Back in Hawaii, U.S.A. after nearly two years of living abroad
How did it feel being back in the U.S.?
I’m going to be honest.
It kinda blew.
I don’t expect you to get it. You’re thinking…GRRRL is in Hawaii! Palm trees swaying in the trade winds, year-round sunny beaches, exotic paradise… boo-hoo how could that possibly be bad?
Trust me, it blows, just as if my hometown were to be a small farm town in Iowa.
“The monk life is very hard. I spent 6 years as a monk and I am thankful to grow up in the monastery, but I couldn’t wait to leave!” cajoled my 24-year-old Laotian tour agent.
- You didn’t enjoy it or have fun? I asked.
” It’s not that it was bad. There are many boys there with you. You sleep together, eat together, work together and play, so you’re not alone. It was also easy for my family, because my family is poor and the monks raise us and school us. But there are many things you can’t do… a long list…” the jovial agent continued.
- You didn’t want to continue being a monk?
“I wanted to get out and live life! I like very much what I do now. I enjoy meeting people and taking them around, trekking and showing them my home and where my family lives. My youngest (more…)
Gotta love Korea! Photo credit: Claire Lee
It’s been some time since I’ve written to you.
I haven’t forgotten. You are still in my heart and dreams.
But life doesn’t always go just as we predict.
Well, I couldn’t be with you this fall, but I’m sending my mother to you instead ( via a Korean Drama Tour)!
Please be good to her.
This is her first solo trip completely away from her family, so she’s very nervous.
Try not to be too spicy …
…or too weird.
Please Ms. Ajumma, be abnormally kind vs your normal pushy and rough self.
Patbingsu, I know it’s not your season, but she’s going to come looking for you anyways.
The Taj Mahal’s Lovely Backside
We love to hate them and yet, we continually do them.
After I wrote the article, Can hype kill famous landmarks… like Angkor Wat?, more famous sites erupted to memory, like a serial killer’s growing body count.
Angkor Wat wasn’t the first site to bite-the-dust. Nope, there’d been others before it.
The Eiffel Tower.
I have only one memory of it– being squished in an elevator and suffering a long queue, all for a 15 minute view of Paris that I now can’t remember.
The Sistine Chapel.
Bumper-to-bumper traffic at a snail’s pace through displays of art artifact, only to arrive upon my long-awaited prize… the ceiling painted by Michelangelo. Unfortunately, slide projections in darkened art history class lectures made the actual painting seem faded, not to mention… smaller. For an art student and big-time fan of Michelangelo’s works, it was a (more…)
It’s no secret I’m a big fan of public transportation, when I travel. Buses in particular.
But until now, the notion of getting around India by public bus intimidated me. Every time I’d see a bus parked at a stop, it looked like a rudimentary tin cans on wheels, packed tight and spilling over with people. Being India, the ‘majority of people’ were men. So I used to wonder if the public bus was safe for a solo female and if so, how in the world could travelers get around on them with their backpacks?
I needed to demystify my fears of the Indian bus if I was to navigate freely and cheaply. So I decided to make it my goal to use the public bus to get around .