9 Survival Tips For Long Distance Travel By Bus In Thailand


  Walking into a bus terminal as a Foreigner in Thailand you can assume you will leave with a purchased ticket, however, the ticket may not necessarily be the most convenient, comfortable or sane route to your destination. The following list has been tailored to increase your odds and/or help preserve your cool.   1. Red buses are the slowest. In Canada, we would refer to taking this sort of bus as taking The Milk Route, they're scenic, they're slow, and they're cheap. If you have time on your hands, meaning, any random amount of hours because chances are, they differ slightly day to day, a red bus can be fun. Often they're not aircon equipped, but the windows open and the … [Read more...]

7 Brain Sweeps Returning To North American Life


    Thirty days in North America and the following squished and/or continues to squish my brain:   1) Despite spending the month of June split between southern California and the most southern city in the entire nation of Canada, during the day, I've been caught running around in jeans, a shirt, jacket, scarf and gloves while others run amok in beaters (vests) and shorts. In air conditioned homes I sip hot water to not have to walk around in a blanket. I currently sleep in thermals.   2) I dug deep, got in touch with my internal cheeseball, made peace with her and began to (occasionally) wear sunglasses indoors. My brother, with whom I was crashing … [Read more...]

From Bangkok To LA To Detroit To Windsor


  This was my original brain blast show up in my head and write it quick post that popped brilliant when I decided it was time to jet West:   I know it's a country/city comparison, but who cares. I'm speaking in terms of where I am and where I'm going to be, population size is but a detail:   Thailand - You can be close friends with someone for years before you find out they have two kids.   Detroit - The guy standing behind you in line at White Castle will tell you about is ex-wife's nipple piercings.   Windsor, Ontario, Canada, my final destination is a more subtle version of the latter.   I'm looking forward to dipping in for … [Read more...]

Culture Shocked: Weird Moments Adapting From Thailand To The Philippines

San Juan, La Union, The Philippines

  From Thailand to The Philippines...culture shock?  Not what I expected but here's what I scribbled in my notebook as my mind unraveled my first week in.   What Threw Me   1. Being Literate   Billboards, storefronts, ingredients on packaging, t-shirts and receipts are among the beautiful expressions of one's surroundings that ceased being objects with interesting long-tailed symbols and blossomed into direct communicative transmissions.   2. Being Touched   My experience of Thai culture has been one where the parameters of one's personal space with non relatives  in the public sphere are very defined. For example, I recall watching a … [Read more...]

Landed: The Philippines


  My interest in the Philippines can be traced back to, I believe, my introduction to corn nuts. It was pre grade six when a kid agreed to a lunch goody trade off. What did I give her? No clue, but I distinctly call to mind gleefully crunching on a Filipino corn nut variation that had traveled back with her from the islands that past summer.   And so began my curiosity of the Philippines, which as the years passed was nourished by samplings of longanisa, steamed fish with eyeballs and tales of cheese ice cream. It wasn't soley about munching on things, however when I try to recall what initially got ahold of me...what zaps in my mind are memories of hanging in the … [Read more...]