Wednesday, July 7, 2010

June 28- July 7th

Always in search of new things to do, Adam was pleased to inform me around 2 weeks ago that one of his friends, Lucas, had told him about an organization here in Thailand called Grapevine... of which he is part. He further told me that they are a Christian ministry group, full of firangs (foreigners) from all around the world. Many of them had heard about Grapevine through speakers that come to their ministries in the States, sparking their interest and causing them to decide to spend months of their time at home raising enough money to fund their 6 month (or longer) stay in Thailand, VOLUNTEERING at Grapevine to try to help those in need in Thailand through Christ. Though that is their main focus, they also host a variety of events that give Adam and I a chance to hang-out and make new friends. With this in mind, we decided to head to their building (conveniently right down the road) to partake in their first Souper Tuesday. This cleverly named event offers a few hours of "chill" time, followed by a soup dinner and then a short Bible study and songs. During this "chill" time, Adam and I played quite a few games of which we had never heard, and made new friends... firangs and Thai alike (who are always glad to help us with our Thai!).

One of the friends we made there, Paul, agreed to take us to Paragon, the huge mall in central Bangkok. The trip there takes about an hour by bus, which we were thankfully able to get air-conditioned... and as I said before Thailand never fails to offer interesting things to see. For example, whether by choice or due to the rainy season I am not sure, but they have a huge amount of waterways that stretch through vast amounts of the city... unfortunately, many of them are not natural rivers so they end up becoming stagnant. However, one of Adam's professors, a renowned Asian engineer developed these turban type devices that spin and circulate the water which helps to keep the mosquitoes at bay(though we have still been bitten by quite a few...). Another interesting thing that we passed was the street where all the protesters were, which was evidenced by the destroyed, burned buildings.

Upon arriving at Paragon, we were rather intimidated by how huge it was. We headed to the second story of the basement floor which is an absolutely enormous food court, where we were pleasantly surprised to find Thailand's only Mexican restaurant, which thankfully fulfilled our desire to have our El Tap fajitas (for now...). After lunch, we went a couple stories up to browse the gigantic book store that somehow led us to a movie store, where we bought the first season of Lost to pass some of our time. Once we had Lost, we looked through the movies they had playing (I forgot to mention they have an Imax theater, along with normal theaters of course, on the top (7th i think?) floor of the mall).

At a loss as to what to do, we decided to head back to JJ's market, which is a massive local market that spans for 30ish blocks that sells almost anything you can imagine. Once we had gotten a little oriented (... remember this place is huge and is basically just a maze where you have to weave in and out of alley ways etc. which gets extremely confusing very quickly) we headed to the pet section where they offered everything from dogs to flying squirrels... sadly we can't have a pet here or we were going to buy a kitten and get him a little Thai passport so he could come back to the US with us (sounds funny but that is really how you do it lol). Slightly depressed by the sad shape most of the animals were in, we ventured off and found a plant section! From previous blog entries, you know that we buy a plant every time we go to the mall (our dorm has quite a few now...) and with Adam's love for exotic fruits, he just could not pass this opportunity up so we decided to buy a lime tree/bush thing and a Mango tree for our balcony, now properly named Sprite and Mr. Mangoes, respectively.

Lugging all this back to the dorm was no easy task, and left us worn out until the Tuesday for the next Souper Tuesday and the 7th, which was Grapevine's celebration properly named "4th of July on the 7th" where we had American food (finally!) and hung out with our new Thai and firang friends. After watching some fireworks and playing Slamwich, we headed home to get Adam to bed before his next class.

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