English Cyberletter 16
Fotoboek Up


Sawadikaa and a Happy New Year!!


Minke, Kees and Laura started 2016 with fireworks above the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge. We were all Down Under, including Oma Paula, to witness and celebrate Laura’s graduation from the Australian National University. Laura now has her Master in Public Health, and before graduating already has a job in her field with a consulting company in Canberra. She also has her Australian drivers licence. Following the graduation in Canberra, we spent several weeks traveling along the south coast of Australia and then to Sydney in a tiny campervan. Australia is a beautiful and large country filled with friendly people, but very far from the Netherlands as a holiday destination.

Laura and her boyfriend Oliver, who works in the public service in Canberra, have moved to a larger apartment closer to where they work, and considering the developments in Europe and the Netherlands we understand that Laura sees a future in Australia.

Our young bird has now really flown the nest.

Meanwhile, our garden in Thailand is filling out and becoming very green. Our water lily blooms often (see gif above). The trees are big enough now to also start blooming, however sadly the coconut tree which was planted ceremoniously in 2009 has died since a little beetle laid eggs in its crown.

Twice a year in April and August, the sun is directly above our heads. Here you see Minke with a minimal shadow at ten past twelve on the 26th of April, next to our pool. In the background you can see the ‘Rangoon Creeper’ (Combretum indicum), a lively plant with fragrant flowers which start white and become increasingly dark red over the course of several days.

Though it did not rain much in our region, our Moobaan (compound) suffered serious flooding in September, potentially due to the uncontrolled levelling up of our swamp next door and not sufficiently opening of dams and rivers. Enormous masses of water flooded the systems into our Moobaan and from there our garden. A check valve would have come in handy! In the garage there was over half a meter of water and 15cm in the house. All the modern furniture, which appeared to be made of a type of cardboard, turned to pulp. All the chipboard cupboards were also ruined, however we were planning on replacing these anyway with something more aesthetic. All our ‘own’ things, which were primarily hardwood, survived the floods without any major damage. The insurance denies any claims, except the car insurance which dealt with things efficient as always. The pool was also filled with mud, but the silver lining was that it was a good excuse to refresh the water (12 new tanks, of which the last was free), carry out renovations, and finally find that leak!

De scheiding tussen koets en chassis is uitgesproken.

This summer Kees worked very hard on his MarkIV project. The result is that the motor and rear axle are finished and the motor should work, though this won’t be tested until the motor can be fitted back in the chassis. The bodywork has also been split from the chassis, which has been painted a grey base colour.

Life in Thailand remains pleasant. The economy is a bit down, but also not bad. With the increase in minimum wage several years ago by the red-shirt government there were fears of inflation, but this is barely notable outside of tourist destinations. With the Russians less eager to holiday in Sharm el Sheik or Turkey were are afraid more will come here. The downside of this is that the Thai start to see us as Russian and treat us as such. Politics are relatively quiet, the military party is sitting comfortably and governs without any major confrontations. The islamic attacks (this summer also in Bangkok) and the murders in the south of the country do continue; Thailand also does not manage to live in peace with the muslim nationals.

At Minke’s school with more than 15 nationalities in kindergarten, there are many national holidays to celebrate. On the 5th of December the 88th birthday of the Thai king was celebrated by wearing yellow shirts, listening to the national anthem and tasting Thai snacks. After seven years at St. Andrew’s School in Bangkok and then the last four years at St. Andrew's School Green Valley, Minke decided that this will be her last year of full time work. With family in the Netherlands, the apartment in Spain and Laura in Australia, it will be good to have some more freedom to travel and potentially still do some substitute work.


We wish you a very happy 2016!!

(and big glasses of Mojito taste much better than beer at our favourite cocktailstand on the Thai beach!)