Monday, January 31, 2011

What's your name?

It seems that every Thai person has a nickname of some sort. Sometimes their nickname is a Thai word, but more often than not (at least at ICS), it is an English word. We're not quite sure if it's because their Thai names are difficult to say or if it's just a cultural thing, but I will say that when we first arrived in Thailand, the nicknames sometimes they caught us off guard. Some of our current students are named the following: Bright, Ice, Pop, Candy, Sand, Land, Birdy, Meme, Naim (pronounced like Name), Twinkle, Binx (formerly known as Jar Jar Binx, but has decided to go by just Binx now), Annikan, Sea, Hill, Proud, Folk, Happy, Winnie, Pun, Perm, Cream, Deer, Ping, Pong, Tik, Guitar, Punky... and the list could go on...

Names don't really have shock value to us anymore; it seems pretty normal to us to have students with names such as these. In fact, when I was trying to think of names that might have a little shock value to my readers, I mentally went through my seating charts and thought several times, "But that's a pretty common name!" Needless to say, I've acclimated to my surroundings. :)

Mike has a little 4 year old student (Cream) who was telling him about her babies one day and how she likes to sleep with her babies (AKA: dolls). Mike asked her if her babies have names. To which she responded, "Cookie and Cream." Of course... a natural choice if you are from Thailand. So cute.

I wonder what a "Thai Baby (Nick)Names" book looks like!?!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Guess who...? #1

This is my sister-in-law, Emily.

For kicks, we're starting a new little series in the blog that will pop up every now and again. It's titled, "Guess who...?" In other words, is it Emily or is it Karly?

So here's the first one. We'll start out with an easier one for you...

#1: Guess who is Oriental Asian?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Gold star for you!

So for Xmas, my generous parents and grandma got me an amazing gift that is any scrapbooker's/card maker's dream: The Cricut. It's a personal cutting machine that can do... well, pretty much anything and everything. It's freaking awesome. I haven't even played around with it that much and I still think it's freaking awesome.

I've made a couple of cards with it, but my first little "project" was a gift for my AP Spanish students. We have joked about "Estrellas de Oro" (Gold Stars) in class since the beginning of the year. It's usually used as "punishment" when a student doesn't speak in Spanish, and so another student will usually say (in Spanish) "Give me a gold star, " while holding out their hand for the imaginary star and tskking them for reverting to English. So I decided to make my class of 3 girls a box full of gold stars.

Yes, one of my student's nicknames is Twinkle. Have I ever blogged about nicknames here? I don't think I have. I will have to save that for another post...

Shades of gray

Not to brag or anything, but can I just say that I've set a major record?

See this little plant?

Go ahead... ask me how long I've kept that sucker alive.

6 stinkin' weeks. 6. That's like 6X longer than I've ever kept any plant/flower alive. Seriously.

I didn't inherit my grandma Heidi's green thumb, but maybe there's hope that my jet-black thumbs won't remain forever black, and perhaps are turning shades of dark gray.

Get in my belly!

Look what just came out of my micro-griven tonight...

Shepherd's Pie (don't worry, it didn't come out of the oven partially eaten... I just forgot to take a picture until it was partially eaten). :)

Apple Cinnamon Scones (from scratch... yay me!)

It was my first time making the apple cinnamon scones... and let me tell you, they are DELIGHTFUL. Not only do they smell amazing, but they are actually pretty healthy and they taste so good. I actually ate 2 after dinner since they were SO good. Mike couldn't keep his hands off them either. Needless to say, I think they will become a breakfast staple in this house.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Winner winner, chicken dinner


Well, a winner has been named. Only a handful of people participated in the competition, but I definitely had a few good laughs!

Winner: Ben
Runner-up: Emily

You're prize will be mailed to you in the next week or two! The only stipulation is that you need to take a picture of yourself with your prize(s) & send it to me so that I can update my blog again. :) DEAL???

Do you hear what I hear?


I was delighted to hear native Spanish speakers in Cambodia... they were from Barcelona. I think I was drooling over their native Castillian-lispy accent; it was phenomenal. :) And then, if you can believe it,  the other day when I went to the grocery store here in Bangkok, I overhead a mother and child speaking in Spanish. I did everything I could to prevent myself from barging in on their intimate conversation.

Additionally, I have been hearing more and more Spanish in my classroom. Now that it's second semester, I always challenge/force my kids to speak more in Spanish. I love hearing them speak in castellano, trying their best to express themselves, struggling to find the right vocabulary... and then suddenly having everything click. Those AH-HA moments are what I cherish as their teacher. Needless to say, it's been a great start to the 2nd semester.

I also am thrilled to say that we will be hearing more Spanish this summer, as we are planning on taking a trip to Spain! I can't wait to brush up on my Spanish, use vocabulary I probably haven't used in ages (and maybe even don't remember that I have filed away somewhere), and see my friends that I made back in high school at good old Cabo de Huertas when I did my year of foreign exchange (I can't believe that was 11 years ago).

I feel like I'm coming back full circle. Life is sweet.


I didn't update the blog after we went to Cambodia. We had a 3 day weekend back in December before the Xmas break, so we took advantage of it and took a quick trip to Cambodia with our friends Grant and Carolyn. We named ourselves "Team BUST" (Buma & Aust), albeit Buma actually being pronounced Bue-ma, like the word Cue. We had a blast. We are grateful for fun new friends who love crazy adventures, who roll with the punches, and who know how to laugh and have a great time. :) We had a great time in Siem Reap, visiting Angkor Wat. Here are of my favorite pics from our adventure.

Is that a pig on the back of a motorcycle, you ask? Why yes, it is.

Our taxi driver got a flat tire. He didn't have a spare in his trunk, but kept flagging down other taxi drivers who did. They must all work for the same company since he didn't seem to bother to get the other taxi driver's name or number.

Strike a pose...


Climbing in trees we definitely shouldn't have been climbing in... but it made for a wicked awesome picture, don't you think?

In case you have any complaints about Cambodia, particularly the immigration office, just stick a comment in the "to blame box"

Sawasdee kah

The library

You're just as weird, lady.

I know you can't see her very well... but there is another Asian lady is this picture that my brother-in-law, Pete, took when we were at our cooking class. Pete & I were the only Americans in a class of probably 12 people. You tend to chit-chat with the people a little bit and get to know at least where they are from and what they do. The other Asian lady in the picture works for BMW and her native language is actually German. I kind of did a double take when I heard her speaking in German.

Anyway, one of the guys in the cooking class was a PE teacher from Australia. So naturally, I started a conversation with him about teaching and told him that I was a teacher in Thailand. And as every conversation like this unfolds, of course he thought I taught English. I explained to him the nature of ICS and that I actually teach Spanish. At this point in time everyone seemed to be listening to our conversation, so the Asian-German woman overhead and expressed her surprise about me being Asian but teaching Spanish. I literally wanted to say, "Dude, look who's talking! You're an Asian who speaks German!" I guess I don't know which one is more odd...

Playing Catch-up

The last month...

We had 4 visitors: Mike 3 brothers and sister-in-law. 

 His 2 younger brothers came to visit us first. We took a beach trip to Hua Hin and also had some fun around Bangkok too. Pete (the one in the blue shirt) is a photographer and a lot of these pics came from him. It was fun to see Thailand through his eyes through his camera lens.

We definitely enjoyed eating Rotee, particularly ones with banana & nutella and were drizzled with sweet and condensed milk. Amazing good, but wretchedly bad for you? OF COURSE! :)
Pete & I took a cooking class together
Making SomTom

We talked to family on Christmas and even opened presents together while video-skyping. 

Even managed to get some reading in at Starbucks
Then, Mike's older brother, Ben & his wife, Emily came.

Headed to Phuket to enjoy Patong beach

It was a rough life: we read, got massages, ate, sunbathed, slept. Vicious cycle. :)