wander process

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cafe lounging

One good thing I can share with all of you is that I have regained my sense of smell! Whoa, have I been missing out on a lot these last 9 months. It’s like I’m living in a new town, a new country. I feel strangely re-connected with the Jordan who came to Thailand 3 years ago now. It’s like I’m smelling everything for the first time. I can’t believe I’ve been missing out on all of these smells for so long.

To be honest, I’ve felt sad, having my wonderful, 3-week long sojourn to Europe and America end. I’ll miss not having friends and family at an arm’s width for me to hug. I’m pulling out of my funk, however, and trying to clarify my life after such a whirlwind trip. I’m still dealing with strange, jet-lagged sleeping schedules, but I’m slipping into the pleasant routine I had going for so many months.

Nothing can cheer up my malaise like pictures of food. So without further ado, here are some pictures of meals I had in Paris. ‘Meals’ being a relative term – we were too poor to eat a full meal when we were there, so we would order a couple small things from a cafe and split it. We’d supplement our diet with the moussy chocolate Sophie brought from Switzerland, the jamón Casey brought from Spain, and the dried mangoes I brought from Thailand.

Almost straight off the plane from Delhi (which was a terrifying experience in itself, my blog post didn’t even being to cover the worst of it!) my friends scooped me up and off we went to a glorious Parisian breakfast.

Falafel from Rue de Rosiers in the Jewish Quarter. Falafel, I have missed you in my life.

Kir & a caipirinha & fancy olives to pass the late afternoon.

Let me first apologize for the abysmal quality of this photo. Once we all get over the fact that I used flash (something I truly, truly hate to do), we can move onto the masterful skill with which this cheese has been melted over the heaven-sent, from-France French onion soup. I died and went to food heaven. And then let’s be real, I probably had to go to the bathroom because 9 months living in cheese exile did not make for delicate dietary transition.

Picnic in the Tuileries. Bread, fresh squeezed orange juice, cherries, and unsurprisingly expensive quantities of cumin-laden cheese. Totally delicious. I promise you that my life is not always this awesome. It just happened to be awesome during this trip.

Here’s where I admit something embarrassing to me. I knew this as a 14 year old, but I cemented this in my mind over my trip to Paris. I don’t like pâté, I don’t like foie gras (foy grass, hehe). My palate is simply not developed or fancy enough, I think. To me, it more or less tastes like the smell of cat food. But I like durian. So to each their own, I guess.

The first time I had espresso and liked it (or mostly liked it). I’ve come a long way from the junior in college who just started drinking coffee because I was working two jobs and managing a full course load and the only way for me to make it through my 7:30 start mornings was to drink small cups of half coffee, half hot chocolate (no, not mochas!). This espresso was fruity. If I had a better memory, I could tell you what country the beans came from, since that’s how I ordered it. Unfortunately, my memory is pretty abysmal.

I will be dreaming about all of the cheese in Paris for a long, long time to come.

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Christmas Cruise with Jazz Happens

We started Christmas weekend with the laziest of intentions. Have fun. Don’t think too much. Don’t compare anything to America. I think that our attitudes were successful. Generally, my life is the opposite of what I’m about to say, but – low expectations led to high satisfaction this Christmas.

Our friend, Boy, picked us up and we drove to Banglamphu, the old area of Bangkok. There, we parked and boarded our vessel for the night. The boat itself was not spectacular, but that added to its charm. We were a party of 7 people, the largest party for the night, so we got to sit at the bow of the boat, outside the enclosed area with the band and open to river views of Bangkok lit-up at night. It was perfection.

The band wasn’t really jazz. It was a lot of Stevie Wonder songs, really. Luckily, I am up on my Stevie Wonder, so I was able to sing and dance from the comfort of the bow, where people would not be scared of the crazy-looking white girl, singing and dancing to Stevie.

I spent the night taking glamour shots of friends and gushing about what a wonderful time I was having.

It was a very merry un-Christmassy-but-nonetheless-wonderful way to spend the night and it was one of the very best times I’d had maybe ever. To see a such a vibrant city (that I love so much, have I mentioned that?) from the Chao Phraya River, all lit up at night, was its own special occasion, indeed.