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Archive for July, 2011

Old Friends

In 2006 I embarked on my first journey as a solo traveler at the mere at of 16. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but looking back realize it was the greatest starting point for what would later become my life’s passion. It wasn’t living in another country, experiencing a new culture, or learning a new language that did me in, but rather the people.

I was blessed¬†with the opportunity of taking part in Rotary International Youth Exchange. For those of you who don’t know what that is, its a program where youth from all over the world go to different countries to study, experience, and live in a foreign country for one year.

My exchange friends were my life line in Mexico. They knew exactly what I was going through and were along for the same bumpy, crazy, mess of a year that I was. Of course I had Mexican friends, but I identified much more with the exchange students. Apart from that, these kids were from all over the world so I got an insight to not only Mexican culture, but about 15 others as well.

My first friend in Mexico was Ilona, from the Netherlands. We both spoke English so we kind of gravitated to each other. We were inseperable..always spending the night together, going shopping, and eating! ūüėČ We ended up hanging out with different groups of exchange students in the end, but stayed close as we were in the same city.

Low and behold, 4 years passed..she’s back in Amsterdam getting her 2nd university degree and I’m in Thailand living the nanny, expat life. It just so happened, 2 days after I came back from Chicago she was passing through Bangkok after a month-long Thailand excursion with her friends and boyfriend (same one from exchange!! GO ILONA! =) )

We got to hang out multiple times, have some drinks, laugh, and catch up. It felt like no time had passed at all. There’s nothing¬†I love more¬†than seeing an old friend after a long time¬†and feeling like you just saw them yesterday! Ilona is only the second person I’ve seen from my exchange and it makes me want to see more. When we were all saying our tearful goodbyes that year, we kept saying “we’ll visit..we’ll see each other soon!” but alas, life happens and before you know it 4 years goes by..soon to be 25..

My goal: See as many of my beloved friends as possible from that amazing, unforgettable year.

Les Amo muchisimo amigos..ahora y siempre! Estan en mi corazon! Pura buena vibra a todos! xx

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Ready, Set..

All along I’ve had the plan to come back to Thailand, work until October, and then head off to India¬†on the 1st. I even bought a ticket..which is very unusual for me, the queen of last minute plans.

Way back when I went to Malaysia¬†with my mom, which was only 3 months ago but seems like a lifetime..my visa was deemed null & void when I left the country. Now, I had a work visa¬†for 1 year so that shouldn’t have happened but I just so happened to catch the wrong immigration officer who wanted to be an ass.

I didn’t really think about me only having 30 days when I re-entered Thailand because within 24 hours I went to Chicago¬†for 2 1/2 months. Upon arrival, I suddenly remembered I’d only have 30 days in Thailand yet again.

Art went to immigration to see what she could do and they confirmed the whole catching an ass of an immigration officer theory, but said there was nothing they could do. So..this means I have to be out of the country by August 19th..and will therefore be done with this job.

On one hand..I’m excited to get going..on the other, I’m a bit overwhelmed with the sudden immense freedom I just had plopped in my lap..

Where will¬†I go..where will I stay..how will I get back to Bangkok for my flight..should I go to India early..should I visit friends in the Philippines..should I..should I..should I….

Wherever the wind blows I guess..ready..set……………

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A Taste of America

Today I wandered into Central World Shopping Center after booking my spot for my tribal belly dance¬†class I have today! =) They just so happened to be having a little expo entitled “Taste of America,” equipped with American flags and America’s finest cuisine. I went for a closer look to see what they were offering and what people were actually waiting around to try..

To my surprise they were demonstrating how to prepare and giving out little samples of Spam, canned Cream of Corn, Instant Mashed Potatoes in a bag, Pork & Beans, BBQ Sauce, and Corn Flakes. There were a few others that were completely repulsive, but I can’t remember.

After spending nearly 3 months in the US, I’m a bit appalled by how other countries view our cuisine. I guess before, even I, when asked my preference on American Food, I would turn up my nose..but having lived there again recently, I know there are much healthier and tastier options available to those who so choose.

Now there are just that many more people thinking America has only disgusting, processed food for every meal. Thanks Central World..! Making one stereotype at a time! =)

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Jet Lag

When I first came to Thailand, I didn’t notice the jet lag so much. I’ve heard from someone who lived in NZ¬†that dealing with the jet lag gets easier every time. Well in my case, it got significantly worse this time around.

After 24 hours in transit with an 18 month old and 2 week old twins, we finally arrived at our house around 12 am. Of course, I still had to watch Nadia who was wide awake, while everyone brought the luggage in and got settled. Art even started unpacking?¬† I didn’t get into my room until about 2 am.

By the time I showered and emailed home (and of course checked Facebook! =P ) it was 3:30 am. I woke every two hours after that until I finally decided to get up at 8 am. Looking at a daunting pile of laundry and an unpacked backpack, I decided the hell with it, and took a nap. The plan was to sleep for two hours, get up, and do all the necessary crap that needs done when arriving home after a 3 month trip.

Low and behold, I lifted my head off the pillow and saw it was 9:30..PM! I had slept for 10 hours straight! I obviously ate nothing all day, and was still being taunted by the mounds of clothes and clutter all around me. Damn jet lag..I decided to put the tasks off until today. I piddled around on the internet, talked to some family, got some cross stitching done..and made it to bed at 2:30 am.

I really planned on sleeping until 8 am, getting everything done I needed to, and then finally make my way outside to get some much needed errands done. From 2:30 on, I woke up every 2 hours again until 6:30 rolled around and I couldn’t sleep any longer. I did manage to get up then, get everything done, and now I’m sitting here wanting to take a nap again at 10:15 am!

NO NAPPING!!!! Or I’ll never break this cycle. Thank goodness I have the weekend off.. I just wish it was around noon so I could actually go out and have things be open! No napping tho..no napping..no nappi…zzzzzzzz

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Acceptance

Anyone who knows me knows I’m a bit of a control freak.

I used to take over group assignments in school..delegating each person his/her task.

I loved being picked team captain in gym class.

I had a queen B attitude all through High School and did NOT deal well with authority.

I’ve always received more responsibilities at my various jobs than my fellow co-workers holding the same position.

All & All..I’m a control freak and I don’t care who knows it..My momma taught me a long time ago..’Don’t rely on anyone to do things for you..If you want it done right, do it yourself’ .. I even went to the extreme as a small child and refused to let anyone else touch my laundry for fear of them ruining it.

*Note: I realize that everyone needs help and advice sometimes, and I openly accept that on most days. I’m not a freakish loaner who shuts out the world because I think they’re all incompetent..No worries! =)

Being a nanny, I’ve had to learn to let go of some of the control-freakness. It has been extremely difficult, especially going from knowing how to raise kids in Western¬†culture¬†to being plopped down smack dab in the middle¬†of Eastern culture..with an old, stuck-in-her-ways Grandma to boot.

Phew..what a whirlwind that’s been for my ego..! I’m definitely learning day by day..and moreso now that the twins have arrived that..

  • These are NOT my children
  • I AM the hired help
  • ¬†I do NOT know best all the time..(which I still tend to fight because more often that not, I am right about things having to do with development and so-on with Nadia..haha..Its a hard one to kick ūüėČ )

But I am also learning that..

  • I do know quite a lot about children for not having my own
  • I am a good caretaker
  • This is NOT my life’s calling..but I AM making a positive influence in these people’s lives.

Ohh to Acceptance..may you come easier with every passing day.

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Change

My life is a constant turning wheel of change. One minute I’m the laziest college student I know..doing the daily school,work,homework,hang out with Jordan routine..next I’m moving to Costa Rica with my best friend, only to then pack it up and move to a random location in Mexico where I know no one..later to bounce over to Thailand for what I thought would be an extended period of time..only to then again jump on the wheel of change and stay in the US for a few months for a job I thought would never take me out of Bangkok..NOW..!

All is changing yet again..in a mere few hours I will no longer be the nanny of a quite little 18 month old..but rather a nanny to 3 children under the age of 2. Not only will I be responsible for them, but I will also be responsible for finding a new nanny..because in October..

I will again be heading for a whole new level of the unknown and all the change that encompasses..as I will be leaving for an exciting adventure across northern India, into Nepal..and then to Langkawi, Malaysia to be a fire girl..whewww..!

What a crazy past year I’ve had..I think I’ll ‘change’ my middle name to ‘change’!

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