Author: Richard

Are-Tankless-Water-Heaters-a-Waste-of-Money

Are Tankless Water Heaters a Waste of Money?

Are tankless water heaters a waste of money? No or yes the fact stands vivid that electric bills have been increasing among our households. Since electric bills have become too expensive people have developed energy saving ways to enable themselves save excess cost. Our energy resources nowadays are facing challenges such as pollution, global warming and excessive usage. If not preserved well they may end up diminishing. Before tankless water heater came to attention people used to heat water on…


Pu Kaeng Waterfall

Shortly after returning from Laos,  Ploy decides she wants to go see a waterfall in Chiang Rai province. I’m really surprised by this. Ploy isn’t an outdoors savant. I’m thrilled by the prospect and we invite a recently arrived young American girl from Utah (Briel) along.   Ploy uses the ever trusty Google to find general directions to the waterfall and I take the driver’s seat. We bump along happily, stopping by 7-11 for breakfast (of champions!) and motor along….


Peregrine Sadness

Traveling, for the most part, is a lot of fun. Instead of inundating you with the typical “You learn so much  yourself!” happy go-lucky crap that so many popular travel sites chuck in your face like an angry ex with a drink in hand, I’m going to give you a spoonful of how being away from home for a long time can mess with your head (and heart). If you don’t like those blogs that read like diary entries, skip…


Nelson

I arrive mid-afternoon, and wandered around the I-Site’s visitor information before a guy quietly points me to the hostel information section. I make my way to the Tasman Bay hostel (free chocolate pudding and ice cream!) and grab a free bike for a quick ride around town.  Shocking spoiler: I got lost several times. Really, I picked up the bike because I was actually tired of walking and after eying the town map, I decided it was too far to…


Be Honest with Yourself…

Sometimes, it’s tough not living up to other people’s expectations. It’s even tougher trying to figure out why you’re trying to to live up to them in the first place. When Ploy told me that if I wanted to stay in Thailand I needed to teach English I was dismayed. I don’t particularly enjoy the company of children. Where other women let out a chorus of “ooohs” and “aahs” I stare dumbfoundedly for a few seconds before I remember that…


Bus-Rides-Are-Forever

Bus Rides Are Forever

Caro and I walk to the bus station at 7 a.m. the next day. Caro is a 5’10” blonde German kid taking a 3-month break before starting university in Germany. This is the first time she’s traveled and she doesn’t think she will travel again after university. She says that it’ll look bad on her resume if she travels after university. Employers think that people who travel after university simply weren’t able to get a job. It’s a very corporate…


Dirty Little Secrets of the Thai Educational System

I walked into my teaching position completely blind. I didn’t know much about what to expect or how tough it would be. I was told that all I had to do was show up and teach (by speaking in English with irreverence towards actual comprehension).  I’d read a few stories on the popular English Teacher in Thailand website, Ajarn, about how horrible the teaching conditions were in Thailand (and that if you had a choice, teach anywhere but Thailand). Ploy,…


Remembering G-ma

I don’t remember much about the woman, only that for some inexplicable reason, I really loved her. To me, she is always going to be the little woman who wandered around the yard with a hose, watering plants of various shapes, vitality, and sizes. I watched, as over time, her walk became a shuffle, and her shuffle developed a humped back when osteoporosis settled into the joints of her spine. Her compromised stature never dissuaded her from going out and…


Sunrise-at-Franz-Josef-Glacier

Sunrise at Franz Josef Glacier

It’s a bleary-eyed start at 6 a.m. when Caro, Richard, and I start walking out towards the glacier. We’re the only people out there as we wind our way up the road to the trail head.  It’s a clear sky and the moonlight is enough to light our way. I reflect on the general good luck of the morning. It’ not raining, we don’t need torches, and we get to see Franz Josef glacier at sunrise. “How many people get…


You’re Effin’ Kidding, Right?

Even though all government schools are under a mandate to have foreign teachers, Bansankhong (BSK) could care less what those teachers do beyond showing up to teach. Are you fighting off the worst flu of your life? Who cares. Show up and suffer through it! Yes, even if you are about to pass out with a fever (True story. I got a back-handed comment when I was sick with a fever that had me bed-ridden for two days). BSK did…