i am just boggled by this place. we went to the night market yesterday evening (sensibly held at night because of the gross heat), and sherri bought a kilogram each of three different kinds of fruits for 95 baht (about three canadian dollars). i got a pair of pants for 170 baht (about five dollars) and sandles for 50 baht (a dollar fifty). they have these things...i for get what they're called and can't pronounce them right by any means, but it's a super-thin pancake of dough wrapped around a banana (or an egg, or a banana and and egg, or nothing) and then fried and sprinkled with sweetened condensed milk and sugar. it's twenty baht (sixty cents). OH man. i am coming home twenty pounds heavier than i left.
so, going back to buying clothes...i'm fairly small, so the biggest of the sizes will fit me, but sherri and karen have been telling me about how, often if you go into a clothing store in the mall, the clerk will say 'ohhhhhhh, no. no, you beeg. very beeg size. no clothe here, very beeg size' and one time a woman told sherri she had 'very beeg bum.' somehow, they don't think this is rude, but it's rude to pick your teeth after eating, or lick your fingers.
the boys play uno in their darling english-sprinkled-thai. they teach me numbers (noon, song, saam, see, ha, ho, jit...that's as far as i've gotten) and colors.
yesterday karen told me as much as she knows of their stories. it makes you want to cry. all of their parents have died of AIDS, except for bun, who's mother is still alive and doesn't think she has it, though the doctors say she does. most of them were raised by an aunt or a grandmother until their care became too difficult. you can't fault these relatives for dumping the children (though i think dao, who was nine when it happened and so probably remembers some semblance of family, does) because it is nothing short of impossible to make it in thailand if you have AIDS. they've been kicked out of schools and apartments, had people told not to associate with them, and generally had a challenging go of things. you'd never know it to look at them, though. they're SO energetic and cheerful, and i know i have yet to live with them or work with them, but considering what they've been through, i think they're amazing. i wish i had a video camera so i could show you all how cute they are.
it's dao's birthday today, he's turning sip-song (12). we're having a party for him at the pool. i'm making a spongebob squarepants pinata. it's awesome. i didn't go to school for four years for nothin.
i miss you all!!! i'll upload some pictures soon.