100517 Thaikarl - the dentist is in - and a ghost story - tok got a job!


went to see my dentist today.  he replaced a crown that had fallen off.  it fell off months ago, but i waited until i got here to have it stuck back on.  in that time, my teeth moved around, so it didn't fit.  my dentist took an impression and had a new one made.  he put it in for me today, and fixed a stain in the veneer in one of my front teeth.  total cost:  42 USD.  the crown was on a back molar. dentists usually charge more for work on back teech.  you know that have to reach alll that way back there and all.  he had it made from a high-level alloy of some sort.  gold would have cost way more because of the ridiculous gold bubble we're in. seriously, you can come to thailand, have all your teeth fixed, have a vacation, and return to the states for LESS than it would have cost you to have your teeth fixed in the states.  i'm going to be organizing dental trips to thailand next year.  so if you are facing a huge dental bill, need things like bridges, crowns, veneers, implants and your dental insurance won't cover it - you have dental insurance don't you? all american enjoy such wonderful comprehensive healthcare don't they? - keep in touch with me.  even if you're travel shy, i'll get the details set up for you- hotels, transport, a choice of dentists, and some sightseeing if you like.  stay tuned!

tok and mama and i were sitting around the table eating dinner last night.  i got tok to ask mama a few questions about her life.  i was wondering what mama wanted to be when she was a little girl.  answer: farmer.  she doesn't read or write, so she knew that farming, or selling food was the only future for her, so she never thought about anything else. i asked her to find out why she had only one child - tok, my wife.  she said that it was difficult for her to have children.  this was pre-pill days, so there was nothing inhibiting the process.  tok said that her mother had been married ten years before she had her.  mama went to some special place and asked the ghosts to help her get pregnant.  mama had a dear friend who was pregnant at the time.  her friend promised, that if she had twins, that she would give one of the babies to mama to raise.  the friend had her babies but one of them died.  soon after, mama became pregnant.  they believed that the ghosts caused one of the babies to die, so that the spirit of the dead baby could enter mama.  that baby was tok.  so tok is indeed a special, and very much wanted child.

tok got a job!  the school called her and asked her if she would teach thai dancing at the school in village.  we talked about it a month or two ago when it first came up.  she went to see the director today, and got the job.  starts tomorrow.  three days a week, 7 hours of teaching.  but in the strange thai fashion, she is supposed to be at the school all day, even if she is only actually teaching 2 or 3 hours per day.  she has to be there at 8, and can leave at 4.  un-defined what she will do with the other 5 hours of the day.  i've heard this from the english teachers also.  if you are teaching english, you have to be at the school 8-4 every day.  40 hours a week, even if you are only teaching 17 class hours.  some of the non-class hours you will spend making teaching plans, but from what i understand, after you teach a few round, you can re-use the lesson plans you made last term, so you are sitting around, looking busy.  she will earn 27,000 baht for a 5 month term.  that's 834 USD.  she's somewhat excited about it, cause she can save the money. she really really wants to have a car.  nothing fancy, just a car.  with air-con. and dry when it rains.  used cars in thailand are not that common.  i don't know where they go, but you just don't see old cars around here.  and the used ones they do sell, go for big money.  i'm looking for another van (had my friend sell mine after i left) so i'm checking craigslist from here.  she is amazed that you can get a used car for 1000 USD.

but what this means, in the short term, is that i get to be on my own three days a week.  have to get my own lunch (awwww, i can hear yall moaning for me from here) and keep myself amused.  she'll be taking the motorbike to school, so i won't have transport either.  wah.  yeah right.  i'm over the half way mark of this visit.  so i'll just have to make due.  muawwwwww!  it does mean that the couple little tips we were thinking about might not happen.  we were thinking of going to chang mai and chang rai up in the north west part of thailand.  there's a temple up there i really want to see, and they are supposed to be a nice cities.  up in the mountains.  whull see.  phi ta khon is in the end of june, just before i depart, but it's only a few hours by bus from here. so we'll make that.  if tok skips out of school early on friday :-D

gorgeous the life!

neighbors hanging out at sunset.  everybody here is related.



  1. Sawasdee krap Karl, I assume. We have several friends in or near your town, we like visiting as one lives near the mountains, anyway. We have a house in Suphanburin and land near Chiangmai. I do not live permanently yet and am still building up the gardens and infrastructure. I always have a hard time finding exactly what I am looking for. For instance, it took me two years to find a roto tiller for my garden Now I am looking for a wood chipper, are you familiar with this machine? I need something to break down all the branches and palm leaves to make compost. A chipper is a very fast and easy way to do this. My question is, by chance have you seen any wood chippers during your travels in Thailand. If so, would you mind letting me know what brand, it was, or if in a shop the shop location? Thanks Karl. We are living in West Seattle. Ciao Al

  2. alvin, you didn't leave me an email to contact you on, and your blogger profile is locked. i have to go back to seattle early july, love to meet you and hear about your life in thailand.

    wood chipper? i have seen them in use beside the road as we went by in a bus, but where in thailand to get one, i don't know. as you say, somethings that we in the states consider ordinary, are unknown or hard to find here in thailand. simple things like "S" hooks and rope cleats... "Mai Me" - not here. over and over. i'll ask my wife, maybe she has an idea. being thailand though, i bet if you showed a picture of the cutter blades and the box that houses them to one of those amazing thai machine shops, they would make one for you. wood chippers aren't complicated - two motor driven toothed rotary blades. the disc type wood chipper is very similar in function to the shredders they use around here to shred tobacco. to chip wood and leaves etc you'd just need something similar. but heavier. if you google wood chipper parts you'll get images. i found a guy who made his own:


    you could have something like that put together by them wizard workers in the thai shops easy. hope you see this comment back. email me - indiakarl over at yahoo site.


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