Be forewarned: The next few/many blog posts will be full of pictures and captions. If those are what bores you, especially you, dear sister o' mine, I hope you will survive.
Forgot my camera, so here are some phone pictures of Tuesday, December 24th at school:
My specialty earrings that appeal to my violent side... all except for the festive one!
You never know though; I might be able to find a creative way to use it as a weapon...
Christmas Eve morning! Ready to torture my students with my festive mood!
Don’t make this into an entire ordeal or anything...
Khow-hom and me
I had her press the button on my phone, so we were both unsure of where to look.
You’d think I’d know by now, huh?
I'm so sad that I missed Aum performing during the Christmas
song. The school let them go on and gathered all the teachers
to the other side (the Thai side). NONE of the teachers involved in teaching
the dance and song to the students were even able to watch the students.
Shame, isn't it?
Meaily, one of the sweetest students in my class, kneeling at my feet ready to give me my gift. I was horrified by this display. :(
I told her to stand up, she gave me my comforter, and we took a better picture together. :)
Oh, and yes, all the teachers received comforters as a gift from the school.
Can’t you just feel the love that First and Aungkrit feel for me?
Some of the older students dancing on stage.
They danced just like a lot of Asian people do,
lacking in energy and enthusiasm :) (haha jk)
They danced just like a lot of Asian people do,
lacking in energy and enthusiasm :) (haha jk)
Peach and Nano
My Thai teacher and me
Or I guess I should say, grammatically-incorrectly: Me and my Thai teacher
Me in the classroom :)
in the dark
With my sad little lunch of cold pizza, sticky rice,
fried chicken, and fruits.
Tan-Tan and me :)
All in all, it was a very uneventful Christmas celebration day. But then again, maybe that's because I was hiding in my classroom getting things done the entire day. Just how I like to do things :)
After school, Jess and I immediately took an air-conditioned bus to Chiang Mai to begin our 12-day long holiday vacation :D About 10 of those days were reserved for a grand and beautiful road trip!:
In Bangkok, I have always slept in less than a tank top and shorts.
We were dressed like THIS in Chiang Mai and we were shivering
like we haven't since being in the US. Brrrrrrrrrr!!!
By the way, yes, that was our Christmas Eve. We were on a cold
bus, and then hopped out to be super surprised by the freezing
red car (taxis in the area) drive to our hostel: Mojito Garden. It was not great.
Stingray in a tiny tank? Weird decorating choice.
I loved it. <3
Oh, almost forgot to mention that we arrived at about 5 or 6 in the morning.
One of the employees woke up the manager of Mojito Garden who let us
in to sleep. The next morning, the manager went into our room and was
fiddling with the locks on our lockers for a good 30 minutes.
An act of revenge or very necessary at 9 in the morning?
Hmm... you decide...
How we spent our Christmas 12/25/13:
Good morning, Chiang Mai! Merry Christmas!
My bed for 2 nights, in which I battled mosquitoes and a gecko visited me.
Woke up on Christmas wrapped up in thin blankets, shaking with the cold. But what's Christmas without a winter-y breath of air?
Took a fresh and icy cold shower, stood out in the warm sun, and entered the room that felt like cold death.
Where's Chicago?! :(
But before long, we went to Blue Diamond, one of our favorite
haunts in the city. This is a whole-grain croissant. Felt very healthy.
Unfortunately, I don't remember if that also meant that it was tasty.
Then, I had a delicious pumpkin pie. I couldn't resist blowing a lot of money the first few days.
In fact, part of me felt like I "deserved" to splurge because I was on vacation.
I wish I could go back and say, "Oh honey..." to myself.
Especially because I recently got onto a scale and found out
I'm 8 pounds heavier since I started out in Thailand.
The organic selection of nuts, seeds, carbs, fruits, chips, and probably
any other snack food you would probably ever want in a healthy form!
Because it was Christmas, the restaurant gifted us free and underwhelming tiny slices of cake.
I almost (keyword ALMOST) rescued this cockroach. It ran around
the restaurant and then suddenly overturned and wiggled its legs frantically.
I felt horrible and wanted to grab a paper to flip it back over. But then I thought
about it scuttling on me and my Christmas spirit left me. I still wished it a
Merry Christmas though and a silent apology. :(
This is the Christmas tree it died by.
In the center were goodies of all shapes and sizes. :D Yummay!
Want some poison? :)
There were also products like hand-made soaps, natural shampoos,
blah blah blah, all that good stuff I really enjoy browsing through and buying.
The difference between night and day.
I couldn't stop sweating in this tank top, even though on
the previous night, I was wearing 3 layers.
This being our vacation, Jess and I enjoyed two low-key days in Chiang Mai,
starting with Christmas day. Christmas was devoted to visiting temples we
missed out on during our Loi Krathong journey.
Buffalo is a bad word in Thai. I'm sure the people who created this were laughing hard.
See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.
This is the wat we were at.
Sometime during my travels in Thailand, I reverted back to my old self.
I used to take pictures FOR my friends, but when my dad
gave me my new camera, I decided to take pictures that would serve as
memories for myself and for my family--a cause that I thought
selfish but better worth my time. But since then, I've partially
forgotten and started snapping pictures just because
they looked beautiful in my camera. Sorry I've lost myself a bit
in trying to become an artist rather than a documenter like I wanted to be.
Searching for bathrooms, we were directed by monks into this museum.
Not following directions, I took really quick pictures, even though there
was a sign that read "Pictures not permitted."
Oops! Don't worry, I ran out.
One of the dogs owned by the monks.
We went to a second temple, which was hidden but recommended.
Boy, were we glad to have wandered off the main street to see this beautiful temple.
I really liked this Reclining Buddha. Seemed a little
more of an old style than many of the others I've seen
(besides the ones in Ayutthaya).
The plaque--which honestly was very interesting to read--by this statue says:
This monk is Tan Pra Maha Kajjana. He is an arahant (enlightened one). But he is not
the Lord Buddha. He used to be so handsome that several monks mistook him as the Lord
Buddha. When other monks saw him from afar, they would prepare themselves as if they
were receiving the Lord Buddha.
Once, a man saw Tan Pra Maha Kajjana and thought that if Tan Pra Maha Kajjana
were a woman, the man would take [him] to be his wife. This evil thought
to an enlightened monk is a grave sin; as a result, the man immediately became
a woman. He was ashamed and escaped to another town.
Tan Pra Maha Kajjana did not want to cause trouble to other people
because of his good looks, nor did he want people to be attached to his
outer appearance. Therefore, he change himself to a fat, ugly looking monk.
Now that's dedication and determination.
On the side of the temple were elephants.
Another temple in this same wat area.
What you lookin' at?
Monks setting up for an event.
Some foreigner asked for us to take pictures for him,
heard me speak English with Jess, and assumed I was Thai.
He asked me if I knew what was happening, but honestly,
do I ever?
The front, dazzling our eyes in the sun.
In the temple area, there's a Buddhist University!
These went together. Really, religious stories are fascinating!
This hall was filled with monks, but after they had finished, the rest of us were
allowed to approach this quite-serene Buddha image.
Some people surrounded this cat and took pictures of him. I wanted
to take pictures of those people, but thought that was rude, so I just
became another one of the people and took pictures of the cat haha.
Leaving the temple, we also passed by the Buddhist Manuscript Library and Museum.
Beautiful... can you believe that holds the documents?
We walked back onto the streets and passed by a cute cafe that had
owl flower pots out front. Haha, cute decor decision!
At some point, I tired of walking to each temple, but I still enjoyed seeing
and admiring the differences among them.
This next temple also had three different parts to it.
People praying to the monks and the Buddha.
Interesting style choice. I guess it's similar to the elephants in the other temple.
This Buddha was nice though :)
As the day wound down, we walked past this little one cranking something.
Naturally, this piqued my interest and I decided to crank it too. It was a
pulley system that carried some oblong object up to the top. It was some sort of delivery system.
I wonder where they're going with that!
Exhausted, we walked back out onto the streets and walked past some cute shops and restaurants.
This place looked adorable! Expensive, though.
By one of the gates, they had these set up! Happy New Year 2014!
Even though we were both keeling over from exhaustion (the traveling
really caught up to us), we searched for a special vegan/vegetarian
restaurant. The Lonely Planet travel guide we tried to follow wasn't
as updated as we hoped it'd be, though, so we ended up going to this
Burmese place. I ordered larb moo. :)
Teddy bear rice!
This was one of my most favorite mango with sticky rice dishes I've
ever had. I paid over $2 for it, (which is expensive for it here), but
it was so delicious I almost ordered a second one.
It's okay though! I bought coconut chips earlier that morning so that sufficed.
As we headed back to the hostel, we heard fireworks in the distance. Confused, I was
going to ask Jess what they were celebrating. Before I even opened my mouth,
Jess told me how sad we were. This conversation inspired me to create this facebook status:
As fireworks go off in the distance...
Jess: I feel like we're not like other people our age.
Me: What do you mean?
Jess: Well, for starters, it's 8:00 on Christmas and we're heading back to our hostel.
Me: Oh! So that's what they're celebrating!...
Sad... I was even wearing baubles! lol