Around the world

Around the world; a Nation Hopper's journy to teach on all 7 continents.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The panda has landed.

Well I made it in safe!

I almost got stuck in Bangkok because I misunderstood the whole visa thing. I thought mine expired on the 8th. Which it did. But my 60 day entry expired on January 20th, which I didnt know. I also didnt know that they charge you a 500 Bhat fee for every day you stay over the expiration date. Three hours before my flight was due to take off I was told 'pay us 10,000 Bhat or you dont go home'. Walai had already left, to go to the hospital to see her father. So I ran to the ATM and proceeded to draw out the necessary funds. I rammed my card into the machine, punched in my pin and pressed the button that said '10,000'. The machine had to think for a long minute before deciding I wasnt allowed to withdraw that much at one time. The largest amount it would give me was 2,000. So I took the 2,000 but before I could do another transaction, the ATM spit my card back out. So, I had to repeat the process again and again. Of course the stupid thing was out of paper so I had no receipt to help keep track of the money in my hand. I got to 8,000 when the machine mad an angry beeping noise at me and ejected my card. My stomach plowed into my toes and sweat broke out on my forehead. Anxiously I shoved the card back in and desperately tried to withdraw the final 2,000 Bhat I needed to get home. No go. I had reached my maximum withdrawal limit. Here is my thought process as I run through the airport: '(@#*$#*$#**$Bleep beep bleepbitybeep! Ok, no cell phone, find a pay phone. Who should I call, Jack or Walai, or the off....I don't have any one's number. CRAP!' I remember I have Ging's number on Skype so I sat down and opened my computer, intending to get on the internet and skypecall Ging. There is no free wif-fi in the building. Jotting down her and Jack's number I get back up and race around looking for payphones. Unable to find any I run to the information booth and they point me in the right direction and yes, I did run by them 2/3 times. After struggling for ten minutes I run back to the info booth, begging them to call for me because I'm too stupid and upset to figure out how to use the pay phone -I think I should point out that by this point I haven't really slept in four days-. They take pitty on me and call. Jack's number is disconnected and no good and Ging wont pick up. Nearly in tears I stagger off and see the tourists police office. I go in there and call the US embassy. While on hold with them, trying to figure out who I need to talk to, I talk the girl behind the counter into trying the third number I had from skype. She call and gets the office. Hallelujah! I get Walai's number and call her, tell her what's going on. It is now 11:30 and my flight leaves at 1. Walai tells me to sit tight and she is on her way with the money. She gets to the airport at 12 on the nose, hands over the money and I race back towards customs. They try and make me stand in line again, which would have made me miss my plane for sure. But I stubbornly told them no, that I had already had my turn in line and that I needed to pay a fine so I could go home. Thankfully someone recognized me and pulled me through. I made it to the gate with 10 minutes to spare.

In short. I would like to thank my Guardian Angel for watching over me yesterday because on more then one occasion I almost didn't get home when I was supposed to with all my luggage (while claiming my bags in LA my green one full of gifts decided not to make an appearance and when the belt stopped moving I went and asked someone where the rest of the bags were. The guy looked at me like I had bats flying out of my ears and told me these were all the bags. I told him he was mistaken because I was missing a bag. For about five minutes I teetered on the verge of a heat attack before they found my bag.).

I've been on US soil for about 17 hours. It is cold, and dry (I feel like a fish out of water, my skin is protesting the dryness). I've had my chocolate chip cookie and green chili fix thanks to my wonderful mom. Have had 4 hours of sleep as of 6 am on Wednesday, Thailand Wednesday, not US Wednesday and am on my way to have tea with my grandmother.

Its good to be home :) 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

In case you wanted to know:

Its earwig mating season in Thailand.

These little buggers are all over the place.

Aaaaand its my last day in Thailand :(

In order to try and get myself excited for the return to the states, I've compiled a list of 10 things I have gone 6 months without and have missed the most.

10: Barns and Noble. I spend way too much time and money here, but I really really miss sitting in the coffee shop drinking tea.
9: Driving a car. I miss my car. Not that I have a car to come home to, but still.
8: Having the freedom to go where I want, when I want. Not that I'm chained to the wall mind you, but I do miss jumping into the car and going for a quick drive.
7: People who speak English fluently. I do miss being able to speak in whole sentences and use big words. And yes, for those of you thinking about being snarky, you know who you are *coughmom/grandmacough*, I do to know big words. Just not how to spell 'em.
6: Chik fil a waffle fries. Mmmmmm.
5: AC. This is pretty self explanatory.
4: Tea. There is an amazing selection of green and ginger tea out here, not so much with the earl grey or mango (read as my favorite)
3: My books. My poor babies, sitting a dark dank storage unit, feeling abandoned and unloved.
2: Swimming. I miss the feel of the water between my fingers.
1: My sisters.

Friday, February 3, 2012


On a completely non Thailand/Opportunity note I’ve entered a writing contest and I’m pretty excited about it. I wrote a short story about the spirit houses here in Thailand. The contest ends in a month so cross your fingers and toes!! I also sent in a short story about a lifeguard that will hopefully be published. 

I’ve not only been writing a lot the last few days, but also spending hours on useless websites, destroying braincells, trying not to watch the hands on the clock move, mostly tying distract myself. I haven’t been posting much here because I don’t want to seem sulky  and I’m a bit ashamed to admit it but I’ve been moping around the house and office the last few days. I can’t help it. Thailand feels like home. My acne cleared up, my migraines were absent for six months which is unheard of. Thailand and I go together like milk and cookies.  
Leaving feel so wrong. It’s like when you take your dog to the vet, or watch someone else try and get their dog through the doors at the vet office. The dog is back peddling as fast as it can, head pulled back, choking itself against the leash. The owner is trying to either coax the dog through or use brute force to shove the animal through. My body is physically rejecting the departure. The migraines are back, I can’t sleep, and an unhappy stomach are just a few of the complaints. 

Maybe I'll just stay here... 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


What is this world coming to? Oh Great Time Goddess. Do you no longer love me? Have I offended you in some horrifying manor so that you will not stop time for me? How can there only be eight more days? Seven and a half really, if you want to be picky, which I am.

I had an amazing morning the other day. I was sitting at the table drinking tea while Prae and Nat ate their breakfast before school. The girls were chattering away, asking me questions about America. Mostly if certain animals lived in America and Africa (why Africa? No idea. Ask Nat.) and why America does not have wild elephants. I thought back to my first couple week here and was floored when I realized how much progress the girls have made. They have worked so hard in our English lessons, the desire to communicate with me and to do well in their English class at school fueled that, and the results are there for all to see.

This is not making thoughts of leaving easier to deal with.......