Friday, March 30, 2012

"Q: What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
 A: Giving up."

answered by rachel maddow in the april 2012 issue of vanity fair.
i can't imagine receiving any better mail than packages of great reading material. seriously---unless puppies are somehow ever delivered in manilla envelopes or cut-up paper shopping bags, great reading material is on the top of my list.

the first package that arrived early in the week was from my friend john in nyc, which i am so extremely grateful for---thanks again john for the letter and literary magazines. the second was from my friend in korea, gwi-ran noona, who is one of the friends that i went to cambodia with last year. besides the korean magazines she so kindly sends me on occasion, this time she also included printed photos of our trip, with one of them in a frame. i was flipping through one of the korean elles she had sent, and noticed a post-it with a note. then i continued flipping and saw a photo of this seahorse opposite to an anna sui ad, and immediately thought of my friend judy back in nyc. 

full-circle moments like these are so humbling and getting these packages were the most engaging forms of human interaction i've had all week here in bangkok.









"We can rise so high 
Above the great divided sky 
We can make ourselves believe 
We know the reasons why."

from the song, rise, by anything box.

i was on the MRT earlier today feeling annoyed about a nearby commuter when this anything box song above started playing in my iPod and chilled me out.

God sure does talk to us in mysterious ways.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

"We make it tiny... Life is big. And we have it now. I mean, this is it. So let's do it."

author tony morrison in oprah's 20th anniversary DVD collection
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Thursday, March 22, 2012

i lost my wallet on tuesday, and by the evening's end, i had pretty much accepted it and let the wallet go.

this was a wallet that i asked my parents to buy me after getting into college, and i've been using it ever since. after i realized it wasn't in my bag late tuesday afternoon, i tried to figure out where or how i could've misplaced it, but i just couldn't determine how it happened. i didn't have much money in it, but having to get a new driver's license from nyc and replacing everything else would have been nearly impossible from thailand. i normally don't lose or misplace stuff too often, so i figured that i lost it for a reason, and relinquished it from my life and forced myself to move on because dwelling would get me nowhere. i even rationalized everything by telling myself that it was better that i lost it in bangkok rather than in malaysia last week, because that would have been a nightmare.

then late tuesday night, i received an unexpected phone call from my building's office, and was informed that someone had called about finding my wallet. i couldn't believe it because i had already let go of the idea of ever seeing it again and just wanted to forget about my carelessness. i never would have known it, but i ended up dropping my wallet on the bus and since i had my building's card in it, the person who found it called and was able to track me down.

it's thursday night now, and i came home to a package waiting for me. lo and behold, i've been reunited with my good old wallet. all of its contents are still intact as well, and i feel EXTREMELY humbled and grateful for the way all this has worked out. i feel so lucky to have had it discovered by the person who found it because let's be real, bangkok city buses consist of a wide array of straphangers, and not everyone would have been so honest about it.

i'm a firm believer in karma, and always try to live my life accordingly. i'm not sure if having my wallet returned to me was a result of me always striving to make honorable decisions or if it means that i am indebted to the karma gods indefinitely. but nevertheless, i will absolutely try to continue on the cycle of good deeds.

all of this happening reminds me of an anne frank quote, "...in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart."

yes, anne---you are so very right.



Tuesday, March 20, 2012

i returned to bangkok from penang yesterday evening, and thankfully it didn't take me a full 24-hours to do so. instead of riding the train back, i purchased an airplane ticket and opted to budget more carefully throughout my trip.

as for my trip itself, while the main reason of me going to penang was to acquire a new visa at the thai embassy, i still had a blast and consider my stay one of the best vacations of my life. i've never really been a beach person because i get quite bored and could give less than two fucks about tanning, but something in penang had me wanting to just lay out in the sun all day. i think i got pretty lucky too because the few days that i was there happened to be the end of a long holiday week for malaysian students, and therefore the island seemed really empty. what i did notice the most were families out together, and i learned from a local that that's how most people spend time for the holiday.

for anyone who has considered going to penang, i definitely recommend checking out the island. the food was amazing and inexpensive, the weather was beautiful, and the people were friendly. the most popular area of penang is George Town, which is an alluring old colonial town that was declared a world heritage sight by UNESCO. it hasn't been very long since UNESCO gave George Town such an esteemed honor, so a lot of the property there seemed to be in the midst of transition and renovation, but i still really enjoyed exploring the neighborhood. another thing i especially enjoyed about penang was the fact that the public buses on the island went to most of the places i needed to go to, so it was convenient getting around. that's not to say though that i didn't have moments of cursing under my breath because the bus sometimes took forever haha.

here are some (or actually too many) photos from my trip. the very first one is of me at bangkok's hua lamphong train station, which i like to think was taken poorly by a random stranger as an auspicious indication of my trip to come.