Saturday, October 31, 2015

Home in Mae Sai - October 2015

Please forgive my spelling and punctuation; I'm a plumber and not a English major. Just read and have fun.
You can click on any of the pictures and they become larger.

October 1st, Foey and Daeng getting dress to go shopping.

Two monkeys, or should I say three monkeys at once is a hand full.

October 2nd, I am impressed with Daeng's niece, Foey.

She is 14 months old and climbing stairs by herself.

 I have to laugh at myself as I've been carrying a pocket knife for almost 65 years. 

Yesterday, after sharpening it razor sharp, I cut myself wiping off the sharpening oil.

October 3rd, One of the reasons Daeng stays so skinny is she does this for 30 minutes every morning.

October 4th, It is almost 6:00 AM. We're up and packing for a short, 1-4 days, road trip to Chiang Mai to pick up the two metal cabinets we ordered from Mr. Rawee at Aanonth Furniture two weeks ago.

We left our home in Mae Sai about 7:30 this morning. We had an easy drive with no stops at the four check points between Mae Sai and Chiang Rai.

With a quick stop at a huge hardware/home center to see if they had the fitting I wanted.

In the past I told myself I would not buy here as they are so expensive but if they had the fitting I would break my stance.

They did not have it but this morning there were a lot of employees on Earthquake Watch.

You see things on the road here that just aren't very safe, like riding in the back of a pickup and sitting up on the side of it. TIT

After a stop at a roadside fruit stand we stopped about 18 kilometers after the Chiang Rai cut-off. 

We had breakfast, fried rice with a soft fried egg on top, coffee and apple pie. We love pie!

We also used the restrooms and were back on the road again.  

The trip over the mountains was good. Daeng only got upset with me twice as I made the tires squeal turning corners to fast.

We came into the Chiang Mai are a little after noon. We talked about her brother, Pooie, and decided that we would make a little side trip to see the family. They would probably be home because Pooie and his wife, Lay, aren’t working today.

They were glad to see us. We hung out and talked for about an hour. Pooie and Lay’s 15 year old daughter, Cat, does not have her Thai ID card. 

After talking it over, we are going to pick up Lay, along with Cat’s birth certificate, house book and other papers and go to the government office at 9:00 AM tomorrow and find out what more is needed to get her ID card.

It should be a fun filled morning.

Left to right in the picture are Cat, Pooie, Ger, Daeng and Lay. 

October 5th, We made the trip to Doi Saket and picked up Kat and Lay. We settled into the 60 kilometer trip to the district office that was handling Kat's Thai ID application.

When we arrived, Daeng, Lay and Kat went into the office to see what was going on with Kat's ID.

I went and had an iced coffee. About 45 minutes later they came out to tell me that we could go as the government clerk said they would call Pooie with the stature.

Something is wrong here, Kat was born in Thailand with a Thai Father who has submitted all kinds of paperwork and at age 16 she still does not have a Thai ID Card. I am sure more will be revealed but I am powerless here with helping her.

On the way back we stopped for a BBQ chicken lunch.

When we dropped them off I took a look at the house that was built on the lot next to Pooie. It looked good from the road and that's all I can say about it.

On the way back we found the pipe fitting I needed at Home Pro and meet up with Pim for a massage.

At 6:15 PM I'm off to pick up Jay Slater Sr. for a meeting and dinner at Duke's. 

We had a fun time celebrating Nooch Katasai and Brian Schroeder birthdays at Duke's.

We love cake and birthday songs. Jay Slater Sr. and Knee joined in, also.

Later I laughed at Daeng's smoking jacket.

She doesn't smoke but it was smoke break time a little later in the evening.

October 6th, Even with getting up at 10:00 AM we had a very busy day. 

Our friend Rose Kulab called us around that time to meet her for coffee on her way north to Mae Sot, on the Burma border.

After we talked for about an hour and a half she had to leave to catch her bus. 

Daeng checked out the fishing and we drive a few km to the used equipment store that sells all kinds of used things.

Daeng also posed by the little house that is a shrine for someone who died. I kidded Daeng that the ladder is so the small ghosts can climb up to it, too. 

She didn't think that was funny.

We filled up the fuel tank on our pickup so we would not have to worry about it in the morning.

I dropped off Daeng so she could go shopping and I went to a 2 hour massage.

If you get to Chiang Mai, I highly recommend "Pim". I met her in Mae Sai. She moved here and made the little house, next to her home, into a massage studio. It is very clean and she gives a 2 hour oil massage for 200 THB (about $6.00 USD).

Her place is very hard to find in the north part of Chiang Mai but If you call her she will come get you. Her number is 081-724-5451. 

October 7th, It's morning and time to leave Chiang Mai. We need to pick up the two cabinets, we ordered three weeks ago, on the way out of town.

This is the morning view out our hotel window. 

Last night I did a great meeting and did the last one of my 19 meetings for 19 years clean. 

After the meeting, I got called out by one member that saw me put 600 THB in the basket for $19 US dollars. 

The conversion rate is now about 36 Thai Baht to the dollar so he said I should have put in 684 THB. I told him it was old money that was converted at 31.58 THB to the US Dollar. He just laughed.

I went to a service meeting after the meeting and they will put my contact number on the meeting list as a contact for Mae Sai, Chiang Rai, Thailand. 

Our trip home went pretty smooth yesterday. We left the Mawin Hotel a little after 8:00 AM, stopped and picked up the two metal cabinets for my tools and headed over the mountain.

I laughed at Mr. Rawee, the furniture store owner, as when I asked him how long his hair was he said: "Not very long, comes down to the middle of my back."

We stopped to pee at the hot springs. The charge to use the restroom is 15 cents US. It was the best 15 cents I've spent.

Then it was stop to buy Daeng a new ride, then coffee and pie, buy some fruit at a roadside stand and made it home around 1:30 PM.

We drove by the White Temple but did not stop. 

The cabinets made it in great shape, no scratches or dings.

We unloaded the truck, unpacked and put everything away. 

I was beat, I'm old, so took a shower and went to bed early, about 5:00 PM.

Daeng went for a sauna and a massage.

October 8th, It's raining so we are taking everything out of my tool room; Daeng calls it my junk room.

Then we are going to clean the floor, put in the two new cabinets and put everything back.

Here is a picture of the girls from the hood.

 I told Daeng I needed one more cabinet. She told me she was going to beat me up. 

It's just a little after 1:00 PM and I'm beat. I'm going to shower and take a nap. 

San-la, the massage girl I like and everyone refers to her as my 2nd wife, is coming for a massage at 4:00 PM.

The temperature is only 84 degrees, winter is coming.

Today is Sumo's 13th birthday so we will have to do something to celebrate tonight.

I also included a picture of the sky over Myanmar (Burma) that our friend sent us along with a current picture of our home with all the gates closed.

Here is a link so you can read some of the stories that Sumo is mentioned in: CLICK HERE for SUMO

Also, here is a picture of Sumo that I like. 

She hates it, of course, so I'm the mean Uncle. 

October 10th, It was pretty cool this morning. 

I had to put a long sleeved shirt on to go to the Mae Sai morning market. It must have been at least 68 degrees.

It was fun to visit the morning market and eat a Rollo, some Pa Thong Ko and Thai coffee. 

We do live on the Myanmar (Burma) border. Here is a picture our friend took yesterday overlooking Tachileik, Myanmar.

You can read more by CLICKING HERE.         

This morning we went to Makco and bought things like Washington apples, French's mustard and whole wheat bread.

The Washington State apples were 70 cents US a pound.
By the way, batteries are about half the cost here than the USA.

After shopping, we than stopped for lunch at a new restaurant around the corner from our home. 

Sorry, Daeng says: “Not new.” as was closed almost a year and reopened. The owner went to Seattle, Washington to work at a restaurant cooking, for a while. 

After we ate, we went for a little walk. 

I bought a kids toy for me. It is a plastic "Tokay Gecko" lizard. The owner of the shop had fun kidding me as it was for me and not a kid.

We then rode our bicycles over to our neighbor's 2nd hand shop. Daeng calls it the "many hands shop". He buys containers of used things from Japan. 

His business is doing very well. I bought two white cabinets to go inside our master bedroom wardrobes.

He said he would drop them off to us when he comes home around 5:00 PM. 

The sad part, Daeng's mother just told me that someone dropped off the cabinets we bought. They dropped a drawer and broken it on the corner. 

They just left without saying anything. 

We took the damaged cabinet back and they are going to try and repair it. 

The owner, our neighbor, was very understanding and we think he was a little upset, from the expression on his face, at the delivery person.  

October 12th, I was really hungry this morning. 

We went to the Ban Pa Mueat Morning Market and had Pa Thong Ko, coffee, sticky rice, fried chicken and tea.

It's going to be a cool, cloudy day with no sun but the temperatures is great here, 64 degrees for the low and 75 degrees for the high with 72% humidity.

We love the mountains of northern Thailand.

October 14th, Been pretty quiet here on the border, the rain keeps things in perspective.

Daeng has been cleaning our tiled roof, as it rains. 

I told her I would get some folks from Home Depot (Burma border workers) to do it. She said she likes to do it as it gives her meditation time and she accomplishes something while she is meditating.

She is going to be a good Republican. I can tell as she uses words like "I want to do it myself and accomplish something."

I primed the piping we did Sunday.

I am going back to bed as I could not sleep last night. I thought I was having an appendicitis attack but it turned out it was, I think, just the bad fermented cabbage salad I ate at lunch. 

Daeng even got up, went our into the late evening and bought the Thai equivalent of Pepto-Bismol for me.

She is one of the most caring people I know. I am grateful we married.

October 15th, Daeng is almost finished with cleaning the tile roof. 

I told her my right arm hurt from sympathy pains. 

Here are a few pictures of the shopping areas on the left, Thai side of the border crossing. 

They were taken by our friend. He is a great photographer.

Other than knock off (copy stuff) items, I think you can buy things cheaper on the Thai side.

I photoshopped the sign. 

The "many hands shop", as Daeng calls it, brought back our cabinet that was dropped when delivered.

They did a good job. 

I probably am the only one that can see it because I know where it's at.

We love Thailand.

Daeng says when she finishes the other roof she will do this one. This one has a roof over it.
This roof is where cloths were hung to dry when it rains.

A few folks have asked: "Why don’t we have a dryer?"

We have looked all over Thailand for a gas (LPG) dryer, no natural gas here, but they are not available in domestic (household) models.

The only ones we have found are the large stainless steel commercial dryers.

We can get electric dryers but they take about three times longer to dry than our gas dryer at home in the USA. I think it is because they don’t get as hot as gas dryers. 

Tun, Daeng’s brother, has an electric dryer in his laundry for rainy times and, in most cases, the clothes dry faster in the sun than in the dryer. 

Anyway, I like the smell of the clothes when they dry in the sun so not a big deal. We just wait for a sunny day to do the laundry. 

October 16th, After breakfast and a little shopping, Daeng cleaned our master bath and I finished painting the piping we installed on Sunday.

No, that is not an Obama t-shirt.

This concrete floor is now ready to be tiled. The man we we would like to do it is sick but says he will do it when he feels better.

We have several projects for him, remodel the 3rd floor bath and put in western toilet, tile the third floor balcony, tile the steps to the roof and tile this floor. 

October 19th, We were gone for a couple of days but can’t say more than that.  If you see me, in person, I would be happy to tell you more.

We are having trouble readjusting to the "Land of Smiles".

Daeng says: “Some chicken feet soup might help.”

October 21st, I am again reminded that although both of my brains still think I am 18 years old, my body is 73 years old.

I don’t want to gross anyone out but for the last few days I have had a stomach pain. I knew it was a blockage of my small intestine. It had the same pain as being constipated but an enema produced nothing solid.

 By the way to keep this light, I love enemas as it gives me a feeling of accomplishment.

I started taking stool softeners and laxatives that can be had across the counter here, two days ago.

Yesterday evening, about six o’clock, I started running a fever, sweating and shaking from chills. Daeng was very worried so she called the ambulance to take me to Kasemrad Hospital.

When we got there they did all the vital signs and wanted to transport me to the hospital 60 km south. My blood pressure was high, I had a fever and they told Daeng they though I needed an operation.

Daeng and I both said “NO!”, all I had a blockage in my small intestine. The only thing I was worried about was appendicitis. The doctor that spoke English again said I should go to the hospital in Chiang Rai. Daeng, in Thai, said again: “No, take an x-ray of stomach area first.”

To shorten the story, we did the x-rays and when the x-rays were done I said: “I need to use the rest room.” Guess what and I’m glad to say, all the laxatives worked. I think it must have been due to all the moving around instead of just lying in bed.

I came out of the restroom and the doctor showed me the blockage on the x-ray. It was plain to see. Even I could see it. I tried to capture the image from the x-ray CD without success so I am posting an illustration of exactly what it looks like.

Then the doctor proceeded to tell me that now, that I am older, I need to watch what I eat. She also said I need to eat lots of fiber. She also told me I might have eaten some contaminated food. She may be correct as we had some chicken on Sunday that did upset my stomach a few hours after I eat it.

In any case, the conversation of going south to the hospital stopped.

I am so very proud of Daeng as Thai folks take whatever a doctor says as if there are no exceptions or alternatives. Daeng, at several times, told the doctor it was an intestinal blockage. The great part is that was correct.

They gave us a free ride home in the ambulance. Total costs were 2,306 THB (about $66.00 USD) which for everything, including three x-rays, doctor and the 200 THB (about $6.00 USD) ambulance fee.

We love Thailand! 

October 22th, Did I mention we went to the dentist here in Mae Sai and she is going to make a 3 tooth bridge for the top right side of my mouth?

Cost 15,000 THB (about $426.00 USD). It's not pure gold but will work just fine.

She did not what to remove the cap on one of my molars as it is pure gold. 

I laughed and told her it was okay as it was over 35 years old and she could give it back to me. I'll put her picture in it and wear it around my neck.

We both laughed.  She is a fun lady!

October 23rd, I watched Daeng skin the grapefruit this morning. 

The grapefruit here are very thick skinned so it is a little work.

The meat of the fruit is a little coarser then the USA version but sweet.

Our friend Brian said: “It is Pomelo, same family as the grapefruit.”

It was fun to watch.

October 24th, Our friend, Cola, came by to make sure I was okay and brought us some Chinese fruit.

We don't know the name but it tastes good. I’m told they may be persimmons.

It was good to see and talk with him. 

It is party time at this little border town. 

There are five days of shopping and partying. 

Folks will come from all over northern Thailand and as far south as Bangkok for this.  

We're staying close to home. 

October 25th, I am still feeling poorly. My appetite is poor and I have a low temperature (99-101) a lot of the time. I eat and poop okay now but wake us wet from sweating while sleeping. I am taking antibiotics to try and kill the intestinal bacteria. I have no stomach area pain. If the fever does not stop by Tuesday or Wednesday we will do to the hospital 60 km south and have a camera put down through my stomach and intestines to try see what is wrong.

Our friend also brought us grapes from China. 

They are big, as you can see by the size of my thumb. They are good.

They look like the grapes from upstate New York but don't have the really sweet Concord grape taste. 

October 26th, I'm still feeling punie but decided that Daeng and I would take a neighborhood walk instead of just staying in bed.

We looked at the new, less than a year old, apartment houses that one of the neighbor's built.

We talked with a few neighbors and looked at the new house that is being built next to us.

It looks like it will have a swimming pool.

No work today as today and tomorrow are Buddhist Holidays.

When we got back to home I decided I would go a little dirt work on the palms.

I am doing some transplanting of the ground cover. We will see how it works. 

October 27th, I think I am going to make it, although I was worried for a while. I took the last antibiotic pill this morning. 

In about a half hour I am going to go get a haircut and shave. I said shave as the barber here cuts every hair on my head, just at different lengths.

Then at 10:30 AM, the dentist is going to remove the two crowns and do the work for the impressions to make the three tooth bridge for the top right side of my mouth.

Then it's rest until 5:00 PM and I am going with Daeng to the pharmacist we like. Here the pharmacist replaces the family doctor. If you are sick you go to the pharmacist and if she or he can't help they send you to a clinic or hospital.

This lady was trained in the USA and speaks excellent English.

Got haircut, bought milk, stopped at post office and home for an American breakfast.

Life today is good so far. Next stop is dentist at 10:30 AM.

Well, when we got to the dentist the office was closed, we were 3 minutes early. 

I opened the unlocked security door and we sat down on the steps to wait. In a few minutes an older lady opened the door and said the dentist would be there ate 4:30 PM.

We told her our appointment story and gave her our card to call us. 

We went for chicken soup for lunch. The chicken drum sticks are for me. 

After the confusion on the time, I guess 10:30 AM and 4:30 PM sound somewhat alike in Thai, I spent 1 1/2 hours in the dentist chair. 

She removed the 2 crowns, prepped the teeth, made impressions and put in a temporary bridge.

If the final product looks as good as the temporary I will be a happy boy, all for less than $430 USD.

I also learned that it is hard to do a "selfie" of your back teeth.

After the work Daeng and I kidded about how pretty the girl at the desk was. 

I'm blaming the high blood pressure on her. I don't think it was working correctly as it was not big enough to go around my arm correctly. 

Oh, the dentist says: "I am smiling." 

October 29th, Great news this morning, a while back Daeng told me it I lost 25 more pounds, I could be on top.

This morning, I made that goal.

When I showed her she said: "This is Thailand so it's kilograms, not pounds."

That okay, I like the bottom but I am going to stay on my diet. A new goal of 95 kilograms is a good goal. 

We have bank accounts with Bangkok Bank because they have an office in New York City so they are a US bank and easy to transfer funds.

We also decided to open a Foreign Currency Deposit Account (FCD) with Bangkok Bank so we could keep US dollars in it.

Yesterday, we went to our branch here in Mae Sai to open it. This branch had never done one so we filled out all the forms and left.

This morning "Mai" called and said everything was approved and to come in and bring the minimum deposit. We did and finished all the paperwork for internet banking, etc.

"Mai" was fun to work with and although is took some time and many phone calls to the main branch in Bangkok, she always kept a smile.

By the way, I did this with my new "Yellow Book" and USA Passport. I did not need any letters from immigration or anything else.

The Yellow Book made it easy. 

Here is something interesting about where we live, according to LBN-INVESTIGATES "Sushi" started here.

"Sushi did not originate in Japan but in the rice-growing region of Southeast Asia over 2,000 years ago along the Mekong River. The technique then spread to other regions, specifically appearing in Japan around the 8th century AD." 

October 31st, We want to wish you all a very Happy Halloween.  You can read about the "Scary Pumpkin" by CLICKING HERE.  

Also, what would Halloween be without a Full Moon from the Old Witch!

November will be an interesting month. Because of our change in plans forced by Thai Immigration, I need to go to the Holy City of Pattaya and have the crown put on the implant I had done last month. 

Daeng told me to go alone, party all I can and come home. She said she will nurse me back to health as I don't have many trips left. 

Again, Happy Halloween!