Bangkok.

I can literally feel the heartbeat of Bangkok pulsating. Despite having spent merely one day in this city, I feel myself falling in love with Bangkok’s charm.

We arrived around 1am this morning and took a metered taxi into the city. Two tolls and a good half hour later, we found ourselves smack in the middle of Potpong, Bangkok’s notorious red light district. After check-in at Wall Street Inn, we headed out to get our first taste of Bangkok. Needless to say, at 3am in the morning we took in quite a few interesting sights from back alley clubs and topless pool rooms. Even though all go-go bars are technically supposed to close at 1am sharp, clearly other forms of nightlife blaze on throughout the night. Quite the experience.

Today has been a hectic but amazing. We started off our journey touring the beautiful Wat Pho and camwhoring with the amazing reclining buddha, then wandered around the local street markets. We paid the whopping 3 baht fee to ferry over to the unique Wat Arun, where we slurped down two of the most amazing coconuts I’ve ever devoured.

After a express boat and long taxi ride, we made it to the Cabbages and Condoms themed restaurant for lunch. Will update more about our spectacular lunchtime experience, since only the pictures can do it justice.

The rest of the afternoon was devoted to Siam Square and its amazing malls/street markets The people, the food, the prices…I loved it. That famous Thai smile was everywhere, and despite the language barrier I had a blast making wierd motions to communicate. I snatched up quite a few bargain buys from the street markets, and gained even more memorable experiences. I loved the malls, especially food court food!!! Especially MBK, where the5th floor International Food Court offers every foreign visitor a free cup of delicious Thai tea. Sweet!

I am typing up this post from a random Hong Kong noodle in Hua Lamphong. In a half hour or so, we shall hop on a sleeper train to Chiang Mai.

Bangkok, I will be back. (on Monday).

M

Getting My Adventure Face On.

When I rolled out of bed this morning with 3.5 minutes to spare for the shuttle, I felt nothing farther from adventurous…all I wanted to explore was the cozy depths of my hot pink comforter. With crazy hair that I proceeded to make even crazier with a failed ponytail, sweatpants, my comfy HKU Business & Economics sweatshirt thrown over my PJ top, and zero makeup, I was quite the attractive beauty. Blerrrrrgghh..

At least my floormate Paula and I made the shuttle. After a nice chat with Paula about HKU in comparison to her Dutch home university, I strolled into my Globalization & World Order tutorial, particpated once, and proceeed to pass out with my eyes open for the rest of tutorial. After tutorial, my pink comforter was calling my name, so I made a fair swap of lunch and bedtime. I burrowed deep into my covers, all warm and fuzzy, and caught up on beauty sleep. When I woke up (naturally, hallelujah!), I felt recharged.

Then it was time to pack…for THAILAND!

Tonight, K & I will meet up with my bestie Andrea at HK Airport, pig out on Tsui Wah, and head to Bangkok. I am so excited! 🙂 🙂 🙂

Woohoo! It even kind of looks like me!

After sending out a few enquiries on travel packages, the wording on one reply we got on elephant rides cracked me up.

90min elephant ride (based on two people sharing an elephant)
* If you body is quite big “might single person on an elephant surcharge” so that you do not share the elephant, it is an extra 800 baht
If you are extra/very large it may not be possible to fit 2 people on 1 elephant. In this case there may be a surcharge.

K is still butthurt about the time we ziplined in Hainan and he was rejected since the worker insisted he was over the weight limit (although he wasn’t) and would break their cords. Awwww!

Stay tuned!

M

How do you define Happiness?

I’ve always wondered about the definition of happiness. There are billions of quotes and different definitions of happiness strewn all over the internet & canons of literature, but I’ve struggled to find that one perfect definition. Today, I still don’t know if there is such a thing.

What I do know is, happiness is when I chow down on a curry beef bread bowl from the Mongkok Cooked Food Market, happily slurp up the boba in my Come Buy Pearl Milk Tea, chomp obnoxiously on flaming hot cheetos, nom-nom on Cheeseboard pizza, or devour a hearty Chipotle Steak Fajita Burrito Bowl. Basically, whenever I eat yummy foods. But there’s more: I’m happy when I sing, read a good book or watch a funny movie, chat up a storm with my dear friends, blog, and when I’m with my boyfriend K.

I’ve never written directly about happiness because something about expressing it directly in words just feels a bit…cheesy. But cheesy or not, I felt like today’s post should be dedicated to happiness.

Yesterday night will always be a stamp of happiness in my memory bank. I don’t know how I got so lucky to be so loved and cherished by someone special.

Thank you for the delicious dinner at Linguini Fini, the beautiful escape from ghetto college dorm with the butterfly room at Hop Inn, the romantic stroll around TST, the beautiful Tiffany’s necklace, and the amazing film you made that rendered me absolutely speechless. Thank you for the 40923849038 buns we greedily picked up this morning at my favorite Panache Bakery, and I am so looking to devour every single one tonight for din din with you. 

Piggy Potatoheads, Year 1.

M

1 Year Anniversary!

Today marks the 1 year anniversary for my boyfriend K & I.To some people, one year might seem short, while to others, that seems like forever. For me, its a personal milestone. To have grown together, travelled around Asia together, come halfway across the world to study abroad in Hong Kong together, and be so close to someone, is truly a blessing.

@ My Favorite French Restaurant La Bergerie in SF

Santa Cruz Boardwalk, Summer 2011

Hangzhou, China

LKF, Hong Kong

200+Flavor Ice Cream Factory, Vancouver Canada

Kiss Cam @ Xi Men Ding. Taipei, Taiwan.

Window of the World, Shenzhen China

Thank you for teaching me patience, unconditional trust, loyalty, and love. Happy Anniversary Mr. Potatohead, and here’s to many more!

M

Running around like a (Effective) Headless Chicken

Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.

Well, that was an awkward transition from the title to such a deep quote by Albert Einstein. Or you would think. As much as I would have loved to retain my knowledge on international business tariffs, multivariable calculus and Caribbean Slave History, I realized the day after final exams that would just be wishful thinking. However, what I did learn from the last 3.5 years of college was precisely, how to run around like a headless chicken. In the last 2 years, I have become so skilled in the art of headless chicken running that I’ve actually managed to become effective under the guise of being flustered, overbooked, and constantly juggling different responsibilities. In fact, as much as I don’t want to admit it, I’ve thrived on multitasking and rarely saying no to any opportunity that came my way. While I definitely hope to add a taste of gracefulness in time for work (perhaps upgrade to headed chicken?), the image of a running headless chicken is very me.

For the first time in a long time, I felt that familiar adrenaline gushing through me as I powered through multiple concurrent meetings, quick canteen lunch with K, a movie shooting for my Management class, a discussion on gay clubbing and interview questions with my Sex & Intimacy Group, and a billion other errands, all the while typing up my 8 page essay for Globalization and World Order due tonight at 11:59 PM. Oh, and I officially joined the HKU Business and Economics Association. I feel so cool now with my spiffy Business & Economics sweatshirt and “privileged card” (apparently scores me sweet discounts at restaurants around campus).

My Welcome Bag. So Fancy!!!

Harro!

I rewarded myself by treating myself to a delicious burger at Freshness Burger, with waffle fries and CHEESE BALLS! I looveeeee cheese balls, and these were oozing with cheesy goodness. So satisfying.

After cheesy goodness, it was riding the most turbulent 22s minibus I’ve ever had the misfortune to wobble about on (the driver resembled and acted like a headless chicken too…I guess that makes two of us?). As soon as I plopped down on my bed, it was back to pounding out that essay. Normally I would have BS-ed a humanities essay in no time, but our tricky professor requires at least 8 cross references and comparisons to our book of choice, which meant I needed to actual go back and complete all the readings to find parallels. Fun fun fun. At least now I am enlightened on the stupidity of the IMF & World Bank, as well as the underlying forces that contributed respectively to the East Asian, Russian and Argentine Crises.

Tomorrow is a very special day, and I’m so excited to celebrate this milestone with a special someone. Stay tuned!

M

Central Escapades & Hunger Games [UPDATED w Pics!]

The first half of today was dedicated to being a good student and reading various publications on the IMF and World Bank, interlaced with intermittent planning of my trip to Bangkok & Chiang Mai. At 3, we finally went for lunch at our favorite Queen Mary’s hospital canteen, meeting up with Vincent. There’s a possibility that I might go with him to Vietnam for RRR week! Halong Bay, Danang, Saigon…If I don’t go now, I don’t know when I’ll have the chance next time. Plus, it will be special to Vincent as his first trip to find his roots. You only live once.

At 4, we met up with Mandy, Jean, John and Sed to go shooting around Central. In Mandy’s words, we wanted to capture the raw Hong Kong. Especially in the wake of the political protests going on over the controversial elections, it made for a suitable day to capture that rawness.

We snapped pictures all over Central, from the IFC rooftop, Midlevels, to Soho. Then, we took the 4x to Sai Wan Central Court, eventually wandering into WSJ-acclaimed Ling Heung Kui for a nice dinner of goose, black pepper beef, and buns. Albeit a little pricey (50 HKD per person), it was a delicious meal. I will upload some pictures soon!

After taxiing to the IFC with Jean & Mandy, K and I are relaxing on the rooftop, enjoying the gorgeous night views of Kowloon waiting for our 9 45 Hunger Games showing.

I’ll admit it, this city is really growing on me.

Focus.

Shadows. Swinging Chairs atop IFC. Black & White Iphone Pics

HK Street Art.

Fresh Food Market

Candid. @ Lin Heung Kui

When I look up

And by the way, Hunger Games was an intense & captivating movie. I haven’t watched a bad movie in Hong Kong yet!

M

Life as a Student

For the first time in I don’t even know how long, I stayed home all day and dutifully played the part of a studious HKU exchange students. With all the distractions both in Hong Kong and around Asia, sometimes I forget my primary reason for being here.

I started my day with a wholesome breakfast of yummy Chinese oatmeal, settled down in a comfortable position on my bed, and proceeded to lose myself in Joseph E. Stiglitz’s highly controversial Globalization & Its Discontents, among other publications of academia. It felt…surprisingly nice.

I stayed productive at a medium-high rate of efficiency up until dinner time, where I opted for some gourmet cuisine at the Queen Mary Hospital Canteen. As I walked to the hospital, I took a moment to look over the balcony at the place I’ve called home for the last 2 months.

Beautiful.

Sometimes, you can really find amazing beauty in the mundane.

M