Musings from the Mosh Pit…

Thoughts. Tales. Travels. Whatever.

This one goes out to… June 12, 2012

Now My Heart Is Full is the first Morrissey song I ever fell in love with.  My favorite line goes: “Tell all of my friends, I don’t have too many…”.  It’s not much of a killer lyric I know but I’m an introvert by nature and those words spoke true to me.  We’re all free to decipher the possible meanings of our favorite songs and I read in a fan forum that this song is (probably) about suicide.  I didn’t think of it that way but the reasons given made sense.  No, I have never contemplated suicide, I never will, but this is still my favorite song (now one of many!).

I’m still basking in the after glow of Morrissey’s Manila concert.  It was such a profound experience to see and hear the man whose music has meant (and still means) so much to me.  It made me remember the friend who first brought his music into my life.  When I first met her we instantly clicked with our common love for rock music, sarcastic humor, good movies, writing letters, books, funny comic strips and coffee among other things.  She would tell me stories about The Smiths and Morrissey and would often recite their lyrics with such panache it made me so envious that I wished I knew those lines by heart as well.  The lyrics were amazing but it took a while before I took a shine to the songs.  I’m glad she never gave up on me–giving me cds of her favorite songs, writing letters with lyrics on them and sharing her videos on her ipod.  Little by little I was hooked for life!  It was wonderful to have someone to share these things with.  When I was finally immersed in the music as much as she was, we dreamt of being able to watch him live and possibly be even one of the lucky few who get to hold his hand.

Because of one thing and another, we’ve lost touch over the years.  Life happens and some things we just have no control over.  I thought about her during the concert and I wished we could’ve shared that experience together.  A few days afterward I decided to reconnect with her.  I honestly didn’t expect her to write back so I was both surprised and glad to have received a happy reply.  She shared her concert stories, the best one being, “Morrissey held my hand!”.  I was so happy that her dream came true.  She deserved that moment.  A coffee date may soon follow…who knows?  Morrissey’s advice: Hold Onto Your Friends.

The exact moment of dream coming true

So I would like to dedicate this song, this video, this post, this moment to my friend.  You might be sick of hearing it already but thank you for sharing this with me.  Note to friend: Jack The Ripper was also a contender for this spot and you know how much we love that song too!

 

song: Now My Heart Is Full

album: Vauxhall and I

video: from carmenbozia on youtube

 

Birthday Bonanza in Bangkok – Day 3 & 4 April 6, 2012

Filed under: excellent adventures with friends,friends,tales,travels — fizzywoohoo @ 5:49 am
Tags: , , ,

Day 3: We had to be up and ready by 7am for our activities on this day.  We had made prior arrangements with Lok the day before to take a whole day tour which would include: an elephant ride, a trip to the floating market, lunch and then an elephant show and a visit to a crocodile sanctuary.

We couldn’t really figure out why we had to be up early for the tour.  Turns out, seeing the above places meant traveling outside of Bangkok for an hour or so.  First on the agenda was The Elephant Village.  Elephant rides here cost about 500-600 THB per person and can last for about 20-30 minutes..depending on your elephant.  The one we rode was named Laikini (I might have gotten it wrong), she’s 20 years old and kept stopping to eat and drink.  The man guiding us said that she was already 1 year and 3 months pregnant.  (elephants carry their babies for about 2 years)

We asked if she was the oldest in their care.  He said no and pointed to the one in front of us who was already 40 years of age!

I admit that I was scared for the most part even if the pacing was slow.  Whenever the elephant would bend down to drink or pick grass, your position tilts awkwardly and I was afraid of falling off.  I grabbed onto Ava’s arms so tight until she finally had to say, “Can you let go for a short while?  I can’t use my arm to take pictures haha”.

At the end of the ride you can have a moment with the elephants for some picture taking or in our case, our guide handed us some bananas and sugar canes to feed them with.

After that it was a quick 10 minute ride to the Damnoensaduak Floating Market.  Riding the paddled boat to shop around will cost about 150 THB per person.  We passed on this one since our tour included a motor boat ride that would take us around the surrounding areas.  We just stayed near the docking area to look at the goods being sold and of course to try out some hot noodle soup!

The soup (about 25 THB) is given to you without any spices.  Once you sit down in one of the nearby small tables, you get to have a go at how you want it to taste by mixing different sauces and chillis and then…dig in!

Our tour guide treated us to this one.  In the Philippines, this would be similar to Maja Blanca–it has a pudding like texture of coconuts, milk and bits of corn kernels and then slightly fried.

We were dropped off by the motorboat to a sort of floating mini resort where the rooms or huts are elevated on top of the water.  A short walk takes you to the King Cobra Show.  Even if we didn’t see it, there was a temple beside it so it was still a good chance to take some more photos.

Meet friendly tour guide No. 2–Ms. Bangkok.  We don’t know her real name…that’s just how she introduced herself.

It was time for lunch and here was pad thai no. 2 of the trip.  To me it tasted better than the first.  Our meal consisted of tom yum  soup, pad thai, steamed veggies and I think the other one was fish cakes.

Afterwards, it was another long drive to the Samphran Elephant Ground Zoo.  The show starts off with a magic show, which I actually enjoyed.  The elephant show chronicles the history and shows the importance and high esteem that the Thai people put on these majestic creatures starting from the early years of Siam.  We also learned that all elephants are considered property of the King.

Beside this area is where the crocodiles are.  Some of them you’ll find just underneath the wooden bridge, with their mouths open….*shivers*

Some of the elephants from the show are placed inside these small pens just after the crocodile area.  It’s a good place to interact with them.

Near the exit, you can have a picture taken with these tigers for 100 THB.  They sure look calm and relaxed but I didn’t want to take the chance.

That was the end of our tour and we were all back in the van dropping everyone off at their respective hotels.  Before heading back to ours, we stopped by again at the Platinum Mall for some last minute shopping for gifts to take home and also to get some dinner.  Here is pad thai no. 3  (about 30 THB) from one of the food stalls on our street.  This gets my vote for the best pad thai of our trip!

Day 4:  All too soon, the Bangkok adventure reaches it’s final day.  We packed our stuff and headed to the main building to check out and wait for our ride back to the airport.

Flying home was a bit bumpy and it took a while before lunch was served.

Hello again, Manila!

We had a wonderful time in Bangkok.  Lots of fun memories we’ll surely treasure for a long time.  I’m glad we celebrated my birthday there.  Even though there are a lot of other countries we’d like to see and visit, Thailand has already earned itself another “must return” vote from us.

Kob khun ka, Thailand!

 

Birthday Bonanza in Bangkok – Day 1 & 2

I told my good friend Ava last year that I’d like to do something different for my birthday this year.  That’s when Bangkok entered the picture.  I made travel arrangements, researched on the hotel, the train systems, the currency, listed places to see and shop at and picked up a few useful phrases.  I also attempted to make an itinerary…”attempted” because with so much information, I pretty much gave up on the idea and decided we’d just wing it when we got there.  We were already ticketed a month and a half before our March 15 departure and I was crossing off the numbers on my desk calendar until finally the big day has arrived!

Day 1: We arrived at PAL Terminal 2 pretty early–about 3.5 hours before our 1030am flight.  It left on time and it was actually smooth flying–so smooth that I dozed off after the meal was served.  Ava on the other hand spent the hours watching Adam Sandler’s Jack and Jill on the flight.

Di plane! Di plane!

Upon setting foot in Thailand’s Suvarnumbhumi International Airport (I can finally spell it without googling it!) we were totally floored at how big and beautiful it was.  Took a while to get past immigration (long lines!) and find my suitcase so our tour guide had already been waiting for us for a good 30 minutes before we showed up at the exit.  In the van, we were also joined by a Filipino doctor and his Spanish wife.  They were pleasant people and even if we weren’t billeted in the same hotel, we would see them throughout our entire stay.

That’s my buddy Ava leading the way…though admittedly we both didn’t know where to go to at first so we just followed the flock of people heading in this direction.

Once outside, this was the first thing we saw…colorful Bangkok taxis!  According to our tour guide, each color corresponds to the company of a particular taxi operator.

While waiting for our van, the doctor’s wife was kind enough to offer to take our picture.  This was the first of only 2 pictures of us during the entire trip that was taken by another person.  The first few minutes of travel from the airport was pretty fast.  There were hardly any bumps or cracks on the road so it was a comfortable ride.  When we got to the city proper and near our hotel, that’s when the bumper to bumper traffic appeared.  It gave me a chance to look out the window and take in the surroundings.  Bangkok reminded me so much of Manila–the traffic, the motorcycles that weave in and out of it, the little eateries along the road, the signs on the shops (they look the same except I don’t read Thai), the graffiti on the walls, the laundry hung outside of windows and yes, even the occasional man walking shirtless inside his property haha!  Though I must take my hats off to Bangkok for being a very clean city.  Even the markets, when they’ve already closed shop for the day, seem cleaner.

We arrived at our hotel, Citin Pratunam about 4 in the afternoon.  Pratunam is a shopping district located in Ratchathewi.  Who needs a 5 star hotel when this budget hotel is just as comfortable?  It’s clean, quiet and the staff are all smiles and always very helpful.  You can read about my review of this hotel here or you can visit their website.

When we finally settled in and did a quick freshen up, it’s time to explore the streets!  As soon as we stepped out of the small street where the hotel was located, we went wherever our feet took us.  There were so many street vendors selling clothes and some knick knacks that it’s hard to focus your attention on just one stall in particular.  Amongst the throngs of shops selling clothes, we finally found some vendors who sold food.  Apart from the shopping, we were really looking forward to the food!  And what better way to start the food adventure than by trying this:

Crickets.  Yes, crickets.  When Ava first whipped out her camera to take a picture, the lady vendor violently refused so my friend said, “If I buy, can I take a picture then?”  The vendor still refused.  She probably didn’t understand the question so another vendor nearby explained it to her and eventually she smiled when she realized we were buying.  There were all sorts of crazy insects on her basket…but these came highly recommended.  She was also pointing at the worms and giving us the thumbs up sign (which Ava wanted to try) but we ended up not buying it.  To be quite honest, it didn’t taste bad….it tasted like barbecue flavored chips actually.  The pandan leaves that it was cooked with gave it some flavor and good aroma too.  The only thing I had a problem with is that when you scoop them up on the spoon, some of them had their eyes on you which creeped me out a bit.  So, my eyes were always closed every time I’d put the spoon in my mouth.  This entire bag costs 10 THB.

A few stalls after the insects, I found some dumplings…fresh off the steamer!  You get 5 pieces also for the price of 10 THB.

We walked some more down the small street until we reached the intersection with the main road.  Across we found the Platinum Mall.  This was taken at the foot bridge as we made our way towards the mall.

After going around the mall for about an hour, we got hungry (crickets can’t really make you feel full after all) so we went up to the food court and ordered veggie dumplings and a plate of pad thai.  This is the first of 3 pad thais that we’ll eat during the trip and honestly this first one only gets a bronze medal from me.

After a long hot day, I couldn’t resist the urge to open a very cold can of coke.  We later on found out that Thailand is a “Pepsi Country” so finding a can of coke was hard to come by.

Day 2: The tour that came with the package was scheduled on this day.  Our guide picked us up at 8:30am and first on the agenda was Wat Intharawihan or The Temple of the Standing Buddha.  Here you’ll find a golden Buddha statue that stands 32 meters tall and 10 meters and 24 inches wide.  The place also had other versions of the Buddha statue.

Lotus flowers sold at the temple entrance

To enter the plaza where the giant golden Buddha stands, you’ll have to pass by a blue and gold gate with marble walls on each side.  These walls are also used to hold urns though I’m not quite sure who gets the honor of being laid to rest here.

The craftsmanship on these doors is really amazing.  It makes the entire structure pop even if you’re still some feet away.

Next we went to Wat Traimit or The Temple of the Golden Buddha.

Here is our friendly tour guide No. 1 Lok.  At the time we arrived, monks were still praying inside.  People can go in and stay in the back while they pray.  Although make sure you read up on the rules of temple etiquette.  Lok mentioned that her son, who is about 20 years old will become a monk in a few months time.  I asked her how she felt about it and she smiled and said that she’s truly honored.  Even if her son will leave her and can no longer experience the comforts of home, she considers it a blessing.

The last stop was at Gems Gallery, which according to their website is the “world’s biggest jewelry store”.  It was a pretty interesting place.  I’d never seen so many shiny things I can’t afford in one go…but they truly are very pretty (albeit some of the pieces bordered on “too much”).  After some welcome drinks, we were ushered into a small theater where a short film was shown about Thailand being known for their sapphires and rubies.  After the 15 minute film, you’ll be taken into another room where you’ll be shown how a raw stone is turned into something you’ll readily see on the red carpet at a Hollywood event.  Think of it as a small assembly line for jewelry.

Now, Ava and I are also fans of Kpop and we were delighted at the news that one of the groups we liked, Super Junior were also in town for their Super Show 4 tour.  We didn’t buy tickets online so we decided to take our chances and see if we could score some at the Impact Arena.

We finally made it!

It was way past noon, the weather was extremely hot and we were terribly hungry.  We saw a McDonald’s but it was still closed so we just took pictures of Thailand’s Ronald McDonald doing a gesture one does when greeting someone. We ended up eating KFC instead.

There were fan booths and sponsor booths.  Here’s Ava posing with characters from a local soft drink commercial.

This is probably the closest we’ll ever get to the boys…

Ava with Cardboard Kyu

Me with Cardboard Siwon & Donghae

While waiting for the show we hung out at the airconditioned food court and tried this.  I’m not sure what it’s called but it’s got crushed ice, syrup and gelatin.

We enjoyed the show (which lasted for about 4 hours) and luckily got a cab that agreed to take us back to the hotel.  The sad part was that the driver was asking for 600 THB which, if converted to pesos would make it THE.MOST.EXPENSIVE.CAB.RIDE.I.EVER.TOOK.  But it was late, we were tired and the hotel was very far…oh well…  It had been a long and eventful day but we’ll only get a few hours sleep (just 2 actually) before we had to be up and ready again for Day 3!

 

Me?! Maid of Honor?! January 24, 2011

Filed under: friends,personal,something about me,tales — fizzywoohoo @ 9:12 am
Tags: ,
Who, me?

I’ve just been told, exactly 39 minutes ago (as of this writing), that my friend has chosen me to be her Maid of Honor for her upcoming April wedding.

My immediate reaction was, “Huh?! Me, your maid of honor?!” When she first told me a few weeks back that she was getting married and that I’d be a part of her entourage I thought, “Ok, bridesmaid…sponsor…cool!”  But now that I”m officially maid of honor…wow!  That’s a whole new level for me….this is a first!

I was so touched that she thought of me.  I mean, I’ve never been “honorable anything” ever so for someone to say that they’d like me to have a special role in her special day, it really does give you a heartwarming feeling…and then afterwards I felt nervous…and panicky…and I told myself to go on a diet…and I wanted to throw up…haha.  All the worries and concerns and responsibilities are starting to flood in.  I’m so excited!

To my “kapatid” and dear friend…thank you so much for letting me be a part of your life..and a part of your family’s life.  I’m so happy for you.  It’s going to be a kick ass wedding…and your rocker friend will be kick ass maid of honor!

 

New Year Surprise January 7, 2011

Jan. 03, 2011. This day marks my first day back to work after the 2 week Holiday Break. And this story is somewhat of a continuation of “Pleasant Surprises” involving Z & M.

I was in the process of cleaning up my desk when M arrived around 9am.  She approached my desk and asked me, “Anong gusto mo, boy or girl?” (What would you like, boy or girl?).  It was obvious she was going to give me something and whatever that is depends upon my answer. I said, “Boy..?” (I was unsure if I chose correctly) and she opened her bag and took out this little plastic pack and I could already see what it was..2 dwejji tokkis! Here’s a little explanation–I love the Korean drama He’s Beautiful and part of the story revolves around this stuffed animal called “pig-rabbit”–it’s a rabbit (tokki) with a pig’s (dwejji) nose hence the term “pig rabbit”.  So she pulls two of them out of her bag and hands me over the boy version..but the girl version had the ribbon/pin on her ears (the hair pin also plays a part in the story) so I requested for the exchange.  She laughed but obliged me just the same…so now I have my own little pig rabbit knick knack! (you can actually hang it on your phone but I tacked mine on my work cubicle so that I can see it everyday).

A few minutes later Z drops by my desk and hands over a nicely wrapped cd.  That moment right there made me smile and very happy because if you’d asked me a year ago if I ever thought I’d have friends at work, I would’ve said no. But now here i am, being given gifts by 2 people who I can share my addiction to kpop with…and they’re really, really nice people.  So anyway, I checked out the cd and it was a copy of Z’s favorite drama “Sungkyungkwan Scandal”..I told her I already have a copy but I’ll make sure I’ll watch her copy instead of mine.  I’m really very touched and thankful for the little tokens that I’ve received.  They really made my day.

Jan. 04, 2011.  Tuesday.  Fangirling fun continues.  Z asks me, “Do you know where the nearest Metrobank is?”  I laughed out loud because I knew exactly why she asked me that.  Metrobank is the official bank of Fangirlasia.com — a place where happy campers like us can order merchandise straight from Korea and Japan!  I know because the day before I was going through their products and putting stuff in my online shopping cart!  The fact that she was buying some stuff only made my resolve stronger…I was going to buy me some Kpop goodies as well!  M happened to pass by and I offered if she’d like to join in.  It didn’t take a rocket scientist to guess that she immediately said yes as well.  Before the lunchbreak was over, we already paid for our stuff.  Goodbye cash and hello dvds & cds!

Aigoo…so hard being a fangirl.

 

Pleasant Surprises December 28, 2010

I think it’s safe to say that being a shy person does not help my desire to accumulate more friends.  A close friend of mine (yes you, Kapatid!) even jokes around and says that I’m not shy…just anti-social.  Haha..I’m not of course, but just when I’m about to surrender to the idea that I might just be one, the Universe throws some very pleasant surprises my way.  These pleasant surprises are in the form of new friends…friends who from the first/early encounters make you feel so comfortable and so welcome that it feels like you’ve known each other for a long time (well, for me anyway).  I would like to take this opportunity now to give a shout out to them.

1)  “Z” – She’s someone who’s only been with the company for a few months.  I’ve never even had a conversation with her.  Now last week, as I passed by her desk, I noticed a cute photo of 2 guys as her desktop wallpaper. I didn’t know who they were but I immediately assumed they had something to do with Kpop since I was told she enjoyed listening to it.  I was still curious as to who the guys were.  On the last day of work before the holiday break we happened to enter the building at the same time and after she said hi I figured it was a good time to ask her my question…and so I did.  She laughed and told me they were her 2 favorite members of TVXQ/DBSK–one of the most popular Korean boybands.  I swear I heard angels singing hallelujah in my head and all I could think of was, “Yey! Another fellow Kpop/Kdrama addict like me!”  And when we both got up to our floor, and after a few minutes of settling down on our desks, we coincidentally met each other in the pantry…and spent about 45 minutes (work? what work?) just releasing the inner fangirl in us!  It was awesome!  Not bad for a first conversation huh?

Still can’t decide who my favorite member is..

2) “M” – I’ve been sharing & swapping stories/emails/pictures/music with her for a few months now.  Our common denominator in the beginning? The one who brought us together? Jang Geun Suk.  She’s even shared with me her other love, Big Bang–and her influence has pretty much rubbed off on me  because after Super Junior, Big Bang is the only other boyband I can name you all the members of.  Oh I really enjoy it whenever she drops by my cubicle to share her Big Bang videos (“Go to the S: drive and look for my folder…”).  It really is a refreshing way to break the monotony of work.

*ding dong* Delivery for Kamikazee Girl!

3) “Kamikazee Girl” – I know you’re reading this and you know you rock.  I’ll say it again, YOU ROCK!  You with your quirky obsessions with all things Japanese, Jun Matsumoto, Fashion, Jun Matsumoto, Cats, Jun Matsumoto, writing and blogging, Jun Matsumoto, paper and notebooks, Jun Matsumoto, the awesome-ness known as Brandon Boyd…and have I mentioned Jun Matsumoto?!  I have learned many great things from you Master! Obi-wan has indeed taught you well. *bows*

It’s really wonderful when you meet people who share the same crazy obsessions as you do…people who are open to sharing themselves, their stories, their time with you.  Thank you for being my pleasant surprises! Cheers!

 

Double Date: Lani-kun & The Arriesgados November 3, 2010

Filed under: excellent adventures with friends,friends,tales — fizzywoohoo @ 3:18 am
Tags: ,

 

Last saturday was a double header for me.  I had morning coffee with one of my 2 Nihon crazed friends, Lani-kun…and after that a lunch date with Mr. & Mrs. Arriesgado.  The Mrs. is one of my oldest / longest friends (we met in Nursery!) and the Mr. is simply one of the coolest, most wonderful dudes I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet. (naks!)
This is my second coffee date with Lani…also known as Mrs. Matsumoto in an alternate universe.  It’s sometimes hard to set a date with her because she works on saturdays but I’m glad we were able to squeeze this in.  It was very touching and flattering that she even told her boss that she will be a tad late for work that day as she was meeting someone special and important to her…*ehem*ehem*.  Though it was short Lani-kun, I had a lot of fun swapping stories with you in person!…as opposed to doing it over on facebook where our wall posts end up looking like novels!  Til the next coffee date! (I HOPE YOU’RE READING THIS GAEMAREE & AVA! *WINK*WINK*)
After coffee and a quick trip to the bookstore, it was time to meet up with Ula & Ron.  I requested her to choose the place where we can have lunch because though “she’s not a foodie”, she does keep a food blog which I regularly visit.  You can check her out at: www.jodiesmommy.wordpress.com
They took me to Pepper Lunch at Greenbelt 5 (which took me a while to find it hehe).  This is what we ordered:

My lunch: Beef Pepper Steak with a side order of egg

Ula had the Yakimeshi Japanese Fried Rice

And Ron had the Steak and Burger combo
It was my first time eating there so I was kind of surprised when I found out that I still had to cook (i.e. mix & season) my order while the plate was still sizzling.  The joke was, “Ano? Binayaran ko na nga, lulutuin ko pa?” (“What? I already paid for it and I still have to cook it?”) But once I got the hang of it, the meal was indeed very delicious!  I’ll definitely recommend it to others and for sure I’ll come back and visit.  After the meal, we walked around Greenbelt and checked out the Mac Store.  The Mr. & Mrs. got one of their ipods checked while I oggled at the new ipod touch.  Had the store been complete in their accessories, I would’ve bought it then..but they weren’t, so I didn’t. (but soon…very soon…*cue in evil laughter*)
Thanks to Lani, Ula & Ron for a fun filled saturday!  Til the next weekend date!