Okay, where the flip do I start?
I am pretty sure the last month has been the most hectic month I've been in: Flash mobs. Restaurant openings. Moving 15 girls into a building. Parties. Wonderful people coming & going. And Loi Krathong: Thai fireworks/lanterns festival (highly dangerous fun)…
I've loved almost every minute of it- well, that's a bit of a lie. It's been fairly tough in sections, I admit! I miss sleep, the gym, fluent English conversations and my yellow Vivienne Westwood boots, (this is a note to parents saying please do all you can to bring these over when you come at Christmas? My feet need some bling).
It's pretty insane having 21 staff who speak little English and getting them to waitress IN English, make quality coffee and cook a decent 50-item + menu. We are shooting for western quality in the land of no rules, way too much MSG and few flushing toilets.. What was I thinking?! Like.. Seriously..
Things that have broken in the past week: the oven (multiple times), toilets, gas, dvd player, coffee machine, water taps (multiple times) and a plethora of glasses, plates and condiment dispensers. You may think these are all fairly key pieces of equipment when running a hospitality business.
You are correct.
I hate to admit this on a public forum, but last night I may have shed my first "cafe-related" tear.. let us just say that working between 13-17hrs per day for the past 2 weeks is not my brightest move ever. Anyone who knows me well knows that I fail to string intelligent sentences together after about 9pm- i guess for the girls who speak little English, there is no difference in what I say. It all sounds unintelligent gibberish.
Except of course when I tell them nicely and clearly how to say a breakfast dish it comes out BEGGS ENEDICT. . . They all call it that now. Great. Anyway, last night with a leaking coffee machine (a very expensive one I might add) and my forgetting to eat during the day led to a bit of a feeble cry. Sigh.
But oh the sweetest: a few of the girls saw my pathetic sorrow and all started crying for me. Whoa. Probably for themselves too- they have been working so hard! "Bests I feel for sorry you. I love you. I make hat for you" Nawwwwww. I love sympathy beanies.. Sometimes, I forget that I'm surrounded by young friends all trying to make this work too.
I know now that I am going to get lots of "look after yourself" emails, and I will- soon, I promise, I am being looked after by kind people here and receiving an extra pair of helping hands here and there when needed.
I know there are still big things to do but honestly, amongst the insanity, wrong orders, (including somebody get a plate of plain rice instead of a steak) new challenges of this job (for me and the girls) and the sheer monstrosity of things I need to remember there is some beautiful things happening.
These girls are starting to thrive. Some girls whom we thought might not have what it takes are absolutely gunning it! The smiles, good English, the taking initiative, perfect (almost) coffees and chocolate brownies (when not burned) that will make you think gluttony is actually okay, make me realise that for every little thing that goes wrong, there are so many things going right and being done well.
Plus I get to be a part of it. It's really pretty amazing. I dig it. The girls rock. I'm in Thailand. God is cool. Enough said.
So enough of my tiredness, life is fun!! Loi Krathong is awesome. You get to light fireworks and direct them at people. You get to chaperone lots of cheeky girls that say they are going to buy more fireworks but what they mean is go dance with boys.. You get to lift massive lanterns into the sky and feel a bit peaceful as you look up at 100's of them.
I am pretty sure that we made the dance party 20 times better and I am pretty sure that I have lost a bit of hearing in one ear. Fireworks are LOUD. I recommend getting into it one year. Next year. Come visit me.. (Cough, cough, this is my first little slip of thinking I might stay a bit longer than a year)
|Oh yes, this part is the less dangerous part- lantern lighting :)|
Christmas is coming. Yep. I like this. I like a bit of "festive" . I like the Busta Rhymes/Justin Bieber version of Little Drummer Boy. I like Christmas catering. I like that the Thai's say "Kisstmass" Kissing on mass sounds alright.
I've made an advent calendar for the cafe chicks (in my spare time) and am fairly happy that Mum, Dad & Erin will be joining me for a few weeks VERY SOON! We hopefully will see Chad & Erika Loftis with the kids too. January brings in my golden bestie, Erin Koppa and brudda Nick.. Plus a few more great people over the next few months. Best.
God is showing HIimself faithful and strong. I have been blessed so deeply in these past few weeks. The centre of God's will is the most peaceful place I could ever be. Even when my feet really "jet" and the massage parlour has gone up to $8 from $5, I have energy from somewhere. I know it's not my own. It's been given to me from Him.
So right now, I'm at the cafe, the girls are making cookies, cappuccino's and chopping up papayas for some fiery lunch dish, it's nice to finally sit, sort some things and write this flipping blog once more!!
It's pretty good here.. and when it's not so good: there is always the Thai cowboy across the road who owns an art shop and wears the full hat and spurs. He tells me he is lonely and invites me over for beer. I politely decline. SUSS MAN. He is definitely 40+ yrs.
Love you all. Good times.
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|WILDCAT in Chiang Rai..|