Monday, December 8, 2014

Our Last Couple of Weeks in Thailand 2014

Please forgive my spelling and punctuation, I'm a plumber and not an English major. Just read and have fun.

Daeng has been getting things ready to travel to California. She has been making covers for things from the scrap material that Brian and Noochy gave her. We leave Mae Sai in about two weeks. 

November 19th - We headed to Chiang Mai today. 

We stopped at the motor vehicle office in Chiang Rai to see if we could renew our drivers licenses a month early. The lady told us what to do so we will do it next week.

Then we had to stop at Charin Garden Resort for coffee and pie. 

After the four hour drive, we visited our friend Brian Schroeder and Noochy we were hungry.

We stopped and had some seafood Pad Thai. It was delicious.

November 20th-
Daeng likes Chiang Mai as there is lots of shopping.

The fruit shop with the dog sign is the "Black Heart Dog" shop. We thought it was a funny name for a flower and fruit shop. 

At this market, Daeng did buy a new pair of "flip flops" for 79 THB.

We are going to drive to Pai tomorrow, Friday, so we can attend the "NA Chiang Mai Area Unity Day in Pai". 

November 21st-
The trip to Pai was okay. My arms got a real workout with the windy road.

We stopped to buy some "cow lam" with sweet potato. (Sticky rice in bamboo with sweet potato. ) She is holding it in the picture.

Pai is an old hippy retreat and back packers love it. 

Tonight, I'm going to eat with some of the NA folks that are here for Unity Day. 

Daeng is going to hang out and cruse the street scene. She already eat Papaya Som-Tom Salad.

If you would like to read more about Pai just CLICK HERE.

November 22nd-
After a nice meeting I saw what I thought was a toilet seat tree. Look in the tree over Daeng's head. She told me it was the remains of a sky lantern. 

Then we took a walk over the river on this scary bridge.

Than a selfie in the Ting Tong mirror. Ting Tong means crazy in Thai.

Then Daeng made us some Som-Tom Salad in one of the street restaurants.

It's nap time as big dinner and speaker meeting at 6:30 PM.

Before this weekend, we haven't been through Pai since 2009. Here is a little story when we passed through then: CLICK HERE.

It also tells about the gals scamming us for a ride. 

November 23rd - We made it back to Chiang Mai and had dinner with our friends Jay, Knee, Brian and Noochy at THE DUKE'S

I call this picture "The Three What?"

Tomorrow is the trip back home to Mae Sai. 

November 25th - Wow, talk about change, last week on the way to Chiang Mai we stopped at the Motor Vehicle Department in Chiang Rai to see about renewing our driver's licenses before we when to the USA. Mine expires the 18th of December and Daeng's the 1st of January. We were told that Daeng could do her's without any extra work but I would have to go to the immigration office first and file a form..

When we came back on Tuesday we went into the immigrations office here in Mae Sai. The lady we knew told us that was not correct as we needed paperwork from the motor vehicle office first requesting verification of residence. Since she knows us she had Daeng fill out a Certificate of Residence to see it that would help. 

Yesterday, we went to the Chiang Rai Motor Vehicle Office again at 8:00 AM with copies of everything needed. The lady took everything and told me to come back at 3:00 PM to get what was needed at the immigration office. I humbly questioned what was happening and was told: "Everyone has to do this now."

Daeng did apply for her license and while she was watching a one hour video on safety I went to see the doctor for my follow up visit about my back. When i returned at 11:45 AM Daeng had her new license good until 2020. We then went to have lunch and went shopping.

We returned at 2:45 PM and waited about 30 minutes and were given a letter to take to immigration so they can verify I live where I said I live. We hopped in the pick-up truck and drove to Mae Sai Immigration Office.

 We just made it before they closed. I did scare Daeng a little as just after the Mae Sai Checkpoint an older lady crossed the highway in front of us so I had to put on the brakes hard enough to get some tire screeching. There was plenty of time to stop but the tire noise did scare Daeng.

The lady at immigration took the letter and told Daeng that someone would come to the house in the next 2-3 days to make sure I lived there. Daeng told the lady that we really needed it before that as we were leaving early Monday morning for a four month holiday to the USA. 

She said she knew us and would try to have it ready before 1:00 PM tomorrow, Thursday. 

Daegn explained that after we had that I needed to go back to Chiang Rai office, submit her report and watch a safety video at 2:00 PM. That is the last one of the day. The lady nicely said she would try but did not think they could come out to the house and return and fill out the form for us any earlier that 1:00 PM. She would call as soon as it was ready. 

Daeng thanked her and gave the nice lady here telephone number. We will see what happens.

November 26th - To get ready for our trip to the United States, Daeng got up really early this morning and started the laundry. 

At 8:00 o'clock she said: "Come eat breakfast." From the food language, she is happy.

She also cut up some of the 22 pounds of pineapple that we bought yesterday in Chiang Rai for $3.70 USD. It is nice and sweet.

November 27th - While we were waiting for immigration office to call we did some painting.

We went to Bangkok Bank and did some banking, had the oil in my motorbike changed and stopped to buy a windshield recording camera for our car in America.
When we got home we played with Nuy's baby, "Fey". 

Even at 4 months old, Fey loved the monkey that Michael and Charlotte gave us. 

Daeng went back to the immigrations office and the man from immigrations said he would drop off the paperwork we need to renew my drivers license on his way home.

Yea, the man from immigrations just dropped off the letter to the motor vehicle office as he said he would.

Tomorrow morning it's back to Chiang Rai, 60 km south, to get my new 5 year license. I will have to take a vision test, color blind test, reaction test, watch an hour long safety video, pay money and have my picture taken. 
Then, hopefully, they will issue me the new license.

November 27th - Daeng and I just wanted to wish everyone a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving! 

For some reason there are no turkeys, well the kind you eat, here in Thailand. 

I questioned that and Daeng just said: "Suck it up, this is Thailand." She now talks like a California girl.

For some reason it is really busy on the Burma Border today. 

I, almost forget to tell you, we went to Chiang Rai and I took all the tests and was issued a five (5) year license. 

I did have a little trouble with the field of vision test as the lights were very hard to tell the difference between the colors. 

November 28th -  For lunch we are having Som-Tom Papaya salad along with rice and a spice that will burn your face off. 

The sweet Papaya is to cool off your face.

November 29th - Today is a very busy day for us here in Mae Sai, Thailand. 

Besides flying south to start our trip back to the USA, in less than 25 hours, we are throwing a party for over 40 people tomorrow. We are celebrating Tun and Hlong's birthdays. Hlong is 49 tomorrow and has never had a birthday party for her. Tun and Hlong are Daeng's brother and sister-in-law. 

November 30th - The party will start at 4:00 PM with what I call a "Moo Barbeque". "Moo" is Thai word for pork but we will have lots of other things along with chicken, beef, vegetables and other goodies. No, we will not be having dog, this time.

It will be three large rice mats set out in front of your home with three barbeque/soup containers with charcoal to heat them.

Folks sit around and put on what they want and eat direct off the barbeques. It is fun and everyone loves to do it. Cake, candles and singing around 6:00 PM.

Our job is to prepare everything and keep the charcoal coming. Daegn already cut up 16 pounds of pineapple and just left for the big morning market to buy vegetables. 

We will pick up the special birthday cake and meat at Makro early afternoon.

The ladies of the house are working hard to get everything ready for the big party.

It's going to be a big one. I've watched this style party start with just a few guests and grow to standing room only, so to speak. 

The nice part is if we run out of food, which I don't think will happen, we just send out for more fixings.

It looks like it's going to be mostly Akha food, which is very tasty but spicy.

Because of the threat of rain, we put some cardboard down in the covered area and started the party.

A dog did show up but as soon as he realized we were barbecuing he left. 

The food the gals prepared is wonderful.

I defrosted the refrigerator and went to bed. 

November 30th - The party went late last night. Our friends and family can eat and eat and eat.

At the party last night, a Chinese friend was talking about how Obama is acting like a dictator with executive orders. 

I just opened my emails and she had sent me a picture of a dicktater. 

Enough said! 

It is 5:00 AM, we are up, had first cup of high octane coffee and are starting to cover everything to keep the dust off while we are gone for 4 months. 

Driver will pick us up at 8:00 AM for the 60 km south to the airport.

It was a good trip. Jon picked us up at the Bangkok Airport and drove us to the guest house in Pattaya.  

We rested a few days, eat, slept and went to a few meeting with friends. 

December 3rd - I took a nap and went to a meeting. 

Daeng hung out with some of the good looking ladies and ladyboys.

December 4th - We wanted to buy a t-shirt for a special friend so we rented a motorbike to go find the place that has his size.

You can rent a motorbike here for about 150 THB ($5.00 US) a day. 
Daeng said she would drive as I'm a crazy driver. When a female Asian says you are a crazy driver it makes you wonder.

We found it okay and we think this shirt will fit him. They have all kinds of interesting things here, as well.

December 5th - Dropped off my shoes to be repaired and checked out the morning beach goers. 

There are some interesting views at this beach. 

I also stopped by the local, free, outdoor gym.

December 6th - I have been coughing and sneezing so we went to see a doctor. 

She gave me a shot in the butt and a bunch of pills. 
We then went gold shopping but that is another story. 
Oh, cost for doctor, shot and pills was 980 THB, about $30 USD. 

Daeng thought that was a lot but this is Pattaya, 2nd most visited tourist area in Thailand.
December 7th - We went shopping for a special, small, gold container to wear on a chain to hold some of Mom's ashes. 

We found a few but the shops all wanted more than double what they are worth. 

We got tired after about six shops so I went to a meeting with friends. After the meeting Daeng and I had lunch.

After lunch, I went back to one of the gold shops and bargained  some more. I did get the gold piece I wanted. 

We may do Walking Street tonight because we will be in California tomorrow.

December 8th - It was a long trip but it's almost over. Our driver picked us up at 2:00 PM. We stopped halfway to airport and had a little lunch. Everyone was hungry. 

Then plane checkin, airport shopping and wait for the plane as it was an hour late.

In Taiwan we had to walk really fast about 2 kilometers to catch our plane to LA. I broke a sweat but we made it by a few seconds. We were last one on the plane. 

The new 777-300ER is a much quieter plane but has less restrooms that the 747-400.

Immigrations and customs went smooth and we are now in the shuttle van to our home. 

Yea, we sleep in our own bed tonight.

In another posting we will post more about our winter in California. Stay Tuned!