Sunday Summary #22

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

As I write this, my dear Kanchana is in Bangkok for her monthly doctor’s checkup (she missed last month’s appointment so it was doubly important that she make the journey this time around). I am stuck in Phuket Town where I stayed the last two nights only to be stood-up by my students here. At least I still get paid for in-house “no shows”.

Kindergarten this week saw a lot of non-teaching time as well. With Thailand’s National Children’s Day on the second Saturday of January as always, the lead-up at my school was another few days of “party mode” as far as the kids were concerned. We had activities Wednesday afternoon and during the morning hours of Thursday and Friday. Needless to say, the children were in no mood to listen to their teachers during the regular lessons.

Working

It doesn’t really help matters when they have decided to take Monday as a holiday as well. January 16 is National Teacher’s Day in Thailand (not to be confused with Wan Wai Khru — Honor the Teacher’s Day — which is held at schools throughout the Kingdom on a Thursday in early to mid-June). I believe this is the last school holiday before the end of the year (which is currently set for March 30) although there will probably be some sort of activities scheduled for Chinese New Year and quite possibly Valentine’s Day. We will see…

With the extra events at school, I took a lot more photos of the students than I did the previous week. Wednesday was an extra Scouting event which I did not attend but I participated in Thursday’s “Jackson Pollack” workshop (well, that’s what the paint spatters reminded me of) and Friday’s “fun with clay” frenzy. We also had a dance performance by K3 girls Friday morning.

Almost every organized activity in Thailand is accompanied by the obligatory group photos, of which a number are taken in the same well-worn poses — a smile, a show of mini-hearts, a raise your hands, and one of “Chaiyo!” (Thai cheer of “Hooray!”). I usually never get to see the resultant photos but sometimes I do remember to hand my phone to the photographer. Here’s one from Friday’s batch….

Eating

This was another week of largely 7-Eleven fare but I did make a discovery as I came over to Phuket Town yesterday — there is now a stall in the local market that sells baked potatoes. They are not near as large as the ones found at Banzaan Market in Patong during our Christmas food forays, but they are tasty and affordable as just 69 baht for the standard potato with cheese; adding bacon brings the total to 99 baht. The vendor uses a torch to melt the cheese.

Blogging

I have been maintaining the daily “Stamps of 2023” posts without missing a day this year yet. Some days, I have posted two! I am still enjoying doing these but dread a few that appear a bit complicated. Some entities such as Hong Kong, Christmas Island, and Singapore unleash DOZENS of Lunar New Year stamps and miniature sheets every January and it is a bit of a task to sort through them and then add the items to a post in a coherent manner. But I will make a concerted effort to take care of these in the upcoming week as well as a few other “overloaded” issues such as Australia’s annual “Special Occasions” set and Great Britain’s massive issue featuring Iron Maiden. The latter heavy metal group does not seem to be a hit with any philatelist, judging from the overwhelming negative comments that I have seen on social media but post the stamps I will (I actually liked “Run to the Hills” and “Flight of Icarus” back in the day and have a couple of compilation albums of theirs in my music collection).

There has been so much philatelic content on this blog recently that I am contemplating a revival of my Philatelic Pursuits site in some form to deal exclusively with stamp posts. But, then what will I post here? A quandary….

Recent Posts on Mark Joseph Jochim.com:

Listening/Reading/Watching

Over the past week, I added 560 tracks into my MusicBee player. Note that most of these have been in my collection for years but I am only just now getting around to adding the tags and artwork that I like to have attached to my songs as they play. Aside from the aforementioned Iron Maiden compilations (I plan to listen to them while putting together the blog about the British Iron Maiden stamps), these were all Eric Clapton bootlegs — mostly from his 1974 tour. During the week, I listened to 343 songs including several albums by ZZ Top, Warren Zevon, the entire discography of XIXA once again, a bit of Son Volt and Robert Mirabal, some studio and live material from Journey circa 1980, and several of the Eric Clapton 1974 bootlegs. Most nights, he was just on fire with his guitar solos and there were some nice end-of-show jams with the likes of Carlos Santana and Pete Townshend. But there were also some fairly drunk performances as well.

I finished reading A Quiet Teacher by Adam Oyebanji (highly recommended!) early in the week — my second completed book of the year! Rather than starting a new book, I have resumed Sheila Brennan’s Stamping American Memory which I started back in August 2022. It’s up to a discussion of the 1898 Trans-Mississipian issue following an account of the 1893 Columbians.

Yellowstone and its prequel 1923 series are now on mid-season hiatus (1923 will resume in early February but I think we have to wait until May for Yellowstone). Without any new episodes to look forward to, I decided to check out Tulsa King starring Sylvester Stallone. It’s really good and I have already watched the first four episodes of Season 1.

Loving

Working so much over the past week, LL and I went back to the tried-and-true nightly video-calls as our main form of communication. There were plenty of text-chatting in between my classes. She left for Bangkok yesterday making sure she called me from the Phuket airport before boarding if for nothing else but to torture me with a view of Subway Sandwich Shop. I am seriously thinking of taking the bus to Patong tomorrow just to eat my favorite meal on the island — foot-long Spicy Italian on parmesan oregano bread. Kan will probably return either Monday or Tuesday depending on flight availability. We will have a nice dinner in Kata when she gets back.

And that is my Sunday Summary for January 8-15, 2023. I hope the week to come is just how you want it to be. Cheers!

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