So... not exactly sure what form this blog will take now that Grace and I are doing the long distance thing. Maybe I'll start posting random thoughts that no one is particularly interested in? Perhaps that can go in a separate section. I guess I rarely posted except about our vacations, anyway, and we're still planning on having plenty of those.
Life was pretty busy for August through October, but it has slowed down enough for my guilt about not updating in a timely manner to surface, so I'll start with Bangkok and eventually get to talking about my life in Seattle.
Grace and I went to Bangkok as a bit of a farewell adventure for myself (I continued on to Seattle from there, while Grace returned to Dhaka). The perpetual problem with my delayed posts is that I forget half the details of our adventures, so my recollection might be a bit bare bones.
We honestly didn't do all that much typical sight-seeing. Just lots of food-eating and city-wandering. On the first day we visited the Jim Thompson House (Wikipedia). Pretty interesting dude, credited (however fairly, I'm not about to do a ton of research) with revitalizing the Thai silk industry in the 1950s and 1960s. He also built this crazy fancy house in Bangkok by combining six different antique Thai houses from various places in Thailand. Nowadays you can visit, view some of the art collection, and ogle the fancy (and correspondingly priced) silks. Definitely worth the visit, even if you're not in the mood to drop $100+ on a scarf.
Oh, we also saw a tortoise just chilling, walking through the house's grounds. And I took a video, because tortoises, being an animal not of the sort I see every day, are inherently neat.
The second day featured our now-requisite walking food tour. Seriously, Grace and I are complete converts. So worth it! Anyway, we walked all around the city eating delicious things (I tried chicken feet for the first time!). I don't remember everything we had. Fruit, duck, chicken feet, papaya salad, curries, ice cream... and probably a few other things. Papaya salad might have been one of my favorites.
On the third day, we doubled down on food by taking a vegetarian Thai cooking class from May Kaidee's school. We completely lucked out (possibly by booking early on a Sunday morning) and had a class completely to ourselves: just the instructor, Grace, and me. Capacity is up to 10 or 15, so we got way more personal attention than I think we would have otherwise. I was slightly skeptical, but it ended up being a whole lot of fun. The fact that all the ingredients were selected and prepped ahead of time helped a lot (i.e. we didn't spend 90 minutes just chopping things up). We cooked (and ate) a pretty absurd number of dishes in just a few hours: Tom Yam chili paste and soup, Pad Thai, peanut sauce, Massaman curry, spring rolls, pumpkin hummus (so good, though maybe not super Thai), green papaya salad, and sticky rice with mango.
Our instructor was not May Kaidee herself, though she showed up about halfway through to instruct another class (fruit carving). She also led us (perhaps reluctantly) through this song and dance routine that is apparently her thing. I will grudgingly admit moving around a bit was a good break from just eating a whole ton of food.
We did a few other things while we were in Bangkok, but they mostly involved inconsequential wanderings and shopping for souvenirs. We also saw Inside Out and some super-fancy movie theater (they had loveseats! why is that not a thing in the US?). The malls there (as in most of Asia, from what I have seen and been told) were pretty insane. As evidence, see the below picture of women being made up to resemble dogs while a guy in a dog head mask stands at attention.
Unfortunately, our time in Bangkok was all too short. But many more adventures await!