General, Travel

Happy Birthday Jade!

This week has been full of firsts and lasts, and has revitalised us in time for the Christmas week. It’s Jade’s 23rd Birthday today – Happy Birthday. I’d say have a great day, but you’ve spent the weekend with me, so I know it’s been awesome. It’s really capped off an interesting week, and has led us into a bizarre one with a spring in our step.

First things first, the observation  from AYC. I ranted, complained, and discussed this in depth earlier in the week, but I thought I’d mention it again. I am still unhappy about the exam/lesson debacle, and I still haven’t received the email feedback that I was promised when they left, but I’m not exactly surprised about that in all honesty. I definitely think, if I ever do anything like this again, I wouldn’t go through someone like we did this time, and I’d just contact schools directly.

Every day I get a ride to school on the back of next door’s motorbike, some days with their daughter (my student) on board as well. While this means I have travelled before with more than 2 people on a motorbike, it’s not quite the same as 3 adults squashed on a seat. We left quite late to go to Big C on Friday because we got caught up watching White Collar (an understandable distraction) and so were walking in the dark. We heard a shout and noticed the security guard pull up on his bike, offering us a lift. This is the security guard that invited Jade on a cinema date this week, and spent the bike ride telling her about his family, his lack of partner, and about his plans for New Year, which we were of course invited to. I literally could not stop laughing all the way, which left me even more precariously balanced at the back of the sandwich.

I had been trying to sort something for us to do to celebrate Jade’s birthday all week, and was a little worried nothing impressive would actually end up happening. On Saturday, Andrew invited us to a BBQ at his house, and a plan that we could look forward to was in action. We finally got to go and see the standing Buddha that Roi-Et is famous for on the way to his house. When we got there, we were met by great smells and crazy children (one of which is a student.) We haven’t had meat properly in over a month, so we were excited, and the food didn’t disappoint. We played with the kids for hours on end, they were jumping, playing, wrestling, running, and pretending to be zombies all night, goodness knows where they got so much energy from for so long.

Matt and Andrew were shocked and appalled that we hadn’t ventured out to view Roi-Et’s night-life, so volunteered to take us on a birthday night out for Jade. They took us to Andrew’s favourite place in town first, a bar called Josh’s, owned (unsurprisingly) by a Thai guy called Josh. I also teach his son, I seem to teach an awful lot of kids in this town. While there, Andrew ordered 2 bottles of an Issan spirit, from which we took turns to do shots from until it had all gone. That’s how they drink out here when it’s not beer. Once we left there, we went to bar street, which turned out to be right near our house. We stayed in a bar and had a couple of beers while the footy was on, before heading to a club to briefly see what it was like.

As you do when you get in from a night out, we put some cheesy pasta on and set the computer up to watch the Strictly Come Dancing final. Well the first half, the results were on just too late here with the time difference. It was a great thing to watch, even if our least favourites didn’t win (one year Kevin, one year you’ll do it.) Jade opened her presents and cards as it was officially her birthday, an all round great end to the day.

Today, we finally celebrated my birthday, on Jade’s birthday, by going to see The Hobbit. It was quite good, and by going today, Jade had managed to watch the first two before we went to see it And it was in English – we thought it would be but it was a bit of a gamble. I tell you, the song before the film starts is never going to be normal, standing for the King is awkward amongst the Thai people, and the song is long. The film was OK, I reviewed it here in little depth. It had an element of the ‘Quantum of Solace’ about it. If you saw these before Lord of the Rings, you’d probably think it was quite good, if very drawn out. If you have seen Lord of the Rings, and loved it like I do, you will think it is a poor effort, which is a shame, because it’s really not that bad, it’s just not that good either, especially in 3D.

They were the firsts, now for the lasts. I am going to be honest from the outset here, they are distinctly less impressive than the firsts list, and are exclusively about TV, books, and films. Firstly, The Hobbit. With the last film release, it ends an era of adventure films in middle earth that have produced some of the best cinematic experiences ever. I will miss them, even if the Hobbit films weren’t a patch on Lord of the Rings.

I’ve been reading two series of late, the Millennium Trilogy, the Vampire Academy, and Bloodline. I have finished the first 2 books and 1/3 of the final instalment in Stieg Larsson’s trilogy, and have really enjoyed them. I found Vampire Academy to be thoroughly awful, but addictive and brilliantly rubbish so much so I have got half way through the sequel series. Once I have finished these books, I have no idea what I am going to read at school.

And of course TV. A lot of the TV shows we watch have ended for a season, or have taken a mid season break. Home and Away has been staple viewing since we arrived, so it’s strange that it has taken a break, and has affected our viewing schedule. Strcitly has finished, with the exception of the Christmas special. Once upon a time and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are both on mid-season breaks until March, which decimates the number of shows I watch in a week. The Fall has now finished for another season, heavens knows how long I am going to have to wait until for some more Paul Spector.

And the worst of all, the end of White Collar, my favourite show, my favourite character. I am devastated. I don’t know what to do about Neal leaving my life (possibly an over-exaggeration). Well I do know what to do, I’ve got Jade hooked so I can re-watch the entire series again to cope with my loss.

So many firsts and lasts, which will continue this week. Christmas away from home, in work on Christmas day, Thai Sport’s day….

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