After six years here in Thailand, we moved back to the U.S. Instead of returning to Ohio, we settled into California.
Friday, November 26, 2010
This past weekend we went on an overnight bike ride with the cub scouts. On Saturday morning we drove to the province of Samut Songkram and visited the floating market.
The scouts had hired a bus, but Tim and I decided that we'd rather drive ourselves. When we arrived at school to load our bikes in the truck, Nalin and Aleena wanted to ride the bus with their friends. I'm not saying that this made the two hour drive quieter or more peaceful. I'm just not saying.
After visiting the floating market, we split into three groups. One group was to ride thirty-two kilometers, another group ten kilometers, and I think the last group of non-riders just hung out and talked or played. Tim, Jacob and I went on the thirty-two kilometer ride, while Nalin and Aleena played.
The ride was okay. The scouts had hired the same biking group, Spice Roads, as we had last year, but this was a different location and course. I have to say the ride last year seemed a bit more challenging and fun. There were also a lot fewer riders this year, as apparently the U.S. Embassy had some event going on the same weekend.
After the ride we had a two hour drive to the Kang Krachan Country Club in Petchburi. The hotel was okay; the small bungalos were clean. What I didn't like was that to get to the hotel restaurant, we had to ride in large golf carts for ten plus minutes. The ride itself wasn't terrible, but when I had to wait for fifteen minutes after dinner to get a ride back to my room, I was less than thrilled.
The food tasted good, although the selection was not nearly as kid friendly as the resort that we stayed in last year. Last year's place had things like chicken nuggets and french fries, as well as a pretty big selection of other foods. It wasn't just the kids who were disappointed, we heard several parents grousing about the food selection. Every meal, however, there were at least a few things that I thought were pretty good and hardly "exotic" by western standards.
The plan for Sunday was a rafting trip organized by the hotel. The hotel staff in charge happened to be three ladyboys. Its funny that the kids seemed to have no idea that these were anything other than normal ladies. Even the fact that one of the three had a voice deeper than most any of the dads on the trip did not clue the kids in.
The problem wasn't that they were ladyboys, however, the problem was that they sucked at organizing fun games. Before the canoe trip started, they had the kids and parents line up in a circle and play some games. I opted out. By the end of that activity, they were naming fruit and the kids would make a certain move depending on the fruit called out. Of course, when she said "banana", she had the kids do a pelvic thrust.
There was a scavenger hunt during the canoe trip which involved stopping at four or five places and retrieving bags of food that had been placed their earlier. It added so much to the canoe trip to have the kids all argue about who would get to go get each gab.
When we arrived at the end of the canoe trip, we had to make a pyramid out of newspaper and tape. Then the kids made a salad out of the bags of food they had collected for the ladyboys to taste. Somewhere along the way we had picked up a bar of soap, but I couldn't find it when it came time to making the salad, or else it would have been included. As it was, our team made a salad that was about fifty percent raw onions. As one of the parents noted, there was an irony in "tossing" the salad for the ladyboys.
The kids favorite part of the canoe trip was probably the last thirty minutes when they got to play in the creek. They would float about eighty feet, where one of a couple of adults would stop them. Then the kids would make their way back upstream and do it again. If the organizers had taken the kids there first and skipped everything else, it would have been a much bigger win.
It was late in the afternoon by the time we got home. We ended up eating at the mall. Everyone was pretty tired, so we ended up skipping Loy Katong.