Sorry for not updating, but now, because I’m getting ready to work, it’s not all fun and games anymore (unfortunately). Here are some things that have been going on though--teaching will be in an entirely different post because it completely stresses me out and I don’t want to talk about that just yet.
So, with Gina, I headed to Bangkok on a failed mission to visit a friend. At least I enjoyed a weird salty orange juice drink... Anyway, Gina thinks we reached Rama 3, but I have reason to believe we never made it there. However, the place we stopped at had an Italian restaurant which looked pretty snazzy, with its endless stream of cars entering and leaving the parking lot, live music, beer, and completely full house of 2 floors. Gina and I couldn’t even find a place to sit! We wandered around a bit, and then, really exhausted, decided to just call it a night and split a cab home. It was actually hilarious because we had taken some buses all the way out for at least half an hour, ventured onto city buses, did virtually nothing, and then turned right around to go home.
It was pleasant though; we were able to explore the transit system a little and when we returned, I visited her little neighborhood. Because I don’t drink beer, I watched her drink her beer lol, and she bought me those steamed peanuts that I love from home. It made me nostalgic because my mom would sometimes bring those home from the store. Here in Thailand, though, it seems like they’re sold by Indian guys and a bag is only 20 baht = $0.67! Great prices and good food. Gotta love Thailand! :)
My friend who ditched me ended up visiting me last night, and before “leaving” the next day, we decided to check out OTOP, One Tambon* One Product, in the Impact arena (similar to Chicago’s McCormick Place). Finally, right? I know I mentioned it in the 10/20 and 10/21 posts. We saw many organic hair and skin products, special foods and textiles from different regions of Thailand, and tried a few wines that didn’t quite taste like wine. They tasted a lot more like juice, but that’s okay because I really enjoyed it. Maybe my tastes just aren’t refined enough yet...
*A tambon is a local government unit in Thailand, so different areas, like Phuket, Nonthaburi, Bangkok, and other cities/provinces brought their special goods.* You can compare the events at Impact to the jewelry show we have at Rosemont, where everyone has little stands selling their own items. Well, just not as expensive.
I ended up buying mee krob again! It really feels like I can’t escape that guilty pleasure. My friend was able to convince me to try a sausage, which was absolutely delicious! The explosion of Thai spices in my mouth was mind-blowing. I wish America served sausages like that--maybe they do, but I have never paid enough attention to try them out.
After walking around a bit, we ended up just going through empty lobbies of Impact. It’s strange how, in Thailand, you can simply walk around wherever you choose. We walked past a security guard or two in the empty silence, yet no one ever stopped us or asked us what we were doing. The areas were dark and clearly closed, but it made no difference or I guess you could also say... impact (haha lame pun). We sat outside for a bit, just enjoying the fresh air and then headed back to work on our teaching plans.
By the way, I did end up buying the sheets I looked at in Big C. My room looks so much better :). I also have stopped reviewing my posts, the grammar, and all that, so I probably already posted pictures of my bed with my new sheets (and used a ton of horrible grammar). I really should stop being so negligent. Too bad, you can see my sheets again, or for the first time right here! :D :
My view, after my friend cleaned it and swept
back the curtains!
My more-organized kitchen
Funny story about that green stool: I was speed-walking in Big C to look for a stool, and someone was also speed-walking behind me. When I skidded to a stop, so did that person.
He asked me, "Oh! You're looking for a chair too?"
We had a conversation that revolved around what our jobs were, where we lived, and then he asked me for my facebook and phone number. I didn't give him either, just took his card, and said I would add him. Never found him, but that's okay. I'm pretty sure he was stalking me because when I came back from looking at sheets, he was no longer there in the chair section, where he had been lingering for a while. Plus, it's weird. He was a lawyer and a vet, and probably way too old for me. 555 (hahaha) *In Thai, 5 is "ha."*
My pretty sheets. Not the weird brown and
yellow animal print ones anymore :)
My friend, who stayed over another night, cleaned the apartment when I went to school for my first day. So sweet! :) Actually, I guess I had talked about it so much that someone finally needed to step up to do it haha. Anyway, the day before, we used chopsticks to clean out the drain that was filled with other peoples’ hair and dead cockroaches that I had tried to wash down for several days. Well, no, I should be the bigger person and admit how much I truly helped out; the truth is that I did no work at all. Instead, I stood there and laughed the whole time. (It was really gross, so I just laughed maniacally for 5 minutes ...I am such a horrible person.)
I also met my neighbor, Kong, who at first, (remember?) would run into his house and hide from me as I sat in the hallway, trying to access the building’s wifi. One day, though, he asked me if I wanted something to drink because it was so hot out in the hallway. I said no, thank you, and he did a store run. He chose to ignore me and politely bought me a Breezer. I was really grateful because it actually tasted good, being strawberry flavor and all. However, he then proceeded to take his iPad out of his house to add me on facebook.
He started typing to me from inside his house, being a little creepy, telling me to stay outside (“don’t stir”) so he could continue talking to me. However, since I was being roasted alive in the heat permeating the hallway, I decided to run in, especially after reading his words. I’m sure I was just panicking for no reason, but he also started leaving his gate and door open starting after day 2 of seeing me, which was unnatural. He always, always, ALWAYS keeps it locked and chained... until he actually started talking with me... I made the decision to finally go and buy some unlimited internet PRONTO. (I may have just been overly-scared because I’m sure he was using google translate to say “you don’t have to go.” But still. “Don’t stir” when you’re in an empty hallway and your neighbor keeps trying to invite you in while he’s typing to you through his open door?... yeah, not the most favorable circumstance you want to find yourself in.)
My friends told me that he was being really forward for a Thai guy. At least he hasn’t said he loves me yet.
I went to one of my teacher friend’s parties and they served us very fresh rice, as they were celebrating a new harvest! They also served several special Chiang Mai dishes, being as they are half Hmong-half Thai people from the area. Yummy :) I had a sliver of raw pork wrapped in lettuce--I hope I didn’t get parasites from that. They said it was a specialty in Chiang Mai, and I felt obligated to try it. (Never again, don’t worry!)
For the rest of the night, I sat, listened to the live music, listened to my friends talk, ate a lot, helped my friends make guacamole (well, not really... I just washed their dishes), and watched my friends get hit on by 21 year olds or 35 year olds. Lovely. Because it was after work and I hadn’t changed into a nice outfit (seeing as my legs are still covered with jellyfish stings, mosquito bites, and various other animal markings), I just felt like a bum, so I shut down rather than joined in. :( I’ll do better next time, hopefully!
The new rice crop! Tasty!
The live band that played very good music :)
Random: The sky one evening, as the sun was
setting. What a beautiful way to end a day :)