Much has happened over September and October.
First, we had two more visitors from Australia. One for only a few days. The other for three weeks. It's always nice showing people around. It helps you appreciate the beauty of the place yourself.
Tanya finished her first university unit and passed with distinction. She has now started on her second and third units, a literature and a sociology unit. The verdict so far seems to be that literature is interesting yet frequently depressing while sociology lecturers spend far too much time talking about sociology itself. Oh, and that reading 400 to 600 year old literature is hard and just generally unfun.
I also finished the semester at the school where I have been teaching. The exams are all done and all my marks are in. My kidlets all did very well. In particular I was very impressed with the year 1 student's ability to sit through several full days of written exams. I have trouble imagining aussie kids being so willing to sit still for such long periods of time answering multiple choice and long answer exam questions.
Despite continuing to enjoy our life in Thailand we have decided to return to Australia following an unexpected family event (no one is pregnant and yes, we're still together). Tanya flew home immediately to spend time with her family while I hung around for two weeks finishing up the semester at school and showing my mum around. Someone had to pick her up after she returned from her time on the mountain top with the monks (and take her out for a drink).
Although I have missed Tanya I have quite enjoyed my final two weeks in Chiang Mai. Knowing I am leaving led me to appreciate every meal, beautiful building, nod from a passing monk and pass made by a wandering lady boy.
Living in Chiang Mai has been a wonderful experience. The quality of life is excellent and I'd recommend it to anyone. We've had the opportunity to experience a part of the world completely different to where we're from, to meet a bunch of interesting people and to have experiences most people never have.
So, sawatdee krup Thailand. It's sometimes been hard, it's often been fun but it's always been interesting.