October 5 was the last day of the first semester. We had a party to celebrate, which included the all-American delicacy you see pictured below:

Lunch also included Angry Bird fish balls (no, that’s not marzipan!), pizza, mashed potatoes, ramen, sushi, lots of fruit, and lots of cake.

Now that the kids are on break (they have three weeks off), life is more than a little bit slower-paced. Here’s my schedule for the nex three weeks:

  • Oct. 8-12 “working” from 8:30-3:00 (except I left around 1:00 yesterday; maybe 2:30 or so today. It’s very flexible). We’re supposedly grading and working on report cards. I, of course, am checking out Facebook, reading a novel, planning a day trip to Ayutthaya, and writing my blog.
  • Oct. 15-19 vacation for both students and teachers; I’m heading to the old capital city of Ayutthaya to see some ruins by bicycle, then Sean and I are going with his cousin and his cousin’s fiancee to Phuket for a 4-day weekend
  • Oct. 22-26 “working” short hours again…I’ll do a bunch of planning for semester 2 (and go on Facebook, read another novel, and catch up on emails); Sean, Tori, Kitty, and I are going to Chiang Mai the weekend of the 26th to check out a less hectic and less dirty city

The reason I titled this post “Lunchtime” is because I thought I’d give you a peek into what I do on my lunch break while I’m at work. If you watch the slideshow, you’ll see that I walk across two big parking lots, pass my ATM (convenient), pass some outdoor food stalls, and enter what we farongs call the “canteen”. Why? I’m not sure. Were they going for “cantina”? Anyway, I go to the vegetarian stall, which was introduced to me by a co-worker in IP4, and I get brown rice with two or three of their all-vegan dishes. The plate pictures has some neon green variety of eggplant, tofu, cucumbers, spinach, corn, and carrots. It’s arroi mak (very delicious) and costs about $1.15. Then I get some fresh tropical fruit from the fruit stall. I got pineapple today. The fruit comes with a little stick for non-sticky-finger consumption, and costs about 75¢. After getting my meal and my fruit dessert, I sit in the cafeteria among college students, university faculty, and my own co-workers. If I need coffee during the day, the pink stall in one of the photos is where I go. The girl speaks some English, but I’ve learned how to ask for black coffee (well, it’s an Americano) and then go to the stall next door to get a box of soymilk. It ain’t Peet’s, but it’ll do for now!

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