May 15, 2009. Planning a Party

Yesterday it was hot again. I did nothing but work, library, home, eat, park. Thus no post.

Today it is a little cooler, but still very warm and sunny. At least there is a slight breeze.

Last Saturday night I invited “the gang” out for a crispy duck dinner on me. I described how we ended up eating at Sea’s, then going to Window of the World for music, dice and pool, and beer. I didn’t mention that I paid for nothing. Martin and Nina’s husband paid for everything. So my social obligation was not repaid. In fact, I guess I owe more, although I don’t think they think of it that way.

Yesterday I found out that Monday the 18th is Martin’s birthday. So I arranged to meet Vivian, Martin’s wife, after her work. We met at Coco Park, a place down town where there are a dozen outdoor cafes next to each other on a busy street corner. There is a pizza place there that Martin likes. I met Vivian there for three reasons. 1) She speaks good English so I can make sure my plans are understood and clear. 2) So she could communicate my wishes to the bakery and the pizza place about arrangements for a birthday cake to be presented after we finish our dinner, and 3) so I could make sure I paid for everything this time.

So I met Vivian at 15:30. She made arrangements with the pizza place, made arrangements for the birthday cake, and got everything else ready. We had to buy a cake at Starbucks. That was the only bakery close enough to the pizza place. It was outrageously expensive, more than $20.00. We left a box of candles with the cake. Now I think everything is ready for Martin’s big surprise tomorrow. Based on previous experience, I wonder how close the actual experience will come to my expectations. Language problems and cultural differences make everything turn out odd.

I was talking to a colleague about trying to acclimate myself to the lack of air conditioning here. He suggested buying a bamboo bed cover and sleep on it instead of a sheet. He said it is much cooler. Sheets hold body heat. The bamboo does not.

It turns out I have one of these coverings in my apartment. I didn’t know what it was for. It is made up of domino size pieces of bamboo that are held together by nylon string. The pieces are about half the thickness of a domino. The thing is very heavy to lift. I have put it on my bed. Will see what happens tonight.

I have the fan running, but have resisted using the a/c. I had my two day old pancakes for dinner tonight. I bought some lychee nuts and apples for desert. I will eat them when I return from the park.


About Charles Kirtley

Have been living in SE Asia and China since 2007. I have an opinion on most every subject, and don't mind sharing them. Lover and collector of worthless facts.
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