Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Chie, the student dressed as a maiko and me
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One of the dance students from the Tamagawa University dressed up as a traditional Maiko
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The dance
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The dance
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The discussion about geishas
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Meet Me The Geisha Stalker

For those that know me from my junior college days, I spent most of my second year either in the Japanese Embassy pouring over picture books of Kabuki or in the National University of Singapore's East Asian studies section learning Nihon Buyo (Japanese traditional dance) and the tea ceremony. Between that, I was locked up in the theatre studies & drama studio trying to perfect the Sakura dance and finding a Kabuki way to kill my character onstage. Hannah who was doing stage make up for her final exam would be dabbing me with white face paint and figuring out how a real Geisha lines her eyes. There were moments I would turn up for geography class half covered in face paint because we forgot to bring the make up remover. The pink yukata became my second uniform as I spent hours tying the obi and trying to get it perfect. My dramatic sequence was the modernistic nihon buyo adaptation of streetcar named desire and i was obsessed with the world of geishas, nihon buyo and kabuki.

It has been three and a half years since those crazy times and I hardly remembered the dance. And suddenly today, I find myself, thousand of miles away from Singapore and Japan, face to face with two "maikos" (apprentice geishas) performing the nihon buyo at a seminar. It was like, a childhood dream come true. It's like wanting something so much for so long that you gave up on it, and suddenly when you least expected, it appears. I never got to see a real geisha, or the real nihon buyo, or a kabuki performance. Everything i learnt was learnt third hand from a video, a book or a teacher. I wanted so badly at that time to see how the artform is actually like. Whether I am just making the whole culture up. And today I finally saw it. And in all places, in Philadelphia.

They were so perfect and beautiful. It broke my bubble later when i found out they were not real maikos but traditional dance students from Japan. It further broke my bubble when he said that one of them is also a ballet dancer and the other does hip hop. But they had the whole ensemble, the make-up done perfectly, the whole kimono and the clogs. It was like looking at a doll. They were as close to the real deal as the real deal got. For one hour my eyes were riveted to them, so much that they must think I'm some sick obsessed fan. Chie spoke to them after that while I bashfully stood speechless next to them and continued staring. Besides being awestruck, I also had no idea what they were talking about in Japanese. I just said "hai" and "arigato" once in a while to sound polite. They will be performing downtown this weekend and in DC next weekend. Guess what, I'm turning up downtown this Sat and I'm will be in DC next weekend. I'm turning into a stalker. While teenagers stalk boybands, I stalk Nihon Buyo dancers. I think I'm erm...weird.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Hi, I'm Kiki and I forgot to bring my brain to class again. Hee hee.

I think it is official that Wharton will kick me out of class. Upenn will suspend me. Jcrew and Abercombie will stop allowing me into their stores to buy preppy clothes. Rich bubble-fied kids kids will stop talking to me and immigration will come knocking on my door anytime.

Besides rolling my eyes and making grunting noises every time my classmates make a comment like, " People in china get rich by marrying americans", I actually snapped back today. So we were back to the topic of Nike and sweatshop workers

Classmate A: I don't understand, why can't the workers in china or indonesia just ask their government for a higher wage and better living standards. In America we do that. Why can't they do it?

Me: Because none of them have a choice. Firstly, the people don't have a choice. Villagers can't just ask their government for more cash. And what? Get shot? Companies are exploiting the fact that these people don't have a choice. They are poor. THey are starving. When a factory opens in their village and offers them just enough money to have one meal, they don't have a choice but to take it and get exploited.

Classmate A: Yeah but if they really don't like their job at the factory, they should just quit.

Me: And what, eat grass?

Classmate B: Yeah, its not the responsibility of corporations to be providing decent wages to their employees, its the government's responsibility to ensure that their citizens are not being exploited. If their government can't provide them that, its their fault. I don't understand why the government can't do that?

Me: These governments are corrupt. And sometimes they don't have a choice. When you are in a country where your GDP is pathetic, and a company comes along and offers to employ your citizens and boost the income of your country, at the expense of your citizens' welfare, you don't have a choice but to take it. The government doesn't have a choice. The citizens don't have a choice. THe only entity with a choice here is that company. It has a choice to pay these people decent wages, it has a choice to increase their welfare. It is not its responsibility to provide for them. But its their choice to want to make another human's life better.

Classmate A: So why don't these countries just stop using money? There are other alternatives in life besides monetary stuff.

At this point, I realised that it was like trying to tell a rabbit how to use contraception. I just gave up. What was I suppose to say? Hey Mr I-Have-Gummy-Bears-As-My Brain, did you know that poor peasants cannot ask their parents for money? asked why? Because their parents are poor too. Hahahaaha.....never knew that did you. Yes...they don't have dining dollars in cambodia. Or a credit card. Or an ATM card. Oh go back to some skewed form of communism you mean like Vietnam before the war, or Cuba, or North Korea....all of which had/have/is going to have some form of American intervention in it......Oh yes, they should just live in communes and grow corn for food...who needs money? Who needs a GDP? Who needs voting power in the UN? Who needs to eat? Hahahaha......whao look at me, I have a Upenn degree but I've never seen a poor person before. In fact, I have never even been past 40th street. During orientation they say its just a place filled with scary bad people so I just like totally don't go there. Of course those people working in Walmart can send their kids to Upenn too. Duh....why can't they do it? $40,000 isn't that much. What happens if the employees of macdonald fall sick you say? They just go to the private clinic down the street. No sweat. I wonder if my meals and my accomodation is free. I've never seen the bill before. Hmm.....oh how do i pay for stuff? I just swipe this thin plastic card and then the cashier hands my food over. It always works. Oh look class is over....lets go to the dining hall and swipe that plastic thing again. I can't believe that small chinese girl with that strange accent was making such a fuss today..of course those countries can survive without money. And their people are just stupid because they forgot to ask their president to increase their wages. Du-uh.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Time to ponder my epitaph...

I can't describe how i feel. Just weird. Disconnected. Displaced. Disoriented. Five weeks till I leave. Five weeks is such an awkward time. One part of me can't wait to leave. One part of me knows it has been too long. The other part of me feels a pang of longing.

Five weeks is too long for sappy good byes and farewell letters yet. Five weeks is too long to start packing.


Five weeks is too short to start anew. Five weeks is too short to join new clubs or to take up new responsibilities. Five weeks is too short to foster and maintain new friendships.

Or maybe, i'm just stuck in the inertia of routine. Of my comfort group. My comfortable habits. And five weeks is too short and too long to break out of it.

When i look at the people i should have delve deeper with, I feel like it's too late now. I feel like the world is passing by me so quickly, yet all i can do is stand back and watch because its too late to join in. Yet it is too early to just walk away. I know im being vague, there are specific situations, I just don't want to deal with the technicalities of it right now. Not that it makes a difference anyway.

I will leave and life will be the same. For the people who met me, for the people who know me, and for the people that don't.

I feel a general sense of disappointment. With myself. And with situations. I wish I impacted someone here. But I didn't. And I'm disappointed with myself.

It has been a fulfilling learning experience. I met amazing people. And I love them to bits. But it is like waking up from a dream. You can't tell the people in the real world about your dream because they were not there with you. Yet, you can't go back into your dream and tell your "dream friends" about your real world. Very disconcerting experience.

Time does fly by so quickly. It is hard to summarize one year in a person's life. Just like how the Seasons of Love song goes:

In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights
In cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.

In five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure
A year in the life?

Yeah it has definately been a year of coffee chats, long dinners and wondering why don't they just convert to the metric system... much laughter, not much strife. I never really understood that song till today.

If we wrote an epitaph for each year we lived, what would it say? "Fun", "ok" or just "jolly good"?

Sunday, March 26, 2006

It's like racial harmony day....just with better food

This weekend was like a multicultural food fest. It started on Friday with a Singaporean's birthday dinner at a chinatown restaurant, Harbour City. After walking back 29 blocks to campus, i found out that the dance performance i was suppose to go to in an hours time was back in Chinatown. So back to Chinatown I went to watch Strictly Funk, a Upenn dance group perform in some club. If i could sumarise the dance into 2 words, it would be bondage homosexuality. Ed said that didn't sound too nice. He rather we call it girl-on-girl action. I really didn't expect them to all kiss onstage and then spank each other. The guys got their money's worth. Shock was a pretty emotive word to describe how i felt. Especially since i come from a country that would suspend you from school if you put that up for Teacher's Day concert.

Saturday was the first time I taste-tested jamaican food at Jamaican Jerk-hut down on South Street. Yup thats the place they filmed the wedding scene in In Her Shoes. Had spicy Jerk Chicken Platter with rice and beans, Jamaican cabbage and plantain. And they have roti on their menu too! Wandered down to a second hand vintage store and got a small suitcase and two dresses. When i opened the suitcase, i found an old party toy thing, you know those you blow into and the paper unrolls itself with a "poof" sound. Yeah.....i hope that wasn't a dead kid's toy.

Went on to my Hong Kong friend's birthday dinner at Bao Bao Hao. There were 50 Hong kongers in that room. This was the most chinese i ever felt in my life. Everyone was speaking cantonese and singing karaoke. I just love their culture. Everyone was so polite and hospitable. Total strangers served you before themselves, everytime I turn around my teacup gets filled, and friends really look out for their friends, to the point of going out of their way to make sure their friends get fed before the food gets cold. Singapore culture on a whole is never this hospitable and polite. We hardly try to make polite small talk, we are always late for appointments and we are quite blunt in our remarks. Plus besides my older family members and your boyfriend/girlfriend, when was the last time I served food to the person sitting next to me. It's always "Bloody hell, took my last piece of chicken!"

I tried to converse in my broken cantonese. Tried being the operative word here. When they gave my friend Dickson a cap with the word "Dick" on it, I also tried to point out that that's just wrong. But they all were oohing at how cute the cap looked, so i just left it as that. I'll remind him when i next meet him to never wear that cap in america.

And now since I went through Singapore, American, Jamaican and Hong Kong cultures, we completed the night by heading down to a European party at Gigi, with a group of Japanese girls. Every European i met contemplated my asian existence at a European party. Jonas just asked me to recite dead baby jokes. Again. I spent most of the night standing against the wall and yawning while my friends get hit on by guys. Being a true wallpaper is an art. It was a pretty decent party, with beautiful tall people and good music. But it was too crowded. I can officially identify everyone's deodorant. Both wee siong and i stood at the corner and contemplated our existence there. Then we went home.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

"Just another rich ignorant penn kid madam..."

Today in corporate ethics class while discussing sweatshop workers:

random person 1: How do these Chinese people ever get rich, or go to college?
random person 2: They marry American men.

I was too flabbergasted to react. By the time my brain confirmed I heard what I thought was the most american-centric remark ever, the class had moved on. No he wasn't kidding about the "only-way-other-people-in-the -world-get-rich-is-by-marrying-americans" comment.

At a party discussing minimum wage....

random person 3: They should be happy with their crappy job and their crappy pay, its their fault they can't get a good job because they didn't pay attention in class. They are poor because they were sleeping in class while we were studying hard.

I think my brain was dulled by the effects of alcohol because it was only after that conversation that I realised it was the most ridiculous comment I have ever heard. If a rich kid flunked in class, he will still have a pretty decent life living off daddy's cash. People don't have a choice but to be walmart cashiers because they couldn't afford to go to college, or they have sick parents, or they just have circumstances in their lives beyond their control. People don't become poor just because they didn't study in class. That was something our primary school teachers tell us to scare us into going to school.

random person 4: Why should any company hire disabled people?

I thought about this one. At first i went by the argument that yes, a profit motivated company need not hire disabled people just like how modelling agencies need not hire ugly people. It's not efficient. But companies should hire disabled people just because they can. Just because it would make the world a better place. Just because hiring that disabled person is a bigger contribution to society than telling me to lick my yogurt lids and sending it in so you can send 5 cents to breast cancer research. If only the world works on the simplistic basis of: I am human and its my duty to make another human's life better. Oh wait....hiring disabled people isn't tax deductable. And it doesn't provide very good public relation material.

Today I met a middle age black lady in the gym today just after a white penn girl knocked into her and called her "bitch". The lady said this school contains some of the most ignorant people. Not everyone is ignorant. I have met heaps of amazing people here. On a normal day I would defend Penn students. But today I just nodded and said, "Yeah, there goes another ignorant rich penn kid. This school is crawling with them."

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

How many brand names can you identify from just looking at its first alphabet?

Yeah i suck at this far i only got:
Hebrew Burger?
York Peppermint Patties

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Yes we like our men with barbeque sauce please...

I had two conversations with two different girls over two consecutive days about how we like our men. This conversation would have put feminists to rage. If I heard myself talking like that four years ago I would have had all three girls put to the stake.

Our conclusion was that we liked our men with backbones. Someone with principles and who sticks to it. We think it's hot that our boyfriends raise their voices at us when we are being irritating and whiny. When they do, we recoil back under their protection. We don't like it when they give in to all our whims and fancies. We like rock solid men who will be leaders of our families.

Of course this raising voice thing only works if they are normally sweet and loving. Suddenly when they get mad, it's like a storm cloud over the sun. If they are perpetually aggressive, they just have anger management issues. And that's not sexy.

From being the feminist of my class and penning all those crazy feminist essays when I was 17, I suddenly morphed into a Martha Stewart fan where I can imagine ironing my husband's shirts and looking after his children and cooking his dinner. I go to the bookstore and look at cook books. I imagine how my future house dining set will be. I even reach the stage where I think his career is more important than mine. I'm not the only thinking like that. Almost all my female friends think that way. Did the Betty Friedan in all of us suddenly gave way to the Elizabeth Ellliot? Girls who are scoring perfect GPAs and who come in top in everything they do are saying they want a strong man who can provide for them. In fact the only people who are talking about female independence these days are my guy friends. So very scary. Yet so timeless. That despite all our societal advances, at the end of the day, we as girls know our place in the family. We still want to be pampered. We still want to be loved and protected and adored by a man we can look up to and call our hero. We still want to crawl into the laps of our beloved, look up at him and see a knight in shining armor. I don't think there is any relinquishing of our ancient roles of protector and nurturer. We came one full circle, and we are still back to the story of Eden.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

When priests and politicians speak at the same time...

As this little Singaporean mind that never needed to think before she votes (one party), before she reads the paper (one newspaper agency), before she goes for a demonstration (not allowed, considered illegal gathering in Singapore), her tiny brain became quickly overwhelmed in this epicentre of political debate. Coming from a place that hangs you if you traffick more than fifteen grams of heroine, her myopic political perspective, which seems to be the yardstick of her morality, suddenly becomes the topic of her contention.

As her brain gets increasing caught between the president of the Pro-Life society and the Pro-Choice advocate, the anti-capital punishment speaker and the southern conservative, the orthodox protestant priest and her lesbian friend, the Republican and the Democrat, she teeters between the theology of a practicing Christian and a practical global citizen. And it troubles her that she doesn't know the answer. It troubles her that she has no principles worth fighting for.

Yet with my mediocre moderate views which I seem to understand, these are just some worth talking about as of 16th March 2006, 8:40pm. I believe that life starts as the fetus, and unless under dire circumstances, I would not advice my friends to go for an abortion.

Yet this is what I am against. I am against that part-time dishwasher working in the sleazy diner across the street, who earns $20 a day, having to take up three jobs so that her kid can grow up to be yet another single mother. Uneducated to the laws of contraception, her one night of passion with the man she thought would leave her if she did not sleep with him, turned out into a lifetime of single motherhood and the perpetuation of the cycle of poverty. I am against that drugged up girl who sleeps in the corner of the church with her cardboard boxes and shredded blanket, having to go the back alley, pay that sleazy mechanic $200 to rape her and then use a clothes-hanger to slowly tweak out her baby. According to sources, "Women who are separated from their husbands and poor women are more likely to choose abortion than other women." and "Black women are 3 times more likely to have an abortion than white women while Hispanic women are 2.5 times more likely to have an abortion than white women."

I wish we did not need to deal with the issue of abortion. I wish reckless rich couples would not just say "Ooh i forgot to bring contraception...oh well lets just screw and I'll just get an abortion." Sure there are those, but behind every swinger, there is also that 16 year old girl who couldn't afford a baby and had no idea she had other options. I am not pro-choice. I am not pro-life. I am just against poverty exploitation. And that the government and the well off in America are spending time and money debating about whether we should all be pro-life or pro-choice when what needs to be discussed is increasing the minimum wage, breaking wage slavery and making sure everyone can get healthcare when they need it. Oh yah, it doesn't make good election material because poor people can't fund campaigns.

There is a group of people who deserve to be pro-life. Those are the people in the schools ten blocks west of me, teaching young people about abusive behaviour, self-respect, chasity or contraception (depending on which religious viewpoint you want to apply). They are the people who provide nursing homes for homeless pregnant teenagers, pay for their delivery at a safe hospital, help hook them up with reliable adoption agencies, open orphanages for children that have been abandoned and help singlemothers with childcare, education and job opportunities. Most importantly, the availability of these services have to be made known to the population. I not saying that these charity organisations do not exist. I am just asking if the majority of people in these organisations are die-hard pro-life advocates. Without all that in place and just laws banning abortion, the real victims are the poor, the uneducated, the disabled and the ones trapped in that cycle of poverty. Sure we can sit around and pray, and fast, and sing hymns, and write letters to congress, and maybe one day a miracle will happen. I am not saying miracles don't happen. Many do. But many others don't. Because there are still homeless Katrina victims, and fatherless kids in West Philly. If God wanted all of us to just pray, why do we need missionaries? Prayer and faith has to go hand-in-hand with rebuilding the home of that one victim, and giving that one kid an education. Without that, how are we Christians any different from the Pharisee that stole from the poor, or the priest that walked over the dying man?

We live in a fallen world where poor people will exist with or without the ban, poor women will still get banged up with or without the ban, and back alley abortions are still going to exist. This is not about women's rights. This is not about the theology behind when a life is considered a life. This is about what is best for that cashier working her second shift in Wawa, whose life is as important as her unborn baby, or any unborn babies for that matter.

And now as I have offended as many people as I possibly could "Oh look another apathetic singaporean trying to sound as if she knows about american politics....BOOO!!", I rest my case and go back to my simple world of deciding which pink nail polish is the pinkiest.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

So pretty!
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I really like the work of this artist
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The ideal dessert: chocolate fountain!
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Yes the ideal courtship
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The ideal breakfast table of my ideal house in my ideal life
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My ideal table for my ideal party
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My ideal wedding senario
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The ideal table of my ideal wedding
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The ideal entrance to my ideal wedding
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My ideal hut...
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It's like a torture chamber for flowers
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I love this arrangement!
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My best tai tai impression
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She didn't look too happy...
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Kiddies, sweet and the leprechaun.
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Of Flowers and Leprechauns

St Patty's Day Parade was alright....i was quite disappointed actually...I really expected more leprechauns tossing money and candy everywhere, free beer for everyone, and huge ass floats with fireworks and confetti. Most importantly, i expected more people to be there. There were more parade participants than audience. I was all dressed ready to push my way through the crowds. There were like what, 20 people in total in my section of the road watching the parade. And they were all irish and parents of the participants.

Guy in front of me to his friend: "Hey you didn't tell me there was a small person behind me."
Me: "Did you just call me a small person?"
Guy: "Yeah..not like it's a bad thing."

I was surrounded by children and midget leprechauns, and I was THE "small person"? Why does everyone keep picking on me?

Next up was the Flower Show, the largest indoor flower show in the world and it was the Guinness World Record holder for earliest documented horticultural show. whao...such irrelavant details to my life. It was swarming with old people. It was like medicare gave out free flower show tickets and a swarm of old people descended on the convention centre while young people like me have to buy our own tickets. Old white women from philadelphia never ever smile at me. not being racist...but everytime I smile at an old white philadelphian woman, she just turns away. And its not like we are not of the same height....

The flower show was good....beautiful exotic displays...alot of gorgeous table decorations. I felt like Martha Stewart all day. And I have already picked out which decorations and flowers i want for my wedding. A girl can dream on can't she?

Sunday, March 12, 2006

I survived Arizona ! !

192 hours, 14 ham & cheese/peanut butter jelly sandwiches, 13 strangers, 7 days of no cellphone reception, 7 dogs and their equivalent amount of hair all over our clothes, 6 nights of sleeping on the floor, 4 states, 3 road accidents, 2 blizzards, 2 lost baggages, 1 sick girl we had to return home because she was allergic to dog hair, 1 Navajo Nation Arizona with its endless driving time later, I am sitting in my room wondering if the past week really did happen. No words can describe our crazy adventures that came and left in a matter of seconds. In Nina's (President of Alternate Spring Break Penn and participant to four of such trips) wise words, this trip has been the roughest she has ever been on.

Whether it was driving miles just to shower in that one bathroom shared by 13 people or a car stuck in the ditch, or getting lost in the desert with no cellphone reception, or spinning off an icy road, or seeing the faces of little children light up, or hearing them laugh about "making sure your injured friend doesn't become a speedbump" during our road safety presentation, our emotions were taken on a rollar coaster ride this trip. Fear, helplessness, apprehension, joy, euphoria, you name it we got it.

This trip has been the greatest learning experience of my life. There was so much culture, so much wisdom, so much knowledge to be absorbed from around me. One man has dedicated his life to using therapy to heal the "generation of trauma" that our world has created from wars, civil strife and persecution. One man and woman chose to leave modern civilisation to come out to nowhere because they were needed here. Soaring diabetes rate, high levels of alcoholism, insane number of car accidents, increased meth usage, low health care levels ...the list goes on.

When I looked at the endless desert that stretched around me during anyone of our thousand hour car rides, I think about how wonderful it is to have that spiritual connection with the land. Rock scuptures that no human could create lay around as testimonials of nature's power and God's hand. Through circumstances and those car rides with only myself to entertain me, I made friends with myself. How would I look like in a black and white photograph? What would the lines on my face show? I overcame some fears, found some strengths and accepted some weaknesses. I learnt how i react to crisis. I learnt how i can serve others. I learnt to have genuine female friends. I learnt I can connect. I learnt how to love better. So much beauty around us and so little initiative to discover.

Quote of the trip:

"This place better be the most f**king beautiful thing I have ever laid eyes on with naked women and beer pouring out of the sky."
Mic P. says while we try to get the car out of mud on the way to canyon chelly.

The very start of our crazy adventure through Arizona. Chilling in the airport at Albuquerque, we had no idea that a 6 hour car ride, 3 accidents and 7 dogs awaited us.
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In the dust and sand of Arizona sanding and painting old bleechers. Anything to make a child smile. The children were so happy when they saw their painted bleechers and done up baseball field.
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Watching the sunset ontop of a stone dune. It's times like this when all that matters is the here and now.
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The children at the Navajo boarding school that we played games with during their Star Night. I was the first Chinese they have ever seen in their lives. They mobbed me and asked me to teach them Mandarin. So if you see native american kids saying Ni Hao know who taught them that.
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It's very scary to know that ALL girls played the same hand-clapping games as a kid...whether you are from Singapore, Pennsylvania or Navajo Nation Arizona, the moves are exactly the same.
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Yeah i really do not have the biker chick look going for me. Well at least i tried. This was during the ATV (a form of vehicle) safety seminars that we presented at different schools
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The rocks at Monument Valley as Ni and I hiked out to find places to "liberate" ourselves
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Kinda looks like jurassic park doesn't it?
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All ten of us in a tiny traditional native american house
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Soooo....our car skidded on black ice and rolled into the ditch. We made it out only to skid back in and sink into mud. We couldn't call 911 because we had no idea where we were....we had no phone reception...there was no civilisation around us and it was freezing outside. We abandoned ship, trekked out to our only operating car and piled 12 people into it before rolling to the nearest house. There a helpful native american drag and ex-bandit helped us shovel our car out. While we were stuck in the car, we were making plans on who to eat first if it came to that.
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When stuck in an emergency situation where you are in the middle of nowhere, most people save food to survive, weapons to defend themselves and blankets to keep warm. What do Penn students save? Their chemistry textbooks.
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Once you tried clubbing in the snow, on the mud and in the middle of the desert, normal clubbing just doesn't hold anymore thrill. It was very cold. The guys were shoveling the car up a mile away and we couldn't go along because we only had one car left. So we shaked our booties in the middle of nowhere to keep warm. It was totally just to keep warm...really.....
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Where is this? The Aspen? Canada? Maine? No its freaking Arizona desert. Who would have thought it would snow in the desert?
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My Pet Rock.
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The ancient ruins of the anazasi people who lived in the walls of the cliff
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This view made our two-hour head-spinning heart-pumping hike down to Canyon Chelly worth it
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Four corners. We were on Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico all in one spot.
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Extreme Makeover Arizona style. We scrubbed, weeded, and sterilized Tom's house/office which has been vacant for six years. Dust gets crusty when it hasn't been removed since i was 16.
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Painting the mural in the school's library...that topped off our intake of toxic fumes for the day
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Right after one of our cars spun out of control and nearly crashed into an oncoming car, we chanced upon three native americans whose car suffered an almost similar fate. One of them had a bloodied up hand but they were all relatively ok. Brought them to the hospital. Hey i didn't just take photo ok...i stumbled out to see what i can do....figured it was all taken care of, and skidded back into the car
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In Albuquerque, New Mexico, Mexican restaurant. Our last meal together as ASB Arizona
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Team Pee First Time -This trip was our first time "liberating" ourselves in the would be an invasion of privacy to take that photo while the act of liberation was actually happening, so we took it in the airport instead..but you get the gist
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We abstained from alcohol and parties for one week....this is the closest we got to the typical american spring break. One night of jumping around and my pear-flavoured cider.
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The fabulous babes of ASB Arizona 2006!! Our after party of crazy dancing and blasting music!
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Thursday, March 02, 2006

Survivor Arizona!

I love the last two days of school before a one-week vacation. So much energy and excitement. People finishing midterms. Running down Locust walk. Some dragging luggages for an early departure home. Sidewalks lined with students in track pants waiting for taxi's to pick them up. People loading up back of cars with things they want to bring home. Everywhere you go, you hear "Mum I'll be back at 9 tonight."" Dad could you come pick me up?" "Hey I need to get to the airport now, talk to you next week."

Everyone you meet, the conversation will always be, "what are you doing for spring break?" Going home. Going to Florida. Going to Jamaica. To Hawaii. To New York. To London. To Prague. Staying here. Finishing work. Visiting friends.

I have heard so much about spring break from the american exchange students living at IH and now that it's here, it seems altogether so sudden. I'll be heading down to Navajo Nation in Arizona this spring break.

In the desert. An eight hour drive on unpaved road from albuquerque. In a native american reserve. With the nearest grocery store to where we live a half hour trek away. With a complete group of strangers. No cellphone reception, computers, internet, cosmetics, shopping or nice clothes (we have to just bring one bag of old clothes because they will be getting them dirty) Seven days of youth empowerment programs and trail restoration for the Navajo people. This is by far the furthest I have been out of my comfort zone. Far away from the city life, technology and modern culture that I am so comfortable being around, I am excited to see how this city girl lasts in the desert. At least once she gets past the eight hour drive, of which she has bought every concievable travel sickness medication in the pharmacy for.

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

There should be a chinese restaurant named: Eat Tofu

Sha messaged me today about how my blog reads like a food column. If I could summarize my exchange into two words, it would be: Ate alot.

So today, I went out to eat again. Surprise surprise. This time it was Soon-do-boo (spicy tofu soup) in Soft Tofu restaurant.

The last time I was there, I was involved in a not-too-serious car accident just outside the restaurant. So obviously that place doesn't have best of memories. But nonetheless the food was good! I had tofu seafood beef soup. Decided not to be gungho and order just a little spicy this time. The last time i came I ordered extra spicy. The soup came out bright red. I could feel sweat and mucus dripping from every pore of my body as my stomach slowly bled. This time the soup was just the right colour of orange. Julius kept throwing korean words at me throughout the entire dinner. Something about being a korean restaurant made him want to reconnect with his roots.

I was so stuffed after the meal I felt like throwing up. Might as well...I won't be getting asian food for one week in Arizona.