Just before we left Georgia, we were hanging out with friends, waxing nostalgic for the best things of Atlanta. Ah, the greenery, the cute neighborhoods, DragonCon. "And Sublime Doughnuts," sighed my friend, Amber. "Oh, yes," agreed Rachel.
Wait, what? Where is this? Sublime who? Even Rachel knows about this? How did we miss this?
In a panic, we looked up their hours. Already closed for the day. Maybe we could get there before we went to the airport in the morning? Bakeries open early, right? Sadly, no. Bad Gregorys, no doughnuts. We were leaving Atlanta with a major stone unturned, and there was nothing we could do about it.
But wait! Just as hope died, Rachel sat up straight. "I just remembered something. I think they have another location, let me check...yes, here it is..'Sublime Doughnuts now opening second location in...BANGKOK!" Seriously, what are the odds?
So, of course, we had to go. Not to bore you with details, but we looked, and looked. We used up a date night to search for it. We told some friends about it and THEY used up a date night to look for it. We tried calling. We Googled it. We Facebooked it. We hauled the kids downtown to look for it again (Doughnuts! Kids! Doughnuts! Keep walking!). Our friends emailed the corporate office and got more directions. And Saturday, we got ANOTHER babysitter and went out for our third attempt.
The directions told us it was in Fortunetown, a gigantic 5 floor mall that took up an entire block. We asked at the mall inormation counter (Sub-lime? Sub- lime Do-Nut? No?) We decided to walk it anyway and started in the basement. We passed Dunkin Donuts. We passed Krispy Kremes. We passed TWO Mr Donuts. By about floor three we decided maybe they meant the mall across the street, so we ran through traffic in the rain...no doughnuts. Back to Fortunetown. The Fourth floor was a technology fair, with no food stalls in sight and we'd been going for two hours. Dejected, we were headed home, when suddenly...around a tiny corner...surrounded by iPad knockoffs...
Only one problem: They had no doughnuts. At this point, we weren't leaving. We staged a doughnut sit-in. And sure enough, eventually a little cart rolled up and there they were. Pretty tasty, but it might have been easier to fly to Atlanta to get them. Here are the empty shelves:
And here are the pesky little guys in the flesh. Sheesh!
Ever since I realized we were moving to Thailand I have been doing a lot of soul searching about the morality of hiring a housekeeper. The thinking went like this:
- I like Thai food, and a Thai housekeeper would make better Thai food than I would.
- Chris wants his shirts ironed. By someone who is not me.
- Every apartment we were shown had maid's quarters, and every foreign family we have met has hired a maid.
- If there is a place for someone to live on our back porch, and someone who needs a job that wants to live there, then it seems like a good thing to help someone out. This is way more efficient than donating to a charity.
- I am inherently lazy and should not pander to that side of me.
- My children will think this is normal.
- I don't really want another person hanging around the house with me during the daytime.
So last week I read an ad in the US Embassy bulletin recommending Khun Moo as an excellent cook and housekeeper and who is honest and a "very quiet person who will respect your family's privacy." I figured that sounded as good as anybody, so I called her up and we agreed to meet, Saturday at noon.
Saturday morning I was nervous. I read and re-read the embassy pamphlet, "Questions To Ask In A Maid Interview." We cleaned up the house to show that we're very tidy people and will be easy to take care of. I bathed the kids. We practiced formal greetings in Thai, and had the children march out of their room to bow when I whistled, a la The Sound of Music (their idea, not mine). I bribed them to act like they like each other.
When she arrived, the kids were champs. They bowed, said 'Sawadee Ka' and departed, holding hands, to sit on the couch and read books with their arms around each other. Chris and I sat with Khun Moo at the dining room table.
"First of all," she said, "I am 55 years old. Is that too old for you?" Chris and I exchanged eyebrow raises. "uh, no...no, um we like 55. 55 no problem." She went on, "I am 55, and I can't walk around the mall with the babies all day, then cook dinner, then walk to more malls at night. I work for you 7am to 9pm, no problem, but no walking all day in malls." I reassured her that I don't really like malls. Or walking. And that if I was going walking in a mall, I absolutely would not want her coming with me.
A glance at the children shows them sitting in a beam of sunlight, Theo's head on Lucy's shoulder. I try not to giggle.
In broken English, her story came out. No children. Husband died. Has worked as a housekeeper for many, many years. Can't keep up with the mall-walking like she used to. Would appreciate being able to live in our tiny maid's quarters. Happy to watch the kids one evening a week. Says she likes to be by herself, and promises not to gossip with the other maids in the building. Kind of reminds me of Mom, if Mom were a tiny Thai woman in polyester pants.
So, we hired her. I have no idea what she's going to do for me all day. Apparently I need to pick up the embassy brochure entitled, "How to direct the servants what to cook for dinner every night." Also the one called, "We Don't Expect You To Have a 14 hr Workday." Also need to start looking into the legalities of sending her to live with Beth once we move from here. But when I sent her a text offering her a job, she wrote back, "thank you. for your kindness." And it seemed like we were doing the right thing.