Welcome back for another monthly recap/photo challenge, thanks to Su. I hope this post finds you well.

January was an unusual month because I traveled, got to spend time with old friends, and enjoyed a better work-life balance. Although, I’m hoping to commit to the latter for the rest of the year.


We took a shuttle from the bus station to Utapao Airport for 100 baht each [or $3]. Not bad!

Rayong to Chiang Mai

Originally, we planned to meet up with a friend who was flying in from London, but because I’m a dingbat, I got the dates wrong, and we ended up missing each other. Has this happened to you? Please tell me I’m not the only moron!

[You’re the only moron.]

Besides seeing old friends, we ate well, and walked around our old neighborhoods, and talked about when we lived in Chiang Mai. I won’t get into the details of how much the city has changed because I might be saving it for a future post. I haven’t decided yet. It’s all written up, but does the world need another post about Chiang Mai?

Chiang Moi Road with graffiti, and red truck taxi.
One of the changes is how much graffiti there is. I have mixed feelings about it.
When I lived in this area, there was hardly any, a scribble or two, but now, it’s everywhere.
This one was just outside Wat Chompoo.
Walking through Wat Chompoo, we saw all this exercise equipment (for the monks?), but we didn’t linger as we ladies were not appropriately dressed.
Graffiti does create color and interesting spaces.
Banksy-like graffiti is also common.


And now for something different…

Traveling was only a small portion of the month, it also involved going back to work, and working on personal goals. There’s no shortage of distractions in the form of depressing news though. With Trump being Trump, Australia’s fires, and the Wuhan virus giving us enough ammo to keep us down, I decided to continue what I did last month and focus on good news, too.

I was over the moon when I read about Boyan Slat’s efforts to clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch with his innovative cleanup machines. But this article focuses on his team working towards cleaning up the world’s most polluted rivers. You can read about it, and nominate your river via the link below.


Dutch Guy Famous for Cleaning Up Pacific Garbage Patch is Now Clearing the Worldโ€™s Rivers Too

I was also happy to hear that there is an AI program that can be used to predict viral outbreaks before the governments let us know about it. This is extremely important when considering Asian culture’s deeply ingrained belief system of ‘saving face’.ย  BlueDot uses an “algorithm that scours foreign-language news reports, animal and plant disease networks, and official proclamations to give its clients (hospitals, airlines, etc) advance warning to avoid danger zones”.

Next up…

Disaster Breeds Invention: Philippine Residents Use Volcanic Ash to Repair Damaged Buildings

And here is 99 positive news stories you most likely didn’t hear about in 2019. Ninety-nine, people! And that’s not even taking into account family and friends getting hitched, knocked up, having babies, or graduating school, and all that other wonderful stuff.

When you start reading, it’s easy to be cynical, but as you continue to read the good changes that the world is making, I hope you will feel better about humanity. By number 43, I got teary eyed. [You’re right, I’m such baby. BTW, don’t ever watch a movie with me.]

One day at a time, right? xo

How was your January?

22 replies on “The Changing Seasons – January 2020

  1. I’m pretty OCD about dates, but did miss a wedding because I was convinced it was on a week later. My son is hopeless in that regard; like, he’d probably miss his own wedding (in the extremely unlikely event he’ll decide to get married).

    Liked by 3 people

  2. January has started off good thank you. What I have set up, (my white board) is helping me to keep focus.
    It sounds like yours has gone lovely, except for you getting dates muddled. I have got dates muddled once before, but I was able to cotton on before the event and so correct myself and nothing missed.

    Going to read about the dutch guy next, as not heard about this.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Lani,

    Thanks for the thoughtful post. I do like graffiti when in my opinion it looks like thought went into it as a piece of art. The tags I have seen on buildings, not so much.

    As far as our January goes, it has been surprising. We moved to the small fishing village of Nazare, Portugal the first of last October and wondered if it was going to be difficult to connect with people in an organic way. We didnโ€™t have to worry.

    We found a coffee shop we go to daily. The local Mercado, where we now have a vegetable and fruit lady, an egg lady, a fresh bread lady, a butcher, a fresh mushroom lady, a homemade jam and fruit lady, and a nut lady (Brasil, Almonds, Walnuts, Cashews, Pistachios and Dates) They are so happy to see us every few days and always give us hugs and kisses.

    Through Vinceโ€™s photography of the big waves, we met a photographer here from Norway. We are loving the ocean and when there is a storm in the Atlantic it creates waves 50 to 100 feet tall that calls surfers from around the world. Through her knowing the surfers, we have been going to a weekly meet up of artists, musicians, photographers and surfers where lately, the surfers have been giving talks about their experiences. The location is a tattoo shop and everyone sits on the floor, except us, because there are only two comfy chairs in her waiting room so someone always makes sure we have the chairs. The oldest surfer is 50. But all the rest are their 20โ€™s, 30โ€™s and just a few in their 40โ€™s. We arrive to receive hugs and kisses and it remains that way throughout the evening. I guess we are their adopted grandparents. We have met many locals and people from France, Germany, Norway, America, England, Australia, and Brasil. Our January was a blast! We never thought we would be hanging out in a tattoo shop with Sea Hippies!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OMG. That sounds so epic, and beyond perfect. I’m so happy for you both. Life can be so crazy wonderful that way.

      I do follow you both so I knew you had moved from the big city, but I don’t think I caught that you went from one seafaring town to another.

      I’m very glad you found your niche in the world. Gives me hope for E and I as we dearly miss nature, and long walks. We keep dreaming about what’s next.

      Hug a sea hippie for me! xxoo


  4. Thanks for sharing the 99 good news stories. It is easy to forget that positive things are happening.

    I vote for hearing about the changes in Chiang Mai. It is always interesting to hear about such things from someone who lived there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmmmm. Okay. Maybe I’ll get that post ready for public consumption ๐Ÿ˜€

      Thanks! Hope you find some good news that helps make your day.


    1. You’re welcome. Yeah, Brexit. I swear, everything feels like it’s getting crazier and crazier. Good news helps so much – esp these days after reading the news. Oof.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Moron checking in here! I almost missed my flight home this week because I misread my ticket and thought the arrival time was the departure time. I arrived at the airport “early” and dawdled for a bit, then went to the counter to ask if I could bump up to the “earlier flight”… which was my actual flight. SMH lol

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahahhaa. OMG. What a close one! As much as I hate military time or whatever folks call it, it’s probably prevented so many missed fights, right?

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Love the idea of positive news stories. I had my students read about the coronavirus last week, in theory to keep them informed and realize it’s not as scary as it seems, but it backfired in one class and they were like freaking out. So perhaps this week I can give them some good news haha!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Germans are famous for being on time, and I have to admit to come too early for appointment more often than too late. ๐Ÿ˜„ I believe we get a punctuality vaccination when we’re little. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Love the street art especially when it’s done this good.
    And yay to positive news, we really need those!! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

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