October was one of my more active months in recent memory despite the fact that I didn’t work at all during the majority of the month. I’ve been an hourly employee for my teaching agency the past three-and-a-half years so I don’t earn any income if I don’t work. Luckily, my savings cover those rare lean months of the between-term school breaks but that tenuous existence is about to change in a big way. More on that in a bit. As my “forced” holiday coincided with the annual Phuket Vegetarian Festival, I took full advantage of the time off and participated as much as I could. Both during and following the festival, I finally started exploring the many interesting cafes and restaurants that have been sprouting up all around the Old Town area.
The past month has been one where my ENTIRE focus has been on work with very little leisure time. But today marks the first day of an indefinite period of no income (AKA, a holiday”) as the school term finally finished yesterday. How am I spending this first day of vacation? By traveling to my company in order to turn in grades and time sheets and to try and install computer updates while connected to reliable wi-fi. I am also trying to write this month’s edition of “Monthly Meanderings” completely from scratch; usually, I compile notes for each section during the last week or so of the month. I’ve just been too busy with testing, etc.
August saw my return to high school and I’m still trying to adjust. My leisure time went from “perfect” to “will I ever have free-time again”? September will be even busier but I should be able to take a lengthy holiday starting the second week of October. At least the weather has largely cooperated; the mornings and evenings have been relatively cool with only the rare thunderstorm.
In the past, I’ve blogged about the lost art of writing letters but never really put it to the test. Inspired partly by last spring’s BBC article I’ve decided to take up the challenge of writing and mailing at least one item during each day in February. This is the fourth annual Month of Letters but my first year of participation; I’ve decided that my … Continue reading A Month Of Letters
The beginning of a New Year brings the traditional “year in review” post on blogs all over the world. Thus far, I’ve managed to avoid such an annual wrap-up as I’m not certain it serves much of a purpose. Now that I’m blogging much more, and am on the verge of several major changes in my life, I feel that I should finally make an attempt to look back on the year past before moving forward.
The year just begun – 2015 – promises to be a significant one for many reasons. Not only does it mark the tenth year anniversary of my arrival in Thailand but also the fiftieth anniversary of my birth. In Southeast Asia, there has been a battle cry of sorts – “Are you ready for 2015?” — for several years now as the Asian Economic Community comes into full affect with English as its official language. Am I ready, indeed…
Another year older, another year wiser? I have to admit that I’m a bit confused – is this the Year of the Sheep or the Year of the Goat. Some breeds of goats and sheep do look similar (the tails being the usual giveaway) but they aren’t exactly the same animal. Most websites detailing the Chinese zodiac (including Wikipedia) seem to be going the goat route, a few like the much cuter sheep, and others are saying they are the same. With the stamps marking the Lunar New Year that I’ve seen so far, most are calling it the Year of the Sheep but the United States Postal Service and Hong Kong Post are both declaring it the Year of the Ram!
Every year, I make a list of improvements that I want to work on during the forthcoming twelve months. By the first week of January, these “resolutions” are all but forgotten. Last year, I even made a resolution to not make any more resolutions! I didn’t keep that one, either. So, in 2015, I’ve decided I’ll make a list of a few easy-to-keep goals but to call them “suggestions” rather than resolutions. Perhaps that will work. Probably not.
It took a couple of years of packages that never arrived and frustrations over extremely high shipping costs to convince my sister and I that annual holiday exchanges between Kansas and Thailand were more trouble than they were worth. Since 2008 or so, the majority of our exchanges have been the online variety.
But every once in a while, I’m shocked by some morsel in the morning mail delivery. Whatever it may be, it always reaffirms my belief that my sister is the smartest and most thoughtful person currently living (having inherited those qualities from our dearly-departed mother). This year, Marilyn truly outdid herself…
Today I enjoyed the second of two straight days off due to student cancellations. I was able to spend some rare time off relaxing and even did a bit of Christmas shopping for myself. I’ve been extremely busy with various projects over the past few weeks and the rest of the ten days remaining until Christmas will be just as busy if not more so. In fact, my next day off will be the 26th of December (yes, I will be working both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day). I cancelled my lessons for Boxing Day because it is the 10th anniversary of the Indian Ocean tsunami and I intend to mark the day in a couple of different ways.
Today, the 7th of December, is Pearl Harbor Day – the anniversary of the attack on the U.S. military bases in Hawaii, which led to America’s entry into the Second World War. It was, as President Franklin D. Roosevelt (a fellow philatelist) declared, “A date which will live in infamy.”