Tag Archives: travel

Back to America/Almonds

Oh man. I’ve been flying like a crazy person. I’m so tired of traveling. Let’s see, I left Tokyo on May 1 and flew for 10 hours to Los Angeles. I’d like to point out that I lived for two Fridays. Yes. I traveled into the past. See I left Japan on Friday evening then arrived in California on Friday morning! Crazy, right?

The flight would have been great because I love Singapore Airlines but I was stuck next to the stinkiest man I’ve ever had the displeasure of meeting in life. LIFE! Ugh. I didn’t know what to do about it. I considered asking the flight attendant to talk to homeboy, see if he had a clean shirt in his carry-on or if he could go to the bathroom and splash some water on his pits. I consider myself a straight shooter but I didn’t realize how difficult it is to tell a stranger, a foreigner, that they stink to high fucking hell.

Like I said, normally flying on Singapore is great. They served two delicious meals, bring you all kinds of free liquor, give you slipper socks and a toothbrush… I even had significant leg room. Too bad Dr. Stankenstein was next to me. It wasn’t too bad once he sat still and quit stirring up the funk. I was literally covering my face. Speaking of face covering, this fool had the NERVE to put on one of those face masks that Japanese people (and surgeons and those afraid of Swine Flu) be rocking. Oh word? I’M the one who needs to be wearing a mask to guard against YOU! Ugh.

Anyway, I get to LAX where I have a 9 hour layover. With nothing to do and nowhere to go, I just chilled in the terminal from 1pm to 10pm. What did I do in all that time? Had lunch, had dinner. Read. Listened to iPod. Played with my Blackberry. Sat next to an NBA player who was waiting on a delayed Southwest Flight. That shit boggled my mind because recession be damned, I don’t know why homeboy is flying one of the cheapest airlines around AND waiting on that shit to boot!

Finally, I boarded a flight to Philly… 5 hours long. Soon I’ll be in a car for a 2hour drive. I can’t tell you how much I want to just sit still. My body hurts like I’ve been in a fight too.

I’m without computer for a little while so posts will be sparse. Before I go, let me tell you about these damn wasabi and soy sauce flavored almonds I’m eating right now. SERIOUS flavor! Maybe Japan had a bigger influence on me than I thought! Try them if you get a chance though. They’re Blue Diamond brand.

My Japan friends… please send me some Meiji chocolate almonds please. I swear I didn’t even like almonds until I tasted those wonderful things.

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Filed under Routine Ramblings, travel, What kind of fuckery?

That’s so gay!

I don’t understand some people’s fixation over what’s gay or not. Not necessarily WHO is gay, but what. What inspired me to write this was a trip last weekend to the Kanamara Matsuri, also known as the Festival of the Steel Phallus in Kawasaki Daishi, Japan. A brief summary of the festival is necessary, I think.

Kanamara Matsuri is a Shinto festival that has, over the years, grown into a spectacle combining the sacred with the silly. According to the Japanese magazine Metropolis, the festival dates back to the Edo period (1603-1867).

At that time, Kawasaki’s “ladies of the night” prayed not only that business would be brisk, but for protection from syphilis. Come cherry blossom time, they gathered baskets of bamboo shoots and other sprouting delicacies, carried the shrine’s phallic image in procession through the streets, and then sat down to a merry banquet on mats spread out on the courtyard of Kanamara Shrine… Today, the highlights of this saucy festival include transvestites parading through the town’s streets carrying a mikoshi (portable shrine) with a humongous pink phallus on top. And, if that’s not guaranteed to make you blush as deeply as the surrounding cherry blossoms, then the spectacle of grandmas and grandpas sucking on carnal candy and sweetmeat replicas of this stupendous phallus, is more than likely to.

It’s the last part of the description that spawned my annoyance. I traveled to the festival by myself just to take in this scene and, of course, snap some pics. I got there and ran into 3 guys from school so we chatted and kicked it a bit. What was at first a pleasant afternoon became incredibly annoying when all the guys could do was talk about how GAY everything was.

Sure, you don’t see things like that everyday. Grown men don’t just walk around with dildos strapped to their heads. Senior citizens don’t go around brandishing dick-shaped dough and young men and women don’t stand on line for 30 minutes to get their hands on yellow and pink penis pops. Wait, take that back.

See: dildo head and penis pop (lower rt corner)

See: dildo head (center) and penis pop (lower rt corner)

You don’t see things like that everyday when you’re from SC, FL and Jamaica which is where those 3 guys hailed from.

They pointed at one person and another, talking about how the guys were sucking on the lollipops. One of my schoolmates wanted to get something to eat and felt some kind of way about buying a hot dog because, well, we were at a penis festival. One of them wanted a lollipop, but was adamant that it would be gay of him to do so.

Now, I’ve referred to things as gay or ghey before, don’t get me wrong. I’m not on some holier than thou kick. I just don’t get obsessed with trying to point out what’s gay or not. I wonder, does suckin a lollipop shaped like a vagina make me a lesbian? Will I be consumed with a desire to go out and meet a woman, tear off her clothes and lick her box? No.

It was just annoying. I find men who are so fixated on what’s gay or not to be terribly unattractive.  Dude even told me that sucking on a lollipop is gay, period. No matter how the pop is shaped. To make himself clear, he told me that if given a blowpop, he’d bite it as soon as he put it in his mouth. I said, well damn, I guess you should just stick to gum and not lollipops then. It was clear to me that my schoolmates were just uncomfortable being in a setting where men were dressed as women and brazenly participating in the festivities. I’m pretty sure that many of the people who were there were in fact straight, heterosexual people but it was a party, ya know?

Grandmas go hard.

Grandmas go hard.

I always think back to a debate that went on in my boyfriend’s dorm room freshman year of college. He and his buddies were arguing over whether, if one possessed the ability to fellate himself (if you know what I mean) and did so, did that make him gay or was he simply  masturbating? The crux of the debate is whether to focus on having a penis in your mouth (which they said, was gay all the time) or the self-pleasure (which is what masturbation is all about). To this day, I don’t believe they’ve ever settled it. I bring that up because it’s a silly argument and if you knew those guys it would be really funny to you. But I also mention it to highlight the stupidity of such discussions. Like, really dude… maybe you’re gay because you’re spending so much time trying to classify what is and is not gay. Maybe my 3 schoolbuds are gay because they basically spent their afternoon criticizing how other men sucked a lollipop. Doesn’t matter to me though, since they all sound like idiots, regardless of their orientation.

FYI, the shrine in Kawasaki Daishi is real and a place of Shinto prayer and ceremony. The festival helps to celebrate the shrine and to raise money for HIV/AIDS awareness. Can’t be mad at that.


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Filed under I'm Judging You (reviews & criticism), Routine Ramblings, travel

Thailand Adventures, Pt. III

continued from part II

March 19, Krabi: We landed in Krabi and got in yet

On the way to Railay!

On the way to Railay!

another taxi-van to the shore. See, we were staying on west Railay beach and the only way you can get to it is via boat. Railay isn’t an island, it’s more like a peninsula but I think it takes too long to get to overland or maybe it’s just not navigable. The terrain is rather mountainous, hence the area is popular for the rock climbing offered. So we get on a long boat and enjoy a nice ride over to Railay. It’s worth mentioning that on the whole trip we only met a few Americans other than ourselves and the other folks from school who were traveling Thailand. Most of the non-Thai folks were from Germany, Austrailia, the UK and France. We did meet this one American dude who had quit his job and was backpacking southeast Asia, a popular thing to do I guess. We saw him in Samui and he was headed to Railay for rockclimbing. His name was Matt and he shared a cab and the longboat with us.

Anyway we first got to Railay on the east side which, according to the

Our hotel pool & Railay West beach

Our hotel pool & Railay West beach

guidebooks and our own eyes, isn’t as pretty as the west side. Luckily, you can walk from one to the other with no problem. We arrived on the west side at a really nice resort, Railay Bay. Once again, soon after arriving we headed out to the beach, setting up chairs near the pool facing the horizon. If you ever go to Thailand, make it your business to visit Railay West. From there you have access to Krabi, a nice little beachside town and two cool beaches.

We spent the remainder of our trip pretty much exploring the Krabi-Railay area. Three of us spent a morning at Ya’s Cooking School, where a lovely Thai woman named Ya (duh) taught us how to cook DELISH Thai cuisine. Curries, soups, salads, pad thai, stir fry, yumm! Continue reading

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Thailand Adventures, Pt. II

… continued from Part I 

Grounds of our resort, path to the beach

path to the shore!

So we get settled into our beachfront bungalows on Chaweng Beach in Ko Samui. First order of business, get changed into our swimsuits and head to the beach. So the four of us go out, lay out our towels, set up books, ipods, sunscreen, etc. I hang back to watch the stuff while the girls go out and get some waves. After a little while, I was ready to go in so I head out. Well by the time I get out to where two of my friends are, they’re talking about how strong the tide is. I can feel it too. We also notice how we’ve drifted off down shore away from our beach chairs and decide to swim back in that direction. All was good until I was suddenly pretty far away from them. Next thing I know, I can’t swim. It literally felt like I was trying to kick my legs through molasses. Nothing I was doing was really working. I

random yts and the waters that tried to take my soul!

random yts and the waters that tried to take my soul!

had taken in some water and it was SUPER salty. So salty that it burned my chest and made it impossible to take any subsequent deep breaths. Ok. So I’m out here in the ocean with no lifeguards, I can’t swim against the tide, I can’t take any significant breath, I even tried to relax and let the waves carry me back to shore but they only crashed over my head causing me to flounder and start over again. Damn. I was DROWNING! At that point, I called out to my girl L like, “you have to come get me!” She kind of paused and looked at me funny so I said it again, “No joke, come get me, I can’t!” Then another wave crashed. She was the closest person to me even though she wasn’t really close at all. Thankfully she was able to swim to me and I relaxed enough to let her drag me close enough to the beach so I could walk back in. I don’t think I can convey how fucking freaky it was to almost drown. FYI, I can swim. You can’t graduate from UNC without being able to pass a swim test so it’s verified. LOL. Those waters were just too much! Continue reading

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Thailand Adventures, pt I

I had a fabulous time in Thailand. They say it’s the ‘Land of Smiles’ and for the most part, I’d say they were right. I smiled a lot while I was there and the local people were always cracking jokes and laughing, albeit at our expense most of the time. It’s taken me quite some time to get around to writing this recap, with my computer troubles and winding down from the vacay and all. Sorry peeps. So, understandably, things fade from memory and all of the witty and great things I planned to write about have kind of disappeared from my mind. Still, it seems like this entry is going to be a two-parter.

March 14th, Depart Tokyo/Arrive in Bangkok: My 3 travel buddies and I met up at Narita Airport in Japan to catch our flight to Bangkok. The flight was long, about 7 hours as I recall, but I had the opportunity to watch some movies I had missed (Secret Life of Bees and Australia). The good thing about international flights is that they give you booze just like they’d give you water, ya know. None of that pay to play bullshit like they have on US domestic flights. So

TKY to BKK

TKY to BKK

you know being the lush I am, I had to take part. I had about 4 mini bottles of red wine.

Bottle #1

Bottle #1

Mini is kind of a misstatement, because you could get a few glasses out of ’em. I think we were approaching our limit though because one of the lovely ANA (All Niipon Airways) flight attendants asked us if we could ‘hold our alcohol’ before bringing us our last bottle. Don’t judge me lady!

Finally, we landed in Bangkok and waited at baggage claim forever. Suvarnabhumi Airport is not very expeditious, FYI. I think it was somewhere around 11pm. Anyway, we head straight to our hotel, the Fraser Suites which we booked at the corporate rate thanks to my boy Matt. Matt has a popular bar in  Bangkok called QBar. Check it out if you get a chance. Also check out the Fraser because it was BEAUTIFUL! We had a connecting suite that we only got to enjoy for one night because of our hectic schedule. While in the city that evening, we stopped by QBar of course for some drinks. Then we met up with a couple of girlfriends from school and headed over to Khao San Road. Um, don’t go to Khoa San Rd. It’s full of dirty backpacker people and if you’re reading this, chances are you’re too bourgie for all of that. Then again, I’m

Could a face like that give you the runs?

Could a face like that give you the runs?

kind of glad we went just to say we did. We basically rolled down the street then rolled back up, stopping for some Thai street food. Now, everyone tells you NOT to eat the street food because you could be signing up for some hellish diarrhea or worse, but we were hungry and the lady looked nice! Street pad thai isn’t so bad and no one had the runs! BONUS!

Eventually, we retired back to our sweet room at the Fraser, after trying some crab flavored Lays and guzzling bottled water. Continue reading

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Patience

Hey friends,

I’m taking a little time to get myself settled in my new place. If you don’t know, I’m in Tokyo, Japan for the next five months. I’m still going to be back here at Bourgie Adventures, especially when school starts next week. I need something to occupy myself during class!

If you want to check out my ramblings about Tokyo, you can check out my other blog, Hello Kia!

Sayonara babes!

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