired destination, that means that he probably doesn't really know where it is but clearly will not tell you this until at least 100 baht into the cab ride. It's especially bad if you say the name of the place you want to go, and he unsuccessfully repeats the name in broken English and in the form of a question, ala Ron Burgendy. Example:

Me: "Activ Square please."
Cab Driver: "Act-rivv Skare?"
Me: "Active Square, you know where that is?"
Cab Driver: (5 second pause) ".....okay."

Then you get in and he immediately gets on his cell phone and you don't understand any of the conversation except for 'Act-rivv Skare'.

Anyway, the show was really good and I even know most of the songs since we had downloaded the last two Linkin Park albums a few days prior so we would actually recognize the set list. They were really good live, and I learned that Thai crowds are super boring and tame, but also that they love to politely fist pump and jump during songs that they know. It only rained on us for a short while, and I got to use the thuper thweet Thai washrooms that were actually a group of hollowed out school buses that were now turned into a divided groups of urinals. After using the makeshift piss shack, I was just so glad that I didn't have to crap.

We were too far to really get any good pictures of the stage, so we just got randoms to take pictures of us instead.

It was also perogie-making Sunday this past weekend, which was a combination of fun and delicious. We ran out of dough, but by that point had already churned out around 200 perogies. This means that I probably clowned on 10% of those 200, which I am not ashamed of in the slightest. Perogies are my favourite food, and six months is six months too long for me to go without them.

School has been decent, and the kids finished their exams for Term 2 the other week, and none of my kids failed. This may not seem like a big deal, but I think it is a good sign since I've noticed so much improvement in many of the kids since I started back in May and it makes you feel good to know that even they may not retain the knowledge for their whole life, that I helped teach them so many different things already.

NHL preseason has started, and two Philadelphia Flyers have already been suspended, which is both ridiculous as well as not entirely surprising. The 2012 Winter Classic was also announced this week, and the Flyers will be making their second appearance in it, and will be playing the New York Rangers. While the logo and jersey design has not actually been released yet, consider the Winter Classic retro jersey the first thing on my Christmas list this year.

Am I the only person who finds the amount of newfound hockey fans hilarious now that we have a team to cheer for? And once these "fans" (air quotes = Internet sarcasm) learn the rules of hockey and the names of two or three teams that aren't from Canada, they'll be set!

I leave tomorrow morning for holidays! Singapore, Yogyakarta, and Bali. It's almost as cool as Winnipeg in October, and I'll try to make the best out of it somehow. Also, congrats to Liane for getting a teaching job! Bring some class to Transcona and teach the shit out of those kids!

Finally, if you ever want something to make fun of me for when I get back home, I saw the Taylor Lautner movie "Abduction" earlier this week. Don't worry though, I hated it.

love, Mark

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