Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday Funnies


Hi,

Light mist teased Chiang Rai today.  We came so close to having rain.  Our travels took us north of town and to the heart of things at the post office.  This afternoon we had a visit from Tatt's teacher.

This week's 'Zany Day' tune didn't stump everyone, but almost.  Two people knew the group and 'Cool Points' to Eileen for knowing it was "The Crunge" by Led Zeppelin.  The song makes references to the style of James Brown.  Now you know.  For 'Old School Friday' we travel back to 1969 and a hit by a group who might wear masks to hide their faces:
"If I were a rich man, I'd spend every dime just to prove to you that I want you to be mine.  If I were a poet, I'd write lots of beautiful poems.  The words would come from the depth of my heart, to express my love for you, darlin'.  Oh, but __ __ __ __ __ and I don't know how to show you, that __ __ __ __ __ and I don't know how to tell you that I love you, oh I love you..."  Hint: The singer is proclaiming that he's nobody special, but he's in love.  Hmm

These days, going to Makro or anywhere north of the Super Highway bridge is an adventure.  There is a repaving project going on which has taken one complete side of the Super Highway away.  That means that north and southbound traffic is down to one lane each way and the two major intersections have blinking red lights as you enter the highway.  I have learned enough of the territory to know how to work around all of this.  This morning's trip to Makro went off without a hitch. 

The main post office in Chiang Rai is right on the edge of the market district.  It's a busy, two story building with about eight parking spaces for cars.  We had mail that had to be sent 'Registered' which meant we had to go to the main branch.  I dropped Lisa off and slowly crept through the lot and back onto the street just in time to get a parking place.  Inside the P.O. there was lots of activity.  They have a package window where you can buy a whole kit for mailing something bigger than a letter.  They help you pick the right size and then sell you the box, string, tape and a label for a very small amount of money.  Upstairs they have the windows for doing special postage.  There is a machine for getting a number that is not expat friendly.  It's all in Thai and one wouldn't even know what it's for without the help of a stranger.  I also noticed a little amulet shop at the top of the stairs.  Just another sign that you are not in Kansas anymore.

I mentioned earlier this week that there was a BMW display and showroom at Central Plaza.  Seeing is believing so here a photo of portable plushness at it's best:

BMWs on sale at the mall.  We liked the little brown number

This afternoon Boot informed us that Tatt had called to say that his teacher would be bringing him home so she could see where he lived.  She also mentioned that there was a paper in his room from the school and it was something good.  The teacher arrived with Tatt and a student teacher.  Before they came into the house we posed for pictures on the front steps.  Then we sat in the living room and she interviewed us with Boot's help.  We learned from her that Tatt is a very special student with great opportunity and they hope he makes the school famous.  We also found out that he wants to study logistics at the university so he can design medical devices.  Didn't see that one coming.  The whole visit was very cordial and we really liked his teacher.  She is visiting all of her student's homes.  That's pretty amazing.  The paper that Tatt received was an award for a poem he wrote about the story of his school's symbol.  After his teacher left he and Daku ran off to his room.  Such buddies.

Have a Wonderful WeekEnd.    Time for more 'Funnies'.

                 Peace,
                            Danny

More Hotel Notices:

On the menu of a Polish hotel:
Salad a firm's own make; limpid red beet soup with cheesy
dumplings in the form of a finger; roasted duck let loose;
beef rashers beaten up in the country people's fashion.

Outside a Hong Kong tailor shop:
Ladies may have a fit upstairs.

In a Bangkok dry cleaner's:
Drop your trousers here for best results.

Outside a Paris dress shop:
Dresses for street walking.

In a Rhodes tailor shop:
Order your summers suit. Because is big rush we will execute
customers in strict rotation.

In a Zurich hotel:
Because of the impropriety of entertaining guests of the
opposite sex in the bedroom, it is suggested that the lobby
be used for this purpose.


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Fly


Hi,

Dark clouds hung over Chiang Rai for most of the day.  There were occasional shafts of sunlight, and still no rain.  How strange that we'd be wishing for rain.  Even weirder is the fact that we're in the rainy season and it's not raining.  Hmm.  It was a busy day anyway.

It seems that the 'Zany Day' song has thrown some of you for a loop.  If you're at all familiar with The Godfather of Soul, then you should recognize the tongue-in-cheek references in this tune by a group from across the pond.
"Excuse me.  Oh, will you excuse me?  I'm just tryin' to find the bridge... Has anybody seen the bridge?  (Have you seen the bridge?)  I ain't seen the bridge!  (Where's that confounded bridge?)"  Hint:  Hard to give a hint to a made up word, but I can tell you it isn't grunge.

This morning I made a point of checking in with Tatt to see the results of his craftsmanship for Teacher Day.  He had picked flowers and leaves from the garden to make a gift for his teacher.  The result was a beautiful cone-shaped arrangement with a border of folded leaves.  I still can't figure out how he did it.  I may ask him to show me some day.  I thought you'd like to see it.

                  Tatt's Gift for 'Teacher Day'

The big plan for the day was to go to Central Plaza and appeal once again to the young man at customer service.  We got to the mall as soon as it opened and marched down to the 3BB desk.  On the way we passed a very elegant display of BMWs, that included a little reception area with couches.  It was like a mini showroom.  The guy at 3BB made some calls and set up another appointment.  This time I let him know how slow things were with numbers from a speed test. We left him and crossed the aisle to Power Buy, a place that has every kind of appliance you can think of.  We got a new modem/router with the latest technology and promptly went back to 3BB for all the numbers we'd need to connect it.  So far it remains a mystery as far as the 'simple installation' goes.  For the moment, the old system is working but barely.

After lunch I dashed off for my coffee date with Siam.  It turns out that the experience he was anxious to share with me was the 9 days he spent as a monk at the temple on top of a hill.  There is a tradition that one year after the death of a son's mother, he goes into the monk hood for a retreat.  This is what Siam did with the help of a friend who is a senior monk.  He was laughing when he described his first morning, but he said it wasn't funny at the time.  They wake up at 3am, eat a small portion of food and then begin a day of meditation and study.  To him it felt like being in the military, very strict.  At one point he was meditating in what he called 'sets'.  A set consisted of one hour of seated meditation, one hour standing, and one hour walking.  He finally worked up to several days of three sets.  We discussed many aspects of his experience and how he feels now that it's over.  We sat for over 2 hours, talking and laughing and understanding things we hadn't quite realized before.  I'll meet with him next week for more coffee and talk.

Now it's time to go back to Wimbledon and watch the tennis.  Eventually I'll get back to playing with wires and button, trying to make the red light turn green.  (555)  Oh joy.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.

                        Peace,
                                   Danny

"When you come to the end of all the light you know,
and it's time to step into the darkness of the unknown,
faith is knowing that one of two things shall happen:
Either you will be given something solid to stand on
or you will be taught to fly."
~Edward Teller

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Laughter


Hi,

Today was another of those dark cloudy days with no rain.  That didn't mean there wasn't 'sunshine' in the day.  There was a massage, long talks with two friends, and more volleyball and tennis.

Many of you knew that The Beatles sang "Hello, Goodbye" and that makes me happy.  It's time for a 'Zany Day' tune:
"I wanna tell you 'bout my good thing.  I ain't disclosing no names but, he sure is a good friend and!  I ain't gonna tell you where he comes from, no!  If I tell you, you won't come again.  Hey! "  Hint:  It's by a group named for a sort of blimp thing, and it's a tribute to an icon.  The title is not sung in the song.

When I arrived at the house after my massage this morning, our friend Johan was there.  He had come by to see how the pool was doing after restarting our salt-water chlorinator.  We always end up having interesting conversations about life in Thailand.  Today's discussion centered around tales of the internot and how to deal with it.  It seems that everyone has a story and is more than willing to share.  Knowing it happens to others doesn't make it go any better, but at least I know they're not picking on me.  (555)

The culprits at the center of all our complaining failed to show up today.  They were due at 2pm but never appeared and the phone was turned off.  Tomorrow we're going back to Central Plaza and be a little more emphatic about the situation.  

It's time for a little mental health break.  Time to breath in good thoughts and relax by the river at a popular coffee house:

  The Mekok River from Chivit Thamma Da (The Simple Life)

Every Wednesday afternoon Lisa has a Thai lesson with our friend Amber.  Today Chalit brought Amber to the house. He came upstairs and we talked for the hour of the lesson.  We had a great time talking about the topic of the day as well as the evolution of Chiang Rai as we see it.  I learned a lot about how things are done here, and how people deal with traditions without question.  Our conversations are interesting because he has lived in the U.S. and has formed some opinions and principles of his own.  We compare notes on what we see and feel living here today and it's stimulating.

Tomorrow I have a coffee date with my friend Siam.  We haven't talked in a long time and he wants to tell me about a retreat experience he just had.  He teaches art to children and their parents once a week and designs and makes bamboo furniture.  

Thursday is also 'Teacher Day'.  That is the day that students show their gratitude and respect for their teachers by giving them special gifts.  Tatt is busy making a floral arrangement with a candle and incense for his teacher.  

Looks like a Wacky Wednesday.

                    Peace,
                               Danny

"Laughter is the shortest distance between two people."
~Victor Borge

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Test


Hi,

If you like to take pictures of clouds, then Chiang Rai is the place to be.  Today there have been more variations on the theme than I could imagine.  From one window there is blue sky, from the other side of the house it's dark with the promise of rain.  I've decided to change the name of the thing that sends email to: The Internot.  Still not working right.

There were lots of correct answers to the 'Easy Monday' song.  Just in case you missed it, or need help, here's more:
"You say 'yes', I say 'no'.  (I say 'yes', but I may mean 'no).  You say 'stop', I say 'go, go, go'.  (I can stay still it's time to go).  Oh, oh no...."  Clue: I think yesterday's clue wrapped that part up, but the two words of the title are the most common greetings, in either direction, in the English language, I think.  Now you're pondering what I just said.

The guys from 3BB were supposed to come to the house this morning.  They didn't come and the tech didn't answer his phone.  One can only conclude that he might have been avoiding us.  (555)  Now it's on for tomorrow.  I was reading an article about researchers who can twist beams of light to transmit data at up to 2.56 terabits per second.  Broadband cable supports around 30 megabits per second, which is way faster than the phone line used to be.  We've been promised 5 Mbps but we are nowhere near that these days.  Oh, life in the sticks, I mean small city.  

After Lisa's massage we went into town.  Chiang Rai really gets busy in the morning.  On Bus Station street it's a combination of travelers coming and going, and merchants moving goods.  The buses are used to ship lots of items so there are always lots of trucks and cars dropping off packages.  We passed by all this on our way to the pet supply store.  They recently modernized their system with a computer and a barcode reader.  Pet supply stores do an interesting thing with repackaging product.  They will take a giant bag of kibble and put it into smaller bags.  They do it right in the open, complete with scales, bag sealers.  It makes sense, but it struck me as odd the first time I realized what was happening.  If you live in a small dwelling with your pet, you may not have room or money for a large bag of food.  

The dogs are really into patterns.  One that has evolved recently is BamBam visiting us by the edge of the pool.  She's usually out in the yard when we're in the water and she always comes over and gives us a big smile.  If we go to the side she will sit and hold out her paw with the biggest grin on her face.  I'd never seen a dog smile until we got BamBam.  Today you get to see her winning smile.

                          Smiling BamBam

This evening we went around the corner to the new '7' to pay our utility bills.  We've started referring to 7-11 as '7' like the Thais do and it's fun.  We always laugh when we do it.  The logo on the sign has the number 7 and the word 'eleven', but since most people don't read English, all they see is '7'.  Makes sense to me.

Have a Happy Tuesday.

                    Peace,
                               Danny

"The true test of character is not how much we know how to do,
but how we behave when we don't know what to do."
~John Holt

Monday, June 25, 2012

Venture


Hi,

Things were pretty mellow in Chiang Rai this weekend.  We hit the usual shopping spots for supplies, swam a bit, and watched the European Grand Prix from Spain.  

The 'Old School Friday' tune was "What's Your Name" by Don & Juan.  Now you know.  Once again, it's time for 'Easy Monday' and I'll try to be kind.  "You say yes, I say no.  You say stop, and I say go, go, go.  Oh no..."  Clue: The title is in two words, about coming, and going.  Salutations from four guys from across the pond.

We began our weekend with a Saturday morning trip to Central Plaza.  I went to Boomerang Music to look for a CD of a group I like.  It turned out that the K-Otic CD from '08 was too old to stock or order.  That's why everyone in town laughs when I ask about it.  At least now I know.  One of the most frustrating things here is not being able to know who's making the music I'm hearing.  I guess it's not just in Thailand either.  Stores all over the planet pipe in music from satellite feeds in an endless stream.  No one knows who is performing what.  After a few productive stops we went home.  On this trip we didn't see anyone we knew.  

The entire weekend has been an internet roller-coaster ride.  It has fallen back into the same pattern as before.  It may be a little worse.  They are coming back again in the morning and I can't wait to see what happens.  This evening I'll probably resort to tethering my phone to my laptop in order to send you this message.  Ain't technology grand?

The big news Sunday was the call from Jaffee telling us that he had posted Lisa's AseanTV interview (from her Chiang Mai exhibit in March) on Facebook.  We got the Youtube link and now I share it with you:


We went to the Night Bazaar in the evening and met our friends Chalit and Amber for dinner.  We always have fun hanging out with them.  Lots of 'creative' conversation mixed with good food and laughter makes for a great night out.  Chalit told us all about the worms he's raising.  He has several different kinds and some are in his mom's garden and some are in a compost heap he built.  Very interesting stuff, from a distance.  We may try some worms in our gardens to enrich the soil. 

The photo below is one of the more sophisticated machines that I see in the countryside.  When all the parts are unfolded and churning and turning it looks quite amazing.  The first time I saw one on a trailer, I thought it was a carnival ride. 

             A colorful combine machine all folded up.

We ended our weekend watching the Formula One race from Valencia, Spain.  It was a very exciting race with lots of surprises.  Now it's on to tennis and the Wimbledon Championships.  During nap time we're all into women's volleyball. 
All of that should keep us busy until the Olympics begin.  (555)

Have a Great Week.

                   Peace,
                              Danny

"The vision must be followed by the venture.
It is not enough to stare up the steps -
We must step up the stairs."
~Vance Havner

Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday Funnies


Hi,

Chiang Rai had another day with heavy cloud cover all day.  We had a brief bit of sun in the afternoon and then a 10 minute downpour.  It was a day of road trips and gallery updates.  

Well, Christopher was the only reader to get Cool Points for knowing "Dr. Funkenstein" by Parliament.  In an effort to make 'Old School Friday' a little more 'kid friendly' I'm moving it forward in time, just a bit.  This one is from 1962 and I just know you remember this:  "__ __ __, is it Mary or Sue?  __ __ __, do I stand a chance with you?  It's so hard to find a personality with charms like yours for me.  Ooh-ooh wee, ooh wee, ooh wee."  Hint: Another one of those musical questions that is timeless.  Can you name that tune?

This morning we picked up our friend Lisa and her son Jack and drove north to the frame factory of Khun Tawd.  Both Lisas had artwork to be framed and it was the first time our friends had been to the facility.  Jack is almost 4 years old and commented on the 'massive mountains' in the background as we drove through flat, rice growing areas.  We explored some of the statues and fiberglass elephants that stand around on the grounds of the factory.  After all the wood selections were made and the styles determined, we started back to town.  We stopped at one field where they were harvesting the rice.  It was time for a photo shoot.  The workers waved to us and when they saw little Jack they became very enthusiastic.  It was a fun moment.



                                                 Rice Harvest 

This afternoon I drove out to the eastern region of Chiang Rai to New Life Foundation.  I saw more expanses of rice fields and a 'massive lake'.  One of the things that fascinates me is the 'purpose built' vehicles that are used for farming and hauling of crops.  I'll try and take some photos in the future to show you some of these odd wonders.  

We now have current works of our resident artist hanging in our bedroom, in her studio, and in the hallways.  When we're finished it will be like living in an exhibition.  It's great having vibrant colors on the walls.  Taking the work out of the crates makes it like a reunion with old friends.

Have a Wonderful WeekEnd.  Time for a redo of some 'Funnies'.

                   Peace,
                              Danny

FUNNY ENGLISH NOTICES AROUND THE WORLD!

Here are some signs and notices written in English that were
discovered throughout the world. You have to give the writers an
'E' for Effort. We hope you enjoy them.

In a Tokyo Hotel:
Is forbidden to steal hotel towels please. If you are not a
person to do such thing is please not to read notis.

In a Bucharest hotel lobby:
The lift is being fixed for the next day. During that time we
regret that you will be unbearable.

In a Leipzig elevator:
Do not enter the lift backwards, and only when lit up.


In an Austrian hotel catering to skiers:
Not to perambulate the corridors in the hours of repose in the
boots of ascension.

In a Paris hotel elevator:
Please leave your values at the front desk.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Today


Hi,

Summer my be here, but it's not here.  I know, sounds weird until you see the sky I see.  Cloudy all day, sprinkles now and then, not summer in my book.  We hung Lisa's giant cast acrylic print in the guest room, and another one in the music room.  It's coming together nicely.  

Whether you know the song or not, it's a funny read.  Here's more of this 'Zany Day' tune:  "We love to funk you, __, you funk is the best (talk!).  Take my body, give it the mind to funk with the best (kiss me on my ego).  Hit me with the one and then, if you like, hit me again.  __ __... King of the Funk, yeah!"  Hint: Think 'Mothership Connection'

In 2010 Lisa created a large work with elements of Chiang Rai as the focus.  Today we hung it in the guest room.  Not a simple task, but it's done and it looks great.  We still have more hanging and switching to do before we're done.  I must say, it's a lot easier than painting the walls. (555)

       Jungle path around the back of our waterfall.

This evening Lisa went to dinner with our friend Tye.  Part of their adventure was to look at a space Tye wants to use to create a dance studio.  While they were on their excursion, I went on one with Tatt.  He is going on a motorbike trip to Mae Sai with 15 of his friends from school.  He needs to have a helmet so I took him out to find one.  I'd done a little research on what is best in Thailand, but unfortunately we're a little behind the big cities.  We found a good one at a dealership.  During the travels to and from the shop we had a chance to speak in English.  He has a very large vocabulary on paper, but hasn't had a chance to really learn conversational English.  I could tell he's been working hard on it because we talked a bunch about many things.  It it fun now that he's come out of his shy phase.

There is a new routine in the evenings at the Big Brown House.  It used to be that after dinner both dogs would go and hang out at Boot's house and at 8pm we would bring Daku to the big house for the night.  Now that Daku and Tatt are best buddies, Daku goes to Tatt's room from 8pm until he gets really sleepy and then he comes upstairs and crashes. He does this on his own.  While he's downstairs with Tatt, he just watches him do his homework.  One night they both fell asleep and we had to wake them up.  Boys.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.

                  Peace,
                             Danny

"Don't let yesterday use up too much of today."
~Native American Proverb

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Help


Hi,

The weather this morning was perfect for a doggie play-date; cloudy and cool.  We shuffled art and had a brief storm.  

I just love it when 'Easy Monday' is easy.  I get so much mail.  As I abandon 'Bad Ass Bass' I leave you with a recording that had a bad ass bass.  Wednesdays may just turn out to by 'Zany Day'.  If you this one you get Cool Points:
"Whoa! They say the bigger the headache, the bigger the pill, baby.  Call me the big pill.  __ __, the disco fiend with teh monster sound, the cool ghoul with the bump transplant... Preoccupied and dedicated to the preservation of the motion of the hips..."  Clue: Performed by a group with the same name as a governing body, they governed the groove.  Is there a doctor in the house?

This morning Gary and Jago arrived early for play.  When the gate opened, Gary drove his motorbike down the driveway with Jago sitting on the floorboard looking like he's done it all his life.  Come to think of it, he has done it quite a bit in his young life.  When our dogs spotted them they got very excited.  BamBam, Daku and Jago tore around the front yard changing direction, chasing each other and having a great time.  Then they would all slow down for a little rest and start all over again.  Jago is much younger than our dogs and he still has that puppy enthusiasm that wants to play every second.  We got a kick out of watching him try to get the others to play.  Near the end they mellowed out on the porch and we just hung out.  Now they are all friends and this is very cool.

                               Daku and Jago

Lisa's art work from her Chiang Mai exhibit has been 'living' in three crates that have been in our guest room.  Today we started with the serious work of emptying the crates so we could move them out.  In the process we're going to change the placement of some of her works on our walls.  We put the crates in the carport and now there are cast acrylic prints lining the hallway and my music room.  A few days, some concrete nails and my trusty hammer and we'll have a new look.  One of the downsides of having lots of large windows is a lack of wall space.  We'll just have to rotate things a little more often.  It's nice to see Lisa's art on the walls.  

This afternoon we had one of those half hour storms that looks like everything will wash away.  It started with the wind, then a little light rain, and then an unbelievable downpour that actually impaired visibility.  We knew it would happen, we just didn't know when.  I'm beginning to understand how some people here can look around and tell if it's going to rain.  Hmm, a few more years and we'll have it down.  

Time for Wacky Wednesday.

                    Peace,
                               Danny

"We cannot teach people anything;
we can only help them discover it within themselves."
~Galileo Galilei


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Who


Hi,

Today was a pretty mellow day here in Chiang Rai.  All day it looked like it might rain, but it never did.  We had an evening excursion to Big C and set up a play date for the dogs.

It really was an 'Easy Monday' according to a bunch of you.  I love it when you get the song.  Here's a little more:
"I loved you since I knew you.  I wouldn't talk down to you.  I have to tell you just how I feel, I won't share you with another boy... Told you once I won't tell you again, it's a bad way.  __, you don't have to put on the red light.  __, you don't have to put on the red light..."  Hint:  Really now.

This was the second day in a row where the sky looked like it could just rain all day.  Yesterday we experienced rain on our drive north to Mae Sai, but it didn't rain in town.  Today was cloudy and warm, which can be very strange when you're inside looking out and the air/con is going.  It gives the impression that it's cool and windy outside.  

Our resident student, Tat, has a friend at school who has a motorbike.  Sometimes he gives Tat a ride home.  We decided that he should have a helmet for those days when he's going to be on the bike.  Not only is it the law, but it just makes sense to protect oneself.  This evening we went out after dinner to look for a helmet.  The bike shops seem to close at 5pm so we went to Big C.  On our way we had him direct us to his school so we'd know where it was.  We didn't drive onto the grounds, but it looks beautiful.  At Big C they had helmets but not the kind that offer proper protection.  While Lisa shopped in the store Tat and I went to the bookstore in the center.  He was looking for a study guide for logistics.  He asked me if I knew logistics.  I politely told him I knew nothing.  We have to get him the helmet by Saturday because he's going on an adventure with a bunch of kids from school.  They're going to Mae Sai to see the sights.  

A few of you have written wondering if there was a web site to see the photos from the exhibit we attended over the weekend.  This link will take you to a site for Blue's photo book on the Hill Tribes of northern Thailand:


Today's photo is a poster he created for the 750th Anniversary on Chiang Rai. 

                 Hill Tribe Poster by Blue Johnson

Lisa found an article written by a long-time expat discussing things he'd become used to while living here.  We could totally relate.  He spoke of eating pizza with a knife and fork, and eating chicken at KFC with the same utensils.  The one that really made us laugh was the fact that you get used to seeing toilet tissue on the table in some restaurants, in place of napkins.  Amazing Thailand.

I suppose it happens all over the world that people decide to paint buildings in non-traditional colors.  It certainly happens here.  Pick a color and there's a building that will make you say, 'What?'.  Everything from bright red to lime green, and shades that would attract hummingbirds and bees.  If you get your mind in a festive mood it can be fun to see.  (555)

Tomorrow morning Gary and Jago will arrive at 7:30am while it's still cool enough for a play-date with BamBam and Daku.  Let the fun begin.

Have a Happy Tuesday.

            Peace,
                       Danny

"If I try to be like him,
Who will be like me?"
~Yiddish Proverb

Monday, June 18, 2012

Power


Hi,

This weekend we had sunshine and rain.  The daytime hours were fairly dry so we could move about without problems.  Saturday was a busy afternoon and evening with the photography exhibit and banquet.  Sunday lunch was fun.  Oh, and the internet is in the house.

So, about that 'Old School Friday' song.  My brother Denny was the only one who wrote in with the correct answer.  The song was "Shake, Rattle, and Roll" by Big Joe Turner.  I'll bet you're glad it's time for 'Easy Monday'.  Let's hope you get this one within 48 hours: "__, you don't have to put on the red light.  Those days are over you don't have to sell your body to the night..."  Hint: One word title is a name.  You could get arrested for not knowing this one.

Saturday in the late afternoon we went to Le Meridien Resort for the opening of 'Peoples of the Mekong', a photographic exhibit featuring images of the Hill Tribes of Northern Thailand and Laos.  The show was hung in the two main hallways adjacent to the lobby.  Our friend Blue Johnson and a Dutch photographer each presented 15 beautiful portraits of the faces and activities of the numerous tribes.  He also sent some photos that had been 'processed' to give them some very artistic moods.  The Minister of Tourism and Sports was the presenter of the exhibit and he talked about the importance of art in Chiang Rai.  

After the exhibit we went down by the river to the Italian Restaurant on the hotel grounds.  The view of the river is spectacular this time of year.  All of the rain has made the shore line across the river a dense jungle.  With the sun going down, and the clouds reflecting on the water, it was definitely a mellow moment.  When we sat down for dinner we realized, after some conversation, that we were right across from the wife of our attorney.  She has a tour and travel service in town.  The man on my right had been on the elephant training adventure two years ago.  The evening was full of conversation and lots of laughter.  We met more people from different parts of Thailand and heard more about the expanding travel between the countries that are on the Mekong River. 

  Mekok River Shoreline from Le Meridien Hotel, Chiang Rai

Sunday we had lunch with our friends Rachel and Shannon, who are part of The Sold Project.  There was lots of 'catching up' on what's happening with the project as well as their lives.  While we were talking a friend of Rachel's who teaches English at Maefarluang University came in with two students who had just arrived in Thailand from Princeton University. They will be studying and assisting in teaching English as a second language.  

Today we drove north to Mae Sai, near the border with Burma, to visit the immigration office.  We had some visa business to attend to and the officer was all ready for us.  We walked in, sat down and he put about 8 stamps of different sizes on two pages in our passports.  I'll bet they go through a lot of ink pads in that office.  We stopped at Tesco-Lotus on the way back and found a children's size floatation vest for small visitors to the pool.  

In our travels we sometimes listen to FAT 93 FM, the main popular music station.  I only listen when there's music playing.  That happens on occasion between the commercials.  (555)  Today we heard 'We Are The World'.  Hmm.

Have a Great Week.

                     Peace,
                                Danny

"Too often we under estimate the power of a touch,
a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment,
or the smallest act of caring,
all of which have the potential to turn a life around."
~Leo Buscaglia