Friday, August 31, 2007

Thailand Trip # Day One

Wed 8/29: Took a flight from Indy to Chicago. Waiting like forever at Ohare only to hear the news that the plane would be delay for 2 hours. Didn't leave until 2 something pm. I was thinking, this'd only delay all the flights all the way to BKK.

Wed 8/29-TR 8/30: It's not like I didn't expect this--the flight from Chicago to Narita lasted like a lifetime. It was beyond boring. Not only I didn't have anything interesting to do, the fact that I got stuck with strangers for more than half a day in a small place makes it worse. United airlines was alright. Giving the price I've paid, I don't think I'm entitled to complain much. Though, there were points when I felt it would have been much better to fly first class. Since this flight was delay from the start, I knew that'd leave me little to no time to catch another flight to BKK. Upon arriving to Narita, captain annouced that the airport had hold Narita-BKK flight for us 10 who flew from Chicago. We ran and ran through another gate. Once getting onto the plan to Bangkok, I saw seated passengers passing some kind of judgements to us ten who were about 2 hours late and these people had been waiting for us all along. It wasn't like they had any choice, but so hadn't we.

TR 8/30: Pilot flew that damn plane from Japan like a crazy 16-year-old dude. It took us only 4 hours to get to Bangkok. So surprisingly, I arrived in BKK at 10:20pm...almost 2 hours earlier than our scheduled time. Remember how the plane was 2 hours delay, obviously the captain had made it up for us all.

Friday 8/31: On the phone with so many relatives, family and friends. Took a tour on our new renovated home (outside). I got to go some places a bit today. Traffic in BKK hasn't changed a bit--only worse. I can see there are more concrete in this city and technology is something I haven't catched up with yet.

Foods of the day--gai-yang, som tum, nam tok, soop-nor-mai, hor-mok.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Mixed Feelings

I will be going to Thailand in two days, and weirdly, I've got some mixed feelings. It's so odd.

Of course, I'm excited to be back home again to see family and friends I've not seen for a long time. I wonder if they will look a little older, be a little thinner or a little chubbier. I'm curious to talk to them in person catching up what they have been up to in the past three years and what I've been missing all along. For the most part, I'm thrilled.

But I still have these weird feelings. One of them is an anxiety wondering if they will look at me a little differently. Three years can be a short time, but can also be a long time. I believe people change a little as they age. However I know I'm still the same person with a slight of maturity. I realize there are certain things I used to believe then, but no longer believe now. I am aware of what I thought was right then, but no longer right at this time. The sky may have been blue then, but at the moment, I see it with a hint of yellow. Heck. The way I look at things maybe a little different, but heck, I hope, I'm still the same person. I hope people back home see them along with me.

Many things have been happening to me, unfortunately, I can only share so much. Not being able to see family on a daily basis and trying to catch up within 3 weeks, I don't know how it's going to turn out.

I think this is one of those things I fear most. That's why I'm so anxious. But this still does not count zillions things I want to do there within limited amount of time with friends. I'm afraid time won't allow me to see every one of them.

Saturday, August 25, 2007


I borrow this photo from, so I won't be complaining much about the quality of the photos.
Sports photography is challenging, pretty difficult to get great pictures since subjects are moving everywhere. Football is a notch harder I believe. Aside from the moving part, a photographer has this whole field in front of him with bunch of subjects making it very hard to focus. So I understand. In this case, the picture on the left, I will leave it alone. I got it from the website initially to use it for my pre-season blog, but oh well.
I remember photographing my very first football game in my life at Ball State--damn, it was a trip to pure disaster. A large field was one thing, but knowing nothing about football was a big deal. I recall a 400mm lense flying left and right not knowing what was going on. The next thing I noticed was a TV guy laying on his back gotten hit by a big linebacker.

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Hassle(s) of Growing Old

When I really think about it, constantly living for 3 decades and months should be about celebrations (we are talking about living, eating, sleeping minute by minute everyday for 365 days for over 30 years, it should all be about woo-hoo.)

The down side? I'm really getting old. I didn't realize until I get to talk to a doctor another day and he reminds me to start getting some physical examinations done by a family doctor. A *family doctor* huh? American ways are always complicated. My current ENT won't take my blood pressure. I have to go to a so-called family doctor.

So flipping through my insurance book for an in-network MD (another complicated American way,) I found one. So I called, made an appointment and will be off seeing him on Thursday. Being a 30-year-old makes me sick. I have to worry about my cholesterol, blood pressure, decrease in metabolism and my biological clock ticking away (come to think about it. worrying too much about my bio clock = binge eating = high cholesterol = high blood pressure = back to MD = being older than 30.) Being old sucks!

My dad also keeps reminding me of how important it is for me to eat well--all greens and colorful fruits. How I should decrease my sodium intake and fatty goods out there. How often I should work out. How much I should sleep.

Since my 30th birthday a few months ago, these should-do list starts pouring, flooding from different directions. I get to think how wonderful life must have been back when our ancestors were all cavemen; not having to worry much since they didn't get to live long anyway. *sign*

And I mean in a very respectfully reasonable way--as simple as that.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Outlets of America

One of those advantages of living in the U.S. is opportunities of *brand names* shopping at low prices. This, especially comes in pretty handy, when I'm planning a trip back home. I guess my dad is right. There is no point buying, say, brandless name from Walmart, because if you op for whatever-cheaps, Thailand has countless to offer. No need to bother pricey stores elsewhere.
Today, my happy Saturday, Dan and I went to an outlet south of Indianapolis. Unlike Chicago, Hoosiers don't have quality outlets around. The last one I went to was in Muncie years back, and they had already gone out of business due to its suckiness. This outlet in Edinburgh is probably the best around in Indiana--not the best in the market, mind you, but *okay* for Indiana's standard. At least, I got some today for family back home.
It is sad to really think about it. A few years ago when I went to Chicago northside outlets, as much as I don't have anything against Edinburhg (see pic above: thanks Edinburgh website), it hurts to recall how much I'd spent.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Health Care

A friend got admitted to the hospital a few days ago and she got a big surgery this afternoon. Tentatively, she'll end up there for another week or so IF she gets better. The day she was tranported to the hospital, she went by the ambulance. I talked to her this morning, she had a tube down her throat. Normally, she should have been worried about her health and how her life is going to be, eh?

Instead, she's been worried about the be exact...the bills. Here, we are talking about hospital bill, MD bills, surgery bills, medical equipment, anathesist and so forth. She does not have a health insurance.

I'm not kidding. She is so screwed. No insurance = being so screwed.

Last September when I had my ear surgery, I thought the total cost of it would be somewhere around $3000 or so. My surgery lasted about 30 minutes. I was walking in and out within 3 hours. I didn't even stay there that long. A few weeks later, I got bills--one from MD, one from surgery location I used, one from the sedation guy a.k.a. anathesist, one from where MD practices, and lastly from medical equipment use. Total cost of my 30 minutes surgery (excluding prescribed medications expenses I gotta pick up at Walgreen) ended up about $17,000. Lucky me, I had an insurance, so I only had to pay like $1,300.

Think about her who does not have any insurance. Now, she's probably more worried about money more than her tummy.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Responsible citizens must be concern about politics, eh?

I've never been concern about it, never really like talking about it, never really think too much of it. I'm never politically involved in any aspect of it. Politics make things complicated.

The way I look at politics is--it just makes life complicated.

In the past few months have been the most boring moment of my life. Every Thailand-related website seems to be obsessed over their former PM. Boring. What do they think they will do about it?

We all need to learn to move on. However, in certain circumstances, people seem to struggle from one generation to another.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Ethic Grocery Store

(When I was thinking about something to post here earlier, I ended up posting my previous blog that I didn't mean to. So here is another one for today that I ACTUALLY mean to unload.)

I was very lucky that there are tons of ethnic grocery stores within 3 miles radius from my apartment here in Indy. If you do not know, Indianapolis is nothing close to say, Californaia, where minorities are taking over. Here in Indy, over 90% are white americans, probably 4-5% are blacks, less than 4 are hispanics, very very few Asians and others--not to narrow it down to Thais. From my understanding, I know all the Thais living here. I can count heads!!!

Anyhow. Back to ethnic stores in my 'hood. Yes, you heard me, my *hood.* We, hoodies, live in the area where it happens be so diverse. Indianapolis is like Bangkok in a way where downtown is not very crowded. The city is kind of spread out. When I first picked this apartment to be my home, it's solely based on the location--where it's easy to access I-465. I-465 is like a main highway running like a loop around the Indianapolis and its surrounding area. Basically when you live near 465, you are pretty much near everything. My apartment is 1 block away from 465, located right next to Target (there is no such thing as shopping too often as Target, let me tell you), minutes from local grocery stores, 15 minutes from work, and close to millions ethnic stores.

Back to ethnic stores, about two years ago, we finally have an actually Asian grocery store/ supermaket. It may sound silly to be excited about this, but again here in Indy, there ain't no such thing as an *actual* supermarket made for Asians. Here, I can actually use a cart to shop, get hair cut, eat at food court and yes....they have fresh department. That didn't happen until two years ago when two Korean brothers decided to spend their money and opened one. Thank to them, the way the store set up makes a Thai smiles. There is a huge section selling supplies from Thailand. I'm very psyhed.
As excited as I can be, I also feel for those small stores in the surrounding areas. I'm pretty sure these little store owners aren't as happy as I am to have a giant market opening nearby. Though I visit these smaller stores from time to time to pick up certain things the big guy doesn't carry, but chances are: unless they are out of stock, I won't go to a little guy. This attitude sucks I must say. It's like how local stores are dying away when Walmart hits the location.

The Trip (I'm obsessed)

Going to Thailand this time is pretty big for me. There have been several things coming to my mind driving me nuts. Belows are examples:

1) Diet--I've come to realize today that I will not be able to make it happens--a crashed course diet before the trip is just not happening to me. Not sure two weeks will do any good.
2) According to the number #2--going to Thailand with less than ok-body is just a test of a self-esteem trip. There will be some kinds of judgemental thinking within the family against me. Not kind of hateful comments, but bad enough to get me mad.
3) According to #1 and #2 combined--FYI, I love my body. I've been loving it for a while now and have made peace with the fact that there are little I can change about myself, so I might as well accept and love it. But putting myself through critism on a daily basis for 3 weeks, it's more than long enough to drive me wild.
4) Time--3 weeks can go by fast as a blink. Who says it's enough. The best/ just-about-right vacation to my home should last about 2 months. How am I going to cram things to do with little time I have.
5) The last day in BKK will be the worst ever--Hate saying goodbye to loved ones. Seeing their faces fading away is to worst it can be. Airport is definitely not a place to do that. I just hate it. This is a feeling that never changes.
6) Location--I really want to go to Chiang Mai. Going to Thailand without standing on Chiang Mai's soil is like eating plain noodles with no sauce. Knowing it's not gonna happen is horrible. Instead, I will end up in BKK, then Had Yai then Hua Hin for family visits. Not like I don't want to be there. It's just I wish I would have more time.

Believe me. I think about these craps every single day--not in order--as I count down to the travel date.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Repulsive side of living in America

These are examples of what I dislike most about living in the States (Try not to use the word 'hate' here, but to be exact, is there any word in between dislike and hate? If so, that's just what I need.)

* No one can say my name correctly*
See, I can keep my cool if they just accept the fact that they just *can’t.* Don’t even try to have me say it, then you say it, then you can’t, then you ask me again, and you still can’t, then you say forget it. This is so tedious. Imagine you meet strangers everyday (license branch, grocery stores, bank tellers, lists go on) and all of these people make you say your name when you already know how it’s gonna end. Very frustrating I’ve gotta tell you. Many time I find myself getting so pissed of with innocent people who are just curious (and more likely I won’t see them again.)

*Everybody seems to think my nickname is funny* (and apparently let me know how they feel too.) How hard it is for Americans to believe that ones can be born with a nickname NOT an a.k.a.

*Conversations with dumb people*
Dumb people: "Huh? Oh! you mean you're from Taiwan?"
Me: "Thailand NOT Taiwan."
Dumb people: "Taiwan...isn't Taiwan or Thailand the same thing"
Me: "Noooooo!!! Two seperate countries."
Dumb people: "Really? So Thailand is like a tribe close to Tibet."
Me: "Are you serious?"
Dumb people: "Isn't it?"
I swear this happens to me from time to time. Not often, but it's dead true.

*Belief: America is the best place to live. Why? Because it's America, baby!*
Believe me, they can go on about it. If you wanna change that mentality, be my guest.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Alton Brown

I'm not going to say a whole lot, but Alton Brown is just plain awesome! I know so many people out there have been saying this, and you know, I wasn't gonna say this at first, but I figure, why not--a little bit here and there shouldn't hurt, right?

But I mean, the guy has personalities. *Good Eats* is a really fun show to watch. The latest I'd just watched this evening is my recorded Popcorn episodes.
I didn't know I can pop the corn in a stainless steel bowl.
1 large stainless steel bowl
3 tablespoons of peanut oil
Shake well over a stove top

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Diet--a crash course

About to go to Thailand in 3 weeks--now I'm freaking out.

Going to Thailand = eating spree, comments, unfitted clothings, weight gains, bloating on the way back to the US.

I'm officially depressed. Being in the US, my weight is never/ really a social issue to me. I'm pretty average comparing with those Americans out there. I can find just about anything at anywhere I wish to wear with no problem! Here, going to Thailand with the really master plan to eat, I can see the future of a major fat ass waiting for me. I recall my last trip to Thailand a few years back, remembering what the worst time it was for me to shop for jeans at Siam Square, having a hard time finding my size. It appears to me that every single girl in Bangkok have turned midgets. If they were to be here, they'd probably end up at junior department, let alone size 00.

What am I gonna do? At this point, my life-long fruits and vegetables diet aren't gonne do. What am I gonna do? What am I gonna do?

Friday, August 03, 2007

The Humble Thing

Work has been extremely hectic in the past few weeks, which has been driving me nuts. It basically corrupts me nice time at home almost every single day. Surprisingly, I've been humble all day today even when today is probably one of the most crazy-as-hell days in a long time.

I get to think, you know. Why stressing yourself to death when you can't really control or prevent every single little thing from happening? So here I am, have been very laid-back all day trying to do millions things all at the same time. It's been a while since the last time I found this peace.

Note: want to find a good movie to go to.......

Thursday, August 02, 2007


I watched CNN this morning (wow! I suddenly feel kind of savvy, up-to-date gal all of the sudden here) about a bridge in Minneapolis collapsed earlier on this morning, and felt this sudden urge pondering about how quickly lifes got taken away without ones even know it. My thought and prayer go to those 4-5 people who died during this tragic accident, go to all of the others injured, missing and their families. *Sign*

Then I think about life in general (deep thought on-going here.) How sudden ones go? I think about myself, at times, take life for granted--whining and complaining about something non-sense. I think about how ones just have no idea when they will die or worse, when their loved one will. You just have no clue.

The split moment I watched the news, I felt extremely small. May be I should just take life as it comes--step by step, living for today.

(Photo by Richard Sennott , Star Tribune)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Getting old

Lately, I've been feeling like I'm actually getting old. My back is aching, my feet needs rubs, my face looks tired. What the hell is going on?

In the past few weeks, from what it looks like, work has been hectic. Have anyone ever put the office phone on DND (Do Not Disturb)? I have been doing that in the past week. I hope this makes me look and feel younger to tempolary get rid of those who *want* to talk to you, at the same time, filter those whom you *do not want* to talk to. I find it pretty effective.

Last time I check, I work more peacefully, knowing my voicemail is working for me. Thank you technology.