Friday, September 28, 2012

Bubble Bath Ponies

Smell can trigger a memory so strongly, so distinctly, so quickly. I remember right before my brother was born, my mother gave me a scented  My Little Pony that smelled like a bubble bath. It was peptobismol pink with cotton candy blue hair. Whenever I smell bubble bath now, 23 years later, I have an instant flashback to holding that pink and blue pony in my chubby  little, 3 year old hands - I am overcome with that mix of excitement and jealousy that precedes a sibling.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Lost in Translation: 12 Hours of Gastronomic Adventures & Language Mishaps in Toky, Japan

We were back in Japan for a 12 hour rendezvous in the wild, wonderful, bombastic metropolis of Tokyo. While we passed through quickly on a train on our first day in Asia, dumbstruck by all of the stereotypical school girls with Hello Kitty backpacks and pigtails,  we were going to dive down the rabbit hole this time - getting lost in the streets of Shibuya, Harajuku, and Shinjuku. Tokyo is everything I ever imagined and more - music seems to echo down the streets providing a soundtrack to the larger than life cartoon characters and competing signs, sights and sounds at every angle, inch, and scale of the buildings.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Swimming with Sharks and Cabaret Shows In Koh Tao and Koh Samui, Thailand

I have never seen water as clear as the water I saw surrounding the islands of Koh Samui and Koh Tao Thailand. Well, maybe in a glass of water... but not only is the water clear, it is ridiculously vibrant. In the day, below the wakes of the ferry boats, you can see the reefs overflowing with zebra striped fish. At night, while eating bad beef bolognese on the beach with toes dug deep into the cool sand, chinese lanterns float farther into the sky - the soft glow illuminating the frantic silhouettes of bats diving for mosquitos.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Khao Sok: River tubing in a prehistoric landscape

The air conditioning on the overnight train south is not exactly up to arctic levels. Knowing that heat rises, and that we were in Thailand in the summer (a place where you could conceivably grill chicken on the sidewalk at midnight), I probably should have chosen the bottom bunk.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Bangkok: The Grand Palace Incident of 2012. Or, Why You Shouldn't Trust a Tuk Tuk.

What are those bright orange balls suspended in equally vibrant liquid you may ask?
 I may never know.

The first thing I see when I ride into Bangkok are the slums, enclosing Bangkok like a moat - thatched walls, wavy tin roofs, and peeling paint stacked, slapped, criss-crossed, and splayed over, under, and within each other like an Escherian labyrinth of compressed walkways and living spaces. Within poles reach of the train tracks a man in a hammock watches sports from a t.v. propped on an egg crate, the light flickering onto the teal tin wall - the only solid wall separating him from his neighbors.

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Road to Bangkok Is Full of Monkeys and Ancient Cities

After a few days in the wilderness, it is no surprise that Ryan and I needed time to relax our badly blistered toes. With a morning to spare before our night train to Bangkok, we decided to go to the most obvious place for a relaxing afternoon: a spa run by the women's prison.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Oh my Buddha! Hilltribes and Tigers!

One of the hilltribes near the Myanmar border 

Before heading into the jungle for our three day hilltribe trek, the eleven of us cram ourselves into the back of the truck for our final stop in civilization: a large, rural market where we buy the necessities -sunscreen and Deet.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Swimming With Elephants and Ant Egg Omeletts at the Night Market

Elephants are not difficult to see in Thailand. There are dozens of Elephant "sanctuaries" and tourist attractions where you can see an elephant for a few dollars and get a picture sitting on their backs. Unfortunately they are paraded around everywhere in, more often than not, disturbing situations for the benefit of the tourist. While on the trip I saw Elephants on more than one occasion, made to work with limping legs, still bleeding from prod marks behind their ears, and in various states of poor health. Because of this, I put in hours looking for the right place to go and after narrowing it down to a small handful of reputable places, chose the magical haven that is Patara Elephant Farm.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Monks With Iphones and Precarious Modes of Transportation in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Ridiculous beauty

Because of my newfound ability to sleep through whole 11 hour flights like a hibernating bear, the 7.5 hours to Bangkok seemed to go by in a blink. Before I knew it we were landing, the doors were opening, and my hair was recoiling into a state of frizz previously unseen.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Pocari Sweat, Peaches, and Bidets in Narita Japan

Gravestones in Narita, Japan

We never intended to go to Japan this year, it was the serendipitous outcome of inflating gas prices and inconvenient airport transfers.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

I'm Home!

Actually, I've been home for a couple of day now, wandering around like a zombie, eating broccoli and popcorn and stale chips(crisps, for my new, better accented friends from across the pond), waking up at 3am and taking midday naps for several hours. I don't know what time zone I am on, because it certainly isn't Thailand time, and it definitely isn't Los Angeles time. My cats seem to be delighted to find me up at the wee hour of 3am though, and relish in coming to nap with me in the middle of the day, so maybe I am on Pacific Standard Feline Time.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Time is a temperamental thing. All at once evanescent and heavy, it is one of those things I will never have control of, though it seems to have control of me. 

This year is one of the most rapid years I can remember: a year filled to the brim with adventures in cooking, camping, sculpting, gardening, and laughing with friends; laughing so loud, in fact, that our neighbor would bang on the wall for us laughing so heartily.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Puffers and Bulbous Noses

It feels like Christmas outside, which is to say that when I open my window my skin tightens up with the chill of standing in front of an open freezer, smells like a distant fireplace and Jasmine, and comes with an unexplainable sense of anticipation. I love this feeling.