As is my habit, I brought back coins and bills from my trip.
I’m now only missing one out of 100 state quarters collected from circulation since 1999 (one for each state and for each of the two mints, the one in Philadelphia and the one in Denver). It was always harder for me to collect Denver coins when I lived in the Southeast and the Northeast, but unsurprisingly, in Denver there were a lot of Denver coins.
I made a bunch of squashed pennies in tourist machines in various places.
I traded with my mom’s friend who we were staying with to get money from Uruguay, Brazil, and several other countries.
I purposely did not go in any used bookstores while I was in the U.S. (though I admit I was tempted). Still, somehow I wound up returning from Denver to Singapore with these 21 used books. I bought them at two thrift stores where I went to buy pants. (Trousers? Whatever.)
These books cost me less than US$23.00 in total. (For the sake of comparison, note that the website of the most prominent bookstore in Singapore, Kinokuniya, lists new copies of the hardcover Four for the equivalent of about US$19.00.)
From a content standpoint, the book I’m most excited about is probably the psychology textbook. From a collecting standpoint, I’m most excited about Wolf Wing and the Percy Jackson books, because they match books I already own.
When I was a kid, I thought flying from Atlanta to Los Angeles, which I did maybe twice and which takes about five hours, was unimaginably far, because the flight from Atlanta to Nashville, which I took many times, only takes about one.
These days, if I don’t watch five or six movies, the flight feels like it’s over as soon as it starts.
Below is a list of the movies I watched on United Flight 1 from San Francisco to Singapore on June… actually I don’t know what day it was, technically, since we left on the 16th, flew for more than 16 hours, and arrived on the 18th.
- 13 Going on 30 (2004)
- Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)
- Capture the Flag (2015)
- Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
- Independence Day (1996)
Below are two dozen photos of a weekend trip to Bangkok. We stayed in Chinatown, tolerated the inevitable traffic, ate good Chinese and Thai food, visited the Suan Pakkad Palace Museum and window-shopped.
Out the window, I glimpsed a Ronald McDonald statue making the traditional Thai greeting (pressing his hands together); a business sign saying “Creative Accounting” that my husband finds particularly amusing; and a mural depicting two aliens in a lotus pond, one of whom looks like a wookie and is holding a popscicle (?!).
Fortunately, I spotted the alien mural while we were at a stoplight and took a photo, so you can see it, too. (The longer you look at it, the weirder it gets.)
Continue reading Bangkok (March 2016)
Below are 32 photos (out of 350!) from a trip I went on with my husband to Vientiane and Luang Prabang in Laos.
(The Buddha Park must be seen to be believed. Or rather, even after you’ve seen it, it’s still unbelievable…)
Continue reading Laos (December 2015)
Below are 27 selected photos of a brief trip with friends to Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Continue reading Siem Reap, Cambodia (November 2014)
We bought this collection of objects (tray and wooden fruit) on our trip to Bali and Lombok, Indonesia.
It occurred to me that each fruit looks like some other object.
The one on the left, which would look like a star in cross-section, is a starfruit. It’s the most familiar of this batch to a North American.
The one that looks like a grenade is a durian. Those are famous for being stinky and prickly.
The scaly fig is a snake fruit (aka Salak). I ate one off a tree while hiking through the woods. It was sticky.
The one at the top is, I think, a rose apple (water apple), and looks like a nose in cross section. This one, however, looks very pear-like and has what look like leaves or a flower at the bottom, which is not typical in my experience. It might also be a pomegranate (delima); that would explain the structure at the bottom but not the pear shape.
The one that looks like a soccer ball is… actually I don’t know. Maybe a sugar apple (custard apple, srikaya)?
We figure we probably overpaid because the guy running the shop gave us the pear-looking-thing for free. I think he also wrote a lower selling price on the receipt and pocketed the difference.
Nevertheless, we love these strange wooden objects. They’re well made, and the detail on the snake fruit, in particular, is amazing.