Wednesday, July 11, 2012


4th January, 1994

Greetings Everyone,

Hope you all had a good holiday. As usual, I'm in my "Post-Christmas-Blues" phase -- which always starts at least a week before Christmas. I just can't stand for it all to be over with for another whole year! To cheer myself up, and because I was such a good girl and didn't even go on the ladies Christmas shopping trip this year, I'm taking Alexis out to Singapore just for the fun of it this weekend. We hope to take in a good movie and eat at T.G.I.Friday's. A new Chili's restaurant is supposed to be opening soon, but I don't know when.

Christmas day at the Tates' house.
Things were fairly quiet around here compared to Christmases past, but there was still plenty going on. Only trouble is, instead of having to see the same bunch of people over and over again at every party, you now have to see the same itty-bitty bunch of people over and over again. John and I sometimes stand there watching them, and wonder what on earth they could possibly have to talk about after all this time. (Answer? Each other!) The most fun party of the season, if I do say so myself, was the Bunco/dinner party for 8 couples that John and I threw. Also, another girl and I did a cookie exchange for the older kids, and that was fun too. I would have loved to make your new chocolate trifle recipe Mom, but we can't get Heath bars here, so I had to take my old traditional version to our annual Christmas day get-together with the Reehs and the Tates. The really exciting news this year is that, for once, our driver Yusuf and his family did not come for their usual two hours of just sitting and staring at us on Christmas day! For Christmas Alexis got about 99 different craft projects, including a candle-dipping set, a lap loom, a paper-making kit, etc. Unfortunately, by the end of the first week of vacation she'd done them all, and she was B-O-R-E-D! The second week was somewhat tedious.

We were a little shocked when we discovered that Kathy and Bud had sent 15 videos for the Silverman's son to bring us. I had led him to believe that there would only be a couple. Apart from the fact that he didn't have a lot of luggage space, there is the problem that videos are contraband here and can be confiscated by customs, so you have to hide them. He did manage to sneak in five, though, and we have really savored them. They are also in high demand around the compound. We shared our episodes of Seinfeld with the Silvermans, who are from New York, and they went wild over them. I'm sure they will put pressure on their son to squeeze in a few more tapes when he comes back in March. Can't wait!

Alexis' big excitement is that she may get to have an article published in a magazine! Prisi gave her a subscription to American Girl magazine, and apparently sent in a little information about her as well, when she saw that they were hoping to do an article about American girls who are living abroad. Anyway, this week she got this big, special delivery "urgent" envelope containing a questionnaire for her to fill out, and asking for photos as well. She is so excited! Unfortunately, a lot of other little girls received that same questionnaire, so let's hope her story makes it into the magazine.

The new cook is working out fairly well. I guess. It's great not having to make three meals a day from scratch, day in and day out -- especially when you consider how little I have to work with over here. But, I absolutely hate the fact that she's gradually rearranging my kitchen to suit herself, and now I can't find anything. Also, the kitchen has always been my home base, kinda like my hangout. Now Era keeps the door closed most of the time, to keep the smells in I suppose, and I find myself sort of drifting aimlessly about the house, not sure exactly where to settle!

P.T. Arun took away everyone's company cars as of the first, so we're back to being a one car family. Also, we know that they are pulling a few work permits in March, but the only one that we know of for sure is our next door neighbors, the Lyons. They are none too happy, since he was hoping to hang on another two or three years, until he can retire. Not sure if he will be able to find something else at age 57, or not. It's going to drive us crazy, not knowing what's coming, but there's nothing John can do but wait for his boss to find something in the job postings he gets, that might be suitable for us. In the meantime, we're trying to make plans for our summer home leave, and haven't a clue what to do! Should we travel home and back together, so we can get round-the-world tickets and stop in Denmark to see Eric on the way home, and in Hawaii on the way back, or should we wait and do Denmark and London next Christmas? Will we even be here still next Christmas? Should the kids and I stay all summer, so they can go to camps, etc., and just forget about stopping somewhere with John? But what if it's our last chance to ever see any of these places? The one thing John really wants to do is try and manage a trip up to Colorado to see Patti and Brad, who moved to Cortez when they left here, and maybe go to Creede while there. But should he take his vacation in June, July or August? If any of you have answers to all these questions, please feel free to share, so we can get this show on the road! In the meantime, I'll be right here, fretting. Take care, and write soon.

Oh yeah, Theda -- John really enjoyed the book and cologne you sent him, and the kids were ecstatic about their $40. We gave it to them in Indonesian money, which came to 80,000 rupiah each. They feel like millionaires!

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