Thailand

Our life is weird.

Exhibit A: Michael and I are in Thailand right now. We’ve been here a few weeks, busy weeks and (mostly) long days filled with meetings and class, but as of yesterday, we’re taking a few days of much-appreciated vacation before heading back to CQ this weekend. Glory!

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This is what it looked like when we left our home city…. and when we arrived in Thailand.

Our first week was spent in Bangkok, a city about which I have very mixed feelings. It’s big and cosmopolitan and has lots of delicious food options (Thai and Western) and much, much less polluted than our home… but there’s also a dirty, grimy feeling to it. Not physical dirt (although there’s some of that), but a general seaminess and ugly feeling of exploitation, as it seems every alley is filled with shops offering massages and bars spilling out old white men and beautiful Thai girls not far out of their teens. While the sunshine makes me happy, I can’t help but hate so much of what I see around me.

Still, we were thankful for warmth and to have a chance to visit Bumrungrad, an amazing hospital in Bangkok that feels more like a visit to the Model UN than a trip to the doctor. I’ve never seen so many women in burkas and heard so many different languages as in the waiting room at this hospital. Apparently it’s a medical tourism hotspot for all of Asia (the world??) and we were not the only ones taking advantage of Thailand healthcare. (All is well, we were just taking advantage of the first-rate medical care while we had the option.)

At any rate, we were too busy during our week in Bangkok for very much but quick dinner excursions to grab fruit shakes and Pad Thai (yum!). The best part of the week by far was catching up with our friends Matt, Kelly, and their little one Barrett.

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Out for dinner with Kelly and Amanda.

Matt was in town on business and Kelly is allowed to come on one international trip per year, so she chose this one and we were the lucky recipients of their company. (They stayed at the same hotel where we were so we saw a good deal of them during meals and our free afternoon.) Kelly and Matt were in my city–dating/engaged but not yet married–the first year I lived in East Asia and it does my heart so much good to catch up with them. They are the kind of friends that make you laugh the whole time you are together… a rare gift but a precious one.

It was especially fun to visit because they now make their home in Chattanooga, just a couple of miles from where Michael and I will live this summer when having Baby Boy Gregory. Kelly is pregnant with their second, another boy, and due a month before we are. I am way excited about more time with them this summer in Tennessee.

There’s more to catch up on but this is a free day, the sun is out and my Kindle is calling, so this little blog must wait. I’m off!

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