Sunday Summary #17

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

This was a very busy week, starting with my birthday weekend — my Lovely Lady Kanchana returned to Phuket just before midnight on my birthday last Saturday and we covered almost the entire southern half of the island on Sunday. We parted on Monday — she to move in with her old roommate a couple of beaches north and I back to my quiet but empty west coast apartment. The school week was fairly standard with the addition of fretting about the rapidly approaching Christmas show finishing off with classes in Phuket Town Friday evening and Saturday afternoon before I returned to Kata Beach, preceding a royal motorcade by mere minutes. Finally, later today, I am meeting up with Kan for our second Sunday/Monday holiday of the month.


My job at the temple kindergarten is still as enjoyable as it was a month ago, perhaps even more so as I standardize my routines. I always arrive at 6:30; one of the wat’s cats is usually waiting for me while I in turn wait for whoever has the key to open up. Once inside, I climb the stairs to the third floor and unpack my backpack, setting up the laptop on my desk in the cubicle. I then sort the flashcards that I need for the day’s classes and refresh my memory of the lesson plans. My next task is usually to decide on something to blog about that day — usually selecting a stamp or postcard from my image folders. I often have a good start on an article by the time I have to go back downstairs to begin greeting the children at 7:30.

With the weather dreary most mornings this week, I didn’t have to worry about sweating and shielding my eyes from the sun during my 30-minute periods of Gate Duty. With each passing day, more and more of the students are becoming brave enough to greet me in English. We are also experiencing less children who just cannot bear to part from their moms or dads. There are still a few kids who hang onto their parents for dear life at the bottom of the steps but only one or two still shed tears. I have dubbed one boy The SCREAMER because he shrieks loudly as if he is being sent into the torture chamber. Nobody has ever been able to calm him down until the national anthem is played and then he shuts right up. However, one day this week he was crying up a storm and I took his hand to try and pull him upstairs; I began singing “Jingle Bells” and this silenced him. Midway up the stairs, he asked me if we would sing during class that day and when I assured him we would, he gave me a big smile. Hey, success!

The weather was good enough for an outdoor flag ceremony only one day this week; the remainder of the days we sang the national anthem, did the two or three Buddhist prayers, and danced the insanely complicated song upstairs. After that program, I return to my cubicle while the children are eating their morning snack and drinking their milk. Our first lessons are at 9:00 — on Mondays and Tuesdays, I have five classes in a row with Nursery right in the middle. Lunch begins at 11:30 after which the kids have a nap before the first afternoon lessons start at 13:50. Kids and teachers leave at 3pm.

I spent at least a few minutes of each class this week working on our Christmas songs for the show. Some of the children are really into it but the majority still haven’t understood that they will be singing their song in front of the teachers, other children, and parents. Christmas is just two weeks away and I am worried that the show will be a big bust. Some of the K1 and K2 classes have even less rehearsal time with these Monday holidays. I doubt if I will be allowed to play the music while they sing or if I will be able to lead them as I have during the lessons. I plan to devote more time to song rehearsals during the upcoming week.

My cubicle is really getting into the holiday spirit. I put out my tiny Christmas tree Friday afternoon and added a few more window stickers. I think I need some blinking lights for the tree and will check the 20 baht shop for those next week. I wonder how long it will be before some curious kid topples the tree. I won’t mind if that happens, though.

I ran out of laminating sheets for flashcards early in the week as I am trying to get ahead of the curriculum. There are no office supply shops in this part of the island so I had to wait until I was in Phuket Town on the weekend to buy some. I’d also run out of A4 paper to print the flashcards on but luckily the nearby 20 baht shop carries small packets (40 sheets for 25 baht). I was able to print my cards and laminated them last night.

A Saturday class with these two, Bam and Hawani, each 13 years old and nearing the end of our contract together. Once that happens, I will have only my Friday evening lessons in Phuket Town. Hopefully, I will get some more weekend in-house students early in the New Year.

On Thursday, I had to quickly return to Phuket Town for the sole purpose of posing in front of the sign at my new employer’s offices. This is one of the requirements for a new work permit. Our school’s Chinese teacher drove me and we soon encountered the worst downpour of the entire week. After I finished having my picture taken, I needed to go to the big shopping center so I took a motorbike taxi in the continuing storm. It stopped raining just as soon as I entered the mall. My business concluded in time to catch an over-capacity songteaw back to Kata Beach. On that 90-minute journey, I had a pleasant conversation with a Russian man sitting next to me. He spent much of the time complaining about how stupid most of his countrymen were who spent their entire vacations shopping and never realizing the history and culture that fills the island.


One task unrelated to school that I include here was a visit to a police station one day after school. I needed to file a report and decided to walk as it didn’t seem very far on Google Maps (just 3.1 km). But it’s a very hilly route and the station sits some distance off of the main highway in a little valley. Once I arrived, there wasn’t anyone manning the information desk so I sat in the lobby to wait. I was there nearly two hours before anybody even acknowledged my presence. Officers entered and exited, mostly carrying takeaway food. At one point, several were sitting on the front porch of the station eating their meals while several cats lounged right in front of the doors. I really wanted to take a photo of that scene but was leery of the surveillance cameras.

I was finally helped after that very long wait — there had been two Russian men filing a missing persons report that occupied the duty officer’s time. My report took a few seconds to explain and five minutes for the officer to type up and have me sign it. He was quite nice and apologized profusely for the delay.

I mentioned a royal motorcade in the initial paragraph of this entry. I actually saw three yesterday. As my songteaw went down the main road bisecting the east and west halves of Phuket, I began noticing police officers standing on both sides and in the median. Half were wearing peaked caps while the others had on traffic cop helmets. I knew from past experience that this meant a member of the royal family was coming and that they would soon have all vehicles pull to the side of the road. Luckily, we made it over the hill to Kata without being stopped (and the traffic flow was quite fast). When I exited the bus just across the highway from my home, I had the feeling that the motorcade was just a few minutes behind. I asked one of the patrolmen who was coming and I think he said “the King” in Thai. I tried to linger but he shooshed me away.

As I crossed the road, the big armored vehicle marked “Explosive Ordinance Unit” roared by. You only see that when somebody extremely high-ranking is approaching — king, queen, or a certain highly-respected princess (the others don’t receive this level of precaution). I got to my balcony just as the first part of the motorcade rushed past at top speed. I fumbled with my phone and managed to film the final bit of the procession. I noticed the police remained at their posts so I waited a few minutes before a large number of mini-vans with blackened windows cruised by. An hour or so later, I walked to the 20 baht shop and encountered the last motorcade of the day as I exited the store. A different group of royals drove out of a street that leads to the beach. It certainly wasn’t the king as the main car was a white Mercedes-Benz.


Latest Posts on Postcards To Phuket:

  • Here we have one of my older Mexican postcards showing a street in the small city usually known as Taxco but more formally named Taxco de Alarcón, the administrative center of a municipality located in the Mexican state of Guerrero. Taxco is located in the north-central part of the state, 36 kilometers (22 miles) from […]
  • In 1880, Chao Muen Samuhjairaj submitted a letter to propose the opening of a post office in Thailand to King Chulalongkorn (King Rama V). The King agreed and appointed His Royal Highness Somdetch Phra Chao Nong Ya Tho Chao Fa Bhanurangsi Swangwong Krom Luang Bhanuphandhuwong Wordej as the first Director-General of the Post Department because […]
  • I recently blogged about a card received from Lviv during the current war. This is one that came to me seven and a half years ago using the Postcrossing system. Ironically, this card is also a product of the Farion line published in Lviv. Lviv (Львів) is the largest city in western Ukraine, and the […]

Latest Posts on


I listened to a bit of music throughout the week, a total of 104 tracks (7.1 hours). This included the most recent Billie Eilish album, a tribute album of songs by Alejandro Escovedo, some live Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes from 1977, and the soundtrack to the Netflix TV series Wednesday. I watched the entire first season of the latter over the course of the week, as well as the most recent episode of season 5 of Yellowstone and two movies (Samaritan starring Sylvester Stallone and The Last Duel starring Matt Damon, Adam Driver, Jodie Comer, and Ben Affleck).

I am still working my way through The Burglar Who Met Frederic Brown by Lawrence Block but most nights I cannot keep my eyes open for very long while reading.


Kan and I have a favorite restaurant just off of the beach in Kata. Simply named The Outdoor Restaurant, it features an extensive menu of Thai and Western dishes. Our first visit was late Saturday night/Sunday morning when we enjoyed tom yum kung and a salami pizza. Sunday night, our meal was a grilled chicken steak with fries and pork fried rice. Midweek, I hit New York Burger for my first jalapeño cheeseburger in two weeks. The only other “special meal” was Friday night when I had a buy one, get one free pizza delivery to my apartment in Phuket Town, the ants discovered the pies long before I could finish them. I had salad from 7-Eleven one night and a “burrito” on another.


For our reunion after four long months, Kanchana and I got a hotel room just off of the beach. Kata Leaf Resort is rather “funky” but not in a bad way. Our room was very big and comfortable. It was very quiet as well. The air-conditioning was almost too cold and the shower most certainly was (the heater didn’t work). I have never seen a more extensive mini-bar but we only used it once (a 50-baht Lipton iced tea). It rained most of the two days we spent there but we did get out and about. Most of our Sunday was spent looking for an apartment for her to rent — she wants someplace close to work that is nice enough for her mom to come and visit with a secondary requirement of a kitchen. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find anything suitable for the price she wanted to pay. By the afternoon, she had decided to take up her old roommate’s offer to move back in with her until the end of high season at which time the rents should come back down to a more reasonable level.

Following our apartment search, we took a songteaw to Phuket Town so that I could pay rent on my apartment there. We experienced even more high season “hospitality” when the driver severely over-loaded his bus (all Russian tourists except for Kan and myself) and then took a “shortcut” through the forest, stopping in the middle where he collected 100 baht from each person (as opposed to the government-mandated 40 baht). I complained to no avail, earning a “shut up” from my lady for which she later apologized profusely. She worried that the driver was mafia and I am certain he was. The ride was forgotten as we had a wonderful time exploring the shops in my neighborhood. I bought her a dress/shirt thing and we snacked on some local Phuketian treats.

We were lazy Monday morning (Thai National Day), remaining in the hotel room until checkout time at noon before walking up the hills to my Kata apartment. We dropped off our bags and then went to the temple. I was surprised that it was completely deserted but Kan enjoyed the solitude and the scenery. She ordered a taxi rather than wait a long time for a songteaw to come by and bid our farewells. Not so long this time as this Monday is another holiday (Thai Constitution Day) and Kan talked me into coming to see her at her new home. I will go and catch the beach-to-beach bus just as soon as I finish this article.

Now that she is so much closer, we continued the daily textual chats and video calls. The latter were fun as she made one almost every time she encountered an old friend. She wanted to introduce me to all of them. One evening, she was in a restaurant when she called and actually left the phone unattended at her table when she went to the restroom. I kept waiting for somebody to steal the phone while I was sitting there watching the empty chair. Alas, nobody even came near. You can’t do that in the States and expect your phone not to get taken!

And that is my Sunday Summary for December 4-11, 2022. I hope the week to come is just how you want it to be. Cheers!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.