February 2, 2016

Once upon a January

Category: Family life

January proved to be yet another eventful month in our household.Work continue to keep me busy late into the nights and over the weekends while we experienced our several “firsts”.

With a few other things happening on the sides as our future continues to unfold, I am guilty of not being able to reply to comments as quickly as I should, read as many blogs to expand beyond my regular favourite bloggers repertoire (which I have been falling off the wagon) and leave a comment as regularly as I want to or actively participate in the linkies like I always do. 

Heck! I have not even gone to my dashboard to draft a post for 2 weeks straight now; save for some of the advanced scheduling or I would not have posted anything in the last few weeks. So much to write about, just not having the luxury of time to. 

Not being able to blog regularly has made me quite grumpy. Not that I am not a grumpy git already! 

So here’s the run-down of what had made January memorable in no particular order:

Our First Car Accident

This happened about 2 weeks ago after the kids’ taekwondo’s class. It was a busy day, traffic was heavy and as Silver Bullet drove his car on the right most of the lane, some moron decided to cross a junction from the other side of the road, into our lane at such a high-speed that had forced Silver Bullet into slamming his brakes. HARD. Screeches, bang and all. Had he not done that, I could not imagine what could have happened.

The taxi behind us couldn’t stop in time as he swerved sideways. His taxi slammed on the side of our car, busting our rear lights and the side mirror on my side. The taxi driver lost his side mirror altogether. I don’t even want to think what could have happened had it been a truck or a bus behind us, with the kids in their car seats at the back of the car.

We caused a little traffic jam as we assessed the damage on the side of the road. Thankfully, apart from a busted bumper, a broken mirror and me getting a sore back, perhaps from the impact which I didn’t even think was significant, no one was injured and the accident was not a serious one.

20160117_112224
Where we stalled traffic!
20160117_134551-1-1
Look! Broken mirror!

In our almost 11 years in Thailand, this had been our first. The kids went quiet for a while, and like their parents, probably in shock when the whole thing happened in a split second.

Have I ever mentioned before that these drivers on the roads here are supreme fuckers?

Spud’s First Tooth

Spud’s loose tooth finally came out! It came out while she was still in class. She was nonchalant about it and told me that there were very little blood and no pain. Unfortunately, she lost it, because, in her words, it was soooo tiny and she just had no idea where it went.

She also called out that the Tooth Fairy is me and that the real Tooth Fairy does not exist. 

20160121_193212
20160121_193219
Look, Mama! No tooth!

Spud said not having her tooth placed under her pillow because she had lost it was not a biggie. She callously said that after all, she has more teeth to lose. Besides, she didn’t think she would get any money from me for her tiny teeth. Ah! My daughter is so practical. 

But I can tell that she’s proud of her gapped teeth, and she’s really happy that there’s no loose tooth to deal with for the time being.

By now, though, she’s already complaining of her other bottom tooth being loose…

My First Basic Dutch Integration Exams

What do you know! After taking about a year of Dutch lessons, and more than a year of Silver Bullet’s frustrations of trying to get this exams arranged, I passed my Basisexamen Inburgering at the first seating. 

IMG-20160112-WA0000 - CopyThe exams results

This is an exam in preparation for my integration into the Dutch society. It’s a necessary step for a foreign spouse of a Dutchman who needs to follow her husband back home to be able to get her visa.

Never mind that we have been legally married for 8 years with 2 Dutch kids to boot. If I don’t have this, I am not allowed to stay with my family long-term. My kids would be motherless because of one damn paper. 

The process also mandates that my husband needs to prove that he can support his foreign wife; not his kids, but his foreign.wife. who has been more than capable of earning her own income and has been doing so for more than a decade; because, you know, god forbid that I married him out of convenience to secure my freedom. 

Oh! The bureaucracy….I don’t even know where to start. It has been an arduous process. That’s a series of stories for another time.

I took the computer-administered exam in December and it has taken them more than 5 weeks to tell me if I had passed. My experience with this one not-a-Dutch-lady at the Embassy was not particularly pleasant as the tone in which she questioned my name and my purpose sounded condescending. She even made faces to her colleague after she asked me to repeat my name twice, and clearly directing it at me. Bitch.

I could feel my blood boil when I saw that and I was on the verge of confronting her with swearings a sailor would be proud of. My fingers twitched with the intense urge to give her the middle finger. But, I thought it would be wise not to.

During the 2.5 hours, I was not even allowed to be given any pen or paper. The good news is, I scored full marks for listening and reading and got 6 out of ten for speaking. Not too shabby!

One down. One more to go. Yes. I do have one more for advanced Dutch exams to take and it’s stressing me out. Grrrrrrr.

Squirt’s First Bathroom Fall 

I crawled into bed at 3 a.m after an 8-hour day working on a weekend at the office and only to be told by Silver Bullet that Squirt was sleeping in our bed that night because he had a nasty fall in the bathroom. When I asked how bad, he told me VERY bad. So bad that Silver Bullet thought that it was the end of Squirt.

As tired as I was, that jolted me right up! Silver Bullet somehow managed not to tell me about it when it happened as he knew I was needed at the office. Still! I felt bad that I wasn’t at home when it happened.

Silver Bullet was clearly shaken. What happened was that Squirt had slipped and bumped the back of his head HARD on the ledge of the bathroom when he decided that he was, on that day, NOT going to walk in, but JUMP right into the shower. As he jumped like he would jump on a trampoline,  he lost his footings and fell backward.

It happened right in front of Silver Bullet, all in a split second. And there was nothing that Silver Bullert could have done to prevent the fall. 

Given the detailed description of his story, we are certain that having a rubber strip padded onto the sharp ledge could be the one thing that had probably saved his head. And his life. 

Squirt had a bump half the size of a ping pong ball for several days and I have been on a very high alert for symptoms of lethargy and such. So far, he’s looking OK. I guess it’s a right of passage. Why do kids do that?! 

He started monkeying around the next day and to me, that’s a big relief.  The bump at the back of his head is getting smaller by the day and he hasn’t shown any signs that are worrying.

20160123_162648-1
Yep! I’m fine!

 

First Casualty of the Year

One of our good expat family friends has departed to the US after more than 5 years in Bangkok. It was more than 3 years of friendship we’ve built since our kids were in our stomachs; from pre-natal yoga, to birth to dealing with difficult babies and the tantrummy toddler stage.

Another “expat-casualty” since one of our family friends, Estelea left Bangkok more than 2 years ago.

The kids have been friends and they played together on our last short get-together. As I watched them interacting with each other, I managed a shot that would forever etch the innocence they have once upon a pool. I wonder if they would remember each other in the years to come. I wonder if their paths would ever cross again.

20160123_160915
Once upon a pool…

The softie in me let out some tears as we said our goodbyes and a lump in my throat that couldn’t go away. We had some wonderful times even though we don’t meet up very much. But, we know in our hearts that we will somehow be forever connected no matter where we are in the world

First Real News

It’s looking like us moving out of Thailand will be imminent within the next few months as things start to get in motion. After almost 11 years here, we are ready. More than ready.

Somehow, the news has not quite sunk in with me yet. I feel like I’m in limbo-land. So much to do, so little time. And, the fact that I still need to get any gainful employment to where we will be going worries me. 

I’ve yet to wrap my head around this. But it is happening. In just a matter of months…

January adventure much? Too much if I may say so myself! Yet, it is exactly things like this that make life colourful too, isn’t it? We’ve got the next few months cut out for us. 

This is just the beginning, with lots more to come and I hope you’ll come along for the ride. Only, please don’t mind me if I don’t respond to your comments quick enough or if I don’t come by as often as  I used to, because you know…I’ll probably just be busy tearing my hair out as I try to sort out shit, fight the fires, being groomed to be a citizen that can integrate with the world and reason with the demons that live in my head.


Posted by:    |    10 Comment
Comments
  1. My, oh my! Sh** really hit the ceiling for you in January! I’m glad that despite all of that you’re are alive and OK. Hope with February things will calm down and your upcoming adventures have a way of developing in a satisfying manner. No more accidents, bumps, loose ends (maybe just loose teeth), and demeaning exams. Wishing you a wonderful, smooth new beginning and lots of new friends!

    • Oh Jas, I have had it with Jan! It was actually my birthday month too…what a month! The exams is just bleaahh..demeaning is the right word but I didn’t want to say it. :p Thank you, Jas. Your words means a lot. I’m hoping for a better and less busy February. It’s a short month and it’s scary! x.

      • Happy belated birthday! My daughter turned 30 on January 7 🙂
        Not to burst your bubble, but this is a leap year and February is 29 days long. I’m sure it will be 29 days of pure bliss! 😀 Hugs

        • Thanks, Jas!Mine was on 16th. They say a lot about Capricorns! :p
          Well…I’m comparing Feb to months with 31 days, so even if it’s 29 days, that is still a couple of days shorter! And we get paid earlier. LOL. x.

  2. well, memories are made of these to remember and treasure. 🙂

  3. Stu

    Hallo Ann and belated happy birthday! Congratulations too on passing your Dutch exam and best of luck with the next one. Unbelievable bureaucracy to allow a family to stay together! I hope February is being kind to you – and I’m sure all your blogging friends and neighbours understand when other things in life take priority. Your food posts are still making me hungry and your humour posts make me smile and laugh 🙂 Very best wishes to you and your family, Stu 🙂

    • Thank you, Stu! I need all the luck (and a working brain) with the next one. The bureaucracy is ridiculous. I’m hoping Feb will be kinder! That’s the idea of the food posts…to make people hungry. You took the bait. LOL. Your words mean a lot. 🙂 Have a wonderful week ahead.

  4. trina

    congratulations on passing the exam. I look forward to following the rest of your journey

    • Thank you, Trina! Appreciate you dropping by. It’s going to be a crazy journey, and like your blog name, it’s good to be crazy! 😀 Well..sometimes! LOL

ADD YOUR COMMENT