May 29, 2007

3 years (& a day) of wedded bliss

Happy 3rd Anniversary to Us!
In true fashion we didn't do just one thing on one day.
The first was seeing Pirates 3 in the "Gold Theater" last Thursday.
The second was going out with Abang and Kakak on Sunday
Well, first we had to go to a wedding in the kampung.Danielle, I think the bride can give you lots of orange tips for your upcoming wedding!
After the wedding we went to "Lookout Point" was a bit hazy...but we think our city is beautiful!But the restaurants up there were closed.
So we went here...
The food was great and the atmosphere was awesome!
"Victoria Station" is the name of an old train station (possibly one in the UK as well)
So the restaurant had several full-size cars for decor!
One big Engine outside and 3 'dining' cars inside...they even had REAL tables in the actual train cars.
If you like trains, we'll take you there to eat when you come see us!
Then Monday May 28th, our actual anniversary, we had to go to language class.
When we got home we discovered a notice in the mail that a package from the US was at the post office for us! WOO HOO!
"How's that for timing?" we said.
But, when we got to the post office the guy told us the package was still on the truck (that had apparently come by our house while we were in class) and we could pick it up tomorrow.
So we decided to drown our sorrows at Italiannes with their AMAZING Spinach and Artichoke Dip.
sooooo good.
Italiannes is the closest thing we have to an Olive Garden or Carrabba's here.
But they do food "Buca di Beppo's" style and the portions serve 2- 6 people.
We then did a little anniversary shopping at GAP
(I PROMISE we live in a very foreign haven't accidentally clicked on someone else's blog. There are only 2 GAP's in the entire Southeast Asia region...luckily, one of them is in a mall nearby!)

Then today the anniversary fun continued with another more successful trip to the post office. Thanks Daddy and Mama!
Oh, and the Reese's Pieces taste just fine...but they'd rather fly first class next time.

May 26, 2007

"Go" doesn't quite cut it...

Tonight we went Go-karting...or should we say "Whoa karting"
We were saying goodbye to our friend T-pop with a fun night out.
She's heading back to Europe next week.
We're gonna miss you T-pop!These go-karts were awesome.
It's now on our list of 'must-do's' for anyone who comes to visit.
At first it looked like your normal go-kart track.
But when they made K3 and K4 take a test ride around the track with their dad we were impressed. (They passed by the way)
"Good precautions" we thought.
And everyone had to wear a helmet.
"Safety First" we thought.
(Wouldn't want any banana peels or red-shells to ruin the night...Donkey Kong is slow but he's tricksy)
But then we saw some adults drive the karts.
Our smiles and excited glances at one another said, "Whoa."
They went much faster than the junk America calls "Go-karts."
When go-kart tracks don't have to fear sue-crazy Americans, they take the governors cap off.
They also lengthen the track.
You have a choice of an 80cc or a 100cc Kart.
K5 thought the 80cc was a good fit for her.
That may not seem like very much, but considering most motorcycles in this country are around 125cc, it's fast.
Not like, Porsche fast, but go-kart fast.
If you hold the gas down the whole time like the joke-karts in the US, you'll find yourself in the tires quickly.
There's even speed limit signs.
Sorry there's no video.
Maybe next time.
You get a nifty hair net too to wear under your helmet.

We know. The hair net sold you.
Just let us know when your plane lands.

May 23, 2007

Yo Ho Yo Ho!

Avast! There be a review at the bottom of this here keep a weather-eye out for it maties.

We probably shouldn't be this excited about a movie...but we are. It comes out today and we've got tickets at one of the nicest theaters ever.

Review- So we liked it, but still not better than the first. This one is weirder than the others, but then again, Tia Dalma says in the previews, "Would you brave the weird and haunted shores..." so can't say they didn't warn us. If you can keep track of who is on which ship and who makes deals with whom, then you'll be doing good. But the action is good and there's way more Asians in this one. It'd have been better to see more personality from the other "Pirate Lords"...but Anthony did get a good laugh out of Keith Richards' brief part. Also, the theater we saw it in has leather recliners, blankets, and they bring your snacks to your seat...savvy?

May 21, 2007

Tribal Night...

Ok, so just when Anthony had you guys convinced our lives are biasa,
we go and have a night like last night.

It was fun.
But TOTALLY unexpected.
It's all Justin and Daniela's doing.
They invited us last minute.
They said, "It's some dinner thing."

Yeah right.
"Dinner" didn't quite describe what we were in for...

Someone gave them tickets and didn't tell them what it was for.
Turns out the Kelabit Tribe from Borneo was throwing a party.
They were celebrating their cultural heritage along with honoring Kelabit youth for their educational achievements.
They even flew in some villagers from Borneo.
It was like National Geographic meets History Channel meets reality TV meets a country club ballroom.

Keep in mind we knew none of this before hand.
But the pieces eventually came together.
Like, as we arrived many of the people were dressed in variations of this outfit:After all the guests arrived, the guest of honor was escorted to his seat

What a welcome!
Then there were speeches about the heritage of the people and how so much has changed in the last 50 years.
A LOT. Lemme tell ya.
50 years ago these people couldn't even read or write.
Now they've entered the modern world...yet have retained their cultural heritage...
as these videos will show.

Here's an example of some of their young people showing with a little extra som'n som'n from Justin and Anthony:

But the young people also haven't abandoned their traditions either...
Here's the ending of a traditional "harvest-hunting" dance:

During all this we were eating dinner,
but the food had become secondary to all the activities.
Particularly the Lucky Draw!Wha? A free dinner at a country club AND the chance to win a basket of goodies?
The night got better and better. (even though we didn't win)

The tribe had an incredible spiritual awakening a few decades ago that completely colors who they are as a people.
They performed a familar tune on traditional bamboo instruments:

Then the Spice Girls took the stage:

They were sitting at the table beside us and it seemed like every person in the room (500 people?) came by to greet them and take a picture.
You could tell they are deeply respected in their community.
One girl even asked to touch the middle lady's earlobe and she agreed with a smile...
The night ended with the Spice Girls (That's not my nickname either...that's what they were introduced as) serenaded the room and everyone participated in a traditional Kelabit dance.

Think "Tribal Conga Line" and you'll have it. that I'm done telling you about our night with tribal folks,
I'm gonna watch TV.
Back to normal.

May 17, 2007

The Opposite of the "Lonely Planet" Travel Guide

Looking back over some of our posts, one would get the impression that every day of our lives is spent doing something new, exciting, exotic or way out in left field. That's true maybe a couple days out a month. The rest of the time our life is pretty biasa - normal.

For instance, right now I'm waiting for the new episode of Lost to download off iTunes. Only 62 hours to go... and we had to pay for this episode.

Sharon's busy making taco salad in the kitchen.

Kids are playing loudly in the yard next to ours. Sometimes random objects land in our yard.

This afternoon we realized we forgot to buy beef, which prompted a "send the hubby back to the grocery store" trip.

We took our language teacher's 3-year-old to McDonald's for lunch. He calls it "ba-da-bum-bum-bum" (ala the "I'm Lovin' It" song on the commercials).

I've had a cold for the past 4 days.

I had plans to come up with some great and witty insights from our mostly normal life, but Sharon just asked if I could help her out by browning the ground beef.

See... normal.

May 14, 2007

100th Post!

The title has nothing to do with the actual post.
But just wanna say "Thanks!" to all of you out there who have been with us since the beginning.
Our blog would surely be meaningless without you.
(here's a great time for all you secret readers out there to post a comment and identify yourselves!)
On to Mother's Day festivities.
No, we didn't get to see our own moms.
But we DID hang out with friends,
A couple of whom are actually mothers.
And since mother's day here was this past Tuesday,
it actually was a celebration for their motherhood.

Onto the pics...we know its why you come here...We went to the beach with Kakak and her family.
Her mom and sister were both there too.
She's taken care of us since we first got here.
And we get to see her be a mother on a daily basis.
Needless to say, some of the phrases we understand best in the language are 'mothering phrases'

"Jangan Ganggu!"- "Don't bother them!"
"Diam!"- "SHHHH!"
"Di mana seluar?!"- "Where are your pants?!"

But at the beach her kids could be as noisy as they wanted to be.
And as a Mother's day Miracle, the 3 year old pretty much kept his pants on the whole time.
Here's Anthony playing with Kakak's 7 yr old son, and her younger brother.
(Anthony's the light one)

The afternoon was spent relaxing.
We ate... (can you see the white people indicator? Mac-n-cheese...oh yeah!)...played with Kakak's baby nephew......did normal beach activities like bury kids in the sand, and build sandcastles...Then a Chinese man brought in a big fish net...the fish net wasn't all that interesting, but this little Indian girl who managed to get a few fish herself from the net was definitely picture worthy...And that was our Mother's Day.
What did you do? Anything special? secret readers out there...this is a great time to show yourself!

May 13, 2007

Mommies- this'n's fo you...

We'd like to send out a big
"Happy Mother's Day!"
to the Greatest Moms in the WHOLE world.

(How else could we have turned out to be the greatest kids in the whole world without you?)

Love- Anthony & Sharon

May 09, 2007

packages that care...

Our friends in Kentucky sent us a care package!
Thanks to the Millicans, the Browns, Lauren and Tara...y'all are too fun!

May 06, 2007


We did a ton of stuff this weekend. This won't be real detailed- we'll stick with "a picture paints a thousand words" motto and if you want to know anything specific, just ask us in the comments.
The brand spankin' new Bangkok International Airport...HUGE

And very "Thai" as this display shows... I'm sure it has some significant meaning, but just gonna have to guess on this one...We ate pork!
The fast food places here don't use bacon because half the people here can't eat it because of religious reasons... but the BK in BKK has bacon double cheeseburgers!
And Tony Roma's was a necessary stop too (for those present that eventful night in Jacksonville this was the first time I've been to Tony Roma's since... no waiters demanded $0.42 more of a tip this time)
I (Sharon) got a Thai massage. Anthony went to a nearby mall that was nothing but computer stores. While he was looking at stuff that's impossible for us to ever buy, my limbs were being bent in positions I once thought impossible. Thailand is called "The Land of Smiles"...this nice Thai masseuse was embodiment of that phrase...Saturday was Cinco de Mayo, so in honor of Mexico and her freedom from Spain (and no real Mexican food since August) we ate Mexican food... the guacamole was heavenly...
Our main transports for the weekend were the famous "Sky Train" (which isn't much different of a concept than the El in Chicago..but whatever)...
Sometimes foreign languages are just funny...

Here's us at Victory Monument...we have no idea what victory it was for...but it's just one of the things your supposed to see in Bangkok...
The other form of transportation was by taxi...
They're so colorful! Pink, Green, Orange, Red, Yellow, Blue, White, and Purple!

Another of the musts is taking a water taxi to the Grand Palace. Even though it was closed (the Thai government apparently failed to check our travel schedule when they planned a coronation ceremony that day)...we still took a water taxi (just over to a hotel to eat) so we could say we did...

May 03, 2007

We are Siamese if you please...

We're off to Bangkok for the weekend...check back Monday or so for fun Siamese stories.

So this post doesn't completely waste your time:
Thailand used to be called "Siam"
It's where "The King and I" story is based.
Some of the most famous conjoined twins came from Thailand...ergo "Siamese Twins"
Pretty kitties that are distinct in their coloring, "Siamese cats," are from there.
So when the cats on Lady and the Tramp sing their song...they're really Thai cats.

I know. This post is opening up worlds to you.

Thailand/Siam has never been ruled by an outside power...they're very proud of that...
As an American I have no claim to that since it was a colony...
so more power to 'em.