Sunday Summary #4

Welcome to Sunday Summary. This is a meme in which I attempt to summarize the week that came before.

This was yet another week that simply zoomed by although it wasn’t much busier or slower than last week. The weather is still a bit unstable but we saw more sun than rain over the past several days. The biggest news of the week (perhaps the entire year) is the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. I am preparing a blog entry from a philatelic perspective to coincide with the upcoming funeral.


The work week went by with relative calm with no afternoon fill-ins or Friday activities. It was very routine with my daily Gate Duty assignments and regular morning lessons in the Kindergarten. Although it didn’t rain every morning, the area in which the tiny tykes have Morning Assembly was sufficiently water-logged that the children went directly to their classrooms upon arrival every day except for Friday.

Of course, that final day of the week the teachers subjected the young ones to the always tiring 20-minute exercise routine despite the area still being somewhat damp. I wasn’t the only one to slip and fall at some point. The “scary” teacher yelled at me as I wasn’t jumping sufficiently high and then, sadist she is, went on to add another 10 minutes of jumping jacks, squat thrusts, and high kicks to the end of the already exhausting routine. The kids were plain tuckered out and my ankle is still smarting where I twisted it.

The topic of the week was “Living Things” which was a bit closer to what these children should be learning. It allowed me to introduce a few more animals to their very limited vocabulary. Most of my kids still insist on using the Thai words rather than the English and some actually try to argue that it is a picture of a “chang” rather than an elephant or a “ling” instead of a monkey (and that all primates, other than “ape/gorilla” — “King Kong!” — are monkeys). Still, it is much better than trying to teach them how to prostrate themselves on the ground in order to pay respect to monks, teachers and the king. Mid-week, Thai teachers were presented with an award for instilling in the female students (what about the boys?) a pride and knowledge of Thai culture while the foreign teachers got nothing for our efforts at doing the same. Apparently, this is part of the “Annual Thai Manners Contest”.

My Friday evening class and those on Saturday and Sunday went well without any cancellations. My two students on Sunday afternoon had the first examination of the course; both scored 18 out of a possible 20 points which was very good indeed.


As usual, my primary meal (often my only one) of the day was the free lunch at school. I eat following my last lesson and before walking home. The meals are almost always delicious and I tend to fill my tray with extra-large portions. My only complaint is whenever there is meat involved it has very odd bones and once you manage to scrape the morsels into your rice they are ridiculously tiny. I manage to swallow several small, jagged bones every time.

During last week’s activity day, I watched a Thai teacher make the refreshing local drink known as nom yen (นมเย็น) or nom chompoo (นมชมพู), “pink milk”. As the ingredients remained available in the Kindergarten office, I experimented with making my own to drink with my lunch. It is much, much better cold than warm so I threw several cartons of soy milk into the freezer one day so they would be the proper temperature on Friday. On my next shopping excursion, I plan to buy some of the Hale’s brand sala syrup and make this at home.

As payday approaches, I splurged a few times this week on FoodPanda-delivered meals: spaghetti Bolognaise with garlic bread one night, a Quarter Pounder with Cheese and French fries another night and a very filling fish and chips on Friday. Yum!


I finished one book during the week, David Page’s Food Americana. I began reading Black Earth City by Charlotte Hobson but didn’t make much progress in it, nor did I even read a page of my other “current” book — Stamping American Memory by Sheila Brennan. With the recent passing of QEII, I find myself wanting to read a biography of her and I found three books in my eBook library to choose from: Young Elizabeth by Kate Williams, Elizabeth the Queen by Sally Bedell Smith, and Queen of Our Times by Robert Hardman which was published in April of this year. I am not yet sure which one I will decide to read.


I only published three articles since the previous installment of “Sunday Summary“: “Thainess Part 5: Superstitions“, “New Postcrossing Stamps 2022“, and “A Philatelist’s Tribute to 9/11“. I hope to have enough time to prepare a new “Thainess” installment later this week; looking over my notes just now, I believe that I can put together another ten parts to this series. Other plans in the near future include “A Philatelist’s Tribute to the Queen” (which will be styled similarly to the one I made today to mark the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, with plenty of stamps and covers illustrated) and my updated listing of Postcrossing-themed stamps. I hope to have the QEII article ready in time for Her Majesty’s state funeral next Monday (19 September) and to publish the Postcrossing blog on World Postcard Day, 1 October.


My dear lovely lady has experienced many “adventures” during her extended stay upcountry but the worst of the flooding in her province and along the route back to Bangkok seems to be dissipating. I hope that I never have to watch such dramatic video footage again, complete with minivans and larger buses plunging under turbulent waves causing bystanders to drown in their efforts at rescues.

Kanchana was stranded indoors for much of the past week with the water making it impossible to descend past the second floor of the building where she has been staying. The route to her mother’s home became impossible to navigate without a motorboat (or diving gear, I suppose!) and all public transportation out of the region was halted. Seeing the destruction on the ground has caused her to become quite reluctant to even fly if there is the merest hint of rain, assuming she can travel the eight hours to the airport from where she can fly back to Phuket. The troubling thing is that we still have a few more months remaining in the monsoon season.

With her anticipating an imminent escape, there has been an increase in the number of video calls (other than sleeping and watching TV, there isn’t much else to do while cooped up inside). As always, her spirits remain upbeat and if anything is bothering her she doesn’t let on as she always smiles and laughs throughout the calls, encouraging me more than I support her.

I hope the week to come is just how you want it to be. Cheers!

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