Oh good grief; you wouldn’t believe the amount of work that goes into sending Son off for an International Award expedition…( the same thing as the Duke of Edinburgh Award in the UK.) This year it’s silver and he’s off on a rehearsal this weekend for three days. I tell you, the amount of work involved means I feel somewhat deserving of a silver award myself.
When I moved to Thailand I was warned that you couldn’t buy western sized shoes here, but I was okay Jack. I’ve got size five feet, I fitted Thai sized shoes. NEVER did I imagine I was going to need to worry about the children’s feet. But here we are: gigantic feet, both of them. I’ve been in email negotiations with someone in London to see if they could get hold of great big trekking shoes. (Thank you Simon: I know you were too busy, really) and he was going to have to get them to whichever colleague was the next visitor to Thailand. I finally found enormous trekking shoes yesterday morning. The man at Central Chit Lom had size 45 and 46 and said he’d keep them for me until Son and I returned around 4.30pm.
This whole thing is assessed. The students have got to plan their diet to suit the tasks they are undertaking. It needs to be varied and sufficient. This amounts to about 5,000 calories (*sits at the keyboard for a second, wondering if hiking up a mountain is worth doing so I can consume more calories. No, maybe not*) So then we had to go to the foodhall for two hours to consider what can be taken; carried; enjoyed; prepared; fulfil leaders' ideas of balanced diet…
Truly I began to lose the will.
Eventually, we finished. We went to the taxi rank: BIG long queues. Bangkok was under attack from a tropical downpour. We’ll have to take the sky train. “But,” I say to Son, “I’m not walking home in this. We’ll go to the next sky train stop [from home] and get a taxi just the local bit.”
So there we are, not at our local sky train station but one further away to justify a taxi journey. It's still pouring sheets of rain. The roads are car parks and so the first three taxis refuse to take us. We are soaking wet already. If we’d got off and walked from the correct stop, we’d be home by now. Eventually a taxi agrees to take us. He doesn’t know his way; we miss our left turn, we do a u-turn, he misses the next right. He reassesses; instead of a u-turn we turn right. From this direction cars are forbidden to turn right into our soi. He drives up the wrong side of the road, hits another car (no damage, just the wing mirror flipping in) and turns right to a symphony of honking horns, flashing lights and tropical rain.
But you know what? It could be worse: I could be going camping at the weekend!
Finally, just because it's fun, long time readers might remember this picture of Son from our trip to see grandparents in France.