Weeks #6: interrupting the week with Thailand

2015-02-16 07.53.11Zachary has moved it up a notch with his choir activities by starting in the Turner Trebles this year, which means he has to be at school on a Monday morning at 8am. An early start to the week.

2015-02-16 08.10.29

I moved in to my new office. Even though I don’t have my own direct window to the outside, I can see Black Mountain Tower from my desk, so it is not too bad at all.

2015-02-16 09.07.04Went out and bought myself some baht for the trip to Thailand.

2015-02-17 19.53.10Tuesday night Jude and Zac and I went for a walk while James and Sebastian went to scrim. We were all disappointed to discover that Mr Frugii is closed by 8pm on Tuesdays, but we did enjoy our walk nonetheless.

2015-02-18 06.15.50Up early and off to Thailand. I was going to talk to Australian development aid people from the South Asian region about skills and skill development, with a couple of meetings of the side.

2015-02-18 08.49.47Got in a visit to the Qantas First Class Lounge in Sydney for a spot of breakfast.

2015-02-18 17.13.33Hotel window view – our hotel was somewhat away from the heart of Bangkok.

2015-02-18 18.03.55This is how you recover from a 9 hour flight. Sadly I didn’t get another chance to swim while I was there, but it was certainly refreshing after all the pool time.

2015-02-18 20.27.21Ate at a restaurant just down the street with one of my DFAT colleagues – cheap and good.

2015-02-18 20.31.24In interesting facts I learnt while in Bangkok, Red Bull originated in Thailand as a tonic drunk by taxi drivers to keep them awake and is considered pretty low class (see top of the fridge). When Europeans bought it and licensed if that added the fizzy aspect. I still prefer my caffeinated beverage fizzy.

2015-02-18 20.34.58Night scene outside the 7-11.

2015-02-19 08.25.52I did very much like the hot pinkness of the taxis in Bangkok. It has been more than twenty years since I was last in Bangkok and I remember the absolute traffic gridlock there was then. I was pleasantly surprised by how much better the traffic is now in Bangkok – between the Sky Train and the new road infrastructure it has improved significantly. It was also Chinese New Year which apparently took a number of cars of the road also.

While I was mostly in town to talk to the development folk, I also took the time to have a couple of side meetings. This is the view from the offices of the Thailand Professional Qualifications Institute.

Evidence of Chinese New Year. I celebrated by eating some form of dumpling at pretty much every meal while in Bangkok, including breakfast.

My friend Sarah is currently acting Deputy Head of the Australian Embassy, so after an official work meeting, she and I headed out for dinner at an enormously cool restaurant near the Embassy called the Namsaah Bottling Trust. Excellent food and a brilliant negroni. And lovely to spend some time catching up.

2015-02-19 21.36.10After a wander around the night market I caught the Sky Train home – very convenient and easy.

2015-02-21 13.16.19While away I finished Wolf Hall. As an avid Tudor history fan I really enjoyed it. The writing is terrifically layered and Cromwell is a fascinating character.

2015-02-20 16.45.45Hotel lunch smorgasbords – the bane of portion control. Hey, I deserved dessert after three hours of talking about skills.

Then it was back to the airport and time to fly home.

2015-02-20 18.33.02Goodbye Thailand!

2015-02-21 02.39.54Sunrise from the plane.

2015-02-21 12.42.30Back to regularly scheduled Canberra life – off the plane, shower, pick Sebastian up from cricket, collect the rest of the family from other cricket and lunch at LSR.

2015-02-21 15.45.06Then off with the boys to junior derby training.

2015-02-21 15.12.53In a big week of reading, I also finished Laurinda. Very readable and fascinating to see things from such a different perspective.

2015-02-22 12.45.12Sunday morning rode with Jude and Zac up to Campbell High School where they were spending the day playing chess.

2015-02-22 16.28.26Back at home I helped Sebastian with his Japanese homework which involved photographing Japanese things. Made me very natsukashii – I think we are going to have to find time to visit Tokyo this year.

2015-02-22 13.52.27To end the weekend, Sebastian helped prepare sashimi and other tuna delights. How nice to be home (even if no dumplings for breakfast).

2015-02-22 17.36.21

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