Hosers’n’Tots

This past weekend was basically split into three equal parts: the first involved an abundance of testosterone and hosers, and the second involved an abundance of estrogen/progesterone/prolactin/insertyourfavouritefemalehormonehere and babies. During the third part, we were basically comatose, which is always a good time but difficult to describe, so we’ll just leave that part out.

Part 1: Samut Prakan’s finest attraction: Taco Lake

This blog may have somehow given you the impression that T-bone likes doing Stoopid Schtuff on a regular basis. You would not be wrong (for further evidence, see this post or this post or this post or this post). In fact, I strongly suspect that this is why he married me, but I digress. T-bone’s favourite Stoopid place to go in the Bangkok area is Taco Lake. When I first heard of it, I started dreaming of Mexican food, but sadly, Taco Lake doesn’t appear to have anything to do with its tortilla wrapped namesake. Rather, it is all about wakeboarding.

IMG_2706

T-bone is also All. About. Wakeboarding.

The lake has a bizarre/ingenious rope system that runs a bit like a t-bar at a ski hill. Wakeboarders wait on the edge of the dock until their rope is pulled, and if they can manage to hang on, they can ride around the lake until they either fall off or give up.

IMG_2708

The pulley system that miraculously keeps on pulling.

IMG_2713

Lining up for their turn (and not at all weirded out that a pregnant farang is taking their picture).

IMG_2711

T-bone in his element.

IMG_2715

Not sure if this one was a “give up” or a “fall off”

Every time Todd comes home from Taco Lake, he has a limp in his step and a gleam in his eye, and I can tell that he is already dreaming of his next trip. We have agreed that after Bannock is born, he will be responsible for all care-giving/breastfeeding duties (only fair since I am incubating her), so he decided he’d better fit in one more wakeboarding session while the gettin’ is good. Stoopid Schtuff is the most fun when done with Stoopid People friends, and it didn’t take much for Todd to convince his entire math department to join him.

IMG_2716

The hoser math department. Motto: We dig numbers’n’neon.

Part 2: Bobbleheads galore

After Taco Lake, Saturday was a bit of a shock to the system. In the morning, BAMBI, Bangkok’s biggest mothers and babies group, put on a massive garage sale of baby/kid stuff. Partly because baby gear is so expensive in Bangkok (crazy import taxes), and partly because my deeply entrenched value system tells me to “never buy anything new if you can buy it used and never buy anything used if you can find it in a back alley/dumpster,” I knew this was a sale I needed to hit up. Todd had to supervise Saturday detention, so other than the two dozen friends I bumped into and the ten million members of the general public at the sale, I was utterly alone.

IMG_2720

This is only a small corner of the sale: I couldn’t fit the whole scene in the frame.

Clearly, this was the place to be for anyone in Bangkok who has ever spawned, is preparing to spawn, or thinks that they may spawn at any point in the near or distant future. Honestly, it was all a bit terrifying. I had a few items that I was searching for, and I ended up finding those, plus a few things that I forgot I needed. Most of my purchases have names that are neither English nor any other identifiable language: ie: “Boppy” “Bumbo,” etc. This is why parents end up speaking gibberish to their babies. After 1.5 hours of the feeding frenzy, I called it a day, because I needed to make myself semi-presentable for the second baby-centred item on the agenda: my friend Nicole’s baby shower.

Nicole used to be a teacher at our school, and is the mother of a two-year old. She is one of the first people I went to for advice after I found out I was expecting. Turns out that she was/is too, and depending on when they decide to make their grand entrance, our daughters will be born just a few weeks apart. That’s where the similarities end, though, because she is a stylish belly dancer who wears clothes and makeup that actually coordinate.

IMG_2722

The lovely mother/mother-to-be

I dig mini men, but I have to say that baby girls are way more fun to shop for. Nicole’s baby received the usual explosion of pink frills, with a bit of purple thrown in to mix things up. I didn’t even attempt to be original with my gift: my cute reflex has officially overridden my gag reflex these days. It was an adorable afternoon.

IMG_2726

The four pregnant peeps at Nicole’s shower. From L-R: 36 weeks, 34 weeks, 32 weeks, 21 weeks. Note how we have all succumbed to the allure of “sensible shoes.”

On Sunday, we went to church. The rest of the day is extremely hazy – I think it involved McDonalds and a gory action movie, but I can’t be sure…

A Tale of Two Cities

Ok, so the title of this post is a little grandiose. T-bone and I are contemplating leaving the pristine swamps and rural flavuh of Samut Prakan (a municipal district located next to Bangkok) for the bright lights of Bangkok. Sometimes, we like to delude ourselves and pretend that we currently live in Bangkok, but any one of our visitors would tell you that this is a bald-faced lie. Let’s face it: we live in the stix (for a glimpse of our apartment, check out this post). The school year and our apartment lease will be wrapping up in a few months, and it’s time for us to decide where we want to live next year. We could stay put, or we could embrace change/seize the day/follow our destiny/fill-in-the-blank-new-age-crap and move. Let’s look at the pros and cons of both options:

1. Stay in our Samut Prakan apartment

Pros:

– located only one block away from school

– rent is cheaper than in the city

– waking up to the sound of birds and monks chanting behind our house

– spacious (2 beds 2 baths) apartment

– local “flavour”

Cons:

– located only one block away from school (you can never get away)

– our building management cannot for the life of them figure out how to correctly calculate our utility bills

– having students stroll by (some of them live in the building) while you’re by the pool (ie: in your bathing suit) is overrated

– getting into the city/anywhere interesting is a s-l-o-g

DSC01095

An example of local flavour

2. Move into the city (Udom Suk area)

Pros:

– all our friends are doin’ it

– on the BTS (sky train) line = easy access to Bangkok

– decreased likelyhood of being creeped on by students while swimming

– a chance to actually experience Bangkok

– an easier base for visitors to explore from (and easier for us to ship them off on their own adventures)

Cons:

– rent is higher

– we would inevitably live in a smaller apartment (fine for day-to-day, but lame for visitors)

– the commute to school is much longer – not ridiculous, but definitely longer than 5 minutes

– less wildlife/calm surroundings

– apartment management is an unknown – our current management botches our bills, but they do respond to our concerns

We’re fairly certain what our decision will be, but I thought I’d throw it out to blog readers – what would you do if you were in our shoes? Stay put in charming-but-dull-but-cheap Samut Prakan? Or hitch your wagon to a star and move into The Big B?