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Willie Weir : October 22nd, 2012

Photos of the Day — Oct 22

These are the faces of two happy travelers. After a short flight from Bangkok, Thailand to Mandalay, Myanmar—after exchanging some dollars to kyat—after loading our bikes in the back a taxi (old Toyota held together with duct tape and prayers), we are off on another adventure. –Willie

We flew into Mandalay and had a dinner date with Sergai and Adrienn  —  a couple we met through reading their blog on crazyguyonabike They had just passed their 15,000km mark of their journey from the UK to NZ. I knew they were in Burma when I sent them an email hoping for some brief travel tips. The planets aligned and we were in the same city at the same time, so we got much more than a quick email. We shared food, beers, laughter, stories, advice, and hugs until we meet again. –Kat

Kat Marriner : October 20th, 2012

Bangkok Tapestry

As we walked through the vegetable and flower market in Bangkok today, I shared a laugh with the ladies who pointed me to their resident cat upturned and drunk with sleep. Another seller snapped a galangal root and stalk of lemongrass, then crushed a kaffir leaf so I would know the scents of tom yam soup. Strolling Bangkok is a rich tapestry and sights and scents, I feel fortunate that we have nearly a week to adjust to the blasts of heat and sensory stimulation.

Bangkok is as I remember it, but what has changed is me. When we were here 7 years ago, I remember a shyness and feeling of unsureness of how to move through this foreign world. Today I have a comfort and confidence to smile broadly when someone meets my gaze,  to reach out and hold the kitty offered, to get lost in the labyrinth of living quarters along the canal, to make friends with strangers, to make mistakes. Bangkok is no longer a foreign world.  The galangal, lemongrass and kaffir lime is tucked in the pocket of my handlebar bag ready to bring me back to this place when I need the comforts of the known.

Kat Marriner : October 10th, 2012

Crunch Time

I don’t know why this happens, but as our departure date approaches, we decide to tackle those long put-off items on the To Do list. I’ve had plenty of time to do a major back up of my computer or purge the closets of unused items. But these aren’t the simple tasks we decided to tackle this time. No, we went for the big, looming house projects that have been on the list for, oh, years. This last month, right before leaving town to visit relatives, Willie completed the rewiring started about 10 years ago. I tell you, if the new fan in the bathroom had not switched on, I think I might have seen sparks fly from Mr. Weir.

As the departure date for SE Asia approaches, it is time for me to tackle my own project that has literally been ready to do since March. I got in gear and started to tile the backsplash behind the new kitchen sink. Yep, something I barely know how to do and had no idea that it would take DAYS of curing time between each step. What was I thinking!?

I like to think that I wanted to “get ‘er done” in part to leave a nicer place for our house-sitters, but really, the thought of water running down the backside of the kitchen cabinet and wetting the wall while I wasn’t on watch was distressing. Leaving our home in the care of almost strangers is reason enough for me to make it nicer and get it protected. There is a whole lot of trust in opening up the door and letting people discover all the weird little things about our life-style, or the pain-in-the-ass way some things work around here. I know everyone’s home has glitchy devices or odd places they store things, but in these last couple of days, we try to see our home through someone else’s eyes. And fingers crossed everything works. We know the roof won’t leak and the ceiling won’t cave in like it did while we were on our last trip to Portugal. We got that roof redone, and last week, our friend Brian got the ceiling patched. Did I mention drywall takes DAYS to cure before the next step?

Zita and Ken may not be able to find the turkey roasting pan come Thanksgiving (it’s on the bottom shelf of the storage cabinet on the other side of the refrigerator), but they won’t be staining my new grout because today is the day I get to put 2 coats of grout sealer on.