Saturday, December 31, 2011
Over the past year, I've been to 6 different countries, 3 continents, met people from all over the world, shared tears and laughter, experienced many EDM shows and grew as a person. I rang in 2011 at Route 66, a popular club in Bangkok, with new friends. I also got the chance to meet up with my former high school teacher, Brian Hartenstein.
In this month, my friends Lea, Sylwana and Ranu took a vacation after midterms to Koh Chang. On this little island, we stayed in beach side bungalows and swam, ate, danced and got really tan. We met lots of great people; Marko from Finland and Sylwana still keep in touch. As for myself, I met an amazing man named Mark. We keep in touch and skype when we can. Busy lives and time differences have proven themselves to be quite an obstacle in setting skype dates.
Midway through February, I moved out of the university's dorm rooms and into my very own studio apartment. I'd never lived on my own before. This was quite exciting for me, especially because I shared a building with my friend Lea, an exchange student from Germany. Our friend Sylwana lived in the complex just across the street, so soon we became inseparable.
At the end of this month, my debut track with Cressida (Matze) was released on Euphonic Records. It received all kinds of attention from big name DJs such as Above and Beyond, Armin van Buuren, Ferry Corsten, Sied van Riel, Rex Mundi, etc. A friend said he heard it played six different times during Miami Music Week. I was so incredibly happy that people were enjoying my music and singing along to lyrics that I wrote. It was all so whimsical. I'm currently still working on some new tracks, and hopefully a couple will be released early 2012.
March was quite a sad month. It was the month that marked the end of Sylwana and Ranu's exchange trip, and they would soon leave us and return home to Europe. This was the month we frantically began checking off lists of everything we had intended to do in while in Bangkok. Shopping trips increased, as well as sightseeing. We all made it to a Thai kick boxing match as well. Toward the end of the month, Lea and I were able to score cheap round trip tickets to Kuala Lumpur. We planned our trip so that we could catch MGMT live in concert! The trip was only two days, but it was a blast.
In April, I made the decision to move back to the US. The university I was attending was not meeting my standards educationally. My classes were incredibly easy and I hungered for something more challenged. I also decided that I should stop over in Germany before heading back to the states. My good friend, Matze, was to turn 30 and I wanted to be there in his country for all the birthday celebrations. April also marks one of the hottest months in Thailand, and the three day water festival called Song Kran. Lea and I visited many art galleries during this month because they were generally indoors and air conditioned. We saw many, many amazing works of art. The structure below was created by a senior art student at Silapakorn University, Bangkok.
I took a trip to Siem Reap, Cambodia toward the end of the month. I wanted to see the world renowned, Angkor Wat. Some say it is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. I spent three days walking through temple after temple after temple. The ancient city was enormous and old and incredible. I was absolutely astounded that people in the 1100s could build such a thing. They say the most beautiful buildings and structures in the world are dedicated to Gods, and I agree wholeheartedly. The photo below is of the famous "Tomb Raider Temple" where the film was shot. The Cambodian people are very proud to have their heritage brought to the big screen via Hollywood. Our tour guide said that Angelina Jolie was to return to Angkor Wat to shoot another film in 2012.
May was incredibly exciting and sad for me all at the same time. I was to fly to Germany that month, but it also was time for me to start saying my good byes to friends and family. Lea and I had a farewell dinner at Bed Supper Club, a very cool place with unique performances. The club/lounge is shaped like a white tube. The interior is all white. This club has hosted the likes of Kelis, A-Trak, Boy George and Above & Beyond. The food was good and the ambiance even better. If you ever make it to Bangkok, this lounge is located toward the back of Sukhumvit Soi 11. Amazing place. The night we went, they were having a circus performance!
Alright, let me back track to the end of May/beginning of June. Touchdown Frankfurt am Main airport! My lovely friend Matze came to pick me up. Flying can be a pain, especially when you're in 5 inch dominatrix style platform shoes, but HEY I didn't have any room in my luggage so I had no choice but to wear them! I received many funny looks in the airports I went through but did I care? Nope! And so began my road trip throughout Germany. What a better way to explore a country! First thing that happened to us coming out of the airport on the autobahn? FLASH! Speeding ticket! I would like to take the time to debunk the myth that there is no speed limit on the autobahn. There are in certain areas (mainly when passing through more populated areas). This is how the road trip went: Frankfurt to Mannheim, to Hamburg, to Berlin, to Calw, to Ludwigsburg, to Fraiburg, to Winterthur (Switzerland), to Zurich, back to Winterthur, to Munich, to Calw again (where Matze's parents' live) and then back to Frankfurt airport. I spent a total of three and a half weeks travelling Germany and Switzerland. It was amazing. I'll have to write a separate blog about it another time because there is just too much to tell, but I can say that I met wonderful, wonderful people and had an experience of a lifetime. And I cannot wait to go back again!
July & August
Since being back in the states since mid-June, everything's whizzed by in a huge blur. I started working again, and reunited with friends and family. I slowly but surely got back into the old groove of things. It was great to have my old room back and my car as well. It is quite funny how your perspective of the world changes, the more of it you see. Portland is home to me, but I also began to appreciate small things more and more; things that I might not have thought twice about before. For example, the efficiency of the Tri-Met transportation system. You might not think of it as something efficient or convenient, especially if you own a car, but after living in Bangkok and attempting to take public transport a few time, OH MY is it a world of difference (literally). Third world vs. Developed World. Here's a tip: don't take the bus in Bangkok unless you've got time to spare.
September marked the much anticipated month of my 21st birthday. Finally. I can buy alcohol and drink like any other person in the rest of the world. Oh and school started the day of my birthday. Did I still drink and go to class? You bet. You only turn 21 once!
October through December
I am lumping the last few months of the year together, because quite frankly, after all the excitement and travelling I did in the first six months of the year, I have nothing else to offer. I was in school for the last few months, and working as well. I haven't gone on any big trips. I went to a couple of great concerts in Seattle, but other than that, my life has been relatively... normal. I'm hoping for great things and more travels in 2012! Cheers to a new year!