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[Photo Journal] A walk in the snow through parks in New York

On Sunday, I went on a walk with 2 good friends and their dog in Fort Tyron Park and Inwood Hill Park in New York. The weather was great, and it was so quiet!
Yesterday was my first day “back” in the routine of living and working in New York City. New York is my hometown, which decided to welcome me back from the tropics with snow and freezing temperatures. Awesome! Haha, but really, I’m glad to be back!

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Good humor is a tonic for mind and body. Good humor is a tonic for mind and body. The Terrace, a restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand

2013 in signs and sayings, plus life lessons for 2014

On my travels to various parts of Asia, I often stop and take photos of interesting signs or pieces of English that I find interesting. Here’s a list of life lessons that we can glean from signs I’ve come across in 2013.

We all need money…

"Press for money" sticker on a crosswalk button in Singapore.

“Press for money” sticker on a crosswalk button in Singapore.

…but it isn’t worth going to jail.

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The communal cats of Singapore

Many apartment complexes in Singapore have communal cats that are fed by people who live in the various buildings. You’ll often find residents sitting at tables with benches in the open air communal areas on the ground level, feeding the cats and playing with them. These are the communal cats of Singapore.

How this cat hides from sun

It gets warm and sunny in Singapore, and the communal cats have a few favorite spots around the apartment complexes. On my morning commute which takes me through the parking lot to the bus stops on the other side of the road, I usually see this cat curled up in the shade of some motorebikes.
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Leaving Sakaerat today…and some thoughts on meeting Americans abroad

Chewy in Sakaerat

I’m leaving Sakaerat today! I’m a bit sad to go, definitely because the people here have been great and the nature and wildlife have been amazing. I wish I could come back, and I’m glad that I came. The colleague I came to visit has some really impressive research going on here, and I’m glad that I got to go out and search for her study species (Chiromantis hansenae) with her field team.
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Side trip from Tokyo! Lake Ashi in Hakone, Japan

When I was in Japan in June, I took a 2 day trip to Hakone which is in the nearby mountains. Lake Ashi is a crater lake surrounded by mountains. Going for the lake itself is worth the trip from Tokyo! I went in June for 2 days, 1 night, and enjoyed the ferries from dock to dock. It takes a few hours by train and other transportation to get from Shinjuku to the lake, but totally worth it! You can get the Hakone Pass for 2 or 3 days which allows you to take the train and then the cable car, ropeway, and the main ferry company. It is beside Mount Hakone which is a volcano that last erupted 3000 years ago, when it formed a caldera that has gradually filled with water over the years. The lake was really the main draw for me. It was relaxing to just be on the water and breath in the fresh air. It got a bit breezy and chilly, but I didn’t mind. It was glorious to be on a boat on a beautiful lake and see green mountains all around! I spent most of my free time taking the ferry from dock to dock, and had just enough time to check out the Hakone Shrine (箱根神社, Hakone Jinja) before catching the last ferry back to where I stayed.

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Fun stuff and a quick lunch at Tokyu Hands Department Store in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan! And possibly the best mechanical pencil ever!

Tokyu Hands is a department store in Japan that has sections of floors dedicated to various things you might need. I swear that half a floor was filled with pens, pencils, and other writing implements. Another half of a floor was dedicated to paper and paper goods. They also have DIY, kitchen, model planes and vehicles, and several other categories. According to their website, sushi goods, health related goods, train related goods, hot/cold insulated boxes for food, and grooming goods are the top 5 most popular among customers. But they do seem to have a bit of everything!

Update: They also have 2 locations in Singapore now.
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We bought 2 mangoes, with a package of warm sticky rice, and small bag of coconut milk. We brought them back to my hotel room to cut and assemble for a delicious dessert.

A trip to Or Tor Kor Market for fresh mango with sticky rice, my favorite Thai dessert!

If you have never had Thai golden mangoes, then please feast your eyes on this photo of delicious fresh cut mango with sticky rice and coconut milk! I went to a famous Bangkok food market to get some.

A few weekends ago, I was in Bangkok, Thailand for meetings, but had some time to hang out with my Aunt who lives there. She took me to this market where they sold the best quality of every fruit or traditional Thai food you could think of. It is called Or Tor Kor Market. This is the place to go for the freshest and best tasting fruit and produce you can find in Bangkok. It is a bit pricier than other markets, but all items have made the cut to be presented there. They are definitely worth the extra money for the occasional splurge! These mangoes were so delicious that I don’t think I can eat mango in Singapore (or possibly anywhere else) ever again. Really! Continue Reading

First press conference, Fall Out Boy at the Butter Factory!

Fall Out Boy was one of my first favorite rock bands, and I think they just might become a favorite again. Tonight I got to seem them in the flesh at a press conference for their 2013 album titled “Save Rock and Roll” at the Art Bar in the nightclub Butter Factory here in Singapore.

Fall Out Boy at the Art Bar

Press conference for “Save Rock and Roll” at the Art Bar, the Butter Factory, in Singapore.


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