Asian American American holidays

Larry, Mom and me at Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai, 1979.
Larry, Mom and me at Doi Suthep. [Thailand, December 1979]
American holidays overseas don’t take on any extraordinary meaning, if anything they seem to diminish in specialness. And that’s okay. I think what really helps me is I’m a first-generation American, and what that means is, holidays as a child were perfunctory and often awkward occasions.

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Siem Reap Viva tacos

A lifetime of eating impatiently (how we eat)

I never do this, but I couldn’t resist typing on my phone, “Isn’t it strange that the Indian kid keeps yelling, “Burger, burger!”? and handed it to my b/f to read since I couldn’t very well say it in front of the family as they were sitting right next to us.

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am I a feminist?

What they never told you about bra shopping in Thailand

feminism rocks
Burn them all.

Ah, the joys of womanhood, eh? Every one of us ladies can remember our first visit from Uncle Payne and Auntie Flo. Or that time, you didn’t know you were going to have it and how you decided to wear light pink pants that day. Or that time in Bangkok, the city of grit and sweat, you saw that tourist wearing shorts soaked in her own blood and you were mortified that no one told her, so you did. It’s a really hot city.

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Nong Khai’s Sala Keoku

sala-1

Normally, I prefer to be sober. But for my latest trip outside the country, I wished I had better and heavier drugs than cough drops and cold medicine. Perhaps it would have made my visa run more enjoyable, then again, probably not.

I stayed over in Nong Khai on my way back from Vientiane, and I’m glad I did. Nong Khai is a border town, but unlike Vientiane, where you feel like you’re in hell’s waiting room, Nong Khai has some touristic attractions that I wanted more time to see.

However, time did allow for me to go to Sala Keoku or Salakeawkoo which is a bizarre sculpture park created Boun Leua Sourirat in the late 1970s.

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Don’t call Thais short.

old-men-of-lamphun
Old men in Lamphun, 2013

In the US, if you call someone fat, it is considered insulting, even if it is true. It’s more polite to say “heavy” or “big”. But in Thailand, the word “fat” does not have the same weight because it’s the height that means the most.

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What’s your comfort food?

whats-your-comfort-food

The problem is my mom is an amazing cook so I have fond and savory memories of her cooking. I can think of many comforting Thai dishes she made that taste like home: Stuffed Bitter Melon Soup, Pork Knuckles in Sweet Dark Soy Sauce and a very simple Chicken Rice Soup that she made whenever we were sick.

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12 things I’ve learned about Chiang Rai (List #2)

Have you missed list #1? Go here. Otherwise, read on…

doi-chaang-inside

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