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Trains and busses and motorbikes, oh my! [09 Apr 2009|10:50pm]
Hello again, at around the end of week 2 of my trip. I am now in Chiang Mai up in the north. So hmmmm, where did I leave off...

We ended up bumming around Ranong TRYING to figure out how to get the heck out of there (not an easy task). Finally decided on an 8 hour overnight VIP bus to Bangkok - which I was only able to barely nap on... But it was fine. Comfortable enough seats (were my back not on fire from the incredible blistering burn I had). Got into Bangkok around 4-5am into the super crazy packed Southern Bus Terminal. While getting our packs ready a girl comes up to us, noticing we're the only Westerners (she's from Sweden). We figure out we're going in the same direction and decide to share a taxi. Problem is the taxi line is insane and the guy heading it is trying to take advantage of us, telling us it'll be 500 baht.. when we refuse, he refuses to let us take another taxi and starts yelling at us. After 5 minutes of wandering around he finally relents and lets us take a metered taxi (was only 160baht all told). Had a very interesting taxi driver, seemed to like to touch Dan's freshly shaved face. He dropped off the Swedish girl first, then us at Lumphini Park. We wandered around for a bit... but it was so early most things were closed. We went down a couple of back alleys and found this really quiet and nice and cheap guest house that was open called Lee 3 or something along those lines.

We were planning on leaving early the next morning, but had all day to get things done. (which... basically ended up only being unlocking my phone so I could use Thai sim). We did have other plans, however. We'd looked on couchsurfing.com earlier to see if we could get together with some people to do something for Dan's birthday - and it turned out there was a big Bangkok meet that same night! So we went to the front of Lumphini Park at around 4pm, and slowly but surely people started showing up - quite a few Americans, but also many Thais and some other interesting nationalities! We had a picnic in the park, played some frisbee, talked with a lot of different people - it was actually a really fun experience, I enjoyed myself a lot. Then one girl said that her boyfriend was the DJ at some fancy club there and if we got there between 8-9:30 we could get free drinks... so about 10 of us set off on a mission to find club Narsissus... was really a fancy place, turns out it was some model guy Patrick's birthday party. Was really empty since we were there so early, but the music was super loud and really hard to talk over. Free beer and whiskey/sodas though. Talked with this nice girl Christine from Seattle who'd been in Africa for the past few months, was interesting to hear about. After a while we all kind of just decided it was time to get out of there..wasn't really our scene. So we walked home, through Soi Cowboy... which had so many crazy neon lights it was like a mini-thai las vegas (Prostitutes gallore!). Was quite the spectacle.

The next morning we went to the train station and got a ticket for Ayuthaya, the ancient capital. Was 15 baht each (less than 50 cents american) for an hour and a half train ride in 3rd class... 3rd class was quite the experience (much different than our 2nd class sleeper cars). Lots of interesting thai people crammed into benches in the heat... and people walking down the aisles selling food and drinks. Got off in Ayuthaya, took the...1-2 minute long ferry ride for 4 baht, and walked around trying to find a guest house. While we were walking a tuk-tuk tour guide flagged us down, and he was impressed and pleased with dan's thai, told us to come back if we wanted a tour. So once we had settled in at our guest house, we went to find him and he was still there! We went to a bunch of different Wats, some still standing with many worshippers praying with lotus flowers.. some ruins from when the Burmese attacked leaving hundreds of headless buddha statues. All very interesting to look at. Then our guide took us to this tall white temple to climb up and watch the sunset... behind the beautiful burning fields and trash, haha. Might not have been beautiful but it definitely was an experience. Our guide and his wife were so nice, took us around for 4-5 hours instead of the usual 2, for the same price. Even took us with them to the night market and we all got dinner, and they bought us lots of water - and laughed at my horrible Thai. At the end of the night they said they still wanted to show us more, so told us to come outside at 8am and they would take us more places, including breakfast, AND then take us to the train station in time for our train! So... the next morning we go outside and there they are, treat us to a nice breakfast.. then take us to the ancient palace of the old king, next to a modern looking wat. The ruins were really beautiful.. if a bit crowded. We also got to see a giant buddha in a lying down position...and just happened to be there on the day they were changing the orange cloths that draped him! (happens once every 3 months).

They took us to the train station, we buy tickets for the air condition 2nd class special express train (sounds way fancy right?). Killed time at this restaurany/guest house across the street - very interesting thai fellow owned it, also spoke some spanish. had all these crazy puzzles and tricks to show us! Kept track of how many people from each nationality could solve each one (we sucked horribly). Was a really fun way to pass the time.

Got on our train, 4-5 hour bus ride... pretty scenery. I can officially say I've mastered the squat toilet... this train had a squat toilet.. and you can see the track racing by underneath through the hole that you peed into. I'd say my balance and aim were pretty dern good. We got off at Phitsanulok, only to get right on a bus to Sukothai - another ancient city full of ruins. Stayed in a suuuper out of the way guest house (had to walk through a field in the dark to find it), was really quaint... but horrible for sleep. Lumpy/hard bed, no screens - bad mosquito net. We were eaten alive. The next day we moved down the road to a much nicer one for only 50baht more. Sukothai is split into two parts - New and Old. Old is where all the ruins are, and we were staying in new, so we decided to rent a motorbike for the day and go to Old Sukothai... was a bit scary at first seeing as how I really haven't been on one before, and Dan had never driven with a passenger... but we made it through unscathed and it was quite enjoyable. Once we got to the "historical park" they call it, we rented bicycles (HORRIBLE quality, hahaaha) and rode around from ruined wat to ruined wat. Was very pretty and interesting to look at, riding bikes was enjoyable. It took us quite a few hours to ride around and see the ruins... and by the time we got back to our motorbike it had started to rain, but we wanted to head north and see some more ruins - it's a good thing we did. We came across the ruins of this one Wat, and noooo one else was there. It was a fascinating place. Gorgeous and ancient looking - truly just magical. We wandered around there for quite a while. Decided to check the guide book before departing - good thing we did, found out that just half a km west there was the biggest surviving buddha in the area - 11meters wide and 15 high (and while they charged us foreigners 100baht to get in...it was only 20 for thais. freakin lame). Was still a pretty cool thing to see... it's hand was covered in gold leaf.

We walked back to the ruins and saw an absolutely gorgeous sunset start. So we decided to sit atop some steps and watch the sun set behind the ruins, making the sky a beautiful orange. It really was absolutely amazing. We rode home along the river on the motorbike and I got to watch the sunset further as we passed the ruins... so great. Returned the motorbike and...sort of attempted to go to bed early, which didn't really happen. We had a 6am wake up today to catch the 7:15 bus from Sukothai up to Chiang Mai. 6 hour bus ride.. pretty uncomfortable seats, no bathroom - completely full bus at one point. Still was able to nap some, and passing through the mountains was quite beautiful. We are now staying at some guesthouse owned by an Irish lady in a suuuuper westernized part of town. We ate indian food for lunch (mmmm nan bread) and even got my day pack fixed (the strap had broken) for free by this thai leather worker (with his girlfriend from the netherlands). They were very nice.

Our mission in Chiang Mai is to try and find a good sturdy motorcyle to rent for the next two weeks or so, so we can do some motorcycle touring of our own... just need to figure out the logistics. I'm hoping to extend my stay a feeew days if possible, to experience Sonkran (the thai new year) here in Chiang Mai - it's April 13-15. Haven't made any decisions yet.

And yes, pictures WILL come... just not til I get home, 'cause I'm lazy. Hope you enjoyed my ramblings.
3 good jobs|COMMENT!

Running around Thailand [27 Mar 2009|01:36pm]
Hello everybody from Thailand, it's been a little while. Things are going well. And I know you're all dying to hear my amazing account of what has gone on this past week. So here it is.

The flights went well, I was able to sleep about 6ish hours, plus napping in between. Watched a couple movies (James Bond, the Changeling) played some Sudoku, that kinda stuff. Walked around the very interesting Taipei airport in my layover, tons of Hello Kitty everywhere - Hello Kitty play area, waiting room, nursing area... cardboard cut outs everywhere, very interesting. Got on my flight, another 3.5 hours of flying to Bangkok (the first flight was 14.5 hours). Second flight went pretty quickly, got into BKK... went through customs no problem, got my bag, and went outside and met up with Dan! It was nice to see him again - he's so much tanner than before, hahaha. We took an airport bus back into the city, then hopped into a Tuk Tuk to our guesthouse... which was actually really nice and spacious. Then there was resting... a few hours of resting. After I felt a bit more up to doing things we walked to the Khao San (I dunno if that's spelled right) area of markets, where all the backpackers go... I was really tired and it was a bit overwhelming, but very interesting nonetheless. So much food everywhere, but after all the airline food I couldn't possibly stuff anything else inside of me. After walking around there for a little while we went back to the guest house and called it an early night.

Next day we decided to venture into the crazy crazy malls to try and find some things we needed. They really are nuts. We were brave and figured out (some of) the bus system in Bangkok and took a city bus to the malls... and somehow rode for free, we were the only foreigners on the bus... the whole system can be a bit daunting. I finally got to try some food while there - some ice cream with red beans, some strange pancake/taco type thing with this...meringue fluff in it...super good. Bought a nice purse there, walked around the craziness - lots of western food places like kfc, mc donalds, subway (where we ended up eating, for lack of anywhere better in the mall - sandwich was weeeird. like...salami, american cheese..and chili sauce. Odd combination). After walking around malls for what seemed like forever we took a taxi back to the guesthouse... and passed out at around 7:30pm, like a bunch of old people.

Next morning realized we were both ready to get the heck out of Bangkok - interesting city, but not one you want to stay in for long periods of time. Since he's been riding his bike everywhere, and since I just got here, we really had absolutely no idea how to get to where we were going. So after some...fun discussion, and buying a guide book, we head to the train station in the morning. They're sold out for where we had decided we'd go, and on a whim Dan asks if they have any night tickets to Chumphon... and they do! (We're attempting to head south). So.. we buy tickets for the 7:30 train, store our bags at the station, and take the subway over to the weekend market in Chatuchak Park... more craziness! So many people and rows and things, it was craziness! Overwhelming! But still interesting... really good drinks - super sweet and sugary, mm mmmm.

We spend our whole day at the market, I get acquainted with the fun that is squat toilets... and then we head back to the train station. Hop onto the train, sit on these benches facing each other for a little while... until this man comes by and sets up our beds, pushing the benches together to form a bed, and then pulling a compartment down from the top to create a top bunk. Surprisingly comfortable.. we slept until about 4 am, when the guy came and woke us up to tell us our stop was coming up. So we hop off the train in the early morning (litterally hop off, climb over the tracks, and climb up to the platform). We decide to walk from the train station to the bus station.

On the way we hear a loud "Good Morning!" from somewhere in front of us... this very drunk Thai old man asks us where we are going, and then decides to become our personal tour guide... so he walks us all around - first to the minibusses, which don't open for another few ours, then to the regular bus station JUST in time to catch the 5:30am bus to Ranong. The whole time he is chattering on in English, about drinking too much Whiskey, not liking George Bush... stopping me every couple minutes to point his hand up in the air Saturday Night Fever style and gyrate his hips at me... he was a very fun entertaining guy - sang for us too. Gave him some money, told him not too buy too much whiskey, and got on the bus.

Bus took a couple hours to get to Ranong, then we walked with this nice German girl to get a songthaew to the pier to go to the island of Ko Phayam, once again making it JUST in time for the 9:30am ferry. Nice 2 hour ferry ride, very pretty... talked to some more Germans (they are seriously EVERYWHERE).

Got to the island... very small undeveloped island. No cars at all, just motorcycles. So we each hop on our own motorcycle taxi, just sit on the back - it was SO fun. Go to our decided place - Bamboo Bungalow. I'm going to make this next part very short, because it's a bit crazy. We stayed for five nights on Ko Phayam - in 4 different places. Bamboo Bungalow was so rustic and ridiculous..thatched bungalow, squat toilet set outside...no lights in the bathroom, no good windows... not fun. So we moved to Coconut Beach Resort... which was really nice except it was right next to this REALLY loud Rasta bar... playing really loud raggae until about 3am... so we moved to a further away bungalow in the same resort the next night. Then we decided we'd leave. But while eating breakfast the next day in our favorite restaurant, we decided we would stay with them in their tents - which were actually really nice, best sleep i had. These were the NICEST people ever, so sweet and accomodating - really good food, too.

All the time on the island was basically spent relaxing... beautiful beach, backed by forest. beautiful water - we kayaked the day before we left, SUCH hard work - moreso than I thought. Not gonna lie, I threw a bit of a tantrum while out on the water... but it really was a beautiful view. Until the thunderstorm started and I started freaking out again, haha. We decided to leave the island this morning, took the 8:30am ferry back to Ranong... and now we're here... attempting to get a bus to Phuket, then a flight from Phuket to Bangkok, then a flight from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, where we are hoping to rent a motorbike and take that around the north - who wants to mess with busses if you don't have to.

Okay, that's the extent of my travels so far. It's been a lot of fun. Stress and arguments aside, it really has been quite enjoyable and I'm looking forward to the remainder of my trip - even considering staying a couple extra days to participate in sonkran... we'll see how expensive it is.
5 good jobs|COMMENT!

Hello from Thailand! [20 Mar 2009|03:40pm]
Hey everybody, I'm in Bangkok right now. Just thought I'd update and say hello! More to come later. Hope everyone is doing well. :)
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Hey [25 Jan 2009|09:14am]
Look, this thing still exists. Neat!
2 good jobs|COMMENT!

Birthday! [01 Jun 2008|11:22am]
So, it's almost my birthday and I am having a party. It will be Saturday June 14th at my apartment, probably begining around 9pm. I want ALL of you to come, no lame excuses. It will be fun, I swear. Maybe for my friends on here who don't like party-parties I can start earlier and we can just play video games or something...I have a nice tv. :)

ANYWAY, here's my amazon wishlist if anyone cares. The thing I want most (other than a wii, obviously..) is wavebirds. mmmmmmhmmmmm. BUT obviously no one has to get me anything, these are just suggestions! SO, thanks, and I hope to see you there!

EDIT: Probably be a good idea to POST said list.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/SWK2NJ3Y67ZO?reveal=unpurchased&filter=all&sort=priority&layout=standard&x=13&y=14
COMMENT!

[07 May 2008|11:55am]
There once was a man named Bertold
Who drank beer when the weather grew cold
As he reached for his cup...
"NEEEEVER GONNA GIVE YOU UP!!!"
Oh, snap! You just got limerickrolled!
3 good jobs|COMMENT!

[02 Apr 2008|11:41pm]
I sprained my ankle.


Awesome.
2 good jobs|COMMENT!

FUCK [08 Mar 2008|03:04pm]
I love my college basketball team!! We're ranked two in the nation right now, and just had two of the most intense games EVER back to back.. winning BOTH with barely TWO SECONDS left in the game. Seriously, I love UCLA basketball.
COMMENT!

[28 Nov 2007|07:08pm]
I really hate Ron Paul.

I mean, I really hate him.

I hate the support he's been getting lately.

People acting like he's a revolutionary.

He's a libertarian, and a republican, and his views are insane.

And the fact that I have friends re-registering as republicans just to vote for him in the primaries... it scares me.
4 good jobs|COMMENT!

FIREWORKS!! [18 Nov 2007|09:02pm]
So, tonight was the tree lighting ceremony at the grove.. but i didn't go, 'cause that's lame. HOWEVER I heard all these EXPLOSIONS suddenly, so I ran up to the roof (hooray for living on the 12th floor) and watched the whole fireworks spectacle.. it was beautiful! :D

I love where I live :)
COMMENT!

HOWEVER [18 Nov 2007|04:50pm]
For that very very small group of people (or person) who might get me a gift, I would really love gourmet looseleaf HERBAL tea. Since I can no longer have caffeine, most of my tea is undrinkable by me... so I would really love to stock up on some new tea (not decaf though... because there still is caffeine in it... I must have herbal... or even Rooibos(red tea)).

or my amazon list is updated, so look there.

And HEY, depending on my money situation, i MAY be able to get little things for some people... who knows.

Merry Christmannukah though!
4 good jobs|COMMENT!

I GOT A JOB [14 Nov 2007|07:09pm]
I got a job at Ruth's Chris in Beverly Hills! :D It's for a host position.. but it's $13/hr, which is pretty damn nice. Plus tips if anyone who dines there likes to tip hosts...which apparently they do. :) Yay. I'm so excited!
11 good jobs|COMMENT!

[01 Nov 2007|11:49pm]
I fucking hate motherfucking white supremest bastards. I'm watching a CNN special on the Noose.... and it makes me so mad. This one internet radio guy from New York encouraged his listeners to hang small nooses from tree in their town after the Jena 6 incident, because he said they represent JUSTICE. And when asked if he understood what it represented to the african american community he said "I don't know, and I don't care".

And trust me I KNOW not all prejudiced people are just white people... my anger is just currently pointed toward them. People who go all out against blacks, jews, mexicans, etc... It just drives me fucking mad.

Who thinks "haha, lynching was such a fun pasttime, lets hang some nooses for fun!" I mean, black people were lynched for fucking looking at a white woman funny... less than a fucking century ago for christs sake. It's no better than putting a damn swastica on a fucking synagogue.

Grrrr.
1 good job|COMMENT!

Fires, AGAIN. [21 Oct 2007|03:14pm]
The sky behind my parent's house is black as fuck. There are like... 6 fires going on around here. Hooraaaay California Winds.
9 good jobs|COMMENT!

Because Shannon said so. And I'm in the library procrastinating. [16 Oct 2007|01:50pm]
THREE THINGS YOU WANT TO DO BEFORE YOU DIE:
1. Travel the world.
2. Find a job I love.
3. Be completely content, even if only for a minute.

THREE NAMES YOU GO BY:
1. Rachel
2. Chella
3. Ho...

THREE SCREEN NAMES YOU HAVE HAD:
1. RachoniBalonie
2. grossitsrachel
3. chella610

THREE PHYSICAL THINGS YOU LIKE ABOUT YOURSELF:
1. My eyes
2. My hands
3. My breasts (well, they are nice.)

THREE PARTS OF YOUR HERITAGE:
1. Russian
2. Scotish
3. Irish

THREE THINGS THAT SCARE YOU:
1. Dark places.
2. Being alone at night.
3. Being alone forever.

THREE OF YOUR EVERYDAY ESSENTIALS:
1. Reading a book..
2. internets
3. talking to my sister

THREE THINGS YOU ARE WEARING RIGHT NOW:
1. jeans.
2. UCLA Bruins sweatshirt
3. pearl necklace

THREE OF YOUR FAVORITE BANDS/MUSICAL ARTISTS:
1. The Decemberists
2. Rilo Kiley
3. Franz Ferdinand

YOUR FAVORITE SONGS:
1. Sunshine of your love.
2. Living in the sunlight
3. Seems Uncertain

THREE THINGS YOU WANT IN A RELATIONSHIP:
1. Trust
2. Passion
3. Comfort

TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE (in no particular order):
1. I can speak moderate Italian.
2. I don't have any homework to do.
3. I'm totally awesome.

THREE PHYSICAL THINGS ABOUT THE PREFERRED SEX THAT APPEAL TO YOU:
1. Lips.
2. Arms.
3. Hair.

THREE OF YOUR FAVORITE HOBBIES:
1. Reading
2. Reading
3. I'm not really much of a hobby person.

THREE THINGS YOU WANT TO DO REALLY BADLY RIGHT NOW:
1. Get a job.
2. Get some sleep.
3. Finish my composition.

THREE CAREERS YOU'RE CONSIDERING/YOU'VE CONSIDERED:
1. Ambassadorial work.
2. Teacher.
3. um...world traveler. Yeah.

THREE PLACES YOU WANT TO GO ON VACATION:
1. Italy.
2. Japan.
3. Switzerland.

THREE KID'S NAMES YOU LIKE:
1. Milo
2. Marie
3. Studebaker

THREE WAYS THAT YOU ARE STEREOTYPICALLY A GIRL:
1. I drink girly alcohol.
2. I enjoy shopping.
3. I wear lots of jewelry.

THREE WAYS THAT YOU ARE STEREOTYPICALLY A BOY:
1. I like video games.
2. I like beer.
3. It takes me 2 seconds to get ready.

THREE PEOPLE THAT I WOULD LIKE TO SEE TAKE THIS QUIZ NOW:
I don't think anyone I know is going to do it. :P
2 good jobs|COMMENT!

[12 Oct 2007|03:15pm]
Today in Italian class we had to go around the room and find out what things we had in common. Age, number of brothers/sister, etc.

And this is when I discovered... that apparently being 22 is old :( EVERYONE is like... 18 or 19. What the heck?! I couldn't find anyone as old as me.. I'm almost as old as the teacher, for christ sake! (she's 26).

ssssiiiigh.
2 good jobs|COMMENT!

[02 Oct 2007|11:47pm]


I saw this... and it made me think of Bulma.
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[04 Sep 2007|07:54pm]
So hello! I'm here!

People have been wondering what I would like for housewarming gifts (we're going to have a gathering soon) so here's a list!

Nice stainless steel mixing bowls
Cake pans (round and rectangular)
cupcake tins
Swiffer Duster
Vaccuum Cleaner
Iron/Ironing Board
Ladle
big cutting board
wooden spoons
Napkin holder


That's all I can think of for now... I'll update when I can think of more.
3 good jobs|COMMENT!

Here I am [03 Jul 2007|11:37am]
So I just got back from AX...where I didn't do much of ANYTHING AX related. But it still wasn't a horrible time. I am very tired though.

And in exactly a week from now, I will be an invalid. 6 full weeks of no work... but only one of those weeks can I not actually walk... the rest, I'll just be limpy...but with no money to do shit, haha. So I'll just expect everyone to pay for everything for me, thanks in advance! Or I'll watch all the Six Feet Under I got last month.

And I'm still looking for appartments in West LA, it's not as expensive as Westwood, but it still ain't cheap. I'm not moving until end of August, just looking around though.

That's it. Maybe I'll see if I can go swimming today... 'cause then its back to work tomorrow.
1 good job|COMMENT!

Birthday update [21 May 2007|02:37pm]
Also, if anyone is lazy and likes to do giftcards (which is what i do, haha), giftcards for Bed, Bath & Beyond would be quite appreciated since I'll be moving out soon. :)

I'll have more details on the party in a little bit.
1 good job|COMMENT!

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