It’s hard to believe that it’s been 10 days since my family and I left the US for our six-week sabbatical in Thailand. If you haven’t been able to tell by some of the photos I’ve posted on Facebook, we’ve been having a really great time. The first few days were about adjusting our internal clocks and fighting jetlag. Overall it’s taken about a week just to do that and also to truly disconnect my mind from my work rhythm. Believe it or not, I’m proud to say that I could probably count on one hand how many times I’ve actually paid attention to the time (a clock or watch) in about a week.
So far, we have spent all of our time in Thailand’s bustling capital of Bangkok. We found a great deal on a comfortable condo/apartment in the Sathorn section of BKK and I am in love with our spectacular view of the city. As of right now, our plan is to leave Bangkok in a few days and head about 700 km south (435 miles) to one of the islands in the Gulf of Thailand. After that, it will be Chiang Mai and then back to Bangkok. City, Beach, Jungle, City.
This morning we spent some time at the biggest wholesale and retail fresh flower market in Bangkok - Pak Klong Talad. It was a really great experience. The colors were beautiful. The varieties were amazing. And the prices….holy smokes, they were unbelievable! 2 dozen roses for 30-40 baht ($1.00 – 1.50 US dollar). Amanda picked up a huge bunch of orchids for just a few bucks and made them into a beautiful arrangement in our apartment.
Another highlight of our day was welcoming Amanda’s parents (Al & Linda Lacey) to Bangkok. They are here to spend about 10 days with us in Thailand before heading to Germany for a family wedding. For their first night in Bangkok, we took them out for an amazing dinner at a restaurant called Soul Food Mahanakorn. SFM is owned by a food writer turned restaurant owner/operator from Pennsylvania named Jarrett Wrisley. Yeah, that’s right - Pennsylvania. Jarrett specializes in northeastern Thai comfort food. And let me tell you…..he does it so well. Well enough that I actually ate at SFM two nights in a row. And I might add…it’s somewhat of a haul to get there from where we’re staying! But so worth it. The Khao Soi (curried coconut, slow simmered beef, served w/ lime, pickled mustard, shallots, and topped with crispy noodles)…..Dear Lord…I’m pretty sure that it’s the best thing I’ve ever eaten in Thailand and definitely in the top 10 of anything I’ve ever eaten in my life. No lie. Read more about Jarrett and Soul Food Mahanakorn here.
Let’s see…what else? Oh yeah! Looking forward to speaking and hanging out at Newsong Bangkok tomorrow (Sat) evening and again on Sunday morning. Always, always, always love being with the Newsong tribe! For those of you who don’t know, Newsong Bangkok was started a few years ago by my good friend and mentor, Dave Gibbons. Daniel & Shannon Ross (who got married last year at The Orchard) are the Lead Pastors. And as usual, I can’t wait to be there and hang with Peter, Patricia (fantastic, must read blog!), Kilang, and a bunch of other leader misfits! The culture, people, and vibe always remind me of my tribe, The Orchard – who is also gathering this weekend. (Will miss you guys!)
That’s it for now. G’nite from Bangkok!