To Al and Luke. Luke was here for a short visit of just a couple of days. I took him out to eat a few times and bowling at Diamond Plaza. It looks completely different with comfy zebra striped sofas, a VIP room, and the new Pizza Hut. Costs a lot more too. Geez. And I don't like the new shoes, the smallest size is too big for me.

Yesturday, we also went to Al's going away party. That took me by surprise, since I didn't even know he was leaving. A lot of people are leaving this summer, but I guess that is how it goes, making room for the next wave of ex-pats.

which is bigger?

Pomelo or my head?

How about here?

Anyway, I just uploaded all the picts from my recent trip. You can find them in my smugmug gallery for Southeast Asia.

There were many funny moments during the trip and below are some that Lin and I remembered on our last flight together:

"I can't believe she can't speak Vietnamese, its so easy"
one of my older male relatives to Lin ( Da Nang )

"Harder. Harder."
me to my weak-@ss masseuse ( Chiang Mai )

"And this is for growing WEED!"
Alek explaining a sand drawing of his dream future. ( Railey )

"I know why you're looking at him, you like him." "No, I don't." "Ahhh, I caught you. You thought I meant 'like LIKE', but I mean'like Like', you know what I mean?" "What?! You lost me"
Conversation between Lam and me. ( Railey )

"Like my SEXY truck?"
Alek offering us a ride to the airport in the most beat-up truck I've ever seen. ( Railey )

"You're this one because you have big tits, and you're this one because you have a big butt."
Alek commenting on the Bangkok Ultimate Hat disc that Lin gave him. ( Railey )

"I do not have big tits!"
me in the airport, apparently loud enough to disturb a mother and son in front of us. Ooops, sorry.... ( Railey )

"What can I DOOOOO?"
Sunshine, our tuk-tuk driver, while he was thinking during our card games. ( Siem Reap )

"I want to see you again. I wanna play cards."
Manil, another tuk-tuk driver, when he saw us later in town. ( Siem Reap )

"Awhhhh, you're not Cambodian?"
Some Korean tourists that spotted us in town and randomly asked to take a picture. They were a bit disappointed when we told them we were not Cambodian. ( Siem Reap )

"Can I kiss you? "
Lin's massage girl to her. Me thinking, "Lin's getting hit on by a girl?" ( Siem Reap )

"She has big breasts."
Lin's Popo to Lin about me. Geez, what the heck? I really don't. ( Taiwan )

"You know you look like a DOG. They LIE! "
Christine on the subject of running marathons. ( Taiwan )

"It's because Chinese people are CHEAP."
Christine on the subject of why Chinese people don't wear make-up. ( Taiwan )

"Don't be a cat or dog woman."
Christine on the topic of marriage. ( Taiwan )

"Your Chinese-Vietnamese, right?" "NO, I'm Vietnamese-Vietnamese."
Chat between James and I. ( Taiwan )

" Wo gen mama shuo gen dian hua ni...." "Lin, what are you saying?"
Lin talking to her Popo and me trying to follow. Dude, your chinese grammar is bad. ( Taiwan )

"She is sick because she ate too much. She had an orange last night and one this morning. And she keeps eating those Japanese rice seedweed wraps. Tell her to stop eating so much!
Lin's Popo. ( Taiwan )

Lin's picts

Dang Lin, you are fast! She already has pictures from our trip up. I'm still wading through the hundreds that I took, so I'm gonna be a little bit slower. You can check out Lin's picts for the following places:


back in bkk

So I am back in Bangkok and just in time for Bangkok's International Fashion Week. Yay! Didn't even plan that. Went to a few of the shows yesturday, there is 13 in all, and will go to a few more tomorrow before I have to leave on Sunday to fly back to Saigon. Metallics and natural colors appeared in a lot of the shows with an emphasis on hemlines and men style tailoring. I really like the designs of of Number 27 and Kloset. Interesting prints and attention to detail.

I also went to a talk yesturday by a group called "Ecletic Method", who are doing pretty interesting work in the field of video dj-ing, dj-ing with not just music, but images as well, making dancing a full on multisensory experience. They are playing at a club in town tonight and were cool enough to put me on the guestlist so that I didn't have to pay the 500 baht cover. Nice :) If anyone from Hanoi is checking out this blog, Eclectic Method will be doing a gig in Hanoi, Vietnam on March 21st at the Hanoi University of Fine Arts.

Today, I am spending my time at TCDC, Thailand's Creative and Design Center. Its absolutely awesome, with exhibits and a library boasting 15,000 books. I love it!!!! I've got a computer to myself and tons of fashion books sprawled out. Perfect end to a vacation :) Ok, back to reading.

mountains in the mist

Yesturday, the weather was still wet, drizzling, but not so bad as earlier in the week, so I took a trip to see Yangminshan National Park, where the annual flower festival was being held. Lin had decided to spend time with her grandma, so I was on my own for the day. As the bus was heading up the mountain, you could smell the sulfur and see the smoke from the hot springs all around. Higher and higher, the foggier it became.

When I got off the bus and started walking towards the park area, I noticed that there was no one around. Just me and the trees. A bit eerie, but also tranquil.

Once in a while I would run into a couple and they would ask me to take a picture for them but for the most part, I enjoyed the solitude, wandering in the fog and being surprised around every corner.

Exploring only half of the park, I went back today to see the rest. The weather was nicer, no rain, no fog. But that also meant that tons of other people went as well. Ah, such a contrast. Too crowded, too noisy, completely different atmosphere. So if you ever go, go when the weather is not so great, much more pleasant.

rain, rain go away

We made a one day pitstop in Bangkok to catch-up with Patricia. Too bad she'll be gone when I'm back in Bangkok. It was fun seeing her again and finally have both my former roomies meet :)

I am currently in Taipei with Lin and her grandmoter, chilling in the apartment. It is raining outside, so no checking out the night markets here so far. Must wait til the weather gets better. We arrived in Taiwan a few days ago. Took a trip down to Kaoshiung, the second largest city in Taiwan where Lin's Uncle Frank lives. They were great hosts showing us around their city, taking us to their favorite places to eat, the nightmarket, and the Latern Festival. While we were down there, we also went to see Kending National Park. It is huge and Windy. Our guide was telling us how a hotel, golf course, and airport had all been built along its coast but were unused because the area was so windy. He renamed the airport "Mosquito Airport". Lol. Sunny was amusing. Also saw an area of natural gas fires. The gas would seep through the cracks in the earth and once they hit air, they ignited. The aborigines made use of the natural fires and used them to cook potatoes, eggs, and even some popcorn.

Being the awesome hosts that they are, the Kuo's also took us to one of thier family banquets, which was basically a 15 course meal. My stomach that was starting to recover from Danang came back with a vengence. One of the uncles kept urging us to try everything saying, "Wan shang he shui." "Tonight, drink water". No dinner, just water. Indeed, no dinner was had that night.

We got back to Taipei yesturday afternoon, taking the new bullet train, just one and half hours to get from south to north. Very nice. Lin's Uncle William and her aunt then took us out to dinner, a vegetarian buffet, where yeah I kind of had a slice of all the desserts. Dude, no more banquets or buffets. It'll be the end of me....

Today, we went to see Taipei 101, the world's tallest building. It took only 35 seconds to reach the top in the high speed elevator, ears popping the whole time. Nice view, a bit too bad it was rainy. After that went to a bookstore and Memorial Hall. There are a lot of hiking trails around Taiwan, so we're hoping the weather gets a bit better to take advantage of it soon.