Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Update from the PR

- I am back from Thailand, and I made it alive! No malaria.
- I FINALLY reunited with Allan, so you will no longer have to hear me whine and bitch.
- I have permagrin.
- Allan graduated from OCS, and looks incredibly handsome in his whites.
- We are back in PR getting ready for our move to PA.
- Its taking longer than we thought.
- I got a tattoo while in Houston
- I miss my dogs like crazy (seems that I am always missing someone these days)
- I will post pics of everything soon, promise.

Sorry So Short...Longer Letter Later! xoxo

Saturday, May 3, 2008

4/6/08 BFD!!!

Can I go home now???….I am having a BFD! (Bad Fred Day)

drop dead fred


We spent most of the weekend in Nong Khai. We hired a chauffer with a nice huge van, and my Aunt, Fred, my Mother, and I all headed northwest. We made the trip so that I could meet the rest of my family. It was about a 4 hour drive there, Thai time (with many relaxing stops). During the first couple of hours driving, the skies were sprinkled with a bunch of yellow confetti-like butterflies. It was beautiful! On the way there, we passed the town with all of the cantaloupe, another broom and handmade basket town, and the coconut town. I had many “Elaine” moments in the van on the way there; if you are a Seinfeld fan you may get this. (If not, there was an episode where she was on a crowded bus, and she gets very annoyed and was screaming her thoughts in her head-very funny stuff.) We finally get to Nong Khai and go shop at the outdoor market and had lunch. Fred was extremely hot and annoyed with the idea of shopping, so we took him to the hotel and checked him in. We went back shopping afterwards. The hotel was The Royal Mekong Hotel. It was okay; it is right on the Mekong River and probably equivalent to a Holiday Inn. It had an incredible view of Laos and the Mekong River and had a nice pool area. I crashed with my Aunt again, and hung out downstairs and attempted to use the Internet in the lobby. My Uncle and his family were staying there as well. It was so nice seeing my Loong (Uncle) Suchat for the very first time. I have heard so many stories about my Mom’s brother. When we first met, we both couldn’t stop staring at each other and we were giggling like little school children. He has a smile that beams like the sun. We all went to dinner: My Aunts, Uncle, his children (my cousins), and his grandchildren. We had a very nice time. At dinner my Uncle gave me a very special Buddha medallion that he wears around his neck, and told me to keep it to protect me. It was a very sweet moment; I thanked him in Thai as my eyes welled up with tears. I was so frustrated that I couldn’t really communicate with him, but I think he knew and could tell how grateful I was.

My cousin, Neung, married an older Englishman (she’s 33 and he’s 61!) that is an actor, writer, and teacher in the U.K. (Side note: Okay, this was odd because he’s a year older than my Uncle…Does he call him Dad????) Anyways, his name is Alex, and we spent majority of the evening talking about theatre and different shows that we have done, etc. It was so nice talking to someone that has similar interests as me. He is a very smart, and witty older man (old enough to be my Dad), and has an incredible resume at that. He has a book out on Amazon.com called, Bilingual Shakespeare: A handbook for teachers. If you know anyone that use this text- spread the word! He comes from a family of actors and artists, and says that Helena Bonham Carter is a 2nd cousin of his (that he “never keeps in contact with-but should”) Uh, yeah. You think? He uses great words like, stodgy, fellow, lovely, pompous, and says “right” all the time. I love it! He said that I need to come visit him and my cousin in England, and I just might have to take him up on that offer!
On the way home, we went a different route. We passed the corn town, the banana town, the Dr. Seuss-looking tree town, the pineapple town, the rubber tree farm (which my Mom kept calling out, ”Hey honey, look at the tire trees!” Ha, ha!!!! Every time we passed an Esso gas station, I’d miss Allan, Puerto Rico and the infamous papas wedges (aka: drunk food). Then we passed the Eucalyptus tree farm, and then last but not least, the live lizard, locust, and ant egg stand!!! Mind you, this is all for FOOD! Oh yeah, we pulled over--I’ve got pictures!!!! Don’t worry; I wasn’t THAT BRAVE!!!! YUCK!

It was a great trip; I shopped a little, ate a little, and played with my “new family” a little. I wish Allan were here to enjoy all of this with me.


So I have about 1 week left in Thailand (not counting the traveling days back to the States), and I have learned these things so far:

- Even though I have met my family for the 1st time at the age of 29, I love them unconditionally and feel like I have known them forever.
- This journey has been a true testament to my own strength, control, patience, and will power. Something that I have always needed to work on.
- I spent a couple of lazy afternoons reading Eat, Pray, Love. Thank you Amy for giving me such a perfect book to read on this trip. It was incredibly inspiring, and I will pass it on to you next. J I love you.
- Thai people are amazing and generous people, even when they don’t have much, they have so much to give.
- I have no qualms with drinking wine out of a box, but I do not like Thai wine.
- Distance really DOES make the heart grow fonder. I knew this before, but I feel I truly know it now.
- Mosquitoes love me whether they are in Houston, Puerto Rico, or Thailand.
- My Mother is like the earth, with so many layers that have yet to be revealed to me. This trip has caused me to be able to reach depths that I have never seen before, and a longing to learn and understand her more, until I reach her core.
- I want to travel the world, and see places that only I have dreamed about. This is only the beginning.
- Cold showers aren’t that bad.
- I am a far braver person than I had ever believed myself to be, or given myself credit for. And damn it, I’m giving myself credit NOW.
- I’m too happy in my life, and don’t have the time or energy to be angry with petty people. I’d rather focus on the one’s that I love, and want to be around. Mai pen rai. (No worries.)
- My hair is a curly pubis-like afro in Thailand, much as it is in Puerto Rico, if not more so.
- The empty place in my heart has been filled, and now I have a greater understanding of that “other half” of me.
- Not to sound all deep, and NO, I haven’t been smoking the “Thai stick”, but no matter where you are in the world, when you get to the root of it, we all speak the same language. We sleep under the same stars, we cry the same tears, and feel the same kind of love. <3 <3 <3

4/2/08 Wednesday

- Last night, I prayed, meditated, and listened to music before bed. It felt great! J
- Today was a cool, rainy, day; the breezy air feels so nice!
- I worked on my blog and watched a few slideshows from PR on my computer. I don’t know why I did that. It made me even more homesick.

- Today was a good day, I let all negative energy bounce off me as if I were a concrete wall and all of those negative thoughts or energies were those 25 cent super rubber bouncing balls from the candy machines. They are all bouncing off of me at great distances to never be found again. Just like the bouncy balls I had as a kid.
- Mom and I have been watching Indian folk-tale stories on TV. I find them interesting and extremely melodramatic; they could be easily mistaken for SNL sketches.
- My Aunt brought home the BEST Khao Phat (fried rice) today. It really pains me to say it, but it was even better than my Mom’s.
- My new favorite Thai dessert, which has always been Allan’s, is called Kanom Kok. It’s a sort of coconut custard that has a crispy edge and a gooey creamy middle, similar to a Crème Brule. They are made in little cast iron pans that have little half-moon cups that you pour the custard in. It looks like a cast-iron deviled egg holder. It is considered street food and is soooo yummy! For some reason it tastes way better here in Thailand than it does in Houston. Go figure.
- Chi Yo means cheers in Thai. It’s very fun to say aloud while pretending that you have a beer stein in your hand…Try it…Chi Yo!
- We went to dinner tonight at a place called the Green Corner, which was funny because it wasn’t green and it was in the middle of the street. My cousin P’Sang ordered the ant egg stir-fry. Yup, you read it right! I about gagged! This was something that I didn’t even want to look at. I didn’t want to be rude, and my Aunt asked me to pass her a bowl of it, and as it passed my face across the table, I think I may have puked in my mouth a little. I don’t think I could ever be brave enough to try that one. I’m sure its full of great protein, but again, umm…no thanks. I had the vegetarian soup, and a vegetarian rice noodle salad.
- I tried my first taste of Thai wine. I don’t think wine is their forte. It was very sour, almost vinegary, and fell completely flat for my taste.
- After dinner, we drove over to the Wat (temple) in town, and it was BEAUTIFUL! I have never been to a temple at night, and this place was beyond words to look at. The architecture of the structure was old, and part of it was being renovated. It still stood strong and tall, as if it was just built that morning and was ready for the whole world to enjoy its glory. There were multi-colored, ornate, mirror mosaics all over the temple, and multiple Buddha’s gilded in gold surrounding it. They all sparkled like glitter reflecting from the night sky, almost mimicking the stars and moon. It was like a small piece of heaven on earth. There was a funeral going on across the street, and you could hear the echoes of monks chanting across the whole temple. It was incredible!
- All in all, it was a great day.

4/1/08 Tuesday

- Today is April Fool’s Day…whatever; holidays like this don’t count in Thailand.
- Allan called this morning, I LOVE HIM SOOOOO MUCH! Ugh, I can’t wait to see him. It’s been way too long! This trip would be so incredible if he was here to appreciate it with me.
- It’s already off to an incredibly HOT day. It’s gonna be a scorcher!
- I’ve made the conscious decision that today WILL BE a good day.
- It was.


I woke up early this morning to the most AMAZING thunderstorm ever. The rest of the day was crap. I wrote about it in my travel journal, but wish not to share. Let’s just say that I think God is testing my will power and strength at this time. This trip is becoming increasingly hard on me, and I don’t want to let anyone, or thing ruin it for me. 13 more days to go. I can’t believe I feel this way today. I want to just let it go and start new and fresh tomorrow. “Mai pen rai” …no worries, right?

3/30 Sunday

- I woke up abruptly to my Aunt screaming in Thai to me saying something about Alien! (That’s how she says Allan) I stumbled down the stairs to catch his phone call. It was soooo nice to hear his voice. He puts me at peace. Allan knows exactly what to say to make me feel better. He is in St. Petersburg, FL right now. We both are having a difficult time with the distance thing. In the end, it will be all worth it!
- Pure example of my Mother: I told her that Allan called, and that he was sweet and said that it was weird how the other Coastie OC’s said that being away from their wives was good for their relationship, and that Allan said that he couldn’t understand that because he could spend every moment with me. Her response was, “ Oh Mischelle, he’s just telling you that to make you feel good.” Thanks Mom. (sigh)
- It just might be 150* degrees outside today.
- My Ba Dang feeds the chickens scraps and leftover food. I just watched my Mom feed the chickens- chicken bones.
- Today, I want to go “home”.
- I need to meditate.
- Thai TV has a laugh and gag reel that is insane! Wah-wah, boing, and fake laughs every two seconds, I have no clue how anyone watches the show without being completely annoyed!
- I spoke to Allan again tonight; I love that man!
- My Aunt compared me to a cow today.
- I went to bed early because the heat was just unbearable. I just read, and slept.


- Traveling to Loei today in a paddy wagon, well, a Thai Police Van with about 9 other people.
- It is 7:30 AM and they are already drinking! Oh yay…I’m riding cross-country with a bunch of drunken cops!
- I saw a baby elephant walking on the side of the road as if it were a stray dog. No one said a word about it! WTF? I may have been the only one who saw it. I am going to pretend that the little elephant made its appearance just for me. It was an adorable fella.
- There are rice fields everywhere
- We passed the hand-made basket town, sugar town, broom town, coconut candy town, and flower town, baby-banana town, all the way to Loei.
- We went to lunch with a posse of my Thai family, and I watched people eat live shrimp, or krill, or something that was still jumping in the bowl like jumping beans…Umm…no, thank you.
- We went to Gaeng Koo Koot Park. It’s right at a border town that features an outdoor shopping market with Thai goods. It is on the Mekong River and you can see Laos just on the other side. It’s a pretty amazing spectacle. I took some incredible pictures from this place.
- The Mekong River wasn’t as impressive or as vast and mighty as I thought it would be. The water was quite low, and I guess they said it has been so low because the Chinese has built dams (to which they deny) that slow the flow of this historical river. The river starts at China, through Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Southeast Asia History 101.
- We went to my Cousin’s house and sat around the front yard, while the drunken police officers (and Fred) attempted to play the guitar and sing American, John Denver-esque songs.
- We then went to dinner in downtown Loei; I was so not hungry…I’m SO over food at this point.
- I miss Allan terribly; he starts his 2-week cruise today- I think.
- I am sending him sweet thoughts and safe dreams…Whoa, I AM TIRED…reverse that.
- After a long drive back to my Aunt’s…Good Night.

3/28/08 Friday

- TGIF, right? 1 day closer to seeing Allan!
- Mom and I went for our morning walk, and listened to the community morning announcements over the loud speakers. There are speakers on the light posts all around the village.
- I put make-up on Ba Dang and my Mom this morning and made them “Suay Mak” (very beautiful!)
- We then went into town and had lunch with their pretty new looks.
- We went to the tailors to check the progress on our custom-made outfits. Mom’s stuff looks great so far! They were still working on mine. It’s amazing how quickly they whip this stuff up. Its true craftsmanship. We just showed them pictures, and they made it!
- We went to the grocery store because I decided to make spaghetti for my Thai peeps. They never eat that kind of stuff. I made spaghetti; with a 2 very small, dusty jars of spaghetti sauce that I found way up high on the shelf at the store like no one had ever considered buying such a thing. It was Heinz, and it said spaghetti sauce, it just happened to taste more like the Heinz ketchup than anything else. It was awful! So, I added some fresh tomatoes to the mix, and a little bit of tomato paste and water to it, along with fresh basil, garlic, and diced red peppers. It still was too sweet and was an embarrassment. Oh well, I tried. I made a meat version for the rest of the family and they seemed to think it was fine and gobbled it up. I also made garlic bread and salad with homemade vinaigrette. They seemed to like the garlic bread best. (I mean really, who doesn’t?)
- Fred bought about 50 ice cream cones and popsicles from the ice cream man today. He must feel guilty about eating mine. Or he’s just hungry. I’ll choose the latter.
- My Mom was crying today because my Aunt washed her shirt and skirt, that should have been dry-cleaned; needless to say, they are ruined. She was upset because they are her favorites, and they were expensive. She was really bummed, poor Mommy. (I felt bad, but I couldn’t help but laugh) My Aunt kept saying, “Mai Pen Rai” which basically means, No worries.
- I bought more Tiger Balm today.


- I slept well last night; I spoke with Amy, which made me very happy! J That girl can lift my spirits faster than a vodka drink!
- Today, I took a cold shower and headed downtown with my Aunt and Mother.
- Mom got me the prettiest Thai gold necklace with a Quan Yin charm on it.
- I saw crickets for sale (to eat) in the market, and I forgot my camera!!! Damn!
- We went to the bank to exchange our American money for Thai baht.
- We got plane tickets to fly to Bangkok before we head home, instead of driving. Thank Goodness!
- Fred ate the ice cream that I bought for myself from the ice cream man yesterday.
- I used the neighbor lady’s internet today (her brut daughter scared me, and sat over my shoulder and stared at me, and gave me the one handed sawadee ka…creepy)
- I miss my friends and family back home.
- My Aunt cracks me up!
- I need to work out.
- They don’t use tampons here… just pads.
- Mosquitoes heart Mischelle 4/eva!
- Fred said that there aren’t any zoos in Thailand. I have a travel guide, and it says that there are many zoos throughout the country.
- I went to P’Sang’s police station in the countryside. It rained so I didn’t get very good pictures. (I went with Sang, Fred and Boss)
- I saw a 1,000 year old tree, that stood tall and proud and had a small spirit house in front of it. It was an amazing sight.
- There are fruit trees everywhere in Thailand; no wonder my Mom thinks every tree or plant is edible!
- Malaria pills give me crazy-ass dreams!
- I really miss Allan today- BAD.
- Loui sent me a nice email today; it cheered me up.
- Thai candies and gum often taste like menthol cough drops.
- Thank Buddha for Tiger Balm.

March 26, 2008

- I woke up, showered and went to the Internet café in town, with Boss my cousin’s 9 yr old son. Again, everyone stared. I’m getting used to it.
- I spent 2 hours there and have no clue if the emails that I sent out went through or not…it said they “failed”
- I am homesick today.
- Every time I see a Toyota Yaris, I think of Allan (inside joke)…I see them A LOT!
- The ice cream boy is rich from this household.
- We had rice noodles and som tum (papaya salad) for lunch today…yum! J
- I spoke to Allan this morning and he got our cells hooked up with International calling, YAY! We had a great conversation, and I miss him more than any word in the Webster’s Dictionary could ever describe.
- We went to the Big C grocery store tonight and everyone stared, AGAIN. I feel like a zoo exhibit. I thought I was getting used to it, but this was just funny!
- I saw the BIGGEST spider today in the kitchen. Ba Dang killed it (Thank God).
- I had fresh baby corn for dinner tonight and it was delish! It’s much better than it’s canned cousin.
- I really would love a glass of red wine right now, and maybe a Boca burger.
- I heart Allan. <3
- I wish Fred wouldn’t talk to me like I am a 5 year old.
- I also wish he wasn’t so jealous of me and my Mom’s relationship-I AM HER DAUGHTER (that should be the name of my book)
- I miss my dogs. L This has been “ruff”…Okay; I think I may be delirious.
- I haven’t been drinking enough water.
- My nails look like crap.
- I think I am going to bed early tonight- I am grumpy.
- P.S. I am also sick of Fred saying that he’s a “happy Buddha” and calling my Mom “Mama” all the time…ugh, so annoying! It’s the worst when he says,” Mama, I’m a happy Buddha!” Ahhhh!!!!!!
- I love all of the girly-boys in this country! They all make me smile.

March 25, 2008

- I smother myself daily with 15% Deet Mosquito Repellant Lotion, and I hate it! I still get bit!
- All the time, is naptime.
- I still have cramps.
- Fred snores SO loud!
- I just wrote Allan another postcard.
- I miss Allan like crazy!!!
- I forgot my f’n ipod charger…grrr…
- Thai girls want their skin to be light and white, while American’s work hard to get a good tan. Hmmm.
- New nickname: Farang Noi (a little bit white)
- We went to the market and shopped a little today, I got some pretty cool bags, and some of the best Thai tea ever!
- I’m thinking that I am going to invent Thai tea ice cream, if it hasn’t been done already

March 23, 2008

Monday March 24, 2008

- I went for another long walk with Mom today (the scenery is so rural and different than what I am used to, it’s a beautiful change of pace.)
- We took the bus to the post office and went downtown to shop a little.
- Everyone looked at me like I was an alien. It is very unnerving.
- I got fitted today for a custom-made silk skirt suit.
- The ice cream man loves me. J Ha, ha!
- The She-man a few houses over, isn’t kidding anyone!
- Fred got Ba Dang a brand new propane “Thai stove”.
- I had Gwit Theal (Thai noodle soup) for lunch
- I miss Allan!
- My cousin P’Sang asked me to go to a cockfight with him, and I strongly declined making an aww hell-no look, while drawing fake tears on my face with my finger.
- I went walking in the town park (which is amazing), with my Mom and Thuc-Tha. We watched the most hilarious display of people doing aerobics! Especially the gay guy in spandex with the cute bubble-butt. J HA!!!
- I have cramps. Buh.

Sunday, March 23

Sunday, March 23

- I love the sound of rain falling on a tin roof (wow, that was very Norah Jones of me)
- I love the bathing ritual of Thai women. They take pride and care of their skin powdering and lotioning (another one of my made-up words), and they wear these sarongs that they switch before they shower, the dirty one- and after, the clean one. It is almost an art form all on its own.
- The toilet situation here is no fun.
- Fresh Thai fruit is unlike anything else!
- Money, my Aunt’s rottweiler, is infested with fleas, BAD. L
- I’m not sure if my Aunt and Mom are kidding with me about the arms length long lizard that lives in the house. (It makes tapping noises at night)
- Mom and I went for a long morning walk around the ‘hood this morning.
- Fred “put mak” (it’s Thai for, talks too much)
- We had a Thai breakfast of sticky rice and fried eggs…enough to make you fall back asleep again!
- I named two of Ba Dang’s nameless Min Pins; the female-Honey, the male-Houston
- Exotic flowers grow like weeds here (orchids, lilies, azaleas, etc.)
- I love watching my Mom and Aunt pick on each other just like kids. It’s easy to picture their childhood of pestering each other.
- I want to go shopping; I’m bored.
- It has been raining all morning long-YAY!
- I wish Allan was here- I love him.
- I wish my Aunt had internet access! What is a girl to do without internet for a whole month!?

March 22, 2008

-I’ve come to realize that I get my magazine obsession and naturally wavy hair from my Aunt.
-I spoke with the MIL, Genny, today and it was really nice and made me feel somewhat closer and connected to Allan.
-Fred’s feet still look like footballs (they have been swollen this whole trip)
-I’m living pretty primitively for my own taste, but my Ba Dang has a refrigerator that plays music when you open it. J
-Bugs love me
-Frogs around here sound like Puerto Rican Coquis, only with a Thai accent
-I’m BORED. Everyone wants to sleep all of the time! (Except for Ba Dang, who just does laundry and sweeps)
-Everyone in this country stares at me like I am a mystical creature; like a unicorn or something. I can’t even imagine if I was blonde!
-Thai game shows are exactly what you expect them to be- RIDICULOUS!
-In Thailand, life revolves around food. It’s not helping me lose weight, that’s for sure.
-I miss Allan.

March 21, 2008

Debbie Downer

So far, not so good. Allan called early this morning, and told me that we will be transferring to Philadelphia. It was sooo nice talking to him, although it was the hardest conversation I’ve ever had with him since he’s been gone. I think we both had our hopes up for Houston, and with us being so far apart; it was a very emotional phone call. I stood in the kitchen at my Aunt’s house, tears running down my face uncontrollably. I know that everyone was wondering WTF?
Forget the Philly part, the worst thing about this conversation is that I failed to tell Allan Happy Birthday! I feel like the worst wife ever!!! I can’t believe I did that!!! Not to make excuses, but he called right when I woke up, I was disoriented, and still had no clue what day or time it is, and I was still jet-lagged and confused! Ugh, that is no excuse… I CAN’T BELIEVE I DID THAT! I never forget these things, and I feel so terrible that I can’t even explain. I pre-sent him a card, and some gifts before my trip, but I actually spoke to him on “The Day” and didn’t say a word! I feel so awful. He had to call back after we hung up, to say, “Did you forget to say something?” I was like, “I love you???” I AM SUCH A SCHMUCK!!! I hate the way I feel right now. I wish I could just snap my fingers and magically appear before Allan, and hug and kiss him all over, and tell him how sorry I am. I know it sounds like I am beating myself up over this. It is just hard being on the other side of the world, and not able to talk to your husband when you want to, because he is at Officer’s school, and they only have half-assed working pay phones. L I just need to vent. My heart aches right now. I could tell he was bummed; my poor hubby spent a lonely birthday in CT, while his wife forgot to wish him a good one. Way to go Mischelle.

I am lying in bed right now, and there are too many things around me that make me uncomfortable:
- The bed comforter is super itchy…no sheets.
- The mattress is rock hard.
- There are several large spiders above my head.
- The fan squeals like a cricket each rotation
- There is no reading light, just a long fluorescent bulb across the room opposite of those damn spiders.
- My hip hurts
- There is no clock in here
- Allan is not next to me.
I know that I sound like a bitchy-puss, but this is really hard for me. At this point I am having such a bad day, that not even Tylenol PM can make better. I need to sleep and just pray that the next day will bring me sunshine.

Thursday, March 20th 2008

I got, well we got ripped off at the Amari Hotel in Bangkok. We were told at check-in that the cost would be $60.00 per night, so we stayed for 2 nights. At checkout we were told it was over $300.00 a night and that there was nothing they could do about that. I was so angry that I was shaking! I did my best to stay composed, and realized that without anything written on paper, I could not prove this statement. I sucked it up, paid, and left.
After we left the hotel, we went to the Royal Palace and temple in Bangkok. It was incredibly beautiful! The King’s sister recently passed away from cancer, and everyone was there wearing black, and was there to pay his or her respects. Well, my Aunt warned us of this and we prepared by wearing black. Little did I know that it could not be sleeveless? So it was a small fiasco finding the farang some type of cover-up to hide my shoulders. My Aunt’s BFF’s daughter (did you get that?), works at the Royal Palace, and found me some light blue work shirt to put on so that I could even enter the grounds. It made me stick-out like a sore thumb even more! Here, we did a quick 2-hour tour (apparently this should be an all-day event), and I was able to see the infamous Emerald Buddha. This is a gorgeous Buddha that is inside a temple that is made completely of the precious stone. It was breath taking. I prayed, donated a few baht, and left feeling a little more cultured and schooled in Thai history.

We left the Royal Palace and started our trek over to my Ba Dang’s (my Aunt) house. It was about a 9-hour drive, and at this point I have no clue what day it is or what time it is. All I know at this point is that I miss Allan so bad that I want to cry. We finally get to my Aunt’s house safely in Sakkon Nakhon, and I go straight to bed and crash.

Thailand Trip! (finally)

Okay, so it’s been a while, once again, I need to get better at this. I am currently in Thailand visiting my family. This trip is a trip of a lifetime, and I am terribly sad that Allan is not here to share it with me. I want to copy some of what is in my travel journal to give you all an update. Let’s see, this trip has been pretty grueling and unbearable at times, and completely amazing and unforgettable others. I arrived in Thailand on March 17th (having left on the 15th…somehow we missed Sunday altogether).
My travel partners are my Mother, and her husband, Fred. We had a very long flight of over 20 hours that seemed to last a decade. The entire time I was wondering whether Fred was going to make it. He is an extremely large man with terrible health conditions, and probably should not have been traveling in the 1st place. We have a very hard time communicating with each other (okay, who am I kidding, we just don’t get along) and felt that maybe during this trip, we would turn a new leaf and start fresh. YEAH, right!!! I was hopeful in this pursuit, and I know the trip isn’t over, but I feel this is a lost cause. More than anything, I want this for my Mom. She doesn’t need to be stuck in the middle; it just happens. This is just a little intro to how my trip has been so far. I am halfway through at this point, and pray that it gets better.

Anyways, here is my journal entry Day 1:

It’s March 17th (I think) and I am so friggin’ tired and starved. It’s my 1st day in Thailand, and it’s already off to a terrible start. Never mind the 20 something hour plane ride it took to get here, and the fact that Sunday was completely skipped, Never mind all of the family drama that ensued the whole way here… Ugh, I am too tired to even write about it…just never mind.
I’m over it.

In between these entries we stayed in Bang Saen, Thailand, and Bangkok. We stayed on the beach one night in Bang Saen at a pretty low-end, dirty, beachside, “hotel” with no AC. It was a pretty eye-opening experience. I may be exaggerating a tad, but it kinda reminded me of the motel that Leo Dicaprio stayed at in the beginning of the movie The Beach. That evening, we ate at an amazing seafood restaurant with prawns the size of lobsters, and some of the best Tom Yum Goong (shrimp soup) I have ever tasted. My Aunt (that I had just met) and her best friend ended up bunking with me that night in my room, and we all three slept together like sardines in a can. It was interesting- two Thai women who speak no English, and little ol’ me, the farang (white-girl), who speaks hardly any Thai. If only I had it on film, so you could see the cave-man way of playing charades to get our points across.

The next day, after our complimentary breakfast of rice soup, and fried miniature fish, we headed to Bangkok. We went to a beautiful (that is understatement) temple on the way. I have never been to a temple like this before. It was sort of an outdoor temple. There were wild monkeys, amazing Chinese-style artwork, and beautiful bright colors of red and gold everywhere. This was a special place for me, and I don’t really even know why. Incense fumigated the air and there were flowers everywhere. I knelt down on my knees and prayed and prayed. I was full of emotion, not only from the trip, and Fred, and just about to start my “lunar flow”, but because I had finally made it. I made it to this place that has always left my heart a little empty. Tears slowly fell from my face, as sweat dripped from my forehead. Something overcame me as I wiped my tears so that I could see the beautiful, peaceful, shrine that was in front of me. I don’t even think I could explain what it all meant. I just know that, for that small moment in time, all I could think about was Allan, all of the people that I love so dearly, and everything that I am most grateful for. Most of all, I was grateful for being there, at that moment.