Christmas Dinner

DSC01407I roll into Tay Ninh on December 24th largely to see what this Vietnamese Cao Dai religion is all about and to see their Temple. I’d been in town for only 15 minutes, when walking through a park, I meet a local man named Nheim. We walk through the park and talk for about 30 minutes and he is great company and eager, it seems to practice his English.

He is great fun to talk to, has a very engaging personality, and is forthcoming with all kinds of information on his town, things to do, and Cao Dai. As we say our goodbyes, he invites me to his house the next day to meet his wife and have dinner. Christmas dinner with a Vietnamese couple…count me in! Continue reading

Time to Hit the Road

Shrimp and Mekong Grass Salad

Shrimp and Mekong Grass Salad

I am ready, my bike is mostly kitted out, and I need to put some miles on her.  My plan is to head back south as the first part of this journey was done by bus.  I want to dip the rear wheel in the Bay of Thailand before I set out to touch the front tire to Chinese soil.

Through a friend, I was put in touch with an Australian woman who lives in Ho Chi Minh who operates a Street Food Tour business and is a food blogger and writer.  Perfect.  I need to learn more about Vietnamese food and have a truckload of questions.  When I touch bases with her, it seems she is leaving the next day to head into the Mekong Delta south of the city to do some research for part of a Fodor’s travel guide she is writing.  Even more perfect.  I’ll get to accompany her while she researches, a learning opportunity with a broad professional view, I presume.  And I’m headed south too.

She invites me over to have dinner with her Vietnamese husband and meet her two children.  We’ll meet and eat this night, then head out of town the following morning.   Continue reading

Thai Coup Explained

I know, I abandoned this blog a while ago, but I’m posting this because many of you have asked in emails about the Coup in Thailand.  I wrote this yesterday for friends and family.  I am now posting it for two reasons.  The first is because I want to give people perspective.  The second reason is that I heard the Thai government will block websites that are anti-government, or incite something-or-another….I wonder if that’ll be this site…?

So, if you want my perspective on the Thai coup, read the following:

Reflections on the Thai Coup of 2014 from an Expat Continue reading

Entrust TEFL: It’s A Joke

Actors In Job Placement Circus

Actors InThe Job Placement Circus

There has been a great deal of drama surrounding the placement of my peers during (and following) the TEFL training course. There has been an even larger dearth of professionalism throughout the process.

Overall, the placement process was rushed, expectations were poorly set, individuals were unprepared, and there was an utter lack of customer service. It’s really not my battle since I haven’t asked Entrust TEFL to place me in a job, but let me explain so that those of you thinking of enrolling in the Entrust TEFL program or teaching in Thailand will have some background that my peers in the program and I did not have. (Thank you for your questions and emails.)

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Myanmar

Another Stamp For The Passport

Another Stamp For The Passport

The seven a.m. bus takes me from Chiang Mai to Mae Sai, a town that represents the northernmost point of Thailand and houses one of the few legal points of entry/exit in Thailand.  On the other side lies Myanmar and a town called Tachileik.  I am thrilled to be going to Myanmar, if only for the day.

When this adventure in Thailand began, I had planned to go to Myanmar for a grand tour ahead of my TEFL class.  A booking snafu derailed that trip, but I wasn’t put off by it…Myanmar isn’t going anywhere, nor am I, and there is so much to do in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai.  So, today is the day – my greatly anticipated first visit to Myanmar.

Adorable Egg Seller

Adorable Egg Seller

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