Friday, December 16, 2011

Scottish Men

Scottish men have so far been total dip shits.  I am now going to transpose an actual text message conversation that I had with one last night to give an example. 

Our young subjects name is going to be kept confidential, so I will call him D. Ouche.  I met D. Ouche at a friends party and he seemed nice, chatty, and generally ok. After exchanging numbers and receiving a few boring, "sup?" texts, the following conversation transpired on a boozey friday night...

D. Ouche- "What are you doing?"
Me- "Celebrating."
D.Ouche- "I thought you had a party?"
Me- "I did, we are after partying."
D. Ouche- "Oh right so where are you now"
D. Ouche- "No chat then?"
D. Ouche- "you are very quiet"
Me- "I. Im drunk. I'll talk to you later."
D. Ouche- "Really. Where are you?"
D. ouche- "Well you still there?"
D. Ouche- "So where are you?"
Me- "your momz house"
D. Ouche-"What are you talking about?"
Me- "Willis"
D. Ouche- "Yeah willis. So what then?"
D. Ouche- "what are you up to?"
Me- "I'm having tea with your mom. She's got the kettle on."
D. Ouche- "What the hell are you talking about? So you feeling good then?"
D. Ouche- "You still there?"
Me- "Your mom makes a great cuppa."
D. Ouche- "What the fuck are you goinng on about?
D. Ouche-"well"
D. Ouche-"Anything to say?"
Me- "yes. so many things. Manchester. Kernel. Blend."
D. Ouche- "Ok you have lost me? Where are you really?"
me- "Gandolf"
D. Ouche- "can you just tell me"
me- "soup town. soupton."
D. Ouche-"Are you horny?"
D. Ouche-"what"
D. Ouche-"well"
me- "ahhhhhh. dip shits. how do they find me?"
D. Ouche-"what dip shits?"
me- "you know"
D. Ouche- "no I don't know what you mean"
me- "power hour. Shower. tower. glower."
D. Ouche- "Why are you saying weird things? Are you not horny?"
Me- "nnnnnnoooooooiiiooooooooooiiooooooooooooo"
D. Ouche- "How come no then?"
Me- "you're a duck." (side note: I meant to write "dick" but got auto-corrected).
D. Ouche- "You are so quiet."
me- "You are stupid."
D. Ouche- "How am I duck? Why am I stupid?"
D. Ouche-" well are you going to tell me?"
D. Ouche- "Whatever"
me- "you're a liar and you think  i don't know what uoure alla bout."
me- "but i know."
D. Ouche- "haha ok then how am i liar?"
D. Ouche- "what are you saying?"
D. Ouche- " go on explain."
D. Ouche- "what do you know"
D. Ouche- "what"
then I get about 8 more messages of him begging to talk to me. If anything I've learned that the meaner I am to a boy the more he wants me.  I've decided that men are either attracted to crazy women or bitchy women. I'm having a hard time deciding which one i should start being. Crazy might be easier as its my natural inclination until someone pisses me off. I don't think  I'm the right kind of crazy though. I'll experiment and let everyone know what works.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Home Sweet Home

Would it be totally lame if I quoted song lyrics in this blog?  I'm pretty sure it would be lame. I'm not an ironic hipster, and I'm not an artistic poet so I can't really pull it off either way. I'll just say I've been enjoying sleeping at last lately. Their songs are a little bit heavy on similes but otherwise nice and good for the weather we've been experiencing.

I'm super excited about Christmas this year for 2 reasons. 

Reason 1:  IT MIGHT SNOW. It will be my 2nd ever white Christmas. The first was when it snowed in Corpus for the first time in a thousand years and some guy had a stroke of Genius and sold the snow on ebay for $6000 or so.  This time there will be more snow, and it will probably last more than 2 days. 

Reason 2: I WILL BE IN NORTHERN IRELAND.  My delightful friend Arlene invited me to spend Christmas with her in Bally castle, right near the Giants Causeway; which consequently is on my bucket list of places to see.  There's also a night in Belfast in the works as well as possibly meeting some other northern Irish friends. 

Giants Causeway

And now for some serious stuff.

“The foolish person seeks happiness in the distance; the wise person grows it under their feet.” -James Oppenheim

I have moved every three or four months for the past 3 years.  It started as a way to have a little adventure and excitement. I like a change of pace sometimes.  My constant travel quickly became an expensive and ultimately useless coping mechanism. If I didn't like myself, or my life, I'd just walk away and start  over. It has taken me 27 years to realize I can't run away from myself. It doesn't matter where I go.  A new place doesn't make a new me.  In the end I'm just the same girl in a new a country and its just a matter of time (usually about 3 months) before I fall into my same old patterns. Which I hate. I am only just realizing this, though it must be painfully obvious to everyone else. I am here for the next 2 years.  The last  couple of weeks have been exceptionally hard on me because I was beginning to feel the need to get away from myself. But I can't. I have commitments, I have loans!  So I suppose I am either going to have to deal with this-or get exceptionally fat as my other coping mechanism is something I like to call "escapism through cheese and carbs." So I have some work cut out for me.  I'm not going to lie-it feels a bit like hopeless mission. I've never turned down a self made challenge though, and I don't intend to start now. Damn me and my goals.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sheer boredom

So I should be doing research for my essay but instead I'm looking up words in the urban dictionary. Being the narcisist that I am, of course I looked at my name first. Here is the definition I find most fitting of "Jessie."

Jessie 91 up, 36 down

Jessie is a sex goddess. Boys and Girls bow down to her feet as she passes. If she speaks to you, you will be blessed for life.

She is sex on legs and a genius on two feet all in one. everyone wants a piece of Jessie, but only one man can look into her eyes and see the true sensitive, wise, selfless person she is inside. Many men just see Jessie and want to fuck her, but Jessie's man sees so much more.
Jessie is Hebrew for "gift" because the holy Almighty put her on this planet not only as eye candy for the rest of the pitiful simpletons, but also to bring peace and love to the planet.
You will not believe it, but Jessie spoke to me today. Her words were like a song to my ears.
The funniest one is number 7. Its about stardust and flames. Pretty good stuff.

So being a student again I've reverted right back to my old ways of procrastination and stress.  My study foods have changed though.  It used to be triscuts and cheese or microwave chicken. Now its tuc crackers and whatever spread is on sale, or tea and biscuits.  Either way I'm probably getting fatter as I type. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Letter to "the man"

Dear Royal Bank of Scotland,
I have a few suggestions for improving the customer service of your business.  I hope that you are able to take a few moments to hear some simple, cost effective, efficient solutions to a few major issues affecting both your bank employees and the customers whom you serve.

Firstly, I would just like to inform you that you either have trained monkey's, idiot savants, or robots (sans artificial intelligence) working in all of your bank branches.  I understand why proof of address and proof of ID are necessary.  I'm even willing to jump through a few hoops to provide you with a few different ways to prove who I am and where I live, but the "people" you have working for you are so terrified?  Stupid? incapable of logic and reason?  That they won't even take a VALID PASSPORT as proof of ID.  I understand that you want to make sure that those of us claiming to be students are actually students, but not having my student ID card, but still presenting you with a) a Visa valid for 2 years b)a letter from the University on Uni letterhead and c) A Loan statement from the US and Scottish Governments should be efffing proof enough.

Secondly, stop telling people that they can expect their debit cards in "3-5 buisness days."  I waited 3 weeks for mine, called your bank, had the one that had been delivered cancelled, and had one resent to a bank branch. It has now been about 2 weeks...or 10 buisness days, and still I have received no debit card.  If you had been truthful in the first place then maybe we both could have saved ourselves some time and effort, and I could have used the debit card that showed up 3 days after I cancelled it. 

Finally, please tell people to go online and register for digital banking immediately instead of having them wait for 5 weeks for a letter in the mail that is totally unnecessary because the effing code that we are waiting on is just freaking handed to us during "registration" and then we have to wait another 4 effing months for the registration code to come in the effing snail mail.  EMAIL PEOPLE.  If you're going to let bureaucracy run your life at least do it efficiently.

Please know that if there was another bank in this country that I could use, I would. I will never reccomend your services to anyone I know unless I hate them and want them to suffer needlessly for months on end without access to cash or the ability to pay their own effing rent.

Jessie (a very dissatisfied customer)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

School, life, the works.

For those who are interested in what life is like in Scotland for the American student this will be a thrilling tell-all that is sure to shock and horrify you. Well not horrify, but you'll want to keep reading. For those of you who aren't interested, I'm very sorry you wasted these precious moments of your life, and you should navigate  away from this page immediately.

I will start with school. Student life in Edinburgh is interesting. The Master's program for social work will be difficult, there's a lot of work and self reflection that they are expecting us to do outside of class. Luckily I'm extremely self centered and probably would have done the self reflecting part any way, so that just leaves the 400 hours a week they expect me to spend in my own time thinking about social policies and ethics and research and any other social work term that exists that I don't feel like remembering (can you tell it's going well so far?)  I have been evangelized to three times. Twice by Christians and once by a Hari Krishna. The Christians invited me to a free dinner and discussion, and the other christians gave me a flyer for a free toastie. A toastie is basically a grilled cheese sandwich with other fillings. The Hari Krishna stalked me around the square (the Edinburgh version of the quad) and sang songs to me asking for money.  So the christians, though less forthcoming, win. They offered food and didn't have yellow crap smeared on their faces.  My classmates are great. Many of them very friendly, and many of them around my age. Most Masters students in Europe/UK are much younger, around 21 or 22. Many of them have the option of starting Uni at 16. My program has 67 students most my age or older, about 5 of whom are male.  I am happy to report that I have befriended 4 of the 5 boys.  I didn't even try to make it happen.  One was in my intro group and one sought me out cause he heard I was from Texas. Because there are so few of them they tend to ban together and now I'm in like flint.

My flat is in a great location. I live really near the Uni in a hip part of town, and am really near a neighborhood where there aren't any tourists. There is also a pub with a fun quiz night close by and another pub that specialises in ale.  I have found one cheap and good sandwich place and one cheap and good pizza place.  My mail usually gets delivered, though I have yet to receive my debit card which will enable me to have money and get a phone.  If anyone ever decides to move to the UK please follow this advice- If you ever want to open a bank account or get a contract phone, have 10 forms of photo ID and proof of address that is on official letterhead and signed. Also take with you a blood sample and a book, because you're going to wait in line for about 2 hours and if there is a pathway for them to not give you an account, they will take it.  The paperwork required to do anything in this country is ridiculous. They follow so blindly the rules of the bureaucratic government that all common sense is lost and they shoot themselves in the foot and get nothing done.  Example:  Picking up a parcel from the post. Should you forget your photo ID, you are fucked. It doesn't matter if you can give both your address and the return address on the package, what is in the package, what it looks like and its approximate weight.  You have to walk home, get your passport and walk back. Lots of wasted time and energy for both parties.

I went to a church service. It was very emotional and charismatic. Lots of crying, hysterical laughter, and laying hands on people.  It was basically the same as the American church though. The girl who was the head of the welcome committee was the only person to talk to me, several others gave me shy or suspicious glances. There was one pretty girl everyone was fighting over (silently of course). A few runners up as well. As always there were a couple of guys who were involved in pretty serious bromances with each other.  I'm not going back, it was all a bit much, and all what I'm trying to leave behind me.

I can't think  of anything else. if there's anything anyone wants to know facebook me and I'll get back to you.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Rant about Scotland

I never in a million years thought it would be so effing difficult to give someone my money. Every effing bank in this effing city wants 12 different proofs ID, address, and attendance, and no two banks-even if they are the same company- want the same combination of proof.  I have never in my life been treated so poorly by so many people who are supposedly trying to make money. Except maybe by Golds gym who lied and stole from me. I stood in line from 1130am to 430pm and they basically told me to go fuck myself.

I am so disgusted with this entire process that I'm seriously considering just not getting a bank here in scotland, which consequently means I will also not be getting a cell phone.  I am probably more angry and upset right now than i was throughout the entire ridiculous process of getting my passport and student ID.

I'm in a real pickle. I hate being in America but it turns out I also hate being everywhere else.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

scotland and edinburgh

Well, I have arrived at my flat in edinburgh.  I have the smallest room, which is ok because it's basically the size of every room I've ever lived in.  I am taking a break from a decorating/organizing spree because I'm tired and I don't think theres much else I can do until  the daylight hours anyway.  One nice thing/kind of weird thing is the ceilings are really high. I tried to hang something from the window and I had to climb on top of my headboard and onto the window ledge because I was too short to hang it from the bed itself.  It's the first time I've ever had to climb and balance. It was weird, and refreshing. my beds also really uncomfortable. I might try and find a better mattress on gumtree (uk craigslist). It's funny how I was totally fine to sleep on a moldy futon cushion on a cement floor in Australia but in the UK, if it's not a pillowtop its not good enough.
 Well kids, since I'm technically "home" now I'll be more available on skype. Also, I think I'm getting an iphone so we can facetime chat now. 

Random travel story, while this isn't exactly south Texas, I'm still pretty much taller than every person in the country;except maybe the dutch and german tourists. The other day I had to do some online banking so I took my lap top down to the lobby (where the wifi was) and sat at a table that was so small it must be for their guests with school age children.  So I moved to the back, where some normal sized furniture was spotted. As I bent down to place my lap top on the coffee table, I hit my head so hard on the hanging lamp that the crack could be heard in the BACK room of reception. A little employee guy came running out and hand to still the lamp because the spots in my vision still hadn't cleared up. Then as I stood up to leave about 30minutes later I hit my head AGAIN.  This time, instead of rushing over with concern, he looked at me with a mixture of disbelief and disgust from behind the safety of the hotel bar while a man on a cell phone starting laughing hysterically and gesturing for me to come sit with him. I declined and didnt show my face again until breakfast.  The next day at breakfast I had the absolute pleasure of watching two asian girls in full makeup, false eyelashes and stiletto heels included share a hard boiled egg and then not finish it. They then piled onto a bus with 15 other asians and were gone for the day by 8am.

ok I'm tired. Wish me luck every body, I'm kind of nervous about this. My travels before were different, if I hated it I could leave, but I'm stuck here whether i like it or not.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Edinburgh/traveling with dad pt.2

So this will be a quickie, as I have 10 minutes before I have to check out of the Robert Burns Hotel in Portobello and catch a train to Stirling.

First off, Scotland is cold. It definitely feels like Texas winter. I'm pretty excited to see what an actual Scottish winter is like and if I can hack it.  Second, the city of Edinburgh is really pretty. It doesn't feel like home yet, but I think that's because I am staying in a hotel with my dad and sleeping on the floor instead of in my own room with my own stuff.

Traveling with dad this time is different. He argues with practically everything I say and there have definitely been times when I have wanted to punch him in the face.  Any attempt of mine to explain what I mean is thwarted by him interrupting me before I can finish my sentence about how my explanation is wrong as well as my opinion.  That said though, he's paying for everything so in the end I let him think he's won the argument and then convince him to order dessert. This way I win twice and he feels like he's just conceded to dessert. I'm such a clever girl.  We have been focusing on attending as many Fringe festival events as possible because when we get back, it will be over. If you don't know what the fringe festival is, google it. I can't be bothered to explain right now.
Street performers on the royal mile.

So we are heading out today for a quick tour of Scotland, and end up back in Edinburgh on the 10th, when I move into my flat. I'll update more fully then and give everyone the details of my life with the British and going from a lifetime heat and sun to a few years of clouds and cold, wet, weather.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Videos from china

Here is a collection of videos that I took in China. They are posted on fb, but I want to also make sure that I keep them documented on this blog (for when it gets famous and I make heaps of money from being a sarcastic hot mess.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbymfBSIREg   "I won't put it on facebook"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQ-AnQjRbAg  "Why aren't we doing this world wide?"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbYvLlOpJo8 amazing stuttering and "It's like ya'll are playing limbo by yourselves."

Monday, August 15, 2011


So if anyone has the desire to plan a long vacation, or attempt to move overseas for any length of time, or even just apply to a university or job, know that if you need any guidance-any guidance at all, I would like to humbly offer my services as coordinator/planner for all your visa, emigration, and application needs.

I have extraordinary and stellar "mad skillz" if you will. I invite you to read on, so we can explore together what makes me such a top notch choice for director of applications to anything and anywhere.

My first and foremost tip for visa/job/uni applications is to leave everything to the very last minute.  Why get things done ahead of time? Preparation is for little bitches who prefer to feel "relaxed" and "calm" before a big trip or change. They can't handle the "anxiety" and "stress" that leaving everything to the last moment induces. Trust me, you do NOT want to miss out on the pure adrenaline rush of every moment being of vital importance, every move being the difference between a life of adventure in a new place or a life of sheer boredom living with your parents and their various pets. I can honestly tell you that nothing in this world makes you feel more important and in control than going to fed ex, slapping a stack of papers on the counter, and announcing, "I need to get these to New York as soon as possible!"  The magic that you feel when you sign the receipt and watch them drop that package marked "URGENT" into a bin of other packages that are marked "URGENT" is just indescribable.

My second piece of advice would be to have a credit card handy at all times. This little plastic card with it's handy little magnetic strip will be your ticket to successfully leaving everything to the last moment.   Sure you might rack up a massive debt, paying huge sums to overnight things to the east coast, or a foreign country, but that's the American way! What better time to embrace the American culture than before a big trip? When you pay extra to have a package expedited or made "priority" and your paperwork goes through the system with the lightning fast speed that all government employees are known for, the added satisfaction of paying extra in order to get things done in a timely and efficient manner really ices the cake of the experience of filling out endless paperwork.

My final piece of advice is quite possibly my most important.  It is absolutely vital that you at some point lose an important document that takes weeks to replace. The loss of a passport, birth certificate, or government issued loan statement are great examples of things to lose that are difficult to get a hold of again. The most fun thing to do when planning your future is to be totally panicked and frustrated with yourself and the government.  It's incredibly entertaining to spend hours on the internet attempting to locate an address, phone number, or email account in which you can use to get in touch with any one helpful. Did you know that some visa application centers don't have any contact information at all?!  Or that some consulates charge you $12 for a 3 minute phone call in which you received almost zero helpful information?! 

Basically I'm amazing at this. Any one who would disagree is just silly. So feel free to call, write, or text. My services are free of charge, because if you do it my way your going to be paying extra for everything any way. Enjoy!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Bucket List

I used to have a Texas State bucket list, when I graduated I had completed all 30 of the items on my check list. The only ones I can remember are climbing to the top of the tower at Aqaurena, swimming in the water at aquarena, and playing Frisbee with Frisbee Dan. Normally Frisbee Dan is a real asshole and won't play with any one who can't throw the Frisbee long distances, but when I played with him I was with a friend who has huge boobs and blonde hair and a flirty personality. So he made an exception. I've been thinking that now that I'm home for a while I should come up with a long term goals bucket list because I have nothing better to do. So here are my long term goals. I feel a little bit bad there aren't more of them.
Frisbee Dan completing one of his many amazing tricks.

1. Learn Spanish (or Italian, or French, or any foreign language.)
2. Travel South America/Europe
3. Get my Masters
4. Complete a triathlon (the running part is going to be the WORST)
5. Learn to play the cello or guitar
6. Read all of the Harry Potter books

Monday, July 18, 2011


So let me just catch everyone up on what's going down right now. I leave in about a month for the UK, hopefully the new passport I just bought will arrive before my plane leaves. Actually...since I dont have a passport right now, I can't apply for my student Visa, which means this school I'm supposed to start in 2 months may not actually happen. So I'm kind of like, "wow, Jessie, grow up much?" Cause...I'm in my late mid twenties now and I should be done with misplacing valuable/sentimental objects that I need for my future well being.

All the stress of this situation is making my grey hair quadruple, so now I look like Rogue from Xmen. Correction-I did look like rogue, the new amazing color I've dyed my hair fully covers the grey streak.

Also the cute boy at my gym is back! He was gone for a week or two and I was missing doing warm up across from him and admiring his physical beauty. But now he's returned and I can go back to full on staring/drooling over a total stranger. He told me his name once but I forgot it. I know his last name starts with an E though.

Today I bought a robot necklace for $1.50 it was an unnecessary purchase but I am prone to frivolous spending when stressed.

goodnight sweet prince.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Losing my shit

There are two things about myself that I ABSOLUTELY FUCKING HATE and no matter what I can't shake them.

1. I break things.  I don't mean, I drop a glass and it shatters, I mean I buy a camera, set it on my desk and then try to use it and it doesn't fucking work.

2. What I can't break, I lose. Exhibit a-my passport. I have lost this bitch 3 times.  I am currently trying to apply for a visa and my passport is nowhere to be found. Its sure as fuck not where I had designated to place it. So I have torn my room, bathroom, and my fathers office apart looking for it, and its just mysteriously gone.

I am so truly sick and tired of all this bullshit.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The waiting game

As many of my friends and family are aware, I am in a current, constant, state of limbo.  I am living at home while I wait for my application to the Scottish social services council to be processed and accepted.  When this happens I am totally free to go nuts buying winter clothes because then my living in Scotland will be a sure thing. Until then I am spending all my time twiddling my thumbs, and totally freaking out.  I made the decision after a friends wedding that if I HAD to stay in Texas it wouldn't be so bad because 1. I have friends here and 2. I can still leave corpus. Nothing like the hometown blues.

So I'm waiting. It's something I'm used to, so it's not so bad. Plus, all this waiting has been awesome for the new streak of grey that's decided to conveniently sprout in the front, right side of my head.  I now fully support stem cell research, because I'm pretty sure that stuff will lead to the fountain of youth.

In conclusion, I am ready to hear that I'm accepted and I'm tired of my faith and patience being tested. That said, I have some trepidations about what the future holds if I'm going to need to be more patient and faithful than this. yikes.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Insomnia and Lasik: 2 tales of woe and adventure

So the clock is about to strike 4:45 AM and I couldn't be more wide awake. I have downed 2 valiums and they seem to have stimulated my system as opposed to relaxing it. I'd have a cocktail (its 5 o'clock pm somewhere?) but I'm afraid I'll die, and that would suck.  So here I sit, at the computer, because there's nothing but infomercials on, and If I watch them I'll buy something.  So I have decided to give a detailed account of my recent medical procedure, because some funny shit happened, and I live at home, where my life feels like its on hold, so there's nothing else to write about. For now at least.

My surgery is scheduled for 1145am on a friday.  I plan to get there 5 minutes early, because I am good little Texan and I arrive to all of my interviews, appointments, and jobs early.  I will bring my mother with me, because she also has nothing else to do. I need someone to drive me home, because I will be heavily drugged and my sight will be compromised. So she packs up her copy of Tina Fey's "bossy pants" and I bring my sunglasses and waiver and off we go.  I sign in and we are directed to the waiting room, which is filled with people who are about to get Lasik and their cohorts. There is free coffee, water and cookies. There are also hundreds of AARP, fitness, and Texas Highways magazines.  In the corner of the room there is TV set that is showing the Lasik procedure that is currently happening.  It was one of the most terrifying visuals that I could possibly see right before undergoing the same procedure. There are metal clamps holding the persons eyes open and the guy has a sharp metal tool he's scraping across the persons eye and peeling a clear film off. As he begins to use this metal tool, the radio in the background starts to play "the first cut is the deepest." Then the screen goes dark, and then suddenly the doctor is using the same metal tool to put the film back on. He then uses a white spongy tool to scrape all of the air out from between the film and the eye. After observing this 2-3 times I'm shocked and dismayed when they call my name.  I go to the back room where they give me a pre examination and ask me if I've been using my eye drops. Then they take me to another room, give me a valium, and cover my head and feet with blue hospital ...bags?  And they wipe my eyes with iodine and give me some numbing drops.  Then I am led to the surgery room after about 15 minutes and I lay on the table. The most uncomfortable part of the procedure is the very first part. They put some weird suction thing on your eye that I guess keeps it open.  I don't know, there is so much pressure your vision goes dark.  Then the Doctor says, "Now this is when you want to hold very still, very good, just like that, very still, good job." Then they do the same thing to the other eye.  Before I know it, my eyelid is peeled back and I can see the metal tool that I know he is using to scrape part of my eye off. Though its scary, its painless and its cloudy, so I can't really see all that well. Then they move me under the laser that fixes my vision and they tell me to look at it and not look away.  My left eye takes 15 seconds to fix, and my right eye takes 40 seconds.  When they put my eye film back its even more cloudy than before and the sponge thing is actually kind of fun to watch glide across my vision. The whole ordeal is over in maybe 30 minutes or less.  About halfway home the numbing drops they gave me start to wear off and my eyes start to feel sore and irritated. I get home and go immediately to bed, because they suggested I try to sleep the rest of the day.  I wake up after an hour because the sun is shining directly into my room and even through closed eyes, the pain is too much to handle. I try to sleep through it but my eyes are watering so much that my pillow is soaked. I stumble down the hallway, bump into the wall, squint into the living room and call out in my most pathetic "i'm sick, take care of me voice," "DAD?!?!?!"  it turns out he's sitting about 4 feet away and has been enjoying watching me walk into walls while squinting and clutching my face.  I send him on a mission to get some asprin and more valium and to shut the storm shutters outside my window to block out the evil sun.  When all this is accomplished I nap for another 3 hours but its more like...laying still in the dark and occasionally forgetting that you are just laying in the dark.  I wake up officially and try to open my eyes. It hurts, but its not hell. I go outside and wander around. I can't read, use a computer, or phone, and watching tv hurts. I stumble into the office and request that my dad read me a story. He looks at me like I'm insane and then gives me ice cream for dinner. Then I take a sleeping pill and sleep until the next day at 630.  When I wake up my eyes are tender and it feels like I've been crying all night...which I guess technically I have, but there's no pain and, miracle of miracles...I can see!

I spend the morning reading things from a distance and closing my good eye and challenging my dad to hold up his fingers so i can tell him how many there are.  After 4.5 hours of this he tells me he is going to punch me if I continue in this fashion.  I have a follow up appointment the morning after surgery and the Doc tells me I look perfect. Good to hear either way.  So it's been exactly a week since my procedure and the Doctor told me my vision would keep improving over the next 3-4 weeks as swelling in my eye tissue goes down. I might have to get my right eye corrected again, but they do it for free and I'll probably be less terrified since I know what to expect now.

All in all, it was totally worth it. I'll make the money I was spending in contacts and glasses back in the next 5-6 years and then there is the added convenience factor to boot. I love Lasik. If you're young its a totally good investment, you save soooo much money in the long run. Just make sure you have someone around after the surgery because it hurts and it helps to whine to someone.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Dear 16 year old Jessie,

You are not a bitch and its not "mean" or "demanding" to ask that people treat you with common courtesy.

You have curly hair. It's not "straight-ish," it's not "wavy," it's curly. Embrace it. Layer it and use conditioner, your mother doesn't know what she's talking about. It doesn't make your hair look greasy. It will improve the state of things very much.

You're not ugly, and you're not fat. The people telling you that you are ugly and fat are actually jealous of you. They will admit this in 10 years.
16  year old Jessie (approximately 16 give or take)

This next bit is very important. I can't stress it enough.  THROW AWAY THOSE AWFUL JEANS. you look like a spoon, and its not flattering.

and look, hey...maybe you did just become a Christian, and yes its exciting, and good for you, wanting to share that joy. Don't force it on any one though...God never said, "Go forth and badger people" he basically said, "go and love them like I do." Just give that a go. Also- know that the length of time someone is a believer doesn't make them "more Christian" than you, and it's totally fine to share your interpretation of scripture because you have a unique perspective.

Sell your horse, you're not into it any more and that's ok. Most people don't pick these things up for life. You tried it, it was fun for a while, its fine to move on.

You are going to do a lot more traveling than you planned, and you're going to be alone a lot more than you planned. You're going to love it 80% of the time and hate it 15% of the time and 5% of the time you're not going to give 2 shits about any of it.   But don't worry, because you're tough and you always figure something out. Just remember, sleeping outside in New Zealand...totally safe. Sleeping outside in Australia...you'll probably get bit by a poisonous spider and die, and sleeping outside in Asia will get you robbed or raped so be careful.

Oh and don't bother with NHS, it's a total waste of time and money, you can put it on your college apps and no one will check because NO ONE CARES.
 25 year old Jessie. Older and wiser. And fatter.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Future

I have just made a shocking realization. I am almost unemployable. I haven't actually been looking for jobs, but i will be soon and I have this gnawing feeling that my inability to hold a job...or live in one city...for more than 3 months is going to be a red flag for a lot of future employers. Also...People would rather employ a young person over an old one. I know, I'll probably have the next 10 years to be considered young by the work force (by LA standards I am a hag already and if I were to attempt joining the Millionaire Matchmaker club I would be set up with men in their early fifties who were "settling" for me and could maybe learn to love me despite my decrepit-ness.) Back to the point- this means that in the next 10 years I need to find a country...hell- a continent that I want to live on and choose a career path for myself.  I'm sorry, but that is just not enough time. I am commitment phobic in every sense of the word (phrase?). I only dye my hair with the semi permanent stuff that washes out after 28 shampoos. I don't purchase books, I read them in the bookstore (I do something similar with nail polish). About the only things I'm committed too are my key ring (had it since I was 16) and my teddy bear-ted (had him since I was 3).  Oh and also my never ending quest to find the perfect remedy that will halt the aging process, minimize my pores, and fight cancer. So far I've got sunscreen, retinol, exfoliation and dark colored foods, spinach or bluberries for example. If any one has any tips for staying young looking and having perfect skin, please email me immediately.

Any way, I have ten years of youth to make my life head in a steady direction. I DON'T WANNA!  What if the country I pick sucks? What if the job I go with is suckier? What if I have a baby and he/she is a total asshole?  These are the question that keep me awake at night. Well, that and I have to drive my dad to the airport at 4am today.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Home James

So I've been home a month now. I feel like I have taken boredom to new heights. Almost all the things I needed to get done are finished, with the exception of notarizing and mailing some things off; but I can't do that until this holiday weekend is over. I also need to send money to many different places, but again, won't have any until the holiday weekend is over. I recall this time last year I was about to leave for asia. Memories.

I fill my time with watching pre-recorded episodes of four weddings, talk soup, and Chelsea Lately. I also have started many different craft projects that include glitter and feathers, and I go to Barnes and Knoble bookstore every day and copy down a tasty recipe from a cookbook that i wish to try and read an excerpt from the book "jitterbug perfume" by Tom Robbins. I occasionally leaf through a girly magazine, but they all say the same effing thing so they usually just bore/annoy me. "Lose weight, smokey eyes are in, and please a man with these new 75 different techniques of touching his junk." I know I need to lose weight, and I also know reading a magazine is not going to help me with the situation. I know smokey eyes are in. Put on some black eyeliner and some dark shadow and then take a nap. Your eyes will be smudged and you'll feel refreshed for a long night of good times. There are not going to be 75 new ways to touch a penis every month. Besides, I'm pretty sure just showing up and consenting is exciting enough for most men.

Some really exciting moments include the occasional trip to HEB where I buy things to unclog my pores and moisturize my hair. Sometimes I go to the beach, but not on weekends because thats when all the families are out and I don't want to be around the stupid families that think its sooooo fun and cute to feed the damn seagulls. First of all, birds are gross and evil. Second, feeding them makes them louder and more annoying than they already are. And finally, you increase the amount of bird shit that ends up on your car, and increase the likelihood that you will get shit on yourself when you feed the flying nuisances. Just saying.

Hopefully my time at home will speed along nicely. I'm pretty surprised it's already been a month that I've been back, so that's a good sign. I think having a routine and spending time visiting friends in other parts of Texas has been good for hurrying things along. I'm hoping that I'll be receiving some visitors shortly (hint hint) to keep time from screeching to a stand still.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Racism and travel

Traveling makes you more racist. It's just a simple fact. I'm not saying that after traveling you dislike a certain people group more than you did before you explored their homeland and experienced their culture firsthand (although it's a definite possibility); but I am saying that your belief in certain stereotypes goes from, "yeah how funny but wrong to say out loud," to "It's funny because it's entirely true."

Case in point: Asians are terrible drivers. I'm not saying this to piss off any asians out there. I have traveled through the general area by car, bus, motorcycle and tuk tuk, and I have to say- they are the most terrifying people behind the wheel of any automobile. One way roads? drive where you want, the other cars will see you and move. An inch of space? Just get out there and fight for it, it'll open up. The road is closed due to massive mudslides? Carve a new road with just your bus tires and some enthusiasm.

Another interesting fact about travel and racism- The Chinese don't like black people. I don't know why, I don't speak Mandarin or Cantonese so i can't ask them, but there is a high level of mistrust between the two groups. So imagine my surprise when I got to China and discovered that they have all the same food passions that Black Americans do. Fried chicken, watermelon, and grape flavored beverages, all things both people love. There are more KFC's in China than any other restaurant chain.

Another thing- in chinese food places in china, they do not give you fortune cookies. They also don't like cheese, but thats a whole other blog. Back to the fortunes...or lack thereof, in place of fortune cookies its best to look at t-shirts that have english phrases on them. My favorites included "if you're not believing in love then miracles are death," and "My friends are white and rainbow colors too."

Speaking of t-shirts in china-Couples in china like to dress the same. I saw a couple...they looked to be around 13, so they were probably in their mid 30s, wearing matching minnie mouse tshirts and white jeans.

thanks for reading.

Sunday, May 8, 2011


I spent the last 4 days in Houston with my bff's. Here are my top ten moments from the weekend.

10. The old woman sitting in front of me on the way home coughing up mucus and spitting it into a plastic bag she kept in the empty seat next to her.

9. The Old man on the way to Houston who ate an ear of corn half way through the journey. Who brings corn on the cob on the bus as a mid day snack?

8. Seeing baby Violet's reaction to bubbles. Bubbles are awesome. Violet reminded me of this.

7. On my way to the parking lot where I was being picked up, I was smiling in anticipation of a joyful reunion. 2 black guys noticed my happiness and commented, "Look at you! Smiling! You look happy! Whoever he is, he's gonna be happier."

6. Going to the bathroom in the restaurant and redoing the part in my hair to conceal my gray streak better and being scoffed at by a total stranger who was booty dancing and speaking Spanish by herself in the toilet.

5. Eating my first Tex-mex in over a year! (delish, oh how I missed corn tortillas.)

4. teasing my friends roomate and her being totally oblivious to my ever so subtle digs.

3. Spreading the love and joy that is the Miranda Hart show.


1. Being with all my college buddies again. I've missed them since graduation. Eat 'em up cats!

the end.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


After a joyous and challenging 8 months in Australia, I decided to pack it in and fly home. There were several reasons I did this, the main ones being it was going to be a real bitch to apply for visa to the UK from Australia as a US citizen, and my schedule for the school year of 2011 doesnt give me enough time to fly home for christmas. My journey home was significantly challenging because a) Australian airports are ridiculous and B) I was carrying an extra bag that wasn't mine.

So first off I need to take a bus from Byron bay to Brisbane because the 2 dudes i know that live in brisbane can't drive me up there. In the end the incredibly kind and generous woman I've been staying with, Wilamina, offers to take me So I take the 4 hour bus ride up to brisbane, and, as My plane leaves at 8 am, and its an international flight so I have to be there at 6am, I choose to just sleep at the bus terminal on the floor. The only proboblem with this is that the bus terminal closes at 1 am and opens back up at 4 am. At 1245am a security gaurd approaches me with full intentions of kicking me out onto the street. We end up chatting because I am a girl. Turns out this guy is from Chicago and misses American girls (well I just happen to be one!) so in the end, he lets me sleep on this balcony where he can make sure i'm not being assaulted or stealing anything on the security camera. then at 4 he wakes me up and helps me carry my things inside. At this point I want to punch kadi (the girl whose bag I am taking) in the face because its so ridiculously difficult to travel with her heavy ass rolly bag and I feel like a total asshole for being "one of those backpackers" that has too much and can't bear to part with anything. I mean...the point of backpacking is to travel light and take just what you need, and take only what you can carry. SO you look like a real douche if you walk around with more bags than you have hands for. Any way, my Chicago buddy stays and flirts with me for a while (only God knows why, I looked sooo shitty after sleeping outside on a concrete balcony for 3 hours) and then goes back to guarding the bus terminal and I go to sleep until 545. Now, I am at a point in my tale where I just have to say it...This is why American boys are the smoothest and have the best game, by far, of any country I have been hit on by yet. I woke up and Evan (my Chicago buddy) has left me a note that says, "I didn't want to wake you again but I left already, call me if you pass through again, you can stay with me and not in the bus terminal. Have a good Easter!" He left his number and facebook details, and a chocolate Easter egg. I mean...it doesn't sound like much, but it was nice to wake up too, plus it was the only Easter pleasantry or candy that anyone gave me.

So anyway, I take the train to the Brisbane International airport and I go to check into my flight and the woman at the desk is like..."no, we don't have your booking, go talk to the sales desk." So I go to the sales desk and that girl also cant find my booking and is a real bitch about it.
"I'm sorry miss, that reference number isn't coming up on our system."
me-"Can I pull my email account up and show you that?"
"No, we can't do that."
me- "So I need to find a computer and printer in the airport and bring it to you? that's my only option?"
me- "what if I can't find one, I'm just screwed?"
"you can buy another ticket."
me-"ok, so then yes, screwed, because I only have enough money for the ONE ticket that I ALREADY bought."

I mean...the woman was just SUCH a cunt about it. She didn't seem to give 2 shits about me or my dire circumstances, and she absolutely refused to do anything helpful, like tell me where a computer was, or search the other systems to find my name.

So I find a computer, but the printer of course, doesn't work, so I write down every single number, every single flight detail I can think of ans take it over to her. She glances at it, tells me I need to go to the domestic airport and basically tells me to fuck off. Now, I took the train for $15 to the international airport because that's what my effing itinerary told me to do. So I have to pay another $5 to transfer to the domestic airport, meanwhile the rolly bag I'm carrying is starting to realllly piss me off, because its just so difficult to maneuver around, especially going up and down stares, as it weighs 23 kilos, (around 50lbs). So the bus rocks up, I spend like 15 minutes pissing everyone in line behind me off because I take so long to get the rolly bag and my duffel bag on the bus and in the baggage area. I finally get to the airport, and Im checking in, and the guy at the front desk tells me I have too much baggage and I can pay $20 extra per kilo (which would have been over $400) or i can throw some stuff away. I start crying because I dont even have phone credit to call Kadi and see what she wants me to get rid of and what she wants me to keep. I mean, sure its inconvenient but I wouldnt be happy if anyone went through my things and through half of them away...but thats what I do. It turns out Kadi has a shit ton of paper and books so that really helps and after that i just throw away stuff i've never seen her wear. A woman who has been a part of plight from the beggining of the check in process helps me out by "fudging the numbers a little" (she is by the way, shocked that I would haul an extra bag around for a friend) but she helps me out and I finally get to get rid of my heavy and inconvenient bags and get on the damn plane. So fly to Sydney, and then to Fiji. When I get to fiji I have a few hours layover. I asked a woman wearing a yellow work vest where the toilet was (the fiji airport is a big square and its pretty difficult to see the signs for some reason) and she smiled at me like she'd eaten sunshine and rainbows for breakfast and very enthusiastically pointed me in the right direction. So after about an hour I get paged on the intercom, "will Passenger Jessica Taylor please report to gate 7, you have an important message, passenger Jessica Taylor to gate 7." So I go to gate 7 and they have my passport and boarding pass (eek) and I get another extremely cheerful and enthusiastic tongue lashing from the employees with my passport. "Miss Taylor! You must keep watch on your things or can't board the plane!" this message was accompanied by a delighted grin and hand gestures. I don't know whats in the water in fiji, but I want to go back and find out.

So then I land in LA, and I take another bus over to where I fly to Dallas from and at check out there (virgin american) the woman tells me that I have to pay $50 for the 2 bags I'm checking. At this point I think so little of most transport services that the news doesnt even shock me. I warily ask her why, after flying internationally, I am not allowed to have checked luggage, and she says its the airlines deal, not hers personally, but she feels bad about it and gives me a better seat than the one I originally had. Please note the difference between this lady and the Australian bitch who was happy to make me pay $2000 extra dollars on my way home. SO I board the plane and its got purple lights and all the window shades are down. It looks like one of snoop dogs air crafts from his hit movie "Soul Plane." I land in Dallas and flights into Corpus Christi are cancelled, because Dallas has been having tornadoes and such in the area. So I go to Avis, rent a car, and drive all night. At 3 am I take a nap in an IHOP parking lot (I've never felt classier) and then continue on with my journey.

So i've been home for a week now, everything is good but I am still having trouble sleeping. I'm not sure if it's my bed, the temperature, the time change, or if my body is just super pissed at me. I sleep only fitfully, and only for 3-4 hour increments. Whatevs. I'm getting some sleeping pills tomorrow. For real.

Monday, April 25, 2011

A week with hippies

During my time in melbourne I decided to head back north to the byron shire to attend a week long intensive lomi lomi training. Lomi Lomi is a hawaiian massage technique that involves healing the soul through the body while drawing on the resources of mother nature and God.

Naturally, every single person there was a hippy. All but me.

The training was really good, it involved a lot of respect for your own body, the earth, and hawaiian culture which was interesting. It started out rocky though. We gathered together to pray and then we had to "enter the temple, claiming all that we are." I had no idea what was going on.People walked up to a sliding glass door that led to the living room, and said things like..."I am trevor. I am RAGING BULL! I AM SUN AND MOON! I AM YIN AND YANG. KATUA LO MAHINA SHU RAGA!!!!" When my turn came i said "I am jessie. I am confused. I am here to learn." and I wasnt allowed in. People were screaming about being raging bulls, and I wasnt allowed in! I had a near nervous breakdown because A) I didnt know any of these people and B) I thought the whole thing was weird.

Long story short I made it in eventually and then everyone group hugged me. THis was a really common theme during my week there. We hugged hello, we hugged goodbye, we hugged when we were sad, we hugged when we were happy. We didnt just hug, we group hugged. Group hugs involved deep breathing, rocking or swaying, and occaisionally humming or singing. By the end of the week we all had colds from being in such close proximity to each other and breathing the same air.

At one point there was a rainbow around the sun, and everyone went outside and was freaking out. If you've ever seen the youtube video of that high guy crying about the double rainbow, imagine that but with about 10 people all soberly staring at the sky in awe and gleefully cheering and clapping.

I will say this for the hippies...they are awesome. I dont nessesarily agree with everything they say, do, or eat, BUT they are some of the kindest, most accepting people I have met. The couples didnt act exlusive. The girls weren't possesive bitches, and the guys weren't assholes who treated you like a diseased harlot if you attempted to make conversation with them. A refreshing change. They didnt harbour judgments about religion the way my christian brethren do. I actually had a really good talk with one hippy about Jesus. He said that Jesus was cool and everything but he didnt really know how to handle him. in his own words, "Jesus is just too much for me sometimes. he was really passionate and rebellious, and I just don't understand him." It was nice to have a conversation with someone with a conflicting viewpoint and not have it turn into an argument. So I'll give sound healing and guided meditation a miss, but we can hang out and make some polenta. One thing the hippies do that I LOVE is have drum circles and dance parties. I feel that these two social events should be staples in all societies.

So in conclusion, I need to start giving awaying some lomi lomi massages. If you have a massage table, or access to one, call me and I will lomi lomi you. I need to keep doing it or i get out of practice.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Melbourne weekend

Just a short story...

Saturday night at about 10:45 Girt, Tegan, and Myself are all collected in the hallway between Girt's bedroom and the bathroom trying to decide where to go when the front door opens and a tall figure stumbles in. We were not expecting company so Girt and Tegan make a B-line for girts room to hide, and I-like an idiot- stand my ground. The figure emerges from around the corner and reveals himself to be an incredibly drunk australian of about 27. He gives me a vacant stare and then heads for the toilet. I step in front of him, demanding to know who he is and what he wants. He looks at me and says, "Its ok, I know Mel." and tries and to push me out of the way. I push him back and then go to Girts room. The girls are both as far from the door as possible, giving each other worried looks. I walk up and say, "do you guys know a Mel?" Then Girt decides to tell me her real name is Melissa and goes to check if she knows the guy. We all approach the bathroom cautiously. He is standing over our toilet, taking the longest pee ever. He lacks the ability to stand up straight, or hold is willy with only one hand, so he is leaning over the toilet with his head resting against the wall. Girt has no idea who he is. He finishes his 15 minute long pee and then tries, with much difficulty, to get himself back into his jeans. He tries to walk further into the house, but all three of us stand our ground this time. One thing you should know while reading this, is I am the shortest one. Girt is about 6ft and Tegan is about 6'1. The guy was about my height and he smelled like deep heat muscle relaxer. I think when he had to face all three of us he realized he was in the wrong house...or decided it wouldn't be worth the trouble to try and stay. So after he leaves we can hear him banging on the door of the next door neighbor screaming for Mel. After some debate we decide to go out and try to get the guy to go away, because if he wanders around the level banging on doors and screaming for Mel, Girt might get in trouble; also he pissed all over the toilet seat and floor and we didnt want to have to touch it. We open our front door to see him passed out on the hall floor. So we painted his nails hot pink and drew a penis on his face in self tanner.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

memories past...Auckland/Akaroa New Zealand.

When I first got to New Zealand I landed in Auckland, and upon arrval, realized it was just a city like everywhere else and made immediate plans to get the hell away. I chose to roadtrip from auckland to Akaroa with a couch surfer I met named Chris. Chris was from Switerzland and was going to Geneva to study Neuro-surgery or some shit and was just in NZ for a few months to perfect his English. He was vegetarian and at one point on the journey said he'd rather starve to death than eat a fish if he was stranded in the middle of the sea. I chose not to believe that I was travelling with someone so stupid, so I pretended he was joking. Chris and I set out on a lovely August morining and ended up in some tiny town that was used to film a few shire scenes from LOTR...I think it was called matamata. The only hostel in matamata was closed when we got there so we decided it was best to sleep in the car in the parking lot of the information center. As we stood at the boot/trunk of the car and tried to figure out how to lower the back seat, a middle aged, red haired man lumbered up to us. After a few moments of chatting he invited us to sleep on his couch. His name was martin. Martin lived with his 80 year old mother. He stayed in the living room (where chris and I were sleeping) watching TV late into the night. At one point, he was watching porn, and his only comment throughout the evening was "nice tits" (this, thankfully, was directed at the actress on TV who was showing her tits, and not at me, accidentally flashing them.) Martin liked to educated me about NZ slang and culture and took pictures of me while I was sleeping.

So chris and I moved on. We slept in the car one night, but it was freezing cold and in the morning when I went to use the toilet, a woman told me I looked like I'd "had a rough night of it." That day, we went on a hike. My swiss friend took off at a light jog and never slowed pace. I had to take frequent rest stops and occaisionally walk backwards up the hill to relieve the burning fire in my calves. We stayed in a hostel near the beach the following night, and in the morning went searching for paua shells, at which time I dropped the rental car keys into the surf and then spent the next several hours phoning the rental car company/key manufacturers to try and sort out a solution. When it seemed like all hope was lost and i would be stuck at a backpacker in the middle of nowhere for weeks, waiting for a car key that would never come, I went back down to the beach to throw things at the seagulls. Lo and behold, one of the first things I randomly grab from the beach is the rental car keys I thought had been swallowed in the sea.

So we went forward. Chris took over the majority of the driving responsibilities because my driving was too fast and I was totally knew to the whole concept of driving on the left. Hours after CHris forced me to switch to passenger so he could drive, he veered suddenly onto the right side of the road and nearly drove straight into another car. My grabbing the wheel and nearly running us off the road was what prevented a terrible head on collision. Weeks later, our final days together approach, and we decide to go out to eat to say goodbye. (We had been living off of cheese, bread, and apples, and for me, the occaisonal can of Tuna.) I ordered soup and chips and couldnt finish my dinner. Chris was very disappointed in my lack of etiquette and told me that its rude to not eat everything on your plate. I didnt really enjoy the lecture so I made up the total lie that in Texas its rude if you everything on the plate because that implies to your host/hostess that they didnt feed you enough. CHris appeared to be mildly intrigued but still utterly convinced he was in the right.

When we arrived in Akaroa we found that the main Tourist attraction was swimming with dolphins. It costs $100 NZD and all they do is give you a dry suit and put you on a boat and drop you in the middle of a dolphin pod. You arent allowed to touch the dolphins, and they dont do tricks. We decided to try it out for ourselves. We rented a kayak and brought rocks to bang on the side of the boat to attract the dolphins curious natures. 2 dolphins approached the boat and when they were about 6 feet away we jumped into the harbor in order to say that we too, had swum with the Hectors Dolphins.

Then chris pissed off my boss and left.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


So I'm torn.

I don't know how to say this, so I'll just be blunt. Australia sucks.

well, at least for me it does. Let's look at the evidence...

1. Half of my friends I've made here are no longer speaking to my. (why? I'll never know. I've asked and recieved no answer...because they're that bent on not speaking to me.)

2. I have no job/no money

3. I haven't had a job or money since NOVEMBER. The massage work gets me by, but barely. and thats not including the vast credit card debt i've accumulated.

4. Applying for my student visa to the UK is going to be a bitch out here. Also, I have to fly to Canberra to do it, which would be like having to fly from Texas to New York. At home I can apply online.

5. Its just like America, but more annoying. ex: stores that would be open til 9 or 10pm at home close at 7 here. and everything is closed on weekends. wtf?

So all the evidence points to...what the hell, fuck it, lets go home. BUT there are reasons for why I'm torn...

1. I want to go to a lomi lomi retreat.

2. If I leave I'll feel like loser

3. If I go home I'll be bored and alone all the time. Much like now, but cheaper.

4. I wanted to go to bali, and I still havent seen the great barrier reef.

Someone tell me what to do. seriously. help me.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Melbourne pt. 2

So, Melbourne the 2nd time around so far is...interesting.

I work at full circe massage and spa. My boss is 300lbs overweight. He has a hard time stayng awake at his computer chair. He passes out in the chair and snores loudly, sometimes he drools on the mouse pad. Customers come in and walk right past him. It's fairly embarrasing. He also likes to say things like, "We aren't a rub and tug place, I dont have the licenses to run a brothel." Then he goes on to say that its my personal choice and if i did it he wouldn't know or care. He then goes into raptures over the merits of prostitution. riiiiight.

I'm staying with a few friends at the moment. I sleep in the living room on a couch cushion on the floor. I have all my clothes laid out in a row on the floor by a window. This doesnt bother my friends because their clothes are all over the floor too. And the couch, and the kitchen, and the bathroom. They are a lot of fun. I have been introduced to spray tans, make up primer, and the soap opera "home and away."

I am in the middle of a personal financial crisis. I want to ....(omg my boss just fell out of the computer chair and onto the floor) any way, I want to go to grad school overseas, pay off my school loans, pay off my credit card debt, and go to a lomi lomi retreat. I dont think I can do all this on $400 a week.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

things I'm looking forward to when I stop moving around

1. Buying a blender/food processor so I can make my own salsa.
2. Having a normal sized computer, that works, with internet
3. having real friends that i see and get to know over a significant period of time, as opposed to 1 week-1 month
4. having a routine
5. having a bed. the same one. every night. and my own blanket. and my own pillow.
6. possibly having a cat. or sugar glider.
7. having a place to wash my clothes.
8. not carrying around a massive back pack and smaller back pack and 2 duffle bags and a purse.
9. no longer losing my favorite clothing items because i pack and leave in rush.
10. not worrying about where my next paycheck/meal/bed is coming from.

song for the disenchanted backpacker


We argued on the channel train to Paris
The vin rouge helped us make it sweet again
But by the time that we got down to Lyon
Everything I said was wrong and you cursed me in the rain
We split up for a while in Barcelona
We met up six days later in Madrid
I was hoping that the break would make things go a little better for us
And for a little while it almost did
Now I'm in a bar in Copenhagen
And i'm trying hard to forget your name
And I'm staring at the label on a bottle of cerveza
And every fucking city feels the same

You said to call you when I got to London
A French girl told me that you'd left a note
I said to her "I like your accent" and she thought I sounded funny
So we ended up drinking in Soho
Foolishly I followed you to Dublin
Like a ghost I walked the streets of Temple Bar
And all the bright young things were throwing up their Guinness in the gutters
And once I thought I saw you from afar
Now I'm in a nightclub in Helsinki
And they're playing La Vida Loca once again
And I can't believe I'm dancing to this crap but I'm a chance here
And every fucking city sounds the same

At a cafe in the port of Amsterdam
An E-mail from you said you'd gone to Rome
For a minute I thought maybe but my funds were running low
And anyway it sounded like you weren't alone
So I headed north until I got to Hamburg
A chilly city suits a troubled soul
And on the Reeperbahn I paid a woman far too much
To kick me out before I'd even reached my goal
Now I'm in a restaurant in Stockholm
And the waiter here wants me to know his name
And I can order sandwiches in seven different languages
But every fucking city looks the same
Arriverderci, au revoir, aufwiedersen, hasta la vista baby
Yeah, every fucking city's just the same

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


So the outback sucks. its boring and hot, and I'm alone all day. My official job title is "jill-a-roo" but I think that because it basically looks like corpus christi here, but without the redeeming aspect of the beach, I'm leaving.

Actually I already left. I think the guy who hired me is glad. He felt weird having me there. It was awkward. So I'm melbourne bound. Want to guess how I'm getting to melbs? I'm getting halfway there in a semi truck that is hauling cattle.

My driver, Nipper, is quite chatty. This is unfortunate because I have a hard time understanding a word he says. The thick aussie accent, the noise of the semi truck, the radio buzzing...plus I'm known for my great ability to completely zone out and not react until my name is spoken. It's been weird so far and we're only an hour in. My lack of chatty-ness was bothering Nipper at first, but then we drove by a few road workers that he knew and he had great fun looking at all their expressions as they realized a girl was in the truck with him. Nipper was glowing with delight and kept repeating, for the remainder of the 15 minute drive to town where we would get brekky, "They aint used to seein' me with any one much less a woman! A YOUNG woman!" At one point in the middle of nowhere he stopped the truck and grabbed a sledge hammer from the back seat. I immediately assumed he was going to hit me with it and leave my body on the side of the road. Instead he got out and knocked the dirt of the wheels of the truck.

So now I am heading to melbourne, where I have a few friends, some knowledge of my surroundings, and a job offer waiting for me. I am working at another spa doing thai massage again. Wish me luck. The way things have been going I'm going to need it.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Kitchen table, Queensland, AU

So last night I had to cook dinner for myself, my employer, and one of our neighbors who came over to help peter with the cattle.

Our dinner guest was named John and he was very polite and almost shy. He asked me about my travels and revealed he had left Queensland once in his life...to go to Victoria. And he hated it. He has 2 grown sons and revealed to me, after some probing I admit...that the youngest was his favorite.

You might wonder what I, Peter, and old man who's left his home state once in his life might converse about over dinner. Well what do you think 2 cattle farmers talk about? The answer is meat. We had an HOUR AND HALF long discussion about meat. The smartest way to buy meat meat, (Buy a cow in a stock yard and take it to a butcher.) The best way to kill cows and pigs, the best way to prepare the meat for cooking. The Main focus of the conversation on meat was centered around the different kinds of meat we all enjoyed, and the strange meats we had tried. Here is a short list of just some of the different kinds of meat we discussed.

Wild Turkey
Salt water Turtle
Freshwater turtle
Kangaroo (Shout out to Lindsey Mika! they call it "roo")

Mouth watering.

Just to name a few...There were more but I've forgotten.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Outback

After getting fed up with the hippies I decided to keep my sanity and opt for a change of environment. What could be more different from the coast? The inland country! What's the opposite of a hippy? A cowboy! what's the opposite of vegetarian? Meat for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

I recieved a call on a Sunday offering me a job, so I packed my bags, bought a bus ticket and got the HELL OUT of the byron shire. My bus ride was a fairly eventful one. There were 2 backpackers, 3 aboriginals, 10 cowboys, a blind old man, and a school teacher along for the ride. I sat down near a window and was immediately ousted from my seat. I don't understand why they even assign seats on buses, especially when they are far from full. I wasnt sure if I should sit down again or just wait until all the old people were on. (They are the only ones who feel the intense need to sit in their assigned seats.) A cowboy (wearing wranglers and a stetson) told me to "just sit the hell down, it don't matter." So I sat in the seat across from his so that if someone kicked me out of that seat I could give him an evil look. Unfotunately no one did, and I had to sit opposite this total douche for 14 hours. He tried to make conversation, but I couldnt understand him. Maybe it was the thick aussie accent, maybe he was mildly retarded, I still have no clue. At one point he moved into my seat and tried to kiss me. I immediately jumped back and used my ipod as a shield. A. Gross, B. I don't kiss boys with IQs in the double digits, C. Really? You're not even going to ask my name before you attempt to taste what I had for lunch? What is with Australians? Have they no sense of chivalry, or at the very least timing? After this incident I moved back a few seats. What I didn't realize was the entire back of the bus was reserved for the aboriginals on board. No one said anything to me, but the 2 women were playing musical chairs the whole night and for about an hour and a half one of the women and the guy were literally screaming at each other. "you slept with some one else!" "You can't even afford to buy me trousers!" This all took place between 2 and 5am. At 5am one of them got off the bus, actually fell off the bus, I believe she was drunk, and except for the random cries of the infant the other 2 had, all was quiet. At our morning rest stop I chose to buy an iced coffee, because I HATE meat pies and that was the only thing our breakfast stop served. I sat with the other 2 backpackers. 2 young kids from england. The friendly one was extremely impressed with my ability to sleep on a bus. I explained it was a finely honed skill and if he wanted to improve his bus sleeping ability he should travel asia. When I got to my final destination I was picked up by Mick, my employers friend. Mick dropped me at his house, told me to eat or drink anything I wanted, have a shower, have a nap, and then call him when I'm ready to hang out. I love mick. After some much needed down time I called mick and he told me to meet him at the pub. Only I have the ability to get lost in a town that has 2 streets. After Mick came and found me, I met all of his friends, got hit on by several old dudes (including the pub owner who said I could have a job there any time) and got ridiculously drunk. I believe I danced, sang and screamed "YEAH! OLD SKEWL!" whenever outkast came on.

Then My employer Peter showed up and spent the entire night hitting on a girl from england named sarah and she pretended to hate it and kept asking me how I was going to put up with him. The Next day Peter drove me three hours into the middle of no where and that is where I write from.

Yes folks, I am in the outback of Australia and it looks EXACTLY like south Texas. They have the same kind of tree (different species, but same look: short, stubby, thorny) the same kind of grass (tall, dry, usually brown from lack of rain) absolutely no hills or rain, and many, many cows. There are a few things missing of course...the beach being one of them, but also there's no cell phone reception, no people, and there is a severe lack of entertainment. I have actually started reading the twilight books, and I have to say, so far, I don't get what the big deal is.

I am living in Glenkyree Station with Peter, my employer, coworker, and sole companion. He found me on gumtree (autralian craigslist) after I posted an add offering to be a nanny and requested that I be a housewife instead. I have been hired to clean, cook, and garden. I also feed the chickens, or "chooks" as the aussies say. Peter is an ok guy. He's not a great conversationalist but he tries and that's what's important. So far I have spent 1 entire day cleaning the kitchen. Yes. one day on a kitchen, and I'm not even done. Tomorrow I have to feed him and 2 of our neighbors. I am to make lamb, salad, and cake. I don't know if I can take the pressure.

Friday, February 4, 2011

delightful videos

Here's one of a manly lady boy, dancing barefoot in the streets of bangkok. Please note the amazing body roll and the peace sign the asian with the guitar makes when he thinks I'm taking a photo. (Bangkok Thailand)

Here's one of a Chinese guy singing Ring of Fire. A true cover gem. (Bangkok, Thailand)

Here's me, thinking that I'm getting my pic taken while snorkeling, but really its a video. (Koh Phi Phi, Thailand)

Here are my dutch and aussie and friends being silly at a park near lake titiwangsa. (Kuala lumpur, malaysia)

Some Cute little monkeys up in a tree. (Pulau Tioman, Malaysia)

An old lady showing off on the dance floor...a classic but awesome all the same. (Somewhere between Texas And Mexico)

day of healing/rebirthing, The Lotus Temple, NSW

I would like to inform my faithful readers that sadly, this will most likely be the last of the Lotus Temple updates. I have been offered work in the outback of aus, and I think I'm going to take it. There will be none of this hippie shit in the outback. I will be living with a cattle farmer, and i will be around rednecks. A different kind of place, a different kind of people, a different kind of story.

I walked into the day of healing with huge expectations. I expected to have to walk through a wall of sage smoke into a room and be stripped naked. I thought that crystals would be placed on all my chakras and then hari krishnas would dance around me while chanting. I wanted them to throw holy water in my face and then force me into the center of a five man group hug. This was not what I got.

The day started with guided meditation. It was a meditation designed to remove blockages to abundance. Basically we all had to hold hands for an hour while the woman leading it said things like, "And now the golden light of love is moving out from your heart, through the rest of your body, and into the world." I watched in amusement as my fellow beings sank into a state of deep concentration. There was a 12 year old boy there who kept looking around the room with utter disdain. I couldnt help but laugh. The day was basically a series of guided meditations and various "spiritual gurus" talking about how great they are and trying to sell me necklaces made out of shells for $75. I'm sorry but no. The titles of each meditation were as follows...
1. Guide to abundance and overcoming blockages
2. Balancing the masculine and feminine energies within
3. Twin dragons; Soulmate and twin flame awakening

these were the only ones i participated in. I couldn't take it any more and hitched to the beach for a skinny dip. (being around hippies does have its advantages, public nudity is always encouraged.) And I returned back just in time to have my soul channeled. The woman channeling my soul kept looking at my right ear. She would sometimes twitch and sometimes put her hand on my heart. She told me that I have a very pure heart and can follow signs that are brought to me by animals. She did an incantation to make it easier for me to recognize signs. She told me I am going to study (I applied for grad school, so kudos to her) That I'm worried about money, (well, duh, who isnt?) and that I'm going to meet my soul mate soon (sweet! Heres to hoping shes right...) She told me my goal in this life is to always travel, even metaphysically, and that i'll never stop. She said that I am very protected, and I am always safe. She said I have no fear, and that I am always home, no matter where I am.

So I liked the soul channeling. She told me things I wanted hear.

THen I was given the opportunity to get rebirthed. Rebirthing is basically just breathing with your eyes closed for 2 hours while someone watches you and tells you to breathe deeper and faster. The concept of rebirthing is that you are born with a totally clean slate, and the moment you enter the world you absorb the energies and ideas of those around you. You age and die because you keep absorbing and never clear your slate again. Some people have birth trauma...c section babies are afraid of getting stabbed, other babies are born all drugged up. Almost every one said that when they were rebirthing they felt a squeeze around their head, neck, and shoulders. This completely grossed me out. Who the hell wants to relive that? According to the teachings of the great Leonard Orr you are supposed to have 10 rebirthing sessions to work through your "birth trauma" and clear your energy. Relive squeezing through a vaginal canal 10 times?! pass. So after we are all reborn, Leonard gathers us all together and we all go through this 3 page long thing of mantras. one person stands and reads, and then we all say it back to them in the second person. example: "I have conquered the death urge. My family has conquered the death urge." group-"You have conquered the death urge, your family has conquered the death urge."

Now you may be asking yourself, "conquer death? Get rebirthed 10 times and I don't die?" That's right! These people will claim they have met with people who are more than 9000 years old, living in their original bodies. They also claim to have studied and mastered the elements of earth, air, fire, water, and the mind. Meaning they think they have magical powers. Leonard Orr told the group he was currently in the middle stages of learning to fly. No contraption, no tricks...just human flight.

I did some research and rebirthing is actually a christian invention. A group of christians felt that they were reborn, not through baptism of water, but baptism of breath. They believed that God sent them the breath of life. idk. I've already been reborn, and I didn't water or air for the process.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Sound healing, The Lotus Temple, NSW

After a vigorous day of swimming and cleaning, a few friends and i decided that it would be a good day to experience a free sound healing, offered up at the Lotus temple (infamous scene of the chanting, new age, bday party).

We arrived early in order to "get a good spot." All around the main room and placed in a circular fashion around the pillar of crystals were pale blue, pink, and white velveteen cushions. We all chose seats near the middle and lay down, our heads pointing towards the center pillar and our feet towards the walls. We could hear choir like sounds coming from another room. It must have been the healers warming up.

At about 530pm, the healers came in and the show started. A frightful looking man/woman (not sure, either way it wasn't pretty) commenced the ceremony by calling us all to ask our gaurdian angels to be there with us and to focus on what we wanted to heal. Then he/she busted out a large prayer bowl and got to work while the rest of the healers began to sing in "light language." A prayer bowl is a metal bowl that you hit with a small gong thing and then run the gong thing around the outside of the bowl to make a sound like when you run your wet finger around the rim of a glass. It's actually a pretty sound. Any way, after the group 15 minute song, the healers broke up and picked one of us to start on. I got healed by a man without a shirt wearing purple shorts. He had long curly brown/grey hair, a deep tan, and was probably in his forties. He began the healing by screaming in my ear. He then moved on to making truck noises that a 2 year old makes. After this he slowly pressed his palm to my heart/cleavage and began making whale noises. The entire time i was trying desperately not to laugh and only barely succeeding. After this a lady came and took over. She made soft, soothing noses and kept her hand on my belly button. At some point I fell asleep, because I woke myself up snoring and no one was touching me. After this I gave up on being healed and decided to look out the window at my feet for the remaining 12 minutes of sound healing. Soon after I focused all my attention on the outside window, I see a woman in a white dress run by, and she is on fire. Hippies love 2 things, candles and flowy clothing. I'm surprised there haven't been more hippy-on-fire incidents around.

So even if I didn't really get healed from anything, at least i saw a 50 year old woman on fire in a hemp dress. The woman turned out ok, she only ruined her dress, and possibly bruised her ego.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Tea tree Lakes, NSW, Australia

There is a place in the Byron shire where there is a large spring fed lake that exists around many Tea trees. The oil from the roots of these trees flavors the lakes with a delish clean tea tree scent, and bathers in the area enjoy the benefits of swimming in tea tree oil. My skin flaws were definitely diminished after an afternoon swim. One other thing that you should know about the tea tree lakes...its bathers are primarily nude. Yes. Naked as Jaybirds.

Typically the swimmers are elderly gay men who are proud of their bodies and like to stand in clearings in direct sunlight. There are many others who lurk in the bushes with binoculars or cameras. I know this because at any given time you will find 12-15 cars parked outside and only 5-7 swimmers in sight inside.

My first experience at this "sacred" place was truly magical.

Upon entering the water my friend and I realized we were the only people under the age of 30, the only women, and the only foreigners. We also realized there was 1 attractive man aged about 34, and one old man with a video camera. We swim from where we are to the end of the lake and back. When we return to our towels, the attractive man is standing in front of us. "May I join you guys? I usually come here with my wife, but she's working and all these gay guys keep hitting on me. I don't want to impose but..." We assure him its fine. He gets naked and gets in with us. My friend leaves the water. I stay in because I dont want him to see what I look like naked. I like to give it at least a half hour before they see the goods.

At some point he takes me to a look out point where we can watch the old man with the camera without being seen. Peter (the dude) takes that opporunity to "have a cuddle." I feel uncomfortable being cuddled naked by a married naked man, and tell him so. "Aw, my wife doesnt mind, she'd probably want one too." I thank him for the offer, and gracefully decline. Then I realize there is dirt and algae sticking to all my body hair, making me look like a cave man. Peter offers...and then proceeds, to wipe it off-my boobs. I again, decline the gracious offer.
Soon after, peter realizes that I will not have sex with him, or his wife, and decides to leave.

Then a 12 year old boy WITH GOGGLES comes swimming up. he sticks around me and my friend and edges closer and closer. We choose to get out and dry off. After drying for a few minutes we glance down and the kid with the goggles is blatantly staring. he dives under water and tries to sneakily pop up in another area where he still has a view. We choose to leave in order to avoid corrupting the youth of Australia.

On the way out we cross paths with two gay men orally pleasuring each other.

the end.

The Lotus temple, Byron Bay, Australia

For those of you who have yet to experience a New Age Birthday party, please read the following trusting fully that I'm not making this up, and all of these are indeed- actual truths that I have lived.

After being unceremoniously dumped by my "kind of sort of something" after 3 months, I chose to drown my sorrows in a crowd of strangers. Normally the best way to do this is to go to a bar, drink until you feel brave...or nothing, and then make an ass of yourself. This is NOT the way it happens when your only friends are middle aged hippies and new agers. For me it went something like this...

10pm-arrive at party
1007pm-make friends with a swiss dude who tells me all about the necklace of crystals he's wearing and the effects its having on his life.
1012pm- bond with same dude over being a scorpio
1022pm- a girl joins the conversation and talks about her current relationship and her "path to enlightenment."
1046pm- Girl says her "crystals are calling to me"
1052pm-girl takes my swiss friend away to meditate over some crystals
1053pm- I go for a walk, find a parking lot, and cry over the sad state of my existence. Not only am I newly single without even the courtesy of knowing why, I am now at a party where every one talks about reading energies and then hugs me for too long while moaning and gently rocking me.
1141pm-go back to party . cant face the hippies yet, but I'm cold so i go inside. the upstairs room looks dark and inviting, and best of all-empty.
1143pm-once my eyes adjust to the darkness, i realize i am standing in a room full crystals.. the walls and floor boards are lined with crystals, there are giant crystals arranged symmetrically in the center of the room. the whole thing is lit by a single candle. If I didnt know that these people probably pray and sacrifice innocent vegetables in this room, i'd have thought it was pretty.
1158pm-leave the crystal room and look for my ride home. I've had enough.
1201am-the entire party is walking into a room that is covered in pastel fabric. foolishly I follow them in. The center of the room has a pillar covered in a rainbow of pastels, with more large crystals gathered around its base. The group forms a spiral around the birthday boy and we all join hands.
1206am- people say nice things about the guy in the middle. the guy in the middle says nice things about himself. the chanting begins.
1212am-1234am-the chanting consist of people singing "ooooooommmm" in many different tones and pitches. A few are saying the mans name...It sounds like "ziiiiiiiiiiieeeeee" while 2 women are speaking jibberish in high pitched, sing songy tones. try not to laugh. fail.
1237am-leave the room and wait in the car.
1239pm-hear some guy telling some other guy not to finish his sentence because "we're all psychic anyway"
1243am- Thank Jesus, My family, my country, Obama, and the creators of facebook and poptarts that I made it out alive.
12pm the next day-seriously regret i didnt have a camera to put the event on youtube.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Pulau Kapas, Malaysia

My adventures in malaysia were a true delight. I decided to go to a muslim country in the middle of ramadan, and then injure myself on a remote island that had nothing but backpackers and restaraunts and dive schools. Then I decided to ignore my injuries and go to even more remote island that had 2 backpackers and 2 restaraunts, none of which served food during the day.

You're familiar with the saying "when in rome, do as the romans do"? well, I had no choice. My injured feet and empty belly allowed me to swim some and "rest" (aka read and play jenga with my friend hanno, who got 3rd degree sunburns and had to hide from the sun. on an island) most of the time.

Toward the end of my stay on this paradise on earth, my feet were healing nicely and to celebrate/mourn the end of our being together, me, hanno, and 2 friends decided that a midnight skinny dip was in order.

We chose to perform this task at a beach down the way from our backpacker, in order to avoid prying eyes. On our way toward our designated spot, we passed a circle of extremely drunk malaysian men around a campfire. "You come! Come drink with us!" "in a minute, on our way back."

The skinny dip was short lived. the boys joyfully streaked into the water before me and the other girl could even take our flip flops off, and they immediately impaled both of their feet on sea urchin spikes.

We decided to drink the pain and embarrassment away with the drunk malaysians. We joined their happy circle. They were drinking rum and coke, which they heated to boiling over their campfire. It was revolting. they left a plastic straw in the cup while it heated so there was a slight taste of chemicals and poison added to the already disgusting beverage. They then proceeded to claim that they knew how to fix the sea urchin wounds. one of them grabbed a large stick and began to beat on the feet of one boy, while another malaysian grabbed some limes and squeezed lime juice into the open, pulvarized wound. There was much merriment. At one point the lady of the establishment came out and told the men to shut up. (I'm pretty sure, they were speaking malaysian.) Then the guy, from what i could gather, told her to piss off. So she left, and then her tiny, skinny, petite malaysian husband came out. He spoke some harsh malay words to his brother and his friends, and then turned his attention to our little group. "Where do you stay?" he politely asked. "Just down the beach at ABC" we politely answer. He becomes enraged. "WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU DO HERE?!" "YOU GET THE FUCK OFF MY PROPERTY! I WILL FUCK YOU TONIGHT!"

Upon hearing this last phrase, we decided it was best to vacate the area. We didnt want to get fucked, especially by a tiny asian man with a napoleon complex.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Traveling with dad

Taveling with my father is truly an experience that needs to be shared.

His ensemble usually consists of a red t shirt or polo shirt with a breast pocket, black or grey cargo shorts pulled up to his nipples, a brown woven belt, black socks, and hiking boots or sandals. Typically he wears an army green hat with flaps and a brim that goes all the way around, But "unfortunately" he left it at a restaraunt in cambodia.

My dad likes to read EVERY SINGLE SIGN and get really confused and pissy before he even knows what hes pissy about. He also likes to follow the arrows in asian airports which usually dont mean anything, they just put them up for decoration because the guy who built it flew to JFK or LAX once and thought they were pretty.

My dad likes to leave a 20% tip, all the time, even when its not expected. He likes to give $5 bills to ladies who dig through rubbish for recyclables/food and don't beg just because we are white tourists. He likes to ask cambodian children if they know the capitol of Texas. (some of them actually do.) He likes to buy wooden carvings to hang on his walls.

He also likes to pee every 2 hours, sometimes more. He likes to forget his camera, and when he remembers the camera, he forgets to charge it. He enjoys attempting to take photos from a moving tuk tuk of another moving tuk tuk/motor bike/bicycle and act surprised and annoyed when the photos come out blurry and of just the tops of peoples heads or bottoms of their feet.

My dad likes to argue with me about things I know to be facts. EX: A 3 day pass to angkor wat is $40, a one day pass is $20. My dad thought that it said a 2 day pass was $40, and would have bet me money if I hadnt acted so dang confident.

he hates climbing stairs, but loves walking up hills.