Archive | September, 2011

Afternoon Stroll

29 Sep

An afternoon stroll can wash away all the bad of yesterday..

I woke up this morning dazed and confused. Body sore, and mind everywhere.

A celebratory night, after a day full of midterms had me more tired than I could imagine.

Decided that food was in need.. A sickness had taken over Sven, and had him saying no to any food.
His face said it all.

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Lack of food had him feeling down.

“The Guy” insisted that it was a cold day, and soup was in need. As usual, I did not question him.
Food was wonderful.

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After a nice mean, Sven was back. Awake now, and more alive than ever.

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On our way back home we ran into one of our Thai buddies. Sven decided to jump into the driver’s seat of his Tuk Tuk.

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After coming back home, we all needed a bit of time to rest up.
A quick rest and I headed to the gym. Sweating out got me feeling better.

After showering, I decided that food and a walk around was needed.
Being that it is the vegetarian festival here, I decided to just roam the streets and see what I could find.

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Google Maps was snapping away.

As I took each step, I was hungrier and hungrier. I headed to the corner for a nice solid base meal.

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Rice, Cashews and Vegetables. Spicy please and a fried egg on top.

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The consumption of eggs is inevitable in Thailand. I am becoming quite the fan though. I find myself ordering an omelet, or fried egg with almost every meal.

After that I headed to the streets. I found a nice stand with vegetarian food. Fried taro balls, spring rolls, and other fried veggies had me feeling good.

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Passed by a bakery that had delicious looking pastries outside.

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I refrained from buying anything though. Maybe next time.

Soon I found myself in a place of wonder.

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Anytime I venture on these tracks, my day tends to brighten up.
Groups of kids could be found everywhere. Enjoying their Thursday afternoon, as was I.

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After a long day yesterday, I decided to just sit along the tracks and let my mind wander.

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Sitting there I forgot about everything. All my worries passed me by. I was totally content just sitting there all on my own, soaking in all around me. Thoughts zoomed in and out. Faster than any train that had ever ventured along this path.

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No cars, no fancy big buildings or business men. Just everyday people. Living their lives with each other and enjoying the simplest things.

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As I continued on my journey, I stumbled upon old friends.

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It had been a long time since we last met, but just as old friends we continued on as if no time had passed.

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Creativity is an easy thing to find at that age.

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Sitting there along those tracks brought me back to early days in my journey.

There is something about this place. The joy in the air, the people all around. The purity.
It’s something that cannot be faked nor replicated. It cannot be mimicked nor brought back. Something that cannot be removed nor taken.
It’s here. It is part of this place.

 

Having the chance to be a part of it as well, is something I dare not forget.

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I’ve Got Wings

27 Sep

Just got home from dinner, and I am reluctantly sitting at the table drinking a RedBull.

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In life sometimes you relax, and somtimes you work hard.
Let’s just say I’ve had may fair share of relaxing, and its time to get down to business.

These last couple of days have been more foreign to me than ever. Since my arrival, I haven’t had too much work to do for school.Well, now its time for midterms. Work is here, and I am stuck with my face behind this screen.

The camera has rarely seen the sun.

Only times I see the outside world is for food.
A nice dinner last night left me tired and wanting more.

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Midterms has got us all feeling like Sven.

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Studying must continue, as I prepare for a day at school.

Until next time.

-The Caveman

Sunny Sunday

26 Sep

I got up yesterday, with the warm sun beating down on my face.

As I walked out the door with my iPod on both ears, I was greeted with rays of sunshine.
Breakfast was first on the list of things to do. I headed to “the guy” for my Thai style “breakfast of champions”.

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I realized just yesterday, how much music can do to brighten up your day. I started my day off to a recently downloaded “Essentials Mix” by Kaskade.  With every step I felt more and more alive.

I came to the conclusion that Sundays like these are not meant to be spent wasted inside cold doors, studying away. So after food I grabbed my notes and headed to the park to study.

As I walked up to Lumpini Park, I knew right away I had made the right decision.

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I was immediately surrounded by big green trees, body of water, and people everywhere enjoying their sunday afternoon.

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As I strolled down the walkway, a group of people caught my eye.
All huddled around, cameras in hand, and lens pointed in one direction.
As I crept up slowly, I realized that they all were surrounding a beautiful girl. I quickly realized that this was most likely some type of photo shoot for a magazine or ad of some sort.
I thought about it for a second, then decided to join in on the fun.

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Another girl waiting for her round in front of the flashing lights.

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If anyone in Thailand wants a photo shoot, Lumpini Park is the place to go.
If anyone would like any photographs let me know, I would love to have a little photo shoot of my own in Lumpini.

After about 5 minutes I realized that my small body and lens were no match for the professionals, and I carried on my way.

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I found a nice tree to sit under, and started my studies.
As always though, I couldn’t help but find more and more things to photograph.

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After a while I decided to keep on my way, and explore the rest of the park.

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I ran into the true Thai “Caveman”.

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Ironically he was pushing a car tire down the road.
There must be some strange correlation between cavemen and cars.

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After a walk around the park I decided it was time to head back and get some food.

Before I knew it, the clock stuck 7 and it was time for Formula 1 in Singapore.
One of the perks of living South East Asia, is that the races are at a normal time and on TV.

So we all came into one room, ordered pizza, and watched the race.

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Defiantly a nice way to end a great weekend.

Grapes in the Valley

25 Sep

Sometimes the most beautiful places are where you least expect.

I woke this morning, excited to explore into areas not yet seen. We were headed into Northern Thailand, an area I had not yet been, for a field trip.

It was 8 AM and we all headed into the bus.
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About three hours later we had arrived to our destination.

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Who would have thought Thailand had Wineries? More importantly, who would have thought a Finance class would take a field trip to a winery?

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After a walk around the main entrance we were off. A tour of the vineyards and an exploration into how the wine is actually made.

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Strangely I have always wanted to own a vineyard. It’s not that I enjoy wine. Or even that I drink wine. For some odd reason though, I have always envisioned myself at a later time in my life growing grapes.
So for me, this was like heaven.

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We went out into the fields were we could see the actual workers in the fields.
They all enjoyed my interest in them.

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We then ventured into the vineyard itself. Where we were able to walk among the fields of grapes.

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After seeing all of this fruit, we decided to head back for lunch.

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A delicious meal was served, and there were smiles all around.

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A nice solid base was needed for the wine that was to be severed shortly.

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Before the wine tasting begun though, we took a little break outside in the sun.

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Beautiful flowers in the water with lily pads.

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Off in the distance the girls were posing for photos. I decided to snap one as well.

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Her eyes as always are memorized by the camera.

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Group photos of us all were taken.

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I couldn’t help but be drawn to this older Range Rover in its natural habitat. It was standing out beautifully out behind the corner.  This is what these cars were designed for. Driving out in the countryside.

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Growing up around these Land Rovers, I have a small space in my heart for these British problematic beauties.

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Then it was time to try the wine. We had glass after glass of  white wine, then later red.
For someone who rarely drinks wine it was quite the experience. An explosion of tastes coming at me all at once. Each glass had a distinct taste, and a different flavor.

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I can see why wine tasting is so popular.

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We drank glass after glass, and the contiuned coming.

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Posts like these are always tough for me. Sorting through hundreds of pictures after a long day out is quite tiring.
Unfortunately it leads to picture heavy posts, with very brief explanations of what had happened. Instead of writing, I tend to let the pictures do the talking.

It was a magical place we visited today. By far one of the prettiest paces I have been in Thailand.

I hope to be back here soon again.

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This is BKK

23 Sep

It was a normal Thursday afternoon. Sven, Kevin and I decided to venture out into the depths of Bangkok.

We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into.

It started as we walked towards the main street. We decided to take a taxi.
Before we even could flag one down. A yellow taxi, with tinted windows, painted wheels, and a big spoiler came rushing up to drive us.
After a quick peek in, we decided that he was the one. Spoke good English and was willing to take us to the Grand Palace.
As we sat in the cab, he began to tell us that it would be much better if he just drove us to a river boat. Us, not knowing much, unfortunately agreed.

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I saw familiar sites as we drove past unknown areas.

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After a 70 baht taxi ride we were there. In the middle of nowhere. Deep down an alley, in the middle of Bangkok.
A lady walked up to us and urged us to sit. As she spoke to us we realized it was a scam. They wanted to charge 2,000 Baht for the 3 of us to ride on a boat.
I looked at the guys, and we all agreed that this was nothing we wanted to do.

So off we were. Out on our own two feet.

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As if things could not get worse, the weather decided to make our journey even harder. Before we knew it was raining cats and dogs.
Out in the middle of nowhere, lost, in the rain. Quite a conundrum to be in.

Sven saw a bus that he believed would take us to the Grand Palace. We had no better ideas, so we all hopped in.

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These looked familiar as well.

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We drove and drove. None of us had any idea where we were. We saw unfamiliar places and building all around us. After a 30 min ride in the pouring rain. We saw the Grand Palace. As the bus was still moving, we all jumped out.

WE WERE THERE.
Overwhelmed with joy, that our journey had finally taken us to our destination.

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Cannons to guard the palace.

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We walked around and around. The entrance seemed to be nowhere. Just guards and people coming from all areas.

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Sven and Kevin were bother once again by a Tuk Tuk who wanted to scam us. First time I had ever seen dual exhausts on one.

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Finally we found the entrance. Walked up. Only to find that it was closed for the day.

Shot down again.

Just as if in a movie, the rain came down as we heard our bad news.

So we walked and walked. Looking for something to eat. Somewhere, somehow.

After a long walk. We decided to just head home. We headed to the river taxi this time. (Sometimes its better to just go with the things you know)

After another 30 minute walk in the rain we were there.

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River taxi was there to take us home.

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Well I have heard throughout the course of my life, that it is the journey, not the destination that is the true pleasure.
Thinking back, our whole trip was just one long journey, no destination.

I guess we had the perfect day then.

 

T.I.BKK

Two Day Recap

22 Sep

So its been a little while since I last updated.

Unfortunately I feel as if my immune system is about to fail me again, so I spent a majority of my day sleeping.
I was not able to post an update about yesterday ( Tuesday, now two days ago) . So here is a little recap on what happened.

Tuesday, after coming back from the Coffee Society, I headed to what has been said to be  the “Best Pad Thai in Bangkok”. It is actually right down the street from my place, so I decided to give it a try.
It is just a little stand on the sidewalk. Its a two man show, with one cook, and one server.

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Quite a variety of dishes…

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Oh man was it tasty! Simple, but very different from your usual Pad Thai.

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There were tons of people sitting, enjoying Pad Thai after a day at work.

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I took a little stroll around the block after my meal.
Pretty cool way of heating something up.

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After heading home and resting for a little bit, we got ready to meet everyone for dinner.
As I was getting ready to leave I got a call from the front desk. They said I had a package. SWEET!

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Opened it to find 2 pairs of shoes . My Nike Hyperdunks for basketball, and a pair of pumas for another casual pair. My mom also decided I needed two pairs of tube socks.
As an added bonus they stuffed my favorite movie, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, underneath it all.

After unpacking we all headed downstairs to meet for dinner.
We all headed to a fairly “fancy” Thai restaurant.  Ended up being almost 10 of us or so all going to the same place.

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Yummy Yummy second meal :-D.

One of the ladies insisted on taking a photo with Lizette.

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On our way home there was way too many of us to all walk together. Taylor and I fell behind as we fell victim to my favorite smoothie place. On ou trip home we ran into my good friends at the massage parlor.
I still haven’t gone there for a massage, but I pass by it at least 5 times a day. Each time I walk by I am greeted by ladies yelling “daaruusss!”

They were quite excited that I had a camera on me. So I decided to snap a couple of shots of the night crew.

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Today (Wednesday,well yesterday now) I spent the whole day without my camera. The weather was no good, and I didn’t do too much.
After dinner though, Tyson and the Japanese girls came over  and we played a bunch of different card games.
After a couple of hours of this, we had people falling asleep all over the place.

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Japanese girls can fall asleep anywhere.

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Sven took the time to teak Hanae how to become a poker master.

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Maybe I didn’t do as much as usual these last couple of days, but that’s not always a bad thing.
Midterms are coming, and it’s always nice to relax before a strenuous week at school.

 

Time for me to rest my eyes.

Nighty night all, and Happy Birthday to all the September babies.

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Tuesday Tea Time

20 Sep

As I woke this morning, I felt the repercussions from the day before.
The combination of the gym in the morning, and basketball at night put my body into a fatigue seldom felt.

I started to blog last night, but woke at 2 AM to an achy neck, ear buds in ears, and a laptop on the bed. I cleaned up and hopped right back into bed for a couple more hours of sleep.

As I slowly climbed out of bed, I stumbled out into the living room, to find that I had the house to myself. I decided that I would not let the fatigue get to me, so I whipped up a couple of eggs and headed out the gym.

After a good workout, I packed up my backpack and headed to the local “Corner” restaurant, where I would find a couple other exchange students to eat with.

The rain came, and I decided that instead of staying at home, (a place I have found myself at way too much lately) I would journey out to find a new coffee shop to reside at.

A quick ride on the train brought me to Coffee Society. A nice little 3 story coffee shop off of Sala Dang.

A good friend reminded me just yesterday how much I used to enjoy drinking tea. Before I left for Bangkok, I would order a cup of tea where ever I would go. In Bangkok on the other hand I haven’t really even had one pot of hot tea.
I decided that needed to be changed.

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So as I sit here drinking my pot of Jasmine tea, I will share some a little from my exhausting Monday. Not many pictures were taken, but sometimes less tends to be more.

After the gym and getting ready for my day, I headed to my favorite place to grab a delicious breakfast.

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I have come to realize that if you tell a chef to make “whatever you feel like” it ends up being 10 times better. I think it may be the freedom that it gives them, that creates a much better dish.

For the last year or so I have been slowly chipping away at the magnificent book titled, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
While laying on the island of Ko Pha Ngan I finally finished the book. Since I have started to reread it to geet deeper insight into ideas.
After looking back, I can easily say that it has been one of the most influential pieces on my life over the last year or so.

The book has given me a much different outlook on life. It also was one of the main reasons I have been so drawn to things on two wheels. After reading of a journey across the United States on the back of a two-wheeled machine, I knew it was a feeling I had to experience.
Since I opened the book I have acquired 4 vintage Austrian and French mopeds and my favorite of all my 1975 Honda.

Although the story revolves around the journey on the back of a Motorcycle, it is in no way a book designed for “gear heads”. The book revolves around philosophy, Zen Buddhism, and questions the idea of creating “Quality” in our lives.

I believe that this book is a must read for anyone, and for that reason I will gladly purchase the book for anyone who desires to explore the journey as well. Simply send me an email, and I will have a copy sent to you.

Ironically, yesterday as I walked towards the post office to send out another batch of postcards I ran into this beauty.

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The bike just had so much character and pizzaz. I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. To me it was perfect.
I would love to get a hold of the owner and speak to him about his beautiful motorbike.

Sitting here drinking tea, writing about motorcycles, and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance has put me in a mood that not even the stormy weather outside can bring down.

So I hope to hear that you, (yes you), one day soon will be sitting down drinking tea, and reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

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Lazy Sunday

18 Sep

There is something about Sundays, almost as if it were a universal rule, for us to be a little more lazy.
Well I took advantage of that rule to the fullest effect today.

Woke up this morning feeling the wrath of the night before. Saying “No” to going out just isn’t an option. I felt my eyes open as the sun did. I found myself on top of my bed, a bit dazed and confused. As I peered out the window, I witnessed yet another beautiful sunrise in Thailand.

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I then crawled back into bed, and got some more rest before starting my day.

Hours later, I finally got up and got the day started. Kevin and I decided to head to our favorite restaurant just down the alley way.

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Rice and vegetables for the both of us this morning. Lucky for me I have a roommate who also enjoys a vegetarian dish.

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We were quickly finished with our delicious meals. Kevin did not seem to happy to have a camera lens pointed in his face that early in the morning.

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Tuk Tuks and scooters wizz past with every bite.

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She was quite excited to have me photographing her.

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I was quite hungry, and one dish just did not quench my hunger. So plate was necessary. Nothing but greatness comes out of his kitchen.

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As we walked home this bike caught my eye. Something about creme and orange is just so pleasant to look at.

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Soon after a pack of cyclists passed us. Made me realize how much I missed riding my bicycle. I remember days when I would spend a good 16 hours on seat of my bike. Exploring. Seeing new things.

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I think I may have come to realize what I need in Thailand. A bicycle would be perfect. I have no idea where to start to look, but I think a cheap track bike may be in the near future.

A lazy day. Full of naps. Watching movies, and most importantly relaxing.

At first I felt bad for not really “doing” anything, but a relaxing day is sometimes exactly what we need.

Sometimes a Little Can Do A Lot

17 Sep

I headed home last night feeling much better than on my way in.
I was seeing things clearer. Noticing the small details in everyday life.

As I walked past the BTS Station walkway I had to look twice at a sight that my eyes could hardly believe.

My mind was blown as I saw a girl who looked no older than me holding a baby sitting on the sidewalk. This was no young child, this was truly a newborn baby.
Still in shock, I continued up the stairs and on my way. I couldn’t help but look back every with every other step. Baffled by the sight, my mind was racing. What to do? what to say? What to think?

After maybe 50 steps my legs came to a halt, as I could no longer walk away from the sight.
I thought to myself.

My “Follow the Caveman” program gets a $3 donation for me to send stickers, postcards, and letters from different places throughout my journey abroad. What could that $3 donation do for someone here?
Three US dollars is 91 Baht here. 91 Baht is not a small amount here. A GOOD meal here costs me 25-40 Baht on average.

So as I thought of this, I opened up my wallet to find my last 200 baht wadded in a corner.

I walked back down. Walked towards the woman as she looked at me with the blank stare of despair. I grabbed 100 baht and reached out my hand. The mother did not even realize what I was doing. Her son, maybe 5 years old, told his mom to look. As she reached out to take the money, I saw a small smile emerge underneath a face full of emotions.

As I walked away I thought to myself, “I think the people who have donated will be happy to know that some of their donation went to this family.”

To me and you, that 100 baht isn’t really much. Sure I could have bought a slew of things in Thailand with it, but when it comes down to it, it really isn’t much.

So for all of you who have donated and are “Following the Caveman” I say thank you. Not only from me, but from the family in Bangkok who received a piece of you as well.

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See more about what the “Follow the Caveman” really is by clicking on the tab above.

Trying to Recuperate

16 Sep

I knew right away, as I woke this morning that something was off. Nothing seemed the same. Nothing seemed right.
I was still in a daze.

Was it my lack of sleep? Was it my weekend on Koh Pha ngan?

The answer I do not know. I tried my best to continue my day as if nothing were wrong, but like a freshly bitten mosquito bite, I couldn’t seem to shake it off.

The day seemed to get worse and worse. Even my favorite dish at school could not restore my body nor mind. Nothing seemed to be picking me up.

As class ended I thought of heading home for a nap, but even that sounded like a drag.
It was just one of those days…

But I decided to head o my favorite coffee shop, and get some pressing items out of the way.

As I walked into the door I was greeted as if I had been there just yesterday. They looked at me with smiles as if they had been expecting me. At first it confused me. But I thought about it a bit harder, and realized that I was here just yesterday.  The day had put me in such a funk, that I couldn’t even think straight.

Just yesterday I was enjoying the sunshine with a cup of coffee and a blue berry muffin.

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I slowly began to realize how much better I had felt just a day ago.

I walked up to the counter and ordered a tea and a waffle. I wasn’t sure if it was the right choice at first, but after my first bite into the buttery sweet crispy waffle my day began to suddenly change.
Who would have thought that a waffle and tea could do so much?

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With each and every bite I felt more and more alive.

I threw open my laptop screen and started gently pressing on the brightly lit keys and was suddenly taken back to times I had forgotten. As I clicked the button written, “Older” on the screen I swiftly went back in time. As I looked back on my blogs from the past I couldn’t help but reminisce on good times with old friends. Many of which are now following this blog as well. (I thank you all for your continued friendship and support. It means a lot to me)

Slowly I came more and more alive.
Until now.
Now looking back, I can’t even imagine how I was feeling earlier in the day.

As everything in life, feelings and emotions are ever-changing and forever transient.

I shall now end this post with a quote that I feel not only is relevant to this post, but to life in general.

 

 

“Neither anger not fury shall find lodgment in your mind and all your actions shall be marked with calm deliberation”