Saturday, June 30, 2007

Coffee Morning with moms

Before the school finishes, and everybody will have gone for their loonnggg... summer holiday -very soon,actually-, here we were at my house.
I made a lot of food. Geeta brought her rice salad (everybody wanted the recipe), Kay made oatmeal cookies (my boys finished them), Misae with apple cider, Anna and Marlene with the cookies, Elen with doughnuts, Sunny brought dragon fruit (so much..), Lyn with longans. Hm... everything went so well with coffee and tea. We really had a good time.

I did interview people for their holiday plans, and these are some of the results :

  1. Elen and fam - back home - Indonesia for 6 weeks,
  2. Geeta go to India (4 weeks),
  3. Marlene - instead going back home, yeah...go to Singapore, baby !! - shopping for couple days (eh padahal murahan disini lagi).
  4. Kay - back home - UK,
  5. Lym and Anna - back home - Malaysia (supposed I asked to bring tupat nona for me),
  6. Lin - back home - Sgp (for the whole holiday !!, she will put her kids at school),
  7. Misae same as Lin- will spend the whole 9 weeks holiday back to Japan (also same reason, needs to take her kids to Japanese school). It means holiday in Thailand but school in their home country. Oh
  8. how about Sunny ??, my Korean friend, is she gonna put her kids to Korean school as well ??, hhmm.. I wonder, I forgot to ask her.
  9. the rest ?? ( like me ), just stay here in Thailand (maybe going around Thailand)

She's cute, isn't she?

Swimming at school
Field trip to Sriracha Tiger Zoo

Field Trip to Chiang mai

Hermanto and Timlin
In June 10th, my eldest son Arif went to Chiang mai -School residential (long field trip)-. He would be away for 5 nights !!. 2 nigths in the train (for going and back) and 3 nights he would spend in Chiang Mai.
This would be the most interesting residential for primary students, not to mention the most expensive.
I took him to the school. The school bus left at 2.15pm and would take them to the train station in Bkk. They would go to Chiang Mai by train. It would be a long night journey. Took 12 hours.
They went to the Karen hilltribe (in Chiang Mai) and they would (teachers and students) stay with them (local people) for a night, and for the rest of 2 nights they stayed at a student center.
Arif really enjoyed this residential. It was a very good experience for all the students according to him. They learned how the local people do some handycrafts, worked in the muddy paddy rice field, tried to ride a buffalo, walked in the rain forest. How about the weather ?? I asked him. "It was cold (hi..hi..lha wong di gunung) and very damp. It rained like 3 times a day."
Below are the conversations between my son and me :
Arif : "Mama I know what was like being poor, I was soo poor there".
Me : shocked, and I asked him "what happened there honey?".
Arif : "the last night, when were in the train, we supposed to buy our own dinner, then I borrowed my friend's money, which he borrowed from the teacher. The teacher gave him 100 B (equal almost US$3, remember people this is in Thailand, food are much much cheaper than other places outside the country, apalagi kalau mau bandingin ama jkt, just admit it di jkt jajanan boleh dikata mahal). Then from that money, we shared. We bought our dinner".
Oh God, hi..hi..hi..(it wasn't funny at all at that time when I heard his story).
Me : "But I gave you more than enough money" (since teachers had given information in advance to parents that we should provide our children with some amounts for last dinner in the train).
Arif : "Yes, then I had purcased books, a t-shirt, a game, a bag of coffee (the famous one from the Chiang mai's tribe), soft drinks, snacks....(oalah..belanja tho nak....)".
Me : Ok then, since you had borrowed, I'll give you the money then you must give it back either to your friend or to your teacher.
Arif : No, I won't pay him back unless he pay back to the teacher otherwise he'll keep my money.
Me : No you can't do that. You must pay back. Owe is owe. Here's the simple rule you owe then you pay, that's it. It's nothing to do with your friend. And anyway you should trust your friend, right ?. (trus karena kita beragama islam, percaya ada surga ada neraka, percaya hukuman dikemudian hari, hari pembalasan, (bukannya reinkarnasi lho) sebelum kalau bisa, masuk surga trus gw ceritain deh cerita yg pernah gw dapat dari ibundaku tercinta, bahwa bagi orang2 yang utang nggak bayar utang akan terus2an memikul utangnya terberat2 sambil cari orang yg diutangi yg nggak ketemu2, hi..! nauzubillahminzalik. Makanya waktu meninggal belum sempet bayar utang, harus dibayar oleh anak atau cucunya. Kalau nggak ada/nggak bisa harus ada orang lain yg bayar (siapa aja yg mau sedekah). Intinya sampai orang tsb bebas utang. Tapi bukan berarti jadi kewajiban orang yg diutangi bw ngebebasin si orang yg berpiutang, enak aja loe!.
Me, then, asked him again : "but I thought you stayed in the small village. Do they have a book store there ? (surprised that they sell english books)
Arif : yes we did stay but before, we went to the market. There is a bookazine (book store) there. Ooh...pantesan no wonder..
By the way Arif bought me a bag of coffee. He bought it from a special coffee shop. Product of the tribe. It smells very good. That is the best coffee from Chiang Mai. Almost everybody bought it, in fact some teachers bought a lot !! for their friends in Pattaya since they had been asked to buy the coffees. Arif told me proudly that the coffee is very cheap. It costs only 100 B per bag, since it should be costs about hundreds if you buy outside the place (with the good bag package and label on it).
I gave him the advices about money. What he should do with his money. He listened, he nodded. He understood.
Thank you again son for the coffee. You're very sweet youngman. I'm so proud of you.

The old friend

Knowing that we quite a lot to go to Bkk, -either stay over or one day return- Rizki and wife had offered us a few times to stay with them in their appartement. Finally a few weeks ago (June 3rd), we took their offered. We stayed there for 1 night. Left on saturday. Their appartement is located in the most prestisious street in Bkk. Wireless Rd. What a WOW !!. Along the street is where The US Embassy located, an US Ambassador big beautiful and old house -I adore old buildings as you know- with the huge garden (long time ago the house was owned by a prince of Kingdom of Siam), a few of American offices, sky scrappers and a five star hotel. Supposed to be the most safest street in Bkk, maybe, or could be a dangerous street (imagine in Jkt people do the the violent demonstration in front of the embassy gimana kalau orang2nya pada bringas like they want to eat you). Farah was impress with the building when we entering the front security gate, she seemed so surprised. Woww.. the house is so bigg.. (she said house not building), he..he..and mas Arif teased her "look at the garage, there are so many cars...". Farah then realized "it is just like a hotel", she said and wondering at the same time. A fully uniform doorman opened the big glass door and greeted us, soon Rizki went down and welcomed us. Then he verified his fingerprint to open the inner glass door before we reached the lift hall. Wow.. my kids were just more impressed. What a security. Upstair in their appartement Angi and their adorable daughters -a 13 years old Echa and her 7 years old sister Karin welcomed us. Their appartement is huge for Bangkok size. Just like a big house. The bed rooms (2) were ready for us. Very comfortable. Pembantu (btw they have 2, saudara2, ada yg orang Indo pula, hhmm..luksuri dong bw yg tinggal di LN mah..) had fried the empek-empek palembang asli a lot !!, served with cukonyo, they were sent from Palembang. Yum..yum.. and superr spicy, but Arif enjoyed them. We had dinner at a restaurant. Rizki and Angi like to treat their guests. It's like they want to treat all the time !!. Rizki and Dudi were good friends when they were still in the university, 20 years ago..(seems like I'm wrong in counting). Angi, his wife was his few years junior also in the same faculty. Rizki works for a world wide American Company, he is an executive and an expatriate. Now he is taking his PhD degree at abroad university (distant learning, generousity from his employer). Angi his wife is a manager at Sgp office. For her going back Sgp-Bkk is just like going back grocerries store-house for me, he..he.. It's really obvious that tyhey are really live very well. But far from arogant, in fact they are really generous and religious. By the way, the next day on sunday. After the gentlemens had heavy breakfast (nasi uduk ama ayam goreng bo!, apa nggak sewot yah perut suamiku secara dia biasa has light breakfast), they went to the golf course. Again Dudi told me later that he was so touched when he saw his friend knows the people well who work in the golf course and gave so much tips for his caddy, zakat. "Just exactly same I always saw him when he was a youngman 20 years ago..he hasn't changed so much but now more rezeki more zakat", he said. Meanwhile, we -wonderful wifes- he..he..he.., we talked a lot while we were watching our adorable children swam. At noon we went to Central Chidlom for lunch. I wanted to have laksa -singaporean style- and I'm not ngidam lho saudara2. it's true!! really gratefull to have such good friends like they are. Layak panutan, deserve to be good examples for us. Thank you friends. Dudi, Rizki and Angi Angi, Karin and Farah

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Good book

Currently reading this book. Again, someone who very inspiring..... . Very recommended !!