Julia’s designer breakfast!!!

So… a few days left in Bangkok before I head north to Bou Yai!   Eekk…. The unknown is very exciting, I have no idea who I will be staying with, how big my school is, what its like being a teacher…etc.   I’ve also been told scary stories about the food in North Eastern Thailand.  Apparently it can be a bit ‘rough’ as they like it very spicy and they don’t always cook the meat!  

Speaking of food… I designed the coolest breakfast yesterday!   It was so cool that I decided to make it again today and take a photo to put on the blog.  As you can see I shared my breakfast this morning with the Service Design Travel Companions as I figured they would appreciate my new designer dish.   Check it out:

  The Service Designers and Julias Designer Breakfast! And a closeup ’cause I am sure you need a closer look!

If you cant tell from the picture this is what it is:  Its Toast (brown bread no butter), with mooshed Banana on top, sprinkled with frozen M&Ms to give it a nice crunchy texture (as I don’t like mooshy stuff very much).  

 How cool is that!   It’s a bit of a treat breakfast and you wouldn’t want to have it everyday (as you feel a bit sick for the first 20-30 mins after you eat it) but its really cool!!!   I was quite proud (obviously).

OK – on that note, I will go…  let me know what you think of my breakfast if you end up trying it out

1 week to go!

I’ve been trying to update this blog all day however I have a slight problem as my blog keeps getting blocked.   I get a message in Thai script that I can’t read but according to a website I was looking at (http://advocacy.globalvoicesonline.org) the message says:  

Sorry. TOT Plc., as an organization of Thai people, has restrained the access to this website as it contains content, text, and/or picture that is unappropriated which affects the mind of Thai people all over the country and cannot be accepted.”  

The block on my blog

A bit of a mystery to me as I personally don’t think I have written anything remotely political or offensive!   I reckon it must have been my last post where I was talking about feeling like a bit of an old maid as the people here seem to be amazed that I am not married at 28yrs old.    Hmm… It is ok now, but I wonder if I will get it blocked again by writing about it being blocked!  I really hope not as I’d like to keep blogging about my upcoming adventure in North Eastern Thailand.

Anyway, enough about censorship in Thailand….  I have had a nice relaxing day at home today.  I am amazed at how Dads weekends comprises of only 1 day…. 1 day is not enough for a weekend!    Mai-pen-rai (nevermind) I am back at work tomorrow and Tuesday to finish a few things off and then I get a nice long 5 day weekend before I start teaching!   Yep, this time next week I will be in Chaiyaphum staying with the family who organised my volunteering, the following day I will head off to Bou Yai to stay with a host family and teach at a high school until Christmas.  I am a little nervous but very excited about the adventure!!! 

Other news….  Aimee and Jono get married tomorrow (my ozzie friends I met in Belgium), so big CONGRATS to them.  I will see them on Wednesday for a big catch up before they head down to the islands in the south of Thailand.  I haven’t seen them in nearly 2 years so it will be great to catch up.  

AND more news…. I have booked my next holiday….  I am off to Krabi and Ko Phi Phi with my kiwi/irish friend Albert (who I also met in Belgium) over New Years for some quality BEACH time.  Yee ha – I cant wait! 

Right, I better go… as always, I miss everyone lots in New Zealand.  I hope everyone is fine and dandy no matter where they are in the world.     Xxxx   J.   

28 going on 44

I had an interesting taxi ride back from work today as my taxi driver was very talkative and interested about my life.   I am starting to get the feeling that the general population of Thailand is concerned about the fact that I am not married at 28.  They get even more worried when they hear I don’t have a boyfriend!   For the first time I am starting to worry about getting old.  OK, that is a lie – I had a little “’Im going to be 30 soon’ panic attack when I was 27 which was a contributing factor to me buggering off overseas again for ‘one last OE’ before I do get to old (or tied down) to travel.

Seriously though, I have had the ‘why don’t you have a husband yet’ talk 3 times today!!!  The taxi driver even went as far to say if I didn’t find someone before I turn 30 I will not be able to find anyone at all!  Kob’s mother reckons I could try and find a nice Thai boyfriend when I go teaching up country.  And Kob thinks I should find a nice forang (foreigner) in Bangkok… yeah right, the forang guys here don’t even look at the western women over here (unless they are married to them).

After a little ponder this evening I have decided not to worry about all these inquiries; I will pass them off as ‘cultural curiosity’ and will continue to enjoy my singledom.   I don’t think I have anything to worry about yet, I am going to continue to enjoy my little phase of ‘its all about Julia’ and enjoy the freedom of exploring the world by myself for a bit longer!!! 

Work schmirk and the hot rock massage

Well, I figured I better keep adding to this blog even though I haven’t really been doing that much of interest to anyone!   Yep, you guessed it… I have been working.    Working long hours too as it is the norm in dad’s office to work on Saturdays; I have to say Friday is not Friday if you have to work on Saturday!!!!     [My old DOL buddies will remember how much I loooooved FRIDAYS in NZ!].  I’ve been working on a big upgrade to the computer system at dads work, this has meant I have had some long days and have had to brush up on my old SysAdmin skills… It has all been a bit of a shock to the system after 2 months of no work and all play!  I must say, I definitely prefer to be a Business Analyst than a Systems Administrator.  

There was a holiday in Thailand on Tuesday and the office was closed so I got a day off… yay!  Kob (my sort of step mum but more of a friend) and I went to the day spa…  wow, what a treat!   I got a Hot Rock Massage…  which is basically an oil massage but they put hot rocks on me and massaged me with hot rocks…  sounds strange but it was looooovely.      

After our pampering session we went to the local temple as there was a fair happening – we played lots of games and wasted lots of money doing silly things like throwing darts at balloons, fishing for goldfish with tissue nets and playing bingo   We did win a big soft toy and we had a lot of fun….. so it wasn’t all bad!!!

Other news…. I go teaching soon (next Friday I think)…  eek scary!  Teaching is going to be a big adventure, I cant wait!  I found Bou Yai on the map today so I have some sence of where I will be going.  And I feel reasonably well prepared as I have stopped getting a sore tummy every time I eat spicy food AND have mastered the squat toilet… In fact I can even use a squatter on a moving train which is quite an accomplishment.

Right… spose I better go.…   I hope everyone is fine and dandy, I miss everyone lots ….   Xxxx  J.

More Monkeys on Monkey Mountain… and an update on the status of my tan!

Well….  I figured that its about time I put another blog on here…  I think I am still going though a little bit of ‘Megan withdrawal’ as it feels wrong posting without her .  Who will check my spelling and grammar!?!  Oh well…  I am sure you will cope.

News from me…  I’ve been working!  I KNOW!  Shock horror.  Basically I need money and Dad needs someone to sort out their IT infrastructure at his company.  Consequently I have been spending the last week planning a server upgrade and planning the setup of his network from a workgroup structure to a domain structure (this is quite a big change).  Fun fun fun.  I haven’t done this sort of work in ages so it’s been a bit of a refresher on networking/sys admin stuff.

What else….  I have noticed that my tan is starting to fade significantly….  I might have to do something about that soon and find some quality ‘pool time’.    I did go to the beach last weekend with Dad and Kob, I was hoping for a wee tan top up but unfortunately it rained!!!    

Bangsaen Beach The view from my deckchair Bangsaen Beach…

Oh well, I got to have a YUMMY thai meal and some chill out time in the shade of the ‘sun’ umbrella (which also works well as a ‘rain’ umbrella)

 Lunch… before…. Lunch…. after! Random chicken at resturant (by dads car)

AND… on the way to the beach we went to Monkey Mountian… 

Driving over Monkey Mountian Monkey Mountian More Monkeys on Monkey Mountian 

What else is news…  I cooked a big thai meal  last week.  What a mission!!! I can see why Thai people often eat out or pick up their dinner at the market!     I cooked Tom Kha Ghai (spicy coconut chicken soup), Laab Moo (pork mince spicy salad) and Pad Krapow Moo (spicy pork with holy basil leaves)… and rice.   All and all the meal was yummy, it was fun cooking it (even if it took over 2hrs), I think the family were happy with my efforts AND I got help with the dishes!

Cooking my first Thai meal The dishes fairy (aka Pat)

Well, that is about it from me… I think I have another 2 weeks or so before I head up country to teach English, I think I will be working all of next week but hopefully working on my tan the week after!   

I hope everyone is fine and dandy.   I miss everyone lots.

Xxx  J.

check out the new posts….

Just a wee note to let you know we have updated the blog!  Check out the new posts that have been backdated: 

The trip is over… a map and a debrief!

A joint effort by 2.5 Kiwis, the Service Design Travel Companions and Moose.

To start off with, here is a map of where we went on our trip (click on it once to see it at full size):

 Map of SE Asia

From Julia:  Back to Bangkok!   Boo hoo… our 8 weeks are up, it is time for me to stay put for a while and I must reluctantly let Megan go back to NZ (I am going to miss her soooo much).  I am at my dads place and will stay here for a month while preparing to go volunteering up north (trying to learn Thai and gathering teaching resources).  At the end of October I am going to catch up with my ozzie mates Aimee and Jono as they are stopping off in Bangkok on the way to the islands down south.   After that I will head to North Eastern Thailand for my Volunthai experience!    So, even though I am not traveling, life is good and I have many more adventures to come.

From Megan: Home James!  And so we’ve reached the end. What an adventure. The experience has been incredible. I have done things I never thought I would. Seeing South East Asia and interacting with the people without the “shelter” of a tour group really was the best way to do it.  I am looking forward to coming home. I can now appreciate how lucky I am to be a Kiwi. However I am going to miss Julia like crazy. We have been attached at the hip 24/7 for the last 2 months. It is going to be hard to leave tonight that’s for sure!    

From the Service Design Travel Companions:  Well, firstly – Julia was VERY slack at emailing and posting photos of us, but having said that we did get to see some stuff which was cool and we met lots of cool people (who thought we were very strange).   We have told Julia off and she said she will post some photos of us that she took during the trip.  We think that now Megan has gone to New Zealand we might get to hang out with Julia some more.  Here are some of the photos we liked the best, Ale (red finger) and Amanda (yellow finger) suggested we post the toilet photos because they make great conversation starters:

    This lady had funny clothes. Beer…. yum Us and the tank Snorkelling is fun! A toilet we discussed while drinking jugs on the beach We were all hung-over (it was like after the Christmas party last year) Team Photo - Megan, Julia, Mini Moose, Max and SD Travel Companions Vietnamese coffee is the best.  As usual we drank a lot of coffee. A funny toilet sign that we liked a lot (especially Amanda and Ale) A nice lady we met in Saigon.  She thought we were cool.

A note from Max the Kiwi: Well, I’ve had a great holiday I liked it best when I was stuck to Julia’s bag and got to make lots of noise (thus causing some embarrassment to Julia and Megan and strange looks from everyone else).  The worst part of the holiday was when Megan got sick of my noise and I had to undergo surgery and have my voice box removed.   It hurt a lot but afterwards Megan was a lot nicer to me.    Now I am in Bangkok with Julia, I don’t go out much but she has promised to take me to North Eastern Thailand with her next month.  That will be exciting.  

A note from Moose:I am looking forward to going back to New Zealand with Megan as it will be a lot colder than in SE Asia and I get to see my dad (he let me go travelling with Megan which was nice of him).   I spent most of the holiday on Megans bag, it was funny because everyone thought that she was Canadian because of me!   I liked Hoi Ann the best because Megan bought me a new outfit.  Check out my photo:    

Mooses new clothes