So this summer break has been a massive learning curve for us all. We chose to stay home, in Bangkok for the summer break and do some local trips instead, taking advantage of the long weekends that Marc has had during the last couple of months as he wasn’t taking any annual leave this summer. This is partly because he is super busy with his new role, and partly because we want to save up those annual leave days for trips further abroad and for times like Christmas, and partly because we thought it was too soon to return to Brisbane after only leaving Australia in February.
What we didn’t realise is that Bangkok becomes almost completely void of all expats who have school aged children over the summer break. More importantly and more impactful on our lives, was the fact that all our newly made friends were leaving Thailand for most of the break.
The Clowns were tired. I mean, really exhausted, by the time the school year ended in mid-June. Starting at a new school in a new country was taxing on everyone. I get it. I lived it with them. They were totally happy hanging out at home, swimming, playing on their Xbox or iPads and generally doing a whole load of not much. While I fully recognise that they needed the down time, this didn’t suit me for very long, however. I had plans! I had ideals as to what the summer break was going to look like! I wanted to DO stuff with the Clowns!
I thought we would go and hang out at the park and feed the turtles, go to the movies, try out any activities in the many shopping centres, visit friends that were still in the city, hang out by the pool, try some new cafes, sleep in, go to the beach, have a couple of short breaks away from the city…. You get my drift. I actually thought these summer holidays would be similar to summer break in Queensland.
But nope. No. Not even remotely excited by any prospects, all three Clowns didn’t want to do ANYTHING. It was too hot (agreed), it was raining (well, yeah it’s the rainy season), there was no one left to do anything with (OK, but we can still do stuff), everything they wanted to do was super expensive (we do not have unlimited funds, to their utmost disgust), we want to play online with our friends (both local and O/S), we can just order Food Panda and watch movies (well yes, but not every day), we don’t want to walk that far or try and work out how we are going to get from A to B (I completely agree with this one. I think I’ve got Transport Logistic Fatigue. Yes, I made that up. Yes, I’m sure it’s a real thing. Yes, it’s going to totally catch on).
It’s hard to argue with them when they have pretty decent arguments… And when I don’t have rebuttal at the ready, I lose!
Fast forward to today… It is now exactly one week until school starts for the 18/19 year. I have been looking back at my trusty Google calendar, attempting to reassure myself that these guys haven’t been sat inside on screens for eight weeks…
Things we did do:
- Spent four days in Phuket, catching up with Brisbane friends
- Continued Thursday Club (pizza and wine at alternating friends’ houses) while TC people were still in Bangkok
- Went to a cooking class where they made cupcakes from scratch and then learnt how to use fondant and pipe buttercream icing
- went to Bounce
- Spent three days in Pattaya
- went to FlowHouse and rode the man made waves
- had lunch with Marc in at his office
- went to Amped Tramp park
- spent some time with a new-to-Bangkok Aussie family
- played with kids who were still in Bangkok on various play dates
- walked to our favourite bakery and had morning tea (several times)
- went to the movies
- had friends over for a swim
- had movie days at home
Things we didn’t do:
- visit the Neilson Hays library
- do any weekday trips further out of the city
- shopping for school supplies
- visit some local wats
- visit any new parks
- find any free/low cost school aged activities
Looking at it in list form, it doesn’t look too boring… But honestly, these three are more than happy to stay home and read, watch movies, colour in, play board games, and have screen time. They really don’t want to have to work out how to get anywhere, and that is our main issue here in Bangkok. We can’t just jump in a car and GO!
In hindsight, we probably should have just bitten the bullet and spent a few weeks back in Brisbane without Marc. There’s always next summer break to get in more ‘right’ 🙂