I Blame My Mother


#sol18- March 27, 2018

Today half of our group of four moved on- Linnea and Maggie boarded a plane to Bangkok for the preconference- Heidi and I had one more day!

My “treatment” of the day was different thanks to Heidi’s suggestion. She said that after so many days of sun and sand our bodies might need a “refresh”, so we reserved an hour long “Sensational Salt Scrub”. I have only had a foot scrub before, so this was guaranteed to be a whole new experience. I am all about trying new things. The brochure said, “Using sea salt as a base, this highly effective body scrub leaves your skin instantly softer and smoother. Ylang ylang and jasmine essential oil combine to create a romantic, calm and uplifting feeling.” It all sounded good (although the romance improbable).

This week through our “special discount” massages Heidi and I have seen more of each other’s bodies than would normally be expected amongst friends, but the spa staff had no such worries. We were shuttled into a small changing room to undress except for disposable black tiny somewhat stretchy boy shorts. Once on my table the wonderful therapist began her work. I was scrubbed from top to bottom, front side and back a body part at a time, while the rest of me waited underneath a light cloth. Heidi finished a minute before me and was sent to the shower in the changing room and told to put on new disposable underwear after showering. I waited outside the shower for Heidi to finish, then took my turn.

It felt great, really relaxing. Then I was back on the table and slathered gently with thick lotion. Some tiger balm was massaged into my neck, I was bent and stretched a bit, and then sent back to the changing room to dress again.

It was a blissful experience (aside from the hilarity in the changing room), trying to figure out what was expected of us before, midway through, and at the end. Turns out I would happily have a body scrub again, even though I would prefer a room to myself next time.

So, three massages and a body scrub in my four full days in Khao Lak- I blame my hedonistic mom for my early taste for massage. She used to ask my sister and I to massage her back after a long day’s work and then we got our (much shorter) turn. She progressed to professional massages and much later in life I found out I liked them too. In Berlin I was lucky to have a great place on my street and that special treat has become a much more regular habit now that I live in Asia where massage is much cheaper and more accessible (and common practice for many people).

Not a bad way to refresh after all of the beach and pool time and prepare for the teacher conference ahead (spoiler alert- it is off to Bangkok for that tomorrow, so I expect there will be more massages in my future, including my quest to visit the training school at Wat Po).


Another Day in Paradise


#sol18- March 26, 2018 Day 26 of 31

It was another quiet day here- the big excitement was when a monitor lizard took a shortcut through the pool. Monitor lizards are gross (to me), but do draw attention. This guy walked up the concrete path with determination and did not hesitate to slide into the pool, swim across, and emerge on the other side before ducking under a sunbed and then disappearing through the fence. Aside from a few people jumping up to take pictures or video it did not disturb the peace at all. IMG_7026

Today was a day full of reading and relaxation (yes, I had another massage)- I could get used to this! One more day and I head to part two of break (a regional teacher conference).


A Perfect Afternoon

#sol18- March 25, 2018 Day 25 of 31

Spring Break, I love you! Today was day 2 of my time in Khao Lak and my second massage achieved. There is nothing that says instant relaxation like massage to me and a massage in a lovely spa after a morning at the pool- nearly perfect. An hour and a half later I emerged totally relaxed and perfectly happy to sign up for the following two days as well.

Ode to Thai Food


#sol18- March 24, 2018 Day 24 of 31

We arrived in Khao Lak last night and I am already busy working my way through my favorite Thai dishes. Lunch was Pad Thai (or Phad Thai), probably the first Thai food that I ever ate (and I have to admit perhaps the most delicious Pad Thai I ever had was at a favorite restaurant in Berlin, Germany oddly enough). The hotel we are staying at has a restaurant overlooking the beach, so a perfect setting and a decent meal.

We walked into town (a 15 minute walk they said, but I think it was longer). After checking out the Moo Moo Cabaret Club for a “lady boy show” we wandered the night market and ended up at Siam Restaurant. After looking over the menu I settled on a new favorite – massaman curry with chicken. I usually opt for green curry but was recently introduced to this less common curry and I love it. Tonight’s version was spicy and delicious. Our dinner was disrupted by the restaurant cat catching a gecko and nibbling off its tail before letting it go- yuck! We were tired so took a taxi back- a great first day of eating my way through yummy Thai food (and the great news is I have another week to go).

A Reading Celebration


#sol18- March 22, 2018

Today was officially the last day of our Character Book Club reading unit (only two more books to be returned- hoping they come in tomorrow- reminder emails just sent). The TC unit recommends a celebration that consists of the students creating book lists (in the style of “If you liked Judy Moody you might like…”). This makes sense because part of the unit focuses on identifying similarities between characters, their traits, problems, and reactions, among other things. We brainstormed ideas for titles for book lists and then they were off. They could work alone or with a partner, on paper or digitally. They could add any book they had ever read to their list.

After about 20 minutes of work time, many lists were completed, while others need a little more time. The lists were as varied as the students and ranged from “If You Like Picture Books with Great Pictures You Should Try…” to “If You Are Hungry Read…” to “If You Get in a Bit of Trouble You Might Like” and more.

I promised my students that these lists would go in the school library, our class library, and could be used by future third graders too. It was fun to watch the diversity of their reading interests portrayed on the lists and already they were crowding around the lists looking for ideas.  A perfect end to a busy day!

Comfort Denied!


#sol18- March 21, 2018

Today as I enjoyed my salad at lunch two of my colleagues were devouring their breakfast sandwiches (they are married, so almost always have the same lunch). These were planned for leftovers from last night’s dinner. This got us all talking about how we love breakfast for dinner, although it quickly was revealed that we love breakfast for any meal. I have fond memories of having waffles for dinner sometimes (my mom had a very limited repertoire of specialities, but waffles were always a hit) as a child, so somehow breakfast foods are comfort foods to me.

It is the week before break and the time is going by a little bit slowly (case in point, I thought it was Thursday this morning). I am trying to use all of the food in my fridge, as I will be away next week.This afternoon during our faculty meeting I was mentally scanning the fridge and then remembered lunch: frozen bagels, eggs, cheese- all on hand. I decided to stop at the store on the way home to get some bacon- and not the usual (for here) beef bacon, but I even went to the very farthest corner of the store where the non-halal section is hidden to buy some back bacon for my own breakfast sandwich for dinner. I even imagined I would cook some extra bacon to throw in tomorrow’s salad as a treat.

I started by preparing tomorrow morning’s overnight oatmeal and then pulled out my ingredients for the breakfast sandwich to cure my malaise. I went to open the egg carton only to notice the eggs “expired” a few days ago. Now I know that most expiry dates on food are suggestions, not really deadlines, but I couldn’t get past that- I have seen the other side of food poisoning and salmonella and I just wasn’t willing to take that risk. On to plan B- a bagel with peanut butter and banana- also delicious, but not the comfort food I was craving. Ah well, something to look forward to for another night!