Swimming

Swimming is a confusing sport, because sometimes you do it for fun, and other times you do it to not die. And when I’m swimming, sometimes I’m not sure which one it is. – Demetri Martin Can you swim? It’s an interesting question in an EFL (English as a Foreign Language) classroom and one that…

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Foods I love from Hawaii

Folks from Hawaii talk about SPAM as if we are talking about sex or something better. I’m fairly certain if we replaced SPAM with the word ‘sex’ the giddy teenage excitement in our voices would be the same. SPAM is our bacon, our beacon of light, our bowl of comfort and a beautiful mess.

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(An expat reflects) here versus there…

Returning home to Hawaii after six years abroad felt as natural as diving into the Pacific Ocean. It was salty, sweet and refreshing. It was exhausting and revealing in ways that I had forgotten. And it confirmed my decision to stay outside the borders of the United States, coloring outside the lines, looking from the…

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Chinatown, Hawaii

Visiting Hawaii meant not only visiting memories, but places where those memories are contained. Chinatown is one such place. Honolulu’s is one of the oldest Chinatowns in America and probably is one of the smelliest. So, I find it rather amusing that tourists come here and based on their 3 star reviews, visitors possibly find…

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Was it really stealing? Stealing is wrong.

First of all, let me say that I’ve never stolen anything before. Well, that was what I truly thought until I started to write and then I began to remember my dishonest and theiving past. I was astonished, really. It’s funny what we forget and what we remember once we start writing. Forgive me and…

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When I was 12…

When I was 12, I lived in a townhouse on Anania Circle in the town of Mililani, situated in the center of the island of Oahu.  Our neighbor was a grumpy old man who would bang his fists against the wall whenever I practiced the piano. Soon we figured out that I could not, should…

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How has your name impacted you?

I remember in the sixth grade when this new kid came to class. He was one of the few black kids at our school, and on his first day he answered Mrs. K’s questions as best as he could. “Your name is Filet Mingon?” “Yes.” She said it louder and slower, “Your name is Filet…

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Swearing.

Swearing was not allowed in the house. But then again, swearing was on the cable TV and in the rooms and behind the words of everyone in the house. I remember the first time I swore in front of my mother. I must have been about 15 years old. We were in the garage, getting…

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Why expats (outsiders) are good for a community

Growing up in Hawaii offered many wonderful experiences that, as a child, I wasn’t even aware of. Sure, I didn’t see snow until I left, but I lived outside, in the sunshine, the warmth, the play that many children seem to be deprived of nowadays. We didn’t know seasons, really. And I never owned an…

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Anania Circle

I’ve been greatly inspired with not enough time to write, so I’m depressed, moody and a little resentful. Good stuff. Last weekend I sort of attended the Asia Pacific Writers conference in Bangkok. JP and I were “too poor” to attend the real event, so I made a compromise and paid for a 2 hour…

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When I knew I would travel…

I just read Vicki Pott’s (@ redheadedtravels) about me page which has inspired me to write this long overlooked and overdue post. Vicki’s first sentence is, “I can remember the exact moment I got the travel bug…”

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Who is Tell-Thai Heart?

Me! I originally started Tell-Thai Heart back in 2009 (first on blogger and then on its own URL) as a way to put-myself-out     there. But after so many problems with the hosting company, etc, I decided to move my site back to a free hosting platform. Now I’m using WordPress and have integrated it with…

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Punchbowl Cemetery

For last week’s poetry class, we had to write about our favorite place. And because I had done a similar exercise in high school theatre and for my L7 English class, my favorite place was readily accessible. We wrote for half an hour. This was my in the moment scribble, my pen to paper fantasma.…

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Before and After Thailand

I love milestones.  I’ve been so busy with work lately and it’s because I signed on for another year, my third year teaching in Thailand! OMG! Before Thailand (hereafter referred to as BT), I was in a committed relationship. My social network was small and I found myself having a difficult time relating to popular news and…

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How Hawaii prepared me for Thailand

I was blessed to have been born and raised in Hawaii. I didn’t realize this until I left to go to college in Durango Colorado where, after answering, “Where are you from?” I was greeted with, “Hawaii! What the hell are you doing here?” or “Wow!” or “OMG. Pack me in your suitcase!” or my…

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Girls like me

Growing up in the US during the 80s, I hardly, if ever, saw girls who looked like me in the media. This was something that lived unconsciously in me, but I certainly noticed it when I got my Chinese Barbie. I cut her long straight old-fashioned hair into a more fashionable bob. Although, I think…

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The holidays

On Thanksgiving I called my mom. It was a day early for her in Hawaii but I wanted to call her all the same. She told me that she bought some hair dye and that tomorrow she was going to visit my father then dye her hair. I smiled.

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