this week (and a bit before)

A few weeks ago, some friends of mine were packing up their house because they were moving to Bangkok. Faye and I went over to visit them one last time (at least in that particular house – hopefully not forever!) and somehow we got on the topic of pickles. Faye and I have a particular love for dill pickles. And lo and behold, what did Paul produce from the fridge but a jar that was almost empty, yet contained a pickle for each of us. Oh how we savoured our dill pickles.

Here’s a random bit of information for you. Perhaps you were aware of this already but this was news to me. Apparently, if you go see a movie in the theatre in the USA, you can buy a big dill pickle at the concession stand! In Canada, we have no such thing at the movies. Dill pickle seasoning for popcorn? Yes. But an actual dill pickle? No. I know that I’d buy a dill pickle there if it were an option. Of course I’d still have to get some popcorn – a movie really isn’t a movie without some popcorn to accompany it.

I went to the doctors today – it was my first time in Thailand. I went to get my J.E. shot that I needed before moving up north. Guess how much it was. In Canada, I think it would be $100-200 per shot (and you’re supposed to get three of them at different times). I paid 270 baht (for one shot), which is $7.85 Canadian. Crazy. And the rabies shots I had to get last fall? I had 3 and the total was something like 300 baht. In Canada, you’d have to pay $600 for the same number of shots. Why is there such a huge difference?

On Wednesday, it was declared that Friday, June 9th would be a National holiday in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the King’s ascension to the throne. Along with it being the 60th anniversary, it is the 5th cycle (12 year cycle) and so it is a VERY special time in Thailand right now. Yellow is the King’s colour so literally almost everyone has been wearing yellow for the past week. With each passing day, as it gets closer to the anniversary, I’ve been seeing more and more people wearing yellow. The prices of special shirts to honour the King have been increasing and these shirts are getting harder and harder to find. My teacher (at the moment it’s Khruu Ann) asked me if I knew why yellow was the King’s colour. I told her I didn’t and she told me that it’s because each day of the week has a colour associated with it in Thailand. The King was born on a Monday and Monday’s colour is yellow. So there you go – maybe this will help you in a game of Trivial Pursuit or something someday.

Yesterday, a woman, sent from the equivalent of city hall, came to explain that someone in my neighbourhood had Dengue. She gave me two little pouches that contained something that Faye and I need to add to standing water (to kill mosquito larvae). And the town was going to send somebody to spray our area. Hmmm… Too bad there’s not a shot you can take to prevent getting Dengue.

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