Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Shining, Shimmering, Splendid

Ode to Aladdin Pants

Aladdin pants have a place in my heart.
A place of comfort and drawstring after another rice meal.
A place for bright color and looking like an Australian tourist
They air me out when sweaty
Add variation to my white-t wardrobe when bored
And make trekkin up a mountain a breeze

Aladdin wears them, and Aladdin is agile
When I wear my pants, I feel agile too
Agile enough to ride an elephant
Do you even need to be agile to ride an elephant?
No, but I wore them anyway

Aladdin pants are stylin 
Maybe not in provo, but since when does that stop me 
Cupcakes are stylin in provo, but you don't see me dressing like a cupcake
They are cheap, cheaper than toothpaste

Jasmine is a babe
I however am not a babe when I wear them
Too rice cheeked, frizzy haired, and makeupless to be a babe. Ever again.

But I wear them anyway.

Best. Pants. Ever.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

(cue Jumanji drum beat)

I'm on a boat.

Oh wait, correction.

I'm on an elephant.

Yeah, so this one time I rode an elephant. Oh, and that one time was yesterday. Cool yeah?

It's hair is poky
He liked to spit on me
We named him (her?) Chip (Chippy?)
Chip likes bananas (no duh.)
I thought I was going to fall off of Chip.

All in all, it was neat.

Next on the agenda was trekin. Full on mountain treckin.

Over logs laid over streams
Up and down muddy mountains
Under many waterfalls. Oh, technically only one today. I just get confused by the mass amounts of sweat constantly dripping down my face. TMI? Sorry.
Through cob webs (since I'm so much taller than the average Asian, I've learned one of the major downfalls. Cob webs. They aren't tall enough to run into the higher up ones, thus they leave them for me. Yay.)
During the biggest rainstorm i've ever experienced. Easily.
And through the most beautiful and amazing sites i've ever seen.
Seriously, amazing.

Next up, Hill Tribe

We slept at a village of the Lahu Tribe.

Highlight: Thai Massage... round two ding ding
Take a seat and relax for story time. This one requires your imagination a bit.
So we (all 8 of us White folk) are sitting around our table after arriving at the Tribe, just small talkin and takin a load off from the trek. Then we all notice that lots of Lahu women are starting to gather around us, we pay no mind at this point. Then one of the guides comes up to us and asks if we want massages. Next thing we know we are surrounded by at least 20 women asking all of us if we want massages. Grabbing our hands (or our butts in my case) to claim us for the massage.
I don't even know if I wanted a massage to be honest, but for the sake of peer pressure, the lady pushing my behind up into our hut, and the 20 other women crowded around, I literally had no choice!
Anyway, this is just one of those sites you had to see to believe. Picture this.

6 mattresses on the floor of this bamboo hut
Mosquito nets above all of them making the roof seems like it's 4 feet high. max.
Dark lighting seeing as there is NO lighting.
8 dirty, sweaty white people sprawled out on these who knows what covered sheets
20 tribe women hitting our bodies having absolutely NO CLUE what they are doing when it comes to a massage
And all of us just laughing slash writhing in pain depending on the moment

It was hilarious and honestly what I picture some back ally, sketch fest being like. Awesome

Yummy massaman curry dinner
Serenaded by the CUTEST little tribe kids ever. We bonded over patty-cake like hand claps. Who knew that is what would tie us all together?

 Then serenaded by our awesome tour guide Rambo. Yeah you read that right, Rambo.
Then...all of us sleeping in our mountain side hut with mosquito nets and all. Which then leaked the entire torrential downpour onto our heads. Let's just say not the best nights sleep, but HELLO! Who needs a good nights sleep after such a relaxing massage? HA!

Next, trek day round 2

Woke up literally in a cloud. You couldn't see anything except for the mountain we were on.
Beautiful just doesn't do it justice.

Let hiking day two begin

Then we continued our trek to another waterfall. It was slippery but SO worth it.

Followed by some white water rafting. Nothing too crazy but boy did it feel good to be in water!
Then some bamboo rafting. If i'm ever stranded on a desert island. I know NOT to build a bamboo raft. They don't do jack!

So there was my Thailand Treking experience. Something words just can not explain I guess. And of course I didn't take the pictures to show it either.

Also, used my first squatty potty...holla! Survived and converted. Those are so much more sanitary than most toilets, i'm a fan. Who knew??

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Kiss Me Through The Phone

Well more like computer, but technology nevertheless.

Skype. Ever heard of it?

Oh just some FREE cultural phenomenon.

Who am I kidding, who hasn't heard of or used skype?

It's the best thing since Justin Bieber. Now who am I kidding? Everything is older than the Biebs. What is he, 5 now?

Really though, skype is the best thing that's happened to me since pb&j (which I even eat here in good ol Thailand. I would.).

How cool/amazing/incredible/awesome/fantastic (pick your adjective) is it that I can talk to someone down the street or across the ocean. And not only can I talk to them, I can see them! I love waking up to my almost daily chats with my mom. And being able to see Carrie as I say bye to her for 18 months. And see my friends and family who are miles and miles away. Technology is one cool thing.

Now sometimes the lack of hugs is killer, I wish I could just give a big hug to everyone I talk to. But i'll take what I can get! Kiss me through the phone, chat with me through computer...all the same yeah?

So today, i'm grateful for skype. It's just the thing I need when i'm missing home and pb&j isn't cuttin it.

Oh, and next week i'll be even more grateful for skype when it reconnects me with these guys. Love them to death, haven't seen them for two years, and am SOOOO glad I don't have to add three more months onto that. Skype ya soon boys! Woohoo!!

And whoever happens to read this, i'm sure i'd like to skype with you too! Tag me! Oh wait I mean, add me!

skype ya later!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Stand Out Above The Crowd

I came here knowing I would be taller than everyone. 


But I did not come here knowing that I looked Asian.

Newly learned fact.

Who knew? Surely not me.

At least 5 times I have been asked if I am a luug kruung (half child)



Asian? Me?

They only guess half child because of my skin paired with my nose. One part Asian. One part not Asian. 

Also, I think the fro of hair gives me away too. I have NOT seen a fro on any Asian I've come in contact with that's for sure...

I have been asked if I am part Thai or part Japanese.


Well, I thought I would stand out because of my height and previously assumed whiteness.

But now I have learned that I am just the same. Blending in quite nicely I guess. Half child? Sure why not!

The only problem...I don't look white enough to ride my bike the wrong way on the road, or do dumb things and brush it off cause "i'm an oblivious white tourist." 


Hey mom and dad, why did you have to make me look Asian?

Me? Asian? Really? 


On a random note, here is another fro picture for you. Yes, It hadn't even left a fan since being washed. And yes, it was already that big. I'm sure you can only imagine what it would do as the day went on. Magic frizz I tell you. 

And that little friend in the upper left corner is my lizard Pedro (He can thank Carrie for the name, I tried to explain to her that I am not in Mexico. But the name had already stuck.)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Food, Glorious Food

Food is a pretty important part of my experience here, so I thought I would show you a pretty average day of meals here in Northern Thailand. 

Breakfast: This is my favorite breakfast by far. Occasionally I slide my milk and cereal in, but there is nothin like a street vendor khao neo and moo ping (sticky rice and pork on a stick) for breakfast.

Lunch: This first picture is Somtom (papaya salad). I have had this quite a few times actually, usually for dinner though. It is SPICY! Oh baby! Apparently I need to increase my intake of spicy foods to get rid of these lameo mosquito's so... somtom, bring it on! I would also like to point out that there is a crab sitting on the side of the bowl. And surprise...there were 3 more just chillin in the salad waiting to be found by my fingers. (you eat this with your fingers and a ball of sticky rice by the way)

That is the picture of the entire lunch. And don't even worry...that was for three people. And did we eat it all? You betcha! It consists of the above mentioned somtom, chicken on a stick, pig skins, and khao neo sii dum (black sticky rice). This was one of my best lunches yet. Filling. But awesome!

That is Laura and I discovering the many hidden crabs. I need to perfect my crab eating skills though. I pretty much mutilated the poor thing to open it, then only managed to find a speck of food...I still don't get it.

At this point, that dead crab may look better than I do...

 Dinner: This was a special dinner. Anna took me to S&P's which is this Americanish restaurant with Thai food. After that WAYYYY filling breakfast and lunch I didn't think i'd be able to shove another thing into my mouth. And yet....like every day here...I found a way to manage and eat it. All of it.

This was our yummy milk shakes. But don't be decieved. "milk shake" in Thailand is NOTHING like a milk shake in America. They really mean it. Milk. That's it. They just decided to shake it for a sec to call it a milk SHAKE. No joke. These were a little bit more normal though, well my normal I guess.

That was Anna's dinner. Spring rolls I believe

And that is frizzy haired me eating my yummy soup/sea food/snot noodle dinner. Snot noodle you ask? Yeah, snot noodle. They look like slash have the texture of snot. I'm not even joking. It's taking some getting used to, but of course i'm managing.

Oh and that little guy...he was my after dinner snack. Well, he could have been my after dinner snack I guess. Got home, got out a cup, went to the fridge to get water, returned to my cup, found a little friend in my cup. I like to think all of his siblings will stay out of my cups from now on, we had a chat about it, this little guy and I.

I find I do that a lot these days. I walk into the bathroom or my bedroom and assess the animal/bug situation. Once I have located all of them we come to a little agreement. (Yes, they understand English if you were wondering. And if not English, the death stares I repeatedly give them should be sufficient.) The agreement: they stay where they are and I stay where I am and no one gets hurt. I'm glad these animals/bugs have complied so far. I'm not sure for whose sake though... someone will get hurt. I'm just hoping it's not me...

Anyway, throw some ice cream or sev snacks into that day somewhere and there ya have it, a day in the life of Thailand food. Let's be honest...good thing i'm sweating it off like a maniac...I hope ha

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Beauty In The Breakdown

Place: Sukhotahi
Where: Northish East of Thailand
Why: Why not?
What: The first capitol of Thailand now turned into ruins.
How: 4 hour bus ride to Sukhothai, then bike riding from wat to wat.

If you don't like pictures, this is SO not the post for you. Just one of those things you can't explain, and the pictures don't even do it justice. But here we go anyway, if you'd prefer cricket eating, groin searching, massage mayhem, or fish sucking. Look elsewhere.

There are many Wats in the area. I wish I knew more about them, but of course. I don't.

If you take a picture with Buddha, your head has to be below his head. Don't ask me why we are stooping a bit, his head is OBVIOUSLY higher. I think we were just paranoid because this is the place of the most known Mormon Thailand story ever. Ya know, the missionaries who sat on the Buddha and are forever banned from Sukhothai. Yeah, that story.

We were just trying to show how massive these things are. They are huge!! We barely come up to the knee (if this thing had a knee...) and not even all the way!

I just really like this picture.

And this picture, the people are so cute there. Always fruit to sell!

The Monks actually came up to all of us girls and asked if they could take a picture with us. So one by one they got their picture ha. It was really funny. The only thing is you can't touch them! I'm glad we were informed of this little fact before we got to Thailand.. I thought I would be the one taking pictures of people....little did I know being a "white girl" would make ya cool.

This one is just a replica of the statue that was here, but now calls Bangkok home. Word on the street, this is the most famous one in Sukhothai because it gave the idea for the feminine look of many Buddhas.

And that is Sukhothai. It was a sweaty, hot day (what day isn't a sweaty hot day these days though...) but it was a great place to see. Not too touristy because it's pretty much in the middle of nowhere, and so so beautiful.

Hope all the pictures were even slightly entertaining. We were chased by a little cow if that spices things up a bit....no? Well, it was worth a shot.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

My Life Would SUCK Without You

Next two words for ya...

Fish. Spa.

Let me explain.

Noah, one of the kids from BYU lives with a family here. One of the brothers is a Japanese teacher. Noah speaks Japanese from his mission. Noah met college students from his host brothers class. Then on Friday we hung out with them. You follow?


They really wanted to go to a fish spa. Before coming to Thailand I would have looked at them like they were crazy. Fish spa? No such thing. Well I would have been very wrong.

There is such a thing as sticking your feet in a tank of skin sucking fish. Weird? Yep. Awesome? Even more yep.

So always being in the mood for an adventure, it was not hard to sell me.

I feel like pictures can explain this way better than I can.

First, meet Gum, Meile, and Pe pe. Easily the nicest people ever. They were a great introduction into Thai college life.

Next meet the hundreds of fish that sucked my skin off. (I'm gonna lick your skin off....I wish you wouldn't. Name that movie).

Weird though right??

You just stick your feet in and attempt to leave them it. It seriously tickles so bad. Noah was a little wimpy to begin with but you sort of get used to it. It's just one of those feelings you can't explain I guess.

And sometimes it hurts... obviously.

Then you can stand up so the water goes all the way to your knees. So they proceeded to move their sucking up your leg...

And there you have it. My first fish spa experience. It tickled and hurt and felt good and weird all at the same time. It was really fun just to hang out with everyone though. Like i've said before, Thai people are so incredibly nice. It's fun to have some friends here! Friends that will take me to places where things will eat my skin... wonder what is next on the agenda.... things in hair eating monkeys?