My Mother Would Not Approve…

When I was a child, and all throughout my teenage years, my parents instilled in me that if ever I was in a situation where ‘mom n’ dad’ would think it unsafe, that I should leave or stop what I’m doing. To be honest these words of advice have managed to keep me out of a lot of trouble and have given me, for the most part, a healthy conscience.
..Until I moved to Thailand. Most of what takes place here and what I do, my mother would not approve of.
Sometimes you don’t realise how truly sketchy something is until it’s too late and already happening. My mother’s face literally flashed before my eyes in disapproval as I was sitting in the middle of two other people on the back of a motorbike going up pitch-dark mountain roads to get to a full-moon party this weekend. The guy behind me was 6’2, I’m 6’1 and the girl driving was quite tall as well. With nowhere to put my feet, I had to flex my thighs for twenty minutes to keep my feet from dangling too close to the ground. Did I mention the motorbike was barely making it up the hills? We all had to lean forward and I had to hold on to the guy’s thighs behind me, Ron, for dear life.
But we made it to the party! And saw some amazing stars on the way from it being so dark.
On the way back, I think from the amount of weight we had on the motorbike a few hours prior, the back tire went flat.
I thought we were going to have to walk home, without Ron this time, but my friend driving said “Nah girl, get on. We’ll drive slowly”. So there we were, in the middle of nowhere in the pitch dark mountains of Thailand, alone, with a flat tire and still managing to drive back over hills and turns to our motel. We were driving at a snail’s pace and we were able to talk about our favorite places to visit in Thailand the whole way back. I was impressed at how smoothly we were handling the situation.
When we pulled up to the motel, our friends thought we were heavily intoxicated because of how wobbly the motorbike was from the flat tire.
The next morning, I found myself awake before everyone else, as is the norm. I got up, went outside, and drank some water and read my e-book that I can never seem to ever finish, The Great Gatsby. Around 9:00AM I started getting antsy and decided to go on a coffee search up the road.
As I slowly made my way, I noticed that nothing was open, so I turned around, disappointed, and decided to walk back to the motel. There were three Thai men sitting at a table drinking beer as I walked by the closed coffee shops. They were laughing and listening to music and said hello. They asked me what I was looking for and they found someone to open up the shop for me to get an iced coffee. I thought to myself, how kind! When I paid for my coffee one of the men waved and said ‘friend! Sit!’.
I was slightly reluctant but smiled and sat anyway.
They offered me beer and I accepted. It was 9:30 AM in the morning but hey, whatever.
For the next hour we shared beer and cigarettes and serenated each other with songs from Adele, Maroon 5 and Beyoncé. It was incredibly random and absolutely wonderful. We both knew very little of each other’s language but it didn’t stop us from spending time and laughing together.
They were drinking because they were waiting for a bus and had a 4 hour drive ahead of them. Their plan was to visit a city called Udon Thani and they invited me along. To be honest, I was tempted! But I explained that I had plans with my friends that were still asleep.
When my group of friends  went their separate ways for the day, me and another girl decided to stop for some lunch on or way back because it started pouring rain. Motorbikes, mountain roads and monsoon-like rain are not a good combination. We had plans to go visit a temple but were now unsure with the sudden weather change. After lunch we were getting ready to leave and it started to downpour rain again. So, we sat our asses back down and cracked open a beer. We sat there in a quaint Thai restaurant and talked for over three hours until the rain subsided and then finally continued on get back home to Phetchabun.


What a crazy weekend. There is some more to this story but I won’t bore the world with all the details.
At the end of the day I was very entertained with how the mishaps of the weekend were what made room for the most wonderful and memorable moments. Maybe as in life in general, but I find myself reflecting on how a person absolutely has to be willing to roll with the punches, have an open heart, and appreciate the little things to live in Thailand and get the most out of it.
Even if more often than not, my mother would disapprove ;).

The Little Things

I’m still working on my confidence to write longer posts. So for now, they might be limited to lists and photos.

With that aside, I want to briefly talk about the little things. They have always mattered to me and I’m very aware of them. Living abroad has a lot of challenges but here are some little things that make me happy and grateful on almost a daily basis.

Such as..

1. The constant, incredible sunrises and sunsets.
2. My free time. I have a lot of valuable time to myself that I cherish to be able to reflect and remain productive and creative
3. Finding Scooby-Doo or Looney-Toons on Thai cable TV and watching it anyway despite not understanding the words

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Thai Looney-Tunes

4. When another teacher gives me candy because they bought a bunch for their students
5. Having my neighbours ask me to sit down and hang out with them. It’s not always easy to connect with people with such a heavy language barrier.

Friday Night Hangout.
The neighbours feeidng me! 🙂

6. Finding food under 100 baht that I actually want to eat. I’m still adapting to Thai food and western food is triple in price

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Spicy fried chicken. Delicious and 30 baht. SCORE!

7. Finding mango and sticky rice from a street vendor
8. Devouring such mango and sticky rice
9. Having some other, usually Thai person, cut the mango for me, as I am truly inept with a sharp knife
10. Coming home once a week to my apartment having been cleaned by the landlady
11. Noticing that my own cleaning is paying off, as there are less ants crawling around my apartment. (They used to be in my bed).
12. Being told last minute that it’s a long weekend. This happens quite often, there are many holidays in Thailand.

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Long weekend adventures in Loei with some new friends

13. Seeing my students in a grocery store and having them say hi to me excitedly 
14. Checking myself for strange rashes and realising there are none! (I had a skin infection for over a month, it was f*cking terrible)
15. Feeling like a champ when I do something new in class and it works. There are just as many if not more times where the opposite happens!
16. Kids hugging me to the point of almost suffocation. 🙂

What little things brighten your day?

P.s -> Random titbit:

My friends that were born and raised in Thailand told me that when they were children, there was a story that parents and teachers would tell them about the moon. The story was about a rabbit because in Thailand, the dark spots that are seen on the moon look like a rabbit. The neat part of this is that the moon in Canada, where I’m from, is seen from a different angle, so the moon has never had a rabbit on it for me!

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Rabbit Moon in Thailand
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Moon seen from Canada

 

 

 

Start a Blog. Check!

Hey folks,

I’m Jennifer, I’m 25 years young on the 24h of February.

I was born in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and spent 10 years in Alberta, Canada. I have very strong ties to the prairies, mountains and ocean.

About 8 months ago I left a relationship, quit my job, and decided to go overseas to teach English in Thailand. It has truly been the adventure and challenge of a lifetime and I can only imagine what the future holds for me.

I’ve been wanting to start a blog for a long time but never got around to it. Being abroad has taught me a lot about myself and how to take initiative. So this is me, taking initiative with a blog!

This blog is about travel but it’s also simply about my life and the observations I make on a weekly basis. Food, philanthropy, culture, language and art are all things I’m passionate about and plan to write about here. I hope you enjoy being part of the journey, and thanks for stopping by :).