With all the weekend getaways I realize it’s been awhile since I’ve provided any insight into the goings-on around our humble little town. Here’s what’s been keeping us busy in these parts:
3. “The Big Noodle Pot,” or the annual Kanom Jin festival. I wrote recently about the adult English classes we’ve been giving for the past 2 months. Very frequently we’re forced out of our normal room, or our numbers are particularly low, on account of “meetings” that are going on. At one point I mused to Wayne, “Exactly what do you think all these meetings are about?” That very day we were given an answer– many of our students wouldn’t be attending class the following Tuesday in order to attend a meeting about “the Big Noodle Pot” the following day. It was a very enlightening moment, to learn that these big important meetings are, at times, focused on noodles.
Anyway, “Kanom Jin” is a bit of a misnomer, on all accounts. Kanom is the name Thais give to any number of little… snack-like things (one friend commented that if it contains flour it can be called “Kanom,” but even that’s not exactly an accurate definition either). They’re often sweet, but not always. Morning goodies made of sticky rice and coconut, wrapped in banana leaves are a type of kanom. Bread is kanom pang. Kanom Jin is literally “Chinese Kanom,” but they’re thin, flimsy rice vermicelli noodles. Not sweet. Not made of [wheat] flour. And we don’t remember seeing anything like them in China, ever. (Though French Toast isn’t exactly French, or Toast, now that I think about it, so maybe that’s an English equivalent). The noodles are topped with a variety of colorful, flavorful (sometimes quite spicy!) sauces. It’s very popular fare in these parts, often, strangely (to us Westerners), as a breakfast food. Though not huge fans of the dish, we thought it was our responsibility as Thung Song citizens to at least steal a glimpse of the Big Noodle Pot, and support our new friends and students.
4. New work permits! Back in June I gave notice that after a month-and-a-half of employment at Satree Thung Song I’d finally been awarded a Work Permit. And then in November I mentioned that in the process of our “Big Transition,” we had to turn those Work Permits in to be canceled, since our former agent would have continued being taxed on them for as long as they were valid. Or something. This did raise questions as to the status of the legality of our presence in Thailand, since our visas were technically contingent on the possession of Work Permits, but those were decided to be insignificant details and we were successful in not getting deported before getting a new visa in Penang. Whew. *Wipes brow.*
And now, just four months after gaining employment at our current school, we’ve succeeded in attaining our new Work Permits (and complimentary 1-year visas)! It only took wasting a bit of money on photos of sizes we didn’t need, scrambling for the correct documents, ditching 2 days of school, and scrounging up the $200 (unfortunate, so close to our big trip and all, but unavoidable I suppose) for the fees. But hey, at least now we can get into National Parks at a reduced rate.
And that’s really it. Oh yeah, we got Ollie fixed on Friday in hopes of making him less aggressive and maybe a little more docile in general but after about a day of letting the anesthetic wear off he’s back to his old barking, hyperactive self. Oh well… I suppose he’s still young. Leave TS for Phuket Thursday night; Phuket for Bali on Friday morning! Coconut wait:).
Angela Maria Colender (I suppose it was far too much to ask that anyone in Thailand get that last name right, considering how infrequently it happens in my home country.)