The Boy at the Supermarket

Today at the supermarket I overheard a conversation between a young boy of about ten years old with his mom. They weren’t Thai and were most probably expats living in Bangkok. The young boy made such a funny and pleasant remark that I want to share it with you.

As you know, ever since I lost weight around 5 years ago, I’ve become a lot more healthy, aware of what I am eating, and avoiding the fried or sugar infused foods. Growing up I didn’t really have a concept of what was healthy, or what wasn’t. My mom is a wonderful cook, but once I went off to college and worked, dinners ended up whatever was available in my fridge. My often late dinners were simple pasta and pesto. My snack at work was raisins. Hey, they are dried grapes which are fruits, what’s so bad about them? Answer: they are high in sugar.

Okay, so what was it I overheard? It started out with the mother asking the boy “What would you like for dinner today?”

The boy answered, “Potatoes, mashed potatoes and oh, I want some salad and vegetables Mom! The food at school is so sweet! They put sugar in everything even soup! I might have to stop having soup at school!”

Wow, that really hit me.

He was only around ten, but with health conscious parents, he has grown up being aware of what he is putting into his body. It’s great. He will grow up healthy.

Now it’s up to the schools to serve children healthy food. Parents really should check out what’s being served at schools and perhaps like Jaime Oliver, fight for healthier servings. No sugared pink milk please!

Socks

It’s almost the end of January, I have a zillion things to do yet right now all I am thinking about are socks. Yes, you read it right. Socks. Those soft cushy things you put on your feet to keep warm and wear with shoes. What? Are you serious? Yes, I am. I am very serious. I have to confess, I have actually been thinking about socks for a few days now so it’s about time I wrote about it.

It all started when I resumed my running schedule after a few weeks of rest. Most days, running is a bore and I do it just so that I can eat and have that delicant piece of sinful chocolate that melts in your mouth. However, one day a week or so again, I ran and ran and for the first time in a long time, I felt that running was enjoyable.

It was fun, relaxing and I enjoyed feeling my feet pacing up and down on the treadmill. I felt bouncy and my feet were happy. I could run more than I had for awhile.

I wondered if it was runner’s high, but it wasn’t. I thought that maybe it was because I had slept a lot the night before, but it wasn’t or maybe it was because I had eaten lots of carbs. It’s true these things help running, but on that day the only deviation from the norm I could think of was the socks I was wearing.

I had just rediscovered my Thorlo running socks that I had bought in the US and hardly use. I have to tell you, they are in a league of their own from the normal sports socks I usually buy. I mean, socks, you put them on your feet and stuff them in your shoe. Why spend lots on them? Now I know why. They make the exeperience that much better. There was soft cushioning on the base and the material with which it was made keeps your feet dry and cool. Awesome. Now I’m fascinated by socks and am no longer going back to those skimpy running socks I used to buy.

My sock world has now changed. I am going to splurge for happy feet. (I guess it will make me enjoy running more too) What about you? Do you have any running socks you like in particular? Please share.

In case you want to try out some cool socks, I found a review on socks on runner’s world (http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-240-320–13925-1-1X2-3,00.html) Have fun!

A closet too big

I want to write about so many things, but I cannot do it all in one night so today I thought I’d write about a little revelation I had today. It has to do with clothes. Yes, girls never have enough clothes, shoes bags and accessories.  We love our little fashion items and do not hesitate to buy more even though we have closets full of similar stuff at home.   Then we run out of space and need more.

Today I went to pick up a suit I had made.   On the way out,  I passed by some stores and spotted several nice dresses.  Thinking to myself that I am always wearing the same style of clothes, a dark skirt and a shirt,  I thought to myself that I should get something different.  (I suppose that’s the excuse I give myself.)

I went in and tried on dresses, pants and shoes.  I eventually bought myself a dress and a jacket. Yes, I now have something new for this holiday season. I am happy.

Upon returning home, as I always do when I get something new, I decided to take out something old from my closet and put it in the bag for donation.   As I started going through my closet, an idea struck me.

I will rearrange my closet into outfits so that it is easier and faster for me in the morning.

(I do this before going to run, but I have never done it for my entire closet.  Some of you might have already thought of this, but this is a new thing for me. How do you organize your closet?)

No longer would I sort my clothes according to type and colour:  Pants, shirts, t-shirts, etc… white, black… Arranging my closet this way resulted in me always grabbing any old shirt and a skirt that matched.   I dressed almost the same week after week.  I wore what was convenient.   Black skirt and a shirt.   My weekend clothes would be jeans and a t-shirt.   How boring.  I started getting bored of myself.

The revelation that came to me through all this was not about putting clothes into outfits, but that I had so much clothing, just work clothes alone, I had enough outfits to last me five weeks!

This means that for five weeks (with five working days each) I would not repeat a dress, a suit, a skirt, a shirt, a cardigan, a scarf nor a belt.  I even had shirts to spare.

For someone who always felt like she did not have enough clothes, especially work clothes, this is a HUGE revelation. For the first time I realize do have enough work clothes.  I can dress everyday without repeating my clothes and best of all, I can wear and utilize my more expensive clothing.  My nicer clothes had previously been saved for “special” days but those do not come that often so I might as well just take them out and enjoy them before they get old!

Weekend clothes?  I could go many months without repeating. Different styles too. Not just jeans and a t-shirt. It’s crazy. I have too much clothing.

After today, I think I will continue to arrange my closet by outfits.  This way I know what clothes I need and what needs to be donated.  I hope it works!  (This has also literally put a stop to any excuse I have to keep on shopping.)

This holiday season, why don’t you go through your closet and see how much you have? (You might be surprised!) Take out old clothes that haven’t been touched or don’t fit anywhere and donate them to those less fortunate.  Happy Holidays everyone!

Baby, Baby, Come Home

Sometimes your inner voice tells you not to do something, but you do it anyway.  Then later you end up thinking to yourself “Damn, why didn’t I listen to my inner voice?”  This happened to me exactly this past Monday. Here’s a funny story.

This past weekend, Alex and I have been discussing when best it would be to bring my Baby back home.  Yes, my little White Baby Jazz (if you are wondering, it’s my car :))  has been in safekeeping for roughly a month now away from the flood, away from the water that could cause it to choke, suffocate and eventually die.  It has only just reached it’s second birthday.  Too young to die.

Monitoring water levels, canal drainage, potential flooding estimates, we decided that by this week, I should be able to take my Baby out for a spin. It should be safe enough as the chance of her drowning in water seems quite minimal.  She’s restless and needs to get out of her little rectangle high up on the 7th floor.  I’m restless and need a spin around town.  We decide, Wednesday is a good day.

Yes, we will take Baby Jazz out on Wednesday. A few more days and the situation should be clearer

Comes Monday, all seems well and we have a change of heart.  Monday, Monday, will be the day Baby Jazz comes out for a spin!  I’m happy.  Things are becoming more normal and I can go for spins around town!

I was happy, yet deep inside of me I wondered if it was too soon.  Some things were still not too clear.  Was I rushing things too fast?  I pushed those thoughts aside.  What was there to worry about? It will not flood.  I was being overly cautious.  I was overreacting.

I decide to take her out of safekeeping and bring her safely down to flat land.  Once home, she sat happily under the clear cloudless sky enjoying the fresh air and the space around her. Birds flying overhead chirping her welcome.  It was a lovely evening the day Baby came back home.

Things seemed normal until I reached the end of the news.   The presented asked Professor Seri why certain zones were being declared evacuation zones.   What? What zones? They sounded familiar and close by?  The professor said we had to check facts on what was happening at the canal. Bangsue canal.  Yes, the one by my house.

I got on Twitter, FB and checked the news. Only three hours after Baby arrived home, the roads less than a kilometer away from me were being declared evacuation zones.  I wondered what happened to the protocol of having to be declared a “monitoring zone” before evacuation status?  Nevermind, the canal must have overflown.  The pumps must have broken down.  Maybe the water was flowing faster than expected.

My Baby had to go back to safety fast!  I got out of bed once more, dressed and in the midst of the night took Baby back to somewhere I’d know she’d be safe.

I knew this would happen! I knew it was too fast too soon to bring out baby.  My inner voice tells me again.  Why didn’t I listen to it? I didn’t want to.

Upon having completed the task of taking her back to safekeeping and arriving home.  I discover the Evacuation notice has been cancelled.   What??  Data Error.    No Comment.

No matter what, I decide to listen to the original listen voice and wait for Wednesday. Good middle Wednesday.

On  Wednesday I let myself listen to my inner voice.  Yes, it’s okay now to bring out Baby on Wednesday as initially planned. So tonight I brought Baby home.  Let’s hope it’s for keeps this time. 🙂

So listen to your inner voice.  Listen to your hunch.  It may be just what you need to save you some trouble. Or if you want some excitement in your life, just ignore it. 🙂 Who knows what excitement it will bring?  So I had fun driving around.  Better safe than sorry!

The Chirping Birds

Since it’s the long weekend in Bangkok, I thought I’d share with you a funny story (or not) to liven things up.  This is a true story yet it is one that makes me smile everything I think about it.

It happened just the other evening.  Around my house there are lots of birds, and every evening they fly around searching for food to feed their young ones.  They’d fly around chirping and chirping to no end.  It’s wonderful to be surrounded by nature.   As I came home one night and walked pass a room, I thought to myself, “oh the birds are really having a round today!  They are chirping really loudly.”

I didn’t think much about it, and went into my own room minding my own business.  I went down to dinner and then came upstairs. Again I hear the sound of chirping birds, but it’s now dark outside and I start to wonder why the birds haven’t yet returned to their nests.  I walk around the room and realize that the sound is really quite loud.

It seems to sound like it is almost in the bedroom. I guess that it must be coming from under the ceiling. They sound so beautiful and fresh I even took my iPhone to record their sound.  I climb up near to the ceiling, give it a few taps and call the rest of household to listen.  We look outside, climb out into the balcony with a big spotlight and spot a gap under the roof with proof of a bird nest with twigs danging down out the hole.

It’s confirmed, the birds must have built a nest under our roof and somehow gotten near to the ceiling.

I suddenly feel sorry for the birds.  To chirp so loudly the poor little birds must be indeed hungry.  They must be waiting for their food but perhaps something happened to the mother bird?  Perhaps an accident? Perhaps it got eaten by a snake?  A thousand thoughts rushed through my mind.

We decide we’d call the roof man the next morning to fix the hole and get the little birds out before they die of hunger.  We debate whether they will come on such short notice…

We each drift off to our own business and a good evening rest.

Then my brother comes home.  He’s been told of the birds stuck under the ceiling and together we
go see the place of incident.

Can you guess what happens next?  Did we manage to rescue the lovely birds?

Yes we did.  The little birds are hungry no more.

He switched them off those chirping birds.  The chirping birds had been the alarm on the iPad!!!!   Yes, they were the iPad bird alarm.

My starving hungry birds were not real.  My brain had tricked me into believing the birds were coming from up above when in reality they were on the desk below.  I suppose we can never truly believe what we truly hear!!    Hahaha..that’s all folk’s!  Have a good evening 🙂

The Phone Ring.

Today I’m taking a break from all the travel and want to share with you a funny story instead.  It happened to me this morning and thinking about it makes me laugh.  I do wonder though who is the culprit.  The active or the lazy me. You judge.

The story goes like this.  Tuesdays being my running day, I prepare my things the night before and make a mental note before going to bed that I “must” wake up in the wee hours of the morning to get myself to the gym, run, shower, and then off to the office on time. It’s a “must” because if I gave myself any excuse, I’ll find myself in the vicious cycle of wake up late, no running, and sleeping late…Recipe for weight gain.

So this morning as usual my iPhone alarm clock wakes me up with a lovely tune.  I reach out and turn off the sound. I get up, go to the bathroom and get dressed in my gym clothes.  Black running pants with an orange shirt today. That’s my outfit.  I grab my things and I’m off to go.

Then it happened.

My phone rings.  It’s Alex calling and there I am lying in bed reaching out to pick up the phone!!  Wait, wasn’t I just going out to door to run?  Was it all a dream?  A millisecond later I realize I had been dreaming.  I dreamt I was off to run! 

What a strange dream, part real, part imagination.   So which part of my dreamt this? Was it the active me out ready for a run even in her dreams? or was it the lazy me tricking real me into believing she was actually running?

Whichever part of me was responsible for inducing my dream, I give it my thumbs up.  This is a dream to laugh about.  To make me smile 🙂

I got up.  Dressed in my black and orange shirt and grabbed my things.  This time, though, there was no phone call.

I was awake (I pinched myself) and was ready to go. 🙂

Who do you think induced my dream?  The active or the lazy me?

Vienna: Herren or Damen?

Here’s a light story to start off the week and welcome March!  February is just saying farewell after a mere 28 days.  Don’t you love it?  For those who look forward to getting their salary, this is a great month 🙂 It comes early 🙂  The story I want to tell today is a true story that you should all take note when you visit Vienna or any other German speaking country.  It’s about two very simple yet very important words:  Herren, Damen.

I remember this like it was yesterday.  I was sitting at Central cafe with a group of friends I had just taken for a walk around the Stephansdom and the Hofburg.  We were tired and what better place to rest than at Central cafe.  We ordered hot chocolate, coffee, and apple strudel. While waiting one of my friends had to go for natured called.  I waved her towards the bathroom and didn’t think much about it.  It was just behind the painting and easy to find.  The rest of us sat and talked with not a worry in the world.  We were on vacation and Vienna was a safe place to be.

Then suddenly our friend returns flushed in the face and sounds like she had just been on an adventure.  She tells us her story.  She walks towards the bathrooms and sees two words:  Herren, Damen.  One on each door.  Now if you’ve never been to a German speaking country and have no clue about their language, these two words can look like Greek or Chinese.  It makes no sense.   

The big question was, “Which one is the women’s bathroom, which one is the men’s?”  She had no clue and there was no one walking in and out.  No help.  So being the logical person she is she reasoned that since in English, “her” was used when referring to females, “Herren” which has a “her” must undoubtedly be the women’s bathroom.   That makes sense right?  English and German are both Germanic languages.

She walks in. 

Now what do you think happened?  Did she get the right door?

For those who answered “No”, kudos to you.   For those who answered “Yes” please remember this!  In German, “Herren” means “Men” and Damen means “Women”!!!  So if you’re a female, go into the room marked with Damen!   If this helps,  in old english women were sometimes referred to as “dames” though now it is considered slightly derogatory.