The Bamboo Saxophone Saga

Due to surprise content, this post was postponed, aka the quest for my boyfriend’s Christmas/birthday present.

I first stumbled on the video on Facebook. One of my friends had liked it. It was of a man who made bamboo saxophones. I knew someone who would like a handmade bamboo saxophone very much. Continue reading

Purple Suitcase Problem

After visiting me and spending the weekend in Bangkok, Jessica’s plan was to continue on to Cambodia for a week before meeting up in Shanghai. She had just come from several weeks in the US so she had extra luggage she did not want to lug to Cambodia. She asked if she could leave it with me and if I could bring it to China for her. Like a good friend, I agreed, little did I know… Continue reading

Pink Restaurant

I had to go into Bangkok the Friday before my Saturday flight to pick up my Chinese visa. It was a surprisingly painless process, given the amount of trouble I went through to submit my application. I was in and out in about 15 minutes. Just like that I have a ten year multiple entry visa into China.  Continue reading

Dynamic Duo in Bangkok

Jessica and I met in Bangkok for the weekend after she had problems submitting my visa application. The first time we were in Bangkok about two years ago we were just there in transit; this time we decided to tour the highlights, as in some temples and the giant weekend market.  Continue reading

Chinese Visa Issues

My half term break trip to Shanghai, China started with the joy of obtaining a Chinese visa. Getting a Chinese visa is almost as fun as getting a Thai visa and work permit. Both countries require stacks of paperwork and for all my Thai documents I had to sign every page (your hand starts to cramp after you sign 7 pages of contracts, 2 pages of diploma, and 4 pages of passport pages, all that times three). For the Chinese visa I needed the application form, a photo, a copy of my passport with all my Thai immigration stamps, a copy of my Thai work permit, a copy of my latest Chinese visa (along with the data page of my old passport), round trip flight reservations, hotel reservations, and your passport so they can put the visa in it. China does not mess around.  Continue reading

Sweets in Bangkok: Round 2

At the end of the original Sweets in Bangkok post, I mentioned I had a list of places I wanted to try out while in Bangkok. This past weekend I had to go to Bangkok to renew my passport at the US embassy; which gave me the perfect opportunity to go sightseeing and eat fun desserts. One of the best parts about this adventure, besides the really great desserts, is I get to see parts of Bangkok I never would have seen otherwise. Continue reading

Ko Kret

Khao San road is quite popular with backpackers traveling through Bangkok. You can find everything your local Southeast Asia backpacker could need: restaurants, clubs and bars, souvenir shops, tattoo parlors, massage parlors, tailors, tour companies, etc. As much as I enjoy going to Khao San road to get a massage at a place where I can get a 2-hour Swedish oil massage for $20, some people do not realize there is more to Bangkok than that area. Continue reading

Sweets in Bangkok

I have a sweet tooth; it is a fact of life. One thing I have noticed on my travels in Asia is that sweets are different abroad. Dessert is not a common thing, but sometimes fresh fruit is served in place of sweets for a dessert. Cakes are different too. They are more spongey and the frosting is light and whipped; they are not as filling as cakes in America. Cookies are practically non-existent outside packaged cookies at 7-11 (though there are little packages of 5 baht cookies that really hit the spot, the lemon ones are the best). Recently, I have had experiences with two divine desserts in Bangkok. Continue reading

Visa Run: Cambodia 

Visas in Thailand are tricky things. My work visa expired March 31, if I wanted to keep traveling beyond that date I had to leave the country and renter with a 30 day tourist visa. I arrived in Bangkok on March 30; I knew I had to leave the country the next day and I wanted to go to Cambodia but I just didn’t know how. I had heard rumors of a bus that went directly from Bangkok to Angkor Wat, which sounded like exactly what I needed. Upon further research, I was very confused and realized I did not know the first thing about getting to Cambodia and that I was grossly underprepared.  Continue reading

All That Glitters

Finals season is upon us! I have not been writing blog posts because I have been writing finals. I told myself that I would do nothing until my finals were written, no reading, no writing, nothing until I had finished my exams. There was a lot of staring at a blank page on the computer screen. Writing multiple-choice exams is very difficult; there is a gap between what I think the students should be able to do, what the school thinks the students should be able to do, and what the students can actually do. In addition, the school had me write a 50 question multiple-choice exam for incoming M1 students in the English Program. It was a nightmare to write, again because of the me-school-student gap. I added readings from Harry Potter and some Finding Nemo references, because writing exams is boring. Continue reading