Sunday, 31 August 2014


I'm not sure when its mango season, but there are plenty in the markets.  I love the stalls making mango juice- Yummm.  I had a lovely mango juice from a stall at a market in a Wat (temple), but spilt half of it - typical.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

View from the Best View

 A gin and tonic at last !!!!!!!
After dinner at school tonight I joined some other staff members for a drink at the Best View guest house.  It is on the side of the valley opposite the school and could be a good place for visitors to stay - but the incline is steep.
This is the view from the deck over the village of Ban Pong to APIS and the nearby mist shrouded hills.  The red roof building in the middle is Suan Bua, a resort next to the school (with the same owners as the school) - also prospective accommodation for visitors.
The grey roofs are the school gym and you can just make out the tower above the dining hall building (my class room is on the bottom level of this three story building).
It was a lovely evening - good to finally socialise with a few of the staff (Americans) and to have a much needed  and long awaited G & T. 
Happy Weekend to everyone - I am off to Chiangmai again - ruining my good intentions to stay at school and do some work - maybe next weekend!!!

Thursday, 28 August 2014

We Have Textbooks

This is my Grade 11 & 12 Chemistry class "looking excited" as textbooks have arrived- two weeks after class has started.  Notice the bright orange cover and that each student has two volumes - there is a lot in the course (but all the text books are huge - and people stress about not having it - you must follow the text!!)
As the teacher I have one book and it has pictures on the front and is in colour. 
Copyright laws are very relaxed in Thailand.  So the school buys a Teacher Edition of the text and one copy of the student text.  They then send the student text off to be copied.  So one big book turns into two bigger books - black and white, no colour.  The students are only allowed to take volume one as volume two is yet to be processed, but I had put in a special asap request. Yeah we went to the top of the queue.
This happens for all subjects and apparently takes time as the books were ordered ages ago.  The Geometry texts are yet to arrive and the Grade 6 Science books have arrived but the first section is missing - no one knows where or how - its just one of those things.

It's a Jungle Out There

The view from my back door.  Banana plants (I have just discovered they are not trees, but giant herbs, related to lilies and orchids), along with creepers and a wide variety of tropical trees make a seemingly impenetrable block of green.  It is dense jungle, at least in my mind.  The school backs onto this forest, but there is a village on the other side of the hill.  Similar vegetation grows in the rain forests of the  surrounding hills.
I enjoy being greeted by the lush greenness as I walk out each morning.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Dot Painting and Elephants

One afternoon a week staff have to run activities for students after school.  As a late arrival I was allocated to support the Arts and Crafts group of elementary students.
Today's activity was to commence work on a mobile of elephants.  Given my great artistic skills I was given the task of cutting out elephant templates.  Miss Muyassar the art teacher from Uzebekistan, introduced the students to today's project of decorating an elephant with dots with a story about the Aboriginals of Australia using this technique in their artwork.  Very cross cultural.  All was good until she said they traditionally decorated their homes with dot paintings - Ahh that would be a no, but way too hard to explain.  Anyway Bashie above did a very fine job with her elephant.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Smart Meters - Thai Style

As any one who has traveled in Asia will know, power lines and connections need to be seen to be believed - I have taken a lot of power line photos already - awaiting a future blog.  This set of meters on a pole in a laneway near school caught my eye as I was out on my post dinner walk.  SPAusnet would surely send out a please repair notice if this was at home.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Who is Watching the Road

I spent the weekend in Chiangmai city, people watching, wandering and exploring.  On Saturday evening's Wua Lai road, south of the old city, is closed to traffic for a walking market.  Crowded and busy with locals and tourists, it was the place to be. The traffic on the road to the market was also crowded and busy.  I liked this couple with the Pomeranian the driver's shoulder.  The dog seem's to be the only one actually looking ahead and watching the road.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Coffee and Cycling

Found a cycling cafe today in Chiangmai. Have you ever thought of using a Shimano shoe box as a decorating item?
Two clean bikes hanging inside but none out. No mamils. The only clients were young girls using the free wifi to do some study. One comment was "best cycling cafe in Chiangmai". What is a cycling cafe? Does it need cyclist?
 Nice decor- a photo of a cyclist on the cobbles and a badly framed jersey. Good coffee but no food. Poppy and Daves is still the best.

Sawadee - Where is your helmet?

Passed this lovely couple when I was in a tuk tuk in Chiang Mai.  They were on a scooter, obviously Thailand has a different approach to the wearing of helmets than Australia.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Its wet when it rains

Why does it always rain just as students are dismissed! It seems to be a karmic universal rule.  Today and yesterday the heavens opened just prior to 3.30 and down came the torrents.  Kids rushing for cover, people dashing around under umbrellas and cleaners mopping up the walkway near the bus stop and one bloke just staring at the rain running down the drain and into the pond as if that was his job to make sure the water went in the right way.
By  4.00pm it was clear, but wet underfoot.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Home for the next 12 months

Building C is one of the staff blocks  at APIS and will be my home for the next 12 months.  My room is on the top right hand side.  Its clean and spacious with a fairly dodgy bathroom and extremely hard bed and settee.  Has a fan in the living room and bedroom and importantly an air conditioner in the bedroom.  A happy spot now that I have bought a kettle and can  enjoy a cuppa on the balcony or at my desk. Love having shutters to open in the morning - very French, but thinking of asking for glass windows to be installed along the side (not just fly wire).

Monday, 18 August 2014

The Royal Guesthouse

This one is for Sandie as I stayed here on her recommendation.  The unique design and colour scheme makes the Royal Guesthouse stand out on the horizon. For 500 Baht - < $20 its not the Sofitel, but welcoming and clean with friendly staff and free Wi Fi.
Saturday night was my first night in the city of Chiang Mai.  After spending my settling in allowance at a mall I spent Sunday aimlessly wandering and exploring the old city and tourist areas - mainly looking for good coffee.
Also had a well deserved Thai massage on Saturday night then a foot massage on Sunday afternoon.

Welcome to Chiang Mai with Mary

APIS - American Pacific International School, my workplace and my home for the next 12 months.
The Queen - I think its the Queen, and this little altar greet visitors to the school.  As I arrived wearily at 10 pm on Tuesday night, there was the Queen and a small greeting party - with towels - to welcome me and show me to my room.
I have joined the city daily photo community with this blog - if you choose to follow, you can receive a small piece of Chiang Mai life in your inbox each day.
Love to all
Mary  XX