Archive for the ‘Vacation’ Category

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A [Really Late] Quick Update on Term 2

June 3, 2006

This is months overdue, haha. Harrow’s term 3 is about to end in a month and I’m still talking about term 2. Anyway, this is just a short update on each of the events that happened during my second term at Harrow. Here’s just some links to the recently added albums in the Yahoo Photo Album.

Twelfth Night Production
Did the Twelfth Night play back in January and had a blast doing so. We did three plays in all and the second one was the best since it was in front of the whole secondary school and the audience was really into it. The first round was mainly Year 6 and 7s so they didn’t really get it and the third round was mainly adults… So maybe they didn’t find the jokes that funny… Anyway, Prang was an excellent Olivia, Kate did an awesome job playing a man and a woman, Chris was really great [especially in the fighting scene], and the Olivia Household [Trin, Jeeb, Kitti, and Raghav] were freaking funny! I wouldn’t mind doing the play ten more times! Anyway, g’luck doing Romeo and Juliet next year [especially Prang and Kitti who were casted as Juliet's parents]. Click the pic below to go to the Twelfth Night album.

Byron House Camp 2006
Had to arrange the different teams with Bifern before we went to camp. After school, we took a two hour bus ride to Pathum Thani, the camp site, and it looked completely different from last year. Much nicer. Strange though that during the night, all the girls got bit by the mosquitoes while the guys barely got bitten! Anyway, my team [Green Team. Consisted of Winner, Natalee, Third, Adrian, Poy, Jam, Aim, Aom, and I.] lost the tug-of-war [but were able to eliminate Bifern's team, haha!] but was one of the highest teams to score during the obstacle course rounds [thanks to Natalee and Jam who had great balancing skills and scored so many points for us]. So we tied with Bifern’s team [Orange] and so the team leader of each team, in this case, Bifern and I had to do paper-rock-scissor and I don’t know if it was a miracle but I beated her! Haha, odd since I always lose. So we were one of the highests. The next day we had the build-a-raft game and race and my team and Bifern’s team made it to the finals and will compete with another two teams from the other group in the afternoon. Later on we had the mountain bike ride and Aom did an excellent job leading the way while I looked after our teammates at the back. Then during the final raft race, we won! Haha, teamwork, eh? Pretty cool – Bifern was fuming by the way [:P]. Then when the final results came out… I guess it was intended… There was a tie. Between who? BIFERN AND ME AGAIN. [Mr. Wise let out a laugh at this point, haha] So we had to do another round of tug-of-war for the tie-breaker. Because we had one less person that Bifern’s team, we got to choose one person from other teams. So we chose Kong, whose team won the tug-of-war. Thank God for him, we beated the Orange team and the Green team became the winning team! Think the top four results was 4th – Kong’s White team, 3rd – Raghav’s Blue team, 2nd – Bifern’s Orange team [originally pink but they had no pink bandanas], and 1st – Aom and my GREEN TEAM! Haha, a good sign for Byron, eh? I think this House Camp was much better than last year’s. We also did some prank calls to Nun and Bifern that night since they didn’t have Gaf’s number. Haha, it was freaking funny. Weren’t able to fall asleep until 2 or 3 AM though because it was freaking hot. And we had to wake up at 6:30 in the morning! Anyway, click on the pic below to go to the House Camp album.

Sports Day 2006
This year’s Sports Day was sorta more entertaining than last year’s since Jeeb, Topsy, and the rest of the Suriyothai House managed the music list and turned on really fun songs to run to. Had a great [but tiring] day. The day before, Aom, Bifern, Raghav, Gaf, and I worked on the Byron sign [as seen below] and worked on the drinks and snacks list for our house. The next day, we had to carry the ice, drinks, and snacks all the way from the Dining Hall to the Sports Hall – not a short distance, you know. Anyway, Mr. Wise sprained his ankle the day before so Bifern and I had to work on getting all the kids to their track and field events. Not an easy thing to do since the kids were all over the field and we didn’t even know some of their names [yes, I know, really bad since you're the house captain and should know their names]. Also did the 1500 m run since they weren’t able to send the list at the last minute, so yeah… I’m proud to say that I was third… to last that is, haha. Had to do the 200 m as well. Don’t ask about that. Anyway, all of the Byron students did an excellent job and really made an effort this year. Despite all the running around and shouting for the students to get to their events, I have to say that it was fun and better than just sitting around doing nothing like last year. Maybe I’ll go and help next year :P. Oh, and the final results…

6th Place: Suriyothai [Pretty odd since they have really good athletes]
5th Place: Sonakul [At least they didn't beat Byron like last year]
4th Place: Churchill [Haha, Nithi was really frustrated!]
3rd Place: Byron [MUCH better than last year's 5th. We were just 7 points behind Nehru!]
2nd Place: Nehru [I was sorta cheering for Nehru to beat Keller since Byron didn't have a chance. But to find out that we were only 7 points behind Nehru... That's just really sad...]
1st Place: Keller [Again... Starting to get sick of them getting first place at all the sporting events. Can somebody just BEAT them for once??]

So this year’s was much better and we totally improved… Wonder how next year’s will be… Click on the pic below to go to the Sports Day 2006 album.

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Koh Chang Expedition

February 17, 2006

For this year’s expedition, the Sixth Formers decided to go to Thailand’s eastern island, Koh Chang, which is several kilometers off the province Trat. I had a great time during this year’s expedition, not only because of the various activities [e.g. snorkeling, kayaking, game activities, etc], but also because of the great time I got to spend with the rest of my friends. In my opinion, this year’s expedition is somewhat equal to or even better than last year’s Nan expedition… Anyway, without further ado, let’s get this photoblog started… A little warning, there are about 115 pics here, so the page may take awhile to load.

Topsy and Nun as we waited for the buses to arrive.

Nun and Tina.

Joe and Ta.

Girls: Topsy, Nun, Bifern, and Yuka.
Guys: Me and Gaf

Tien, Raghav, and Ta.

Because there wasn’t any space to play cards, we had to play them on Gaf, who was sleeping.

In McDonald’s at the stopping point.
Back Row: Raghav, Kitti, Bifern, and Yuka.
Front: Ta.

Boung, Yuka, Gaf, and Bifern.

Topsy and Nun playing Puzzle Fighter.

Ta and Joe as they watched A Knight’s Tale on Joe’s little DVD player.

Gaf and Tien before they took annoying VDOs of people.
Talk about VDOs, here’s a VDO clip of what was going on during the expedition [I was filming]. Note: Languages spoken are English and Thai, so you should know I little Thai to be able to follow what’s going on…

Yuka and Bifern as they waited for their turn to play Puzzle Fighter.

Me, Ta, and Bifern at the gas station.

Jeeb, Nun, and Boung.

Bifern and Nun playing “Pai Thoap” [Snap] on Kitti’s [who got on the wrong bus] stomach.

Waiting for the ferry…
Standing: Joe, Ta, Bifern, Kitti, Gaf, and Raghav.
Sitting: Me, Nun, and Topsy.

On the ferry…
Topsy, Ta, Me, Gaf, Tien, Nun, and Bifern.

Looking out at the sea.
Topsy, Bifern, and Nun.

[I'm so lucky my camera didn't fall when I took this pic!]
Nun, Bifern, and Topsy.

The view…

Nun’s bug-eye sunglasses became so popular during the trip that everyone wanted to wear them [and see their reflection in them!].

Another ferry that passed us on the way to Koh Chang.

Welcome to Koh Chang!
Gaf pointed out that the translation isn’t correct since in Thai, it’s saying “Koh Chang Ferry”, but it says “Welcome to Koh Chang” in English!

Coconut Beach Bungalows.

Bifern and Gaf comparing the VDOs they can take with their camera/phone.

Kitti and Nun.

Joe and Ta.

Nett and Becky.

Siki.

The Head of Sixth Form – Mrs. Keys, who did an excellent job organizing this trip.

Topsy on the beach.

Some people, like Nett here, decided to play frisbee while others…

…preferred to make sand sculptures [and sandballs that they threw at others], like Trin here.

A little view of the beach.

Kanae.

Aom.

Toy and Tina.

Burying Bifern.

We present our made-in-five-minutes art work – “Buried Bifern”… Haha, Nun, Charlie, Gaf, Raghav, Tien, Jeeb, and I had to dig up so much sand to make the hole for Bifern… Apparently, as we poured sand onto her, some of it also got into her mouth, which caused a great scene where Raghav had to run down the beach to get some water to rinse the sand from her mouth…

Prang and Blue with their little sand castle that has a moat, a bridge, and even a hole in the middle!

Acting all crazy…
Me, Bifern, Nun, Gaf, and Tien.

Here’s the real order of those who are in the picture [since some of them are blocked by others] – Topsy, Me, Bifern, Nun, Gaf, Tien, and Tab.

The sun setting…

Nithi.

Trin doing a handstand.

Jeeb, Toy, and Siree.

Joe and Ta.

Nithi and I.

Nancy, Julie, Pey-Shyen, and Jenny.

Dan, Ohm, Siki, Gunn, Nett, and Kong.

Bifern, Nun, and Topsy during the Mastermind game where all the questions were about Entertainment and Pop Culture stuff [There were three rounds - Famous Faces, Pop Culture Gossip, and Identify the Song by listening to the first 10 seconds]. “Our Humps” came second with only one point behind “Nerd Nation”!

Topsy during breakfast.

Me and Joe during breakfast.

The area of the resort that some of the guys stayed in. The building looks pretty scary, especially at night… The resort is also really quiet and we even thought of filming some sort of “teen horror” flick during our stay… Haha, we didn’t do it though…

My room… I stayed with Gaf and Joe. I got the biggest [and best] bed, while Joe got the “second to best” and Gaf got the worst [even though he thought it was the second best]…

Like last year, Ta kept on playing his guitar throughout the expedition… This time it’s his guitar though.

Joe: “I don’t wanna leave this place!”
Haha, just joking, I just made that part up… But I don’t know why, all of a sudden he started hugging the pole!

Blue, Aom, Prang, and Lillian.

Kitti, Bifern, Nun, Topsy, and Tab.

Some of the kayaks…

A little demonstration on how to kayak by Ohm and Charlie.

Joe and Topsy with their “hand-made balls”…

Nun, Bifern, and Jeeb.

A cuttlefish that we found floating dead near shore.

Nun painting on the beach while Jeeb looks out to the horizon.

Ta, Kitti, Bifern, Gaf, Raghav, Tien, Shigeo, Shintaro, Yuka [Byron], and I playing Dodgeball on the beach.

Bifern, Ta, and Joe laughing at a VDO clip Gaf took of Bifern… It can be seen HERE. The VDO is basically showing that Bifern thinks that Gaf is taking a picture of her when he’s actually VDO taping her… Mainly Thai was spoken here…
Oh, here’s another a VDO clip of some people during dinner time that I took… Note: People mainly spoke Thai so you should be able to understand Thai to view this. It’s also a little bit dark [actually, really dark]…

Gaf with his Mohawk hairstyle.

Gaf, Raghav, and Nithi during dinner at the Italian restaurant nearby.

Joe, Gaf, Becky, Blue, Raghav, Nithi, and I ate at the Italian restaurant dring our free time and decided to skip dinner.

Aom.

Kitti during dinner thinking about someone ;-)…

Tab, Siree, Trin, Jeeb, Toy, Music, Plai, and Boung.

A pic of my group.

Chris, Lewis, Tien, and Dave.

Jeeb and Toy during the Icebreaker game.

The Japanese group – Masa, Kanae, Yuka [Keller], Yuka [Byron], Tak, Shin, Shigeo, and Jeeb – singing a Japanese song that’s said to be very popular. [Sorry, I forgot the name of the song... Ask Jeeb if you want to know...]

Sunrise, sunrise…

The whole Sixth Form in our “Super Six” t-shirts.

Another view of the beach.

Coconut tree…

Prang and Bifern at the American Diner.

Me and Prang.

Gaf.

Raghav, Tina, and Yuka.

Nun, Topsy, and Blue.

Kitti.

Becky and Trin.

Boung.

Joe and I.

Group pic… Don’t know why that bartender girl came and joined us… Sorry for the bad lighting… Apparently the flash didn’t reach us or something…

Leaving the resort…

On the mini song-taew…
Tien, Gaf, and Bifern.

Joe and Ta.

Nun and Tina.

A view of the ocean from the cliffs.

Nun and Bifern at the ferry.

Jeeb and Simba that Julie, who’s now in Singapore, gave her during her visit.

One last group pic on Koh Chang.

That mountain looks like a volcano from far away… And I think it’s that bird from San Francisco that’s in the smoke!! Why do all my nice scenery pictures have birds in them??

A view from the ferry. Even better, bird-free!

Bifern and Topsy during the national anthem… It was so funny because everybody was talking to one another and doing their own business, but as soon as the national anthem came up, everyone stood up right away… All the tourists were staring at us and wondering what’s going on…

Kitti, Topsy, Bifern, and Ta.

Nun and Plai.

Siree and Toy.

Plai and Nithi.

Bifern doing an impersonation of the ghost in Ju-On.

Topsy and Nun with their Starbucks.

Tien and Gaf enjoying their chicken.

Bifern and Yuka with their McDonald’s drinks.

Joe and Ta watching the deleted scenes of Pirates of the Caribbean.

Topsy and Ta… I don’t know why but all of a sudden, Ta felt like “eating” people’s heads on the last day, haha…

Chris on the other bus doing an impersonation of a monkey…

Reaching Bangkok…

Just before we got off…
Ta, Bifern, Yuka, Topsy, and Nun.

These are only about half of the pictures that I took [about 390 that I took but only 259 are up on the net]… The others are HERE, HERE, and HERE at the Yahoo Photo Album… Hope you enjoyed the entry… And there are no pics from snorkeling or kayaking this year since we didn’t have a waterproof camera…

Just some random thoughts: We were divided into Groups 1 & 2, and the other group was so lucky since on the day they went kayaking and we went snorkeling, there wasn’t any sun at all, but on the day we went kayaking, it was a full blast! Plus, the waves were so high but at least we didn’t fall out of our kayak, unlike when we practiced the day before… I was also told that Chris’s kayak flipped TWELVE times! Only because they intended to, though… Anyway, despite the high waves and blazing sun, my kayaking team [Bifern, Ta, and I] was the first to reach the island [after Mr. and Mrs Waterman... So second in all, but first of the students]! Even though we were shouting at each other to keep on paddling!

Overall, I think that it was a great time to spend with my friends. In my opinion, I liked this year’s activities more than last year’s, but I liked the fact that we had so much free time last year to do whatever we wanted… Anyway, great expedition!

I’ll just update about the AS Exams and Twelfth Night Production Performance and pics another time since this one is way too long.

Currently Listening to: U2 - They totally deserved their 5 wins at this year’s Grammy’s!

Recently Watched: Underworld: Evolution… One word: Bloody.

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Lost in Vegas & San Francisco

October 5, 2005

J: I’m doing a joint blog with my sister on my trip to Vegas and the California Bay Area. My comments will be in blue, and hers will be in pink. (BTW, there are 111 pictures, so the page might take time to load.)
L: Oh, how totally sexist. Sure, go ahead and make the boy blue and the girl pink.
J: Fine. What do you want to be — green? yellow? BROWN?
L: Green hurts the eyes, yellow‘s too hard to read, and brown is plain ugly.
J: @#$%&
L: Um, OK, so I guess pink is fine…


The first leg of the flight — from Bangkok to Tokyo — was OK. We watched Miss Congeniality 2, which was cool since it takes place in Las Vegas and we were going to, well, Vegas.


J: See those two girls? They were too busy staring at a farang guy at the bar (right-hand corner) to notice that they were going in the wrong direction. They started shrieking and giggling, all because of this farang guy.
L: How do you know they weren’t shrieking and giggling at the display in the front window of the bar? Maybe there was a big display of Guinness or something. Why must you automatically assume a shrieking girl’s cries must be directed towards those of the opposite sex?
J: Well, I’ve spent sixteen years growing up with a girl. I think I know how to distinguish shrieking over a guy over shrieking over a pint of beer.
L: Jeez, no need to get all snarky. Believe me, all this information you’ve acquired over the years will be mighty useful one day. You’ll thank me when your future girlfriend/wife/partner showers you with praise over how finely attuned you are into the ways of women.
J: [.....]


J: After a two-hour layover, we finally boarded the plane to the US. We had another quick layover at San Francisco, before heading to Las Vegas. Anyway, from Tokyo to San Francisco, we watched Madagascar and Monster-In-Law. I liked the lemur in Madagascar, especially since it reminded me of someone.
L: HEY!


At McCarran Airport in Las Vegas
Total duration of flight from BKK to LV + transit = 25 hours!!!!


Guess what we saw the second we stepped off the plane?
SLOT MACHINES.
Actually, we heard them before we saw them.
Ka-ching.


The aiport was really commercialized. It looked more like a mall than an airport.


When we finally got to our hotel — the Cannery — guess what we saw before anything else?
Yeah, you guessed it.
SLOT MACHINES.


The Las Vegas Strip looked like it did in all the Hollywood movies.
Since we’d just seen Miss Congeniality 2 on the flight over from Tokyo, it was kinda cool to see Treasure Island after we’d just watched it on the plane.


Later, we stopped by The Fashion Show, this huge mall along the Strip.


L: SAKS! FIFTH! AVENUE!
J: You see? I can tell here that it’s not a guy you’re shrieking over, but retail.
L: SAKS! GAH!
J: [.....]


J: After the sun set, we walked along the Strip, which was really cool to see at night with all the glittering lights and signs. Oh yeah, there were a lot of strip show signs, too (including one for LIVE NUDE PUPPETS). -_-‘
L: Which is nothing compared to what we’ve got here in BKK. HELLO — we have Soi Cowboy and Patpong. Pray tell, how can they possibly beat that?
J: Hey, this is a PG site.
L: Oh, sorry. Sometimes I forget myself. But don’t go around pointing fingers — after all, you were the one who brought up the whole strip show thing first.
J: I was just noting an observation.
L: Well, so was I.


J: The second night we moved from the Cannery to Circus Circus, which is located right along the Strip.
L: Mom and Dad took us to Circus Circus in Reno once when we were kids.
J: Yeah?
L: Yeah. You almost got lost there.
J: I did?
L: Yeah, I was supposed to be looking after you, but when I turned my head for, like, two milliseconds to look at the acrobats, you literally disappeared. I never knew something so small could move so fast.
J: Gee, remind me to never hire you as a babysitter.
L: In my defense, I was only 8-years-old.
J: Yeah, yeah. So what happened?
L: I found you later with this old couple from Florida. You were talking to them in gibberish and they wouldn’t stop raving about how cute and adorable you were. They were obviously SEVERELY VISUALLY IMPAIRED.


J: When we walked under that, we could literally feel the heat from the hundreds of light bulbs. -_-‘
L: Electricity conservation is obviously the last thing on their minds.


It was pretty impossible to get bored at the hotel, since (besides the hundreds of SLOT MACHINES) there was also lots of entertainment.


THE ARCADE!


L: Spongebob!
J: Homer!
L: How come Bart has a larger head than Homer?
J: Because Bart’s obviously smarter than Homer.
L: The size of one’s head does not denote brilliance, Einstein. Anyway, did you notice that Bart’s head is seriously disproportionate to the rest of his body? I mean — HELLO — his head is the same size as HIS ENTIRE TORSO.
J: Well, Homer’s head would be the same size as his torso, too, if his gut weren’t so big from all the donuts he likes to eat.
L: Oh, good point.


We saw Vladimir the Contortionist from AXN there, too!


J: And even MORE slot machines. I don’t think I’ll ever get that ringing noise out of my head.
L: I thought you always have a ringing noise in your head
J: No, that’s usually remnants of whatever shriek-fest you were having a few minutes ago.
L: Oh.


L: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
J: [Whatever]


J: The next day, we stopped by Barnes & Noble to buy about ten thousand books, especially since someone had a list longer than your average roll of toilet paper.
L: Stop exagerrating. There were only fourteen items on that list. Hardly a roll of toilet paper.
J: Anyways. Can you guys see Eldest? I read Eragon last year (GREAT book, by the way), and was really excited to see that Eldest was finally out!


J: We had to stop by the mall again because my mom wanted to stock up on cosmetics for herself and someone. You will not believe this, but my mom spent over $1000 on make-up alone. $1000. I couldn’t even believe it. And she complains whenever I buy CDs.
L: Listen here, grasshopper. Since the early days of Cleopatra, we women have always had a very close and intrinsic relationship with the Art of Cosmetics. Did you know that ol’ Cleo used to use cockroach blood as lipstick????
J: Well, then do you think that maybe you could substitute cockroach blood for lipstick, that way next time I won’t have to wait ten million hours in the cosmetics section of Saks Fifth Avenue as the makeup lady goes down your list?
L: Jeez. What’s got your boxers in a bunch?


I was really bored, so I just took pics of random stuff.


L: YOU’RE FIRED.
J: You can’t fire me. This is my blog.
L: Sure I can fire you. In fact, I just hijacked this blog.
J: You can’t hijack it.
L: Yes I can.
J: Not if I hold your new Clinique Berry Freeze lipstick and Estee Lauder Pleasures perfume over the toilet, you can’t.
L: OK, OK, OK! Cool your jets, bud — let’s not do anything rash here. I WAS JUST KIDDING.
J: Muahaha. I thought so.


The next day we left for San Francisco.


J: We stayed with the Coelhos, who are really old friends of the family. Anabelle (far left) was best friends with Lynn when they were in kindergarten or something, right?
L: Yeah, me and Anabelle go way back. We’ve known each other since Mrs. Hawes’ kindergarten class. (Oh wow, she’s still there!) Aw, will you look at Laura? She’s soo pretty now! I remember playing with her when she was just a little baby. Man, I feel really old now.
J: That’s because you ARE old.
L: Say, you know that one baby photo of yours? The one where you’re running around naked with your–
J: OKAY. 22 is remarkably young.
L: Much better. ;)


The next day, we met up with my mom’s old college friend, Toni, and drove from the Coelhos’ house in Castro Valley to San Francisco.


J: I got kind of bored along the way, so I fooled around with the new camera and experimented with the functions and stuff.
L: Trying to be artsy-fartsy with the camera there, huh?
J: You’re just envious you don’t thave a steady hand and suck at self-photography.
L: Au contraire, Niffles, I have a vair steady hand indeed. All I’m saying is that this photo is very dreamy and pensive-looking…kind of like a Celine Dion album cover.
J: Berry Freeze and Pleasures hanging precariously over toilet ledge. Going ovvvvverrrr….
L: OKAY. More like a U2 album cover. Happy?


L: Ah, this pic makes me feel so nostalgic, you have no idea…
J: Nostalgic, huh? How about…


J: ….this photo?
L: Um, it’s kind of hard to work up any feelings of nostalgia when there’s a huge ass bird blocking the view. You’d think it could’ve flapped its wings a smidgen faster so as to get its big booty out of the shot. Jeez.
J: Still, it’s a nice shot, right?
L: Yeah. It is (minus the huge ass avian).


L: The City on the Hill! Whenever I see pics of San Francisco/the Golden Gate Bridge/a cable car, I can’t help but think of that one song by Tony Bennett.
J: Which song? I Left My Heart in San Francisco?
L: That’s the one. The one that Mom likes to sing all the time…
J: Yeah, someone needs to tell her she sings it off-key, though.
L: Well, ignorance is bliss, you know.


L: Aww, obligatory tourist shot.
J: Well, you can’t go to San Francisco and not take a photo with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background.
L: Yeah, kind of like how tourists who flock to Bangkok can’t leave without taking at least one picture with a poor, unsuspecting elephant. I cannot stand those tourists!
J: How come?
L: Well, besides the whole animal rights thing (but don’t get me started on that), they don’t realize they’re holding up pedestrian traffic as they take ten gazillion hours to snap their damn pachyderm photos since they ALWAYS end up shrieking and flinching whenever the elephant so much as innocently lifts its trunk to scratch, like, its ear or butt.
J: I don’t think an elephant’s trunk is long enough to reach its butt.
L: It’s long enough to reach the shrieking tourist’s butt, though. Too bad said tourist usually misinterprets this as hostility and runs away shrieking, thus bringing us back to square one.
J: Um, yeah. OKAY — can we get back to San Francisco?
L: Oh. Oh yeah. Sure.


L: The Palace of Fine Arts! I love this place. It’s right next to the Exploratorium, which is where I almost got lost once during a fourth grade field trip.
J: Jeez, what is it with our family and getting lost?
L: I don’t know. A dysfunctional gene, maybe? An obsession with Lost’s bad boy, Sawyer?
J: There’s a whole lot more wrong with you than just a dysfunctional gene.
L: Eldest. Hanging over toilet. Raging whirlpool swirling down below. Mist from bacterial infested waters coming within millimeters of Christopher Paolini’s latest–
J: OKAY. You are unbelievably normal. Totally, completely, 100% genetically intact.
L: Vair good. Thou art too kind.


L: This place always makes me feel like I’ve been transplanted to Rome or Athens… I love all the gorgeous Greco-Roman architecture.


L: Oooh. Looking very nice, Niffles. Artsy-fartsy to the core.
J: Gracias.


L: I love this shot. What a great candid. In fact, what a great place to take wedding photos. I bet their pics are going to turn out great.
J: Wait a minute. OK, two compliments in less than a minute — what is it you want?
L: Oh, so I have to WANT something in order to pay my brother a compliment? Jeez! Look at the kind of abuse that gets dished out at me on a daily basis, people! I do not deserve this kind of treatment.


L: Wow, check out the angle on their necks. Think they got a really bad crick in their neck afterward?
J: Even if they did, they could just crack their neck to get rid of any lingering stiffness.
L: EW. Please do not do that nasty neck-cracking thing. It is OBSCENELY DISGUSTING.
J: What neck-cracking thing? You mean this neck-cracking thin–
L: GAH!


J: You can’t go to San Francisco and not take a picture of a cable car. Too bad we didn’t have time to hop on to one.
L: Never fear, my dear. You and the cable car are well-acquainted. After all, you were lost on one once.
J: WHAT?
L: Yeah. We accidentally misplaced you and had to stop all the cable cars in the city so we could search for you. It was pretty cool. Traffic was stopped all over the city so that we could search all over–
J: This is a joke, right?
L: Yes. Yes, it is. ;)
J: Yeah, well, you know your joke?
L: Yeah?
J: Not funny.


Lombard Street, the crookedest street in the world.


Looking out at the City


Coit Tower


Later, we headed to Fisherman’s Wharf for some seafood dinner and AWESOME clam chowder


Pier 39, this cool outdoor marketplace by the marina


The next day Tess took us to raid the supermarket


We are such junk food junkies. :P


That evening we went to have dinner with the Dengs, who are also really good friends with my parents. Their daughter, Tricia, and I used to go to the same day care.


L: Awww! Such cuteness! XD
J: Kohn mun na rak yoo laew. Mun chuay mai dai.
L: Hello, who said anything about YOU? Any references to cuteness was not intended for you; I was obviously talking about TRICIA.


J: The next day we went to Stanford Mall, which is located in Palo Alto.
L: Lots of memories at Stanford Mall. We used to go there all the time since we lived about 15 minutes away in Los Altos.


J: No wonder the place looked kind of familiar.
L: It should. You almost got lost there once.
J: WHAT? You’re kidding again, right?
L: Sorry, bud. I kid you not. You really did get lost there once. You see, I was, um, supposed to be watching you, but got distracted for two milliseconds — no longer, I swear — when your sneaky, daring, adventure-seeking self went running off on your stubby little legs. By the time I’d whirled my head around, you were gone. Poof. Just like that.
J: Sure, sure, blame it on the kid. So how’d you find me?
L: Fortunately this lady returned you to us a few minutes later…after I got yelled at for, uh, losing my brother (hey, I was nine, okay?).
J: So how’d she find you? Stanford Mall’s pretty huge.
L: Well, I guess it helped that we were the only Asian family shopping at Neiman Marcus that day. That and the fact that Mom and Dad looked pretty damn frantic.
J: Oh. Oh yeah. That must’ve helped a lot.


L: For memory’s sake — it’s the scene of the crime. You can see Neiman Marcus in the distance.


L: Here’s why you got lost. In those two milliseconds when I’d turned my head, you ran off to hang with these guys. You loved them so much, you demanded we take a picture of you with them.
J: Oh, you mean THIS PICTURE?
L: That’s it. The very one. You loved this fountain. Every time we went to Stanford Mall, you would go splash around with the frogs and sometimes even fish out a few quarters from the watery depths of the fountain, you sneaky little delinquent-to-be.


L: It’s amazing how some things just never change…
J: What’s that supposed to mean?
L: Uh. Nothing.


L: I’ve always loved the shaded breezeways, gardens, and sculptures at Stanford Mall. I remember how Mom used to buy stuff from the European-style outdoor market on the weekends, and how I was always put in charge of looking after you, the deranged, Tazmanian terror devil. You loved running behind the stalls and hiding. Fun for you, very embarrassing for me.
J: Well, boys will be boys.
L: Yeah, whatever.


J: Later, we met up with Don, one of my Dad’s oldest and closest friends.
L: Don’s daughters — Adrienne and Natasha — were the cutest kids ever! I remember wishing that I’d been blessed with sisters like them instead of the freak brother the stork had dropped at our house despite all my fervent prayers and pleas that God please please PLEASE give me a baby sister.
J: Muahahaha. I was especially sent to earth to terrorize you.
L: Gee, no kidding.


L: GAAAH! You are evil evil evil for taking this photo with the full knowledge that I get serious palpitations whenever crossed with freaky eight-legged arachnids! (!!!!!)
J: Hey, consider it vengeance for all those times you “almost, sort of, accidentally” lost me.
L: Sigh, fair’s fair, I guess.


L: You know, FYI, taking a picture with a piece of art does not constitute as an artsy-fartsy photo.


J: Oh yeah? Well how about this one?
L: Oooh. Now, THIS is vair vair nice.
(Nice nostrils, too!)


J: Later, we stopped by Stanford University because Anabelle was moving into her dorm that day. (She’s continuing her masters there.)
L: Anabelle is sooo smart! She’s always had a really good head on her shoulders. I first learned about her infinite wisdom when we were 7.
J: Yeah? What happened?
L: The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, that’s what. We were jumping on Kyla’s brand new bunk bed — probably watching either Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Star Wars, Beetlejuice, or The Little Mermaid — when the bed started to rock. I naturally thought Kyla’s bed was some sort of stellar battery-operated trampoline of some sort, but Anabelle yelled and told us that DUH, the reason the bed was shaking was because of the QUAKING PLATE TECTONICS OF THE KILLER SAN ANDREAS FAULT BENEATH US. You know, an earthquake, basically. I guess Anabelle paid really close attention during the earthquake drills they used to make us do in school instead of doing what I did, which was stare at the cut-out picture of Jesus and wonder why they’d drawn him wearing a dress.
J: Wow.
L: Yeah. She’s one smart cookie, she is. Anyway, is that a bird I see?
J: Huh? Where?
L: There. Over by the famous Stanford bell tower.
J: Ai hia! You’re right. Gee, you’ve GOT to be kidding me.
L: You know, I wouldn’t be surprised if that were the same bird that ruined your San Francisco photo…


Later, we stopped by the place where my Mom used to work so she could meet up with old friends and colleagues.


I got kinda bored, so I just took some pics and stuff.


Later, we drove to Los Altos, which is where we used to live. It’s right next to Palo Alto and only 10-15 minutes away. Anyway, this is our old street, Casita Way.


And this is our old house. My mom’s French friend lives there now, but unfortunately she and her family weren’t in, so we couldn’t stop by and chat. There’s a cottage, huge (HUGE) avocado tree and tree swing at the back, which would have been cool to see again. Oh well.


Back at the SF Airport again, on our way back home to BKK.


Adios San Francisco


Heading back to Tokyo


(L: Hee! Artsy-fartsy Celine Dion photo alert! Waiting for Niffles to launch into song: My heart will go–)
J: [*IGNORE THE FLOBBERWORM*] Anyway, our trip to Vegas and the California Bay Area was awesome. It was great getting to meet the Coelhos again (especially since I couldn’t really remember them as the last time I saw them was when I was like 4), and Anabelle and Laura were really nice and cool to hang out with. I can’t wait to go back again!

Currently Reading: Biology AS by Mike Bailey and Keith Hirst, and Physics AS by Frank Ciccotti and Dave Kelly (So sad.) -_-‘
Currently Playing: Take me Out by Franz Ferdinand

h1

“Summer has come and passed…”

August 31, 2005

At last, the end of summer has finally arrived. This means time to go back to school. Time to constantly keep my tie up, shirt tucked in, and wear the infamous Harrovian boater. In addition, it’s time to start A-Levels – similar to Harry Potter’s N.E.W.T. levels [and IGCSE's were like his O.W.L.s] – and the hard grueling hours of constant work and revision. Anyway, will get into detail for that bit later… First of all – August. This month has been quite a fun month filled with so many things, e.g. people’s birthdays [Pat, Nun, Boom, Prang, etc], going out for some people’s birthdays, visiting RIS, and having our long-waited IGCSE results to come out. I’ve decided that I’ll update the pics up from Nun’s birthday, Boom’s party, and the RIS visit some time later since I have no time. So, here’s how the month of August went…


———-
August 10 – RIS Visit
Went by RIS to see how their Sophomore year is. Several changes around the school, including the horrible canteen now and the cancellation of the long-used Block system. So basically went to Tanya and Lee’s Homeroom then followed Lee to Math class before I was chased away due to the fact that “there weren’t enough seats” and was offered to go to the library instead. Well, the library didn’t appeal much to me and I saw Mandy on my way out so she took me to her math class instead where I was allowed to sit [and do a Math Diagnostic test, too].

After Math was break and I went to wait in front of Ms. Walker’s room where I will be attending Biology lesson. This class was fun and had lots of fun looking through a whale’s eye, disected pig, rat bones, an armadillo, an EXTREMELY huge spider, etc, etc. Heard that Prim was crowned as “Top Cat” for that class since she got the most correct out of 50 [I think she got 32], so that means she can skip a quiz in Term 1. If you got all 50 correct then you won’t have to do any work, quizzes, or even tests and you’ll get a straight A! Now, I would want that!

After Bio was lunch and I got to get a taste of the new canteen. One word: crowded. So crowded it took me 10 minutes just to get a plate of carbonara. And they’re now using a card system where each card’s worth about 100 Baht. Interesting, but it just slowed everything down since the canteen workers weren’t use to using this new system. Also, the food was rather cold. Jirayuth told me a few weeks later that people just order food from outside [e.g. pizza] or just go and eat at the RIST canteen, which is way better, as they said.

Later, I went to Spanish class with Lee and had some fun remembering how it was learning Spanish 7th and 8th grade – even though I probably forgot half the things I learned! After Spanish, I went to English with Jenny where they were learning about Lord of the Flies, which I read in 8th Grade for English Plus. If you’re planning to read it or anything, I’ll just say this: It is very boring. Not something you would like to read during your free time.

Lastly, I went to Lee and Ray Fong’s Biology class, with a different teacher of course. Similar thing as Ms. Walker’s class but with more detail and scientific stuff. Ray Fong and I were paired and had to do this activity with two other girls, one who just moved from Harrow [Nami was her name]. When I told her that I knew Yuka and Kanae, her friends from Harrow, she started getting excited, which sort of surprised RF and the other girl. After Bio, just basically went to the Montri bus and got on the same bus as Erk and came back home. That’s it for the RIS visit – nothing much… Oh, and Julie also came and visited from Korea and had some fun talking to her.

August 11 – Nun’s Birthday at Major Ratchayothin
For this day, I met up with Nun, Por, Kitti, Raghav, and Nun’s sister at Major Ratchayothin to celebrate her birthday. First met up with the guys, who were playing this driving game [Raghav kept crashing his on the side] to buy some presents for Nun. Kitti bought this big Hello Kitty doll and Por and I shipped in and bought Nun a bear-looking thing with angel wings [we weren't even sure what it was!]. Finally, at 1:15 PM, we started to call Nun to find out where she was and realized that she was already at the karaoke room! So off we went to the Karaoke area where it was extremely crowded since there was some sort of Karaoke competition going on for TV… Well, because of that, it took us awhile to get there and we realized that Nun wasn’t there! Then Por remembered that Nun said she would be at the Karaoke in the Major Bowl section. So off we went to Major Bowl and found her there in the private room.

Into the Karaoke room we went and Kitti and Raghav got this big singing mode that they went on singing for ages. We also ordered some food and ate as we sang. At one point, the Karaoke thing turned on Happy Birthday but then we switched it since we thought it was a mistake. However, we realized later that it was MEANT to be turned on so that the Major staff can bring in the cake. Anyway, we ate the cake, sang some more, and it was time to leave. The others decided to stay a little longer for bowling but I had to go. So I said goodbye and that was it for that day.

August 18 & 25 – IGCSE Results
IGCSE results. All of you probably remember me when I had my IGCSE exams and we were just studying, studying, and studying. Here’s an entry that I wrote in July about it…

MAY – Written: June 15, 2005

I.G.C.S.E. – Those five letters were something that always gave us the chills whenever we hear it. “Intensely Gross, Crappy, & Sickening Exams”, as we called it, was the international standardized exams that all students in Key Stage 4 [Years 10 + 11 a.k.a. Grades 9 + 10] have to take after they finish the IGCSE course at the end of Year 11 [Grade 10]. IGCSE exams came and went so fast we didn’t even realize that it was May. Let’s see, for me, 17 exams to do was a hell lot. Some people had the same amount exams as me but I guess the person with the most exams in our Year would probably be Toy, who had 20 exams. How was she able to do it? I don’t know! Anyway, about one month before the whole “IG” period, you can begin to see people stressed, carrying all their books home, staying up late all night, and doing many other things you never see throughout the whole year, well, except for the Mock era where we had to bury our nose in books, too. Yet, people were getting serious – worried – anxious – and of course, sleepy. During that time, we began to adapt and become use to the many nights of sleeplessness and staring at a pile of books and notes as we try to stuff everything into our heads.

Now, when the first exam came [May 4th], which was Thai, everybody freaked out. Well, not that much, but everyone was worried, because, hey, Thai isn’t an easy subject to study for or do for an exam. You have to make sure you get straight to the point, write up in paragraphs that are divided according to opinion and content, spell correctly, and make sure you don’t put irrelevant information or something that’s not related, e.g. Harry Potter and how he saved Buckbeak the Hippogriff into an essay about Greenpeace and their “Save the Earth” campaign. So, you see? It is hard doing Thai. For our first Thai exam, we had to write three different essays: one about the way Thai students act in the social community, one analyzing why they behave so, and one in which we write about Greenpeace. Our second Thai exam [May 6th], which was two days later was a continuous writing essay between 350 to 500 words about any topic we want from the 9 given choices. There were topics on sports, your life, cultural stuff, and many other things. I chose the topic, “Is war the best solution for solving a problem?”. Reason? It was the easiest of all and we can add anything related to it in there – so because of that, I added in all these history-related stuff with world wars, Hitler, Treaty of Versailles, Cuban Missile Crisis – basically, if you didn’t know the topic, you would’ve thought I was writing a history paper and analyzing the wars! Anyway, after the exam, I realized that all the other History students did the same thing, too! At least I’m not the only History freak! I think I wrote about 600 words, which isn’t too much…

After we had our Thai exams, our Study Leave began where we are not required to come to school unless we have an exam on that particular day. Also, we are allowed to leave after our exam, if it’s in the morning session, or come to our exam in the afternoon, if it’s the afternoon session. So, after May 9th, which was when Study Leave started, the real thing was here. The really hard subjects were on the way and we better get rolling for them. For the people who were doing Geography, they were unfortunate and had their exam on May 9th while others didn’t have to come. Thank God I didn’t do Geography or my whole week will be full of exams! On the 10th, we had our Science Paper 6 [Practical] exam in the morning and History Paper 1 exam in the afternoon. Science Paper 6 was quite easy and I think I did OK. Surprisingly, it barely had anything on Chemistry, which was what everybody studied for since we had to remember all the color of each element if we add it with sodium hydroxide or put it in a flame test and all that stuff. For the first question, it was about plants. Plants – something that none of us expected and we had to label the “Stamen” and the “Ovule” of the flower. Luckily, I kind of flipped through it as I reviewed it. As for History, well, just like the Mocks, we had to write a lot and I think I wrote approximately 6 or 7 pages. We had to answer three different questions, which each had three minor questions in them that we had to answer according to the points [5 pts – half a page, 7 pts – three-forths to a page, 8 pts – a page to a page and a half]. Surprisingly, all the topics that we learned were on it – instead of the usual 3 out of 9 topics! As soon as we turned the paper over, we were shocked since it had every topic and we spent so much time reviewing certain topics! Anyway, History was so-so. So much writing that my hand ached like hell.

On the 11th, I had to do English First Language along with History Paper 2, which are the killer subjects since we will have to write so much we could cripple our hand. So, English. For this one, we will be given two different excerpts, one was from “The Hounds of Baskerville”, which was a story about Sherlock Holmes, and another one was by Anita Desai, which was about a girl who lives in Botswana. The first two questions was all about “The Hounds of Baskerville” where for the first question, I had to write an article for a Travel Magazine about the creepy cave in the mountain’s forest that Dr. Watson went to. Ok, this would be fine if they actually gave us more information besides two out of five paragraphs that talk about the area! The second question was about how the author expressed fear and the use of sunlight. The use of freaking sunlight. Now, fear and pathos would be easy since it would be clear and we all prepared for it. But no, there wasn’t a question on pathos. So we had to get all dramatic and imaginative with the way the sunlight and sunset was used to describe Watson’s feelings. One thing my classmates said I realize is now true, “When you’re doing English First Language and English Literature, you have to get all imaginative and think of how something like a saw can symbolize life, as in Robert Frost’s ‘Out-Out-!’ poem.” Well, I didn’t really expect us to be asked about the sun’s rays. Anyway, writing the essays itself wasn’t that easy either since we had to organize the paragraphs by the different topic and opinion, and we can’t get them mixed up or we would get deducted points. Argh, how frustrating! The last question was related to both passages, which was a compare/contrast essay where we have to show what each of the character was searching for and if they found it. I found something funny as I looked at the two passages – For “The Hounds of Baskerville”, it was mentioned in the book I just read, which was “The Curious Incident of the Dog in Nighttime”, and it was the main character’s favorite book. As for the Anita Desai one, the setting was in Botswana, which was the country Chris and Raghav had to represent during the IASAS MUN Conference in Singapore. I don’t know, they just seem like a funny coincidence to me. In all, three essays and about two pages for each essay. Anyway, after English, we had the last History Exam, which was Paper 2 where we have to analyze different sources. Same as English, we have to use all our imagination to see how something like a vampire and bats can be related to the Big Three during the Treaty of Versailles. Funny, eh? Anyway, one of the really big coincidence in this particular exam was that one of the source, which was a picture of the Big Three holding a guillotine, was a source that our teacher used to teach us on how to answer source questions! So, there were about 8 to 9 questions in all and I wrote 8 or 9 pages. And yes, my hand was practically shaking by the end of the day due to the overuse.

The 12th. We had two exams, again, but this time they were both in the afternoon session, one [Business Studies Paper 1] at 1 and the other [Edexcel Mathematics Paper 3] at 4. The reason was because the Edexcel Maths belonged to the Edexcel exam board and they wanted to let all students all over the world take the exam at the same time. I wonder how those in Japan do it since they’re 2 hours ahead of us! Anyway, Business was ok-ok. Easier than the past papers but also hard in a way. At least this was just short answers that only worth 2 to 6 points. After Business, we had a few moments to relax and study for Maths, which would be later and I have to admit it, Maths was easy! Easy as pie and I think I could score quite well on this particular paper. Poor Masa forgot that we had the Maths exam then and he went home after the Business exam. We had to call him up and had came half an hour later. Well, he finished on time and didn’t need the extended thirty-minutes that he missed, so no worries. By the time we were done, it was around 6 and the sun was about to set so we didn’t have much time to talk since we were chased out of the library, where the Boarders were hanging out at.

Friday the 13th. Wasn’t that scary for me since I didn’t have Geography exam, which everybody said was really hard. I just had to go there because I had Edexcel Mathematics Paper 4 at 4 again. This paper was a little bit harder but quite easy. People kept on mentioning that there was a mistake in the exam paper where we had to find the radius [r] but at the answer box, it said “C=_______”. One person actually crossed out the “C” and changed it to a “r”! Anyway, as long as my answer is correct!

16th. There were no exams for me and I was so happy since it was the day for the Survivor: Palau Finale. Yes, I know I should’ve been studying but hey – this is Survivor! Anyway, I spent the rest of the day studying…

17th. Double Trouble – Science Paper 3 [the Theory Paper] and Business Studies Paper 2 [Case Study]. Both hard subjects on one day. Science was hard. I have to admit it. There were practically no questions on Chemistry, which was what we all studied for, and there were tons of questions on Biology – no, not on the body and organs, which we all prepared for, but on plants. Plenty were also on Physics, which were sort of ok. Lovely – just hope it comes out ok. Then we had Business, which was not easy and not hard. Too much writing though and it’s not just common sense like what you think. You really have to go into the theory and possibilities since it isn’t black and white. It isn’t clear and obvious. There are possibilities that something might happen to that particular business, e.g. if we increase the price, we may lose customers, if we decrease the price, we might not be able to pay all the costs, and if we keep the price the same, we might lose customers to competitors. Argh, the complicated world of business! I can never join “The Apprentice”! It ain’t easy like what you think!

18th – English Literature – Open Books. For this day, only those doing English Literature had to come, which was like, only 13 people or so. Thankfully, we were allowed to bring in our books since some parts were needed with text and we should use quotes to back-up our argument. In all, we had four texts – The Bonesetter’s Daughter by Amy Tan, All My Sons by Arthur Miller, Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare, and Poetry in the Touched by Fire book Section E. I basically avoided Poetry since it was done last year and I really just don’t get poetry. Again, this time we will have to write an essay [two pages] for each question. There will be three questions for each of the text we choose and we will have to choose one question to answer, where at least one of the three questions we answer must be a context question. So I decided to answer the context question with The Bonesetter’s Daughter where we have to read the Epilogue and say why it is such a good way to end the whole story. For this question, I tried to add all the relevant quotes into my essay since I tend to write essays that lack quotes from the text. For All My Sons, I did the question on whether or not Joe Keller, the protagonist, did the right thing in selling faulty machines to the army, which killed soldiers, but not admitting it and framing it on his co-worker in order to save his family reputation and business. This question was quite hard, actually. Lastly, for Twelfth Night, I chose the empathic question where I had to pretend to be Malvolio just after he confessed his love to his boss, Olivia. This was quite easy, actually, since I had to play him for our class play. So… Literature – I hope I did well. At least a B will be great!

19th. Cambridge Mathematics Paper 2. This was another exam board from the one I did previously and is the harder one. Our teacher got us to practice them by doing all the past papers and grading them. If compared to the beginning of the year, I think I improved in my Maths past paper scores but we’ll have to see with this. This particular paper was easier than what we expected [had a little calculator problem when I wasn’t able to find it and had to borrow Joe’s extra calculator] and I think I did quite ok, or if possible, good. Some of the Year 10 students [e.g. Deer, who is really, really good at Math as Kitti said she never got lower than a 90 in the Maths past papers.], who are supposed to be really good also had a chance to take the exam, too. Only exam for this day.

20th. Had our last English Literature [Unseen] exam. This exam is a little tricky since we would have one hour to analyze a prose or poem that we’ve never seen before. All of us prepared so hard for Unseen Prose since it was much easier than Poetry and we were expecting it to be a prose since for the last few years, it had always been a prose. As we walked into the exam room, sat down, and turned our paper over, we all gasped and looked around at the each other immediately. POETRY. Crap, we all thought. Anyway, we only had an hour so we better hurry. The question, which is always the same or in similar style, was about the author’s writing techniques. This time, it said, “Describe the author’s use of language and literary techniques that shows the mother’s care, love, and grip.” So off I went jotting notes all over the paper, highlighting, and seeing how they the use of language adds any effect. In one line, the author mentions about how she carefully turned the child over like cloth being turned in a washing machine – I got a little carried away and started using a little Biology and saying how that quote can symbolize the way the baby was in the mother’s placenta or amniotic sac during the pregnancy period and how it swam and turned around in the womb. Yes, I know it’s really weird. Then we had to use all these words that describe the baby and describe them of how they add effect. In all, I wrote two pages, which is what other people did. Except, amazingly, Tina wrote like seven pages!! She said it was because she analyzed every single line – wow, even I can’t do that!

23rd. I had two different exams – Cambridge Mathematics Paper 4 and ICT Higher Paper. For Maths Paper 4, this is the harder one since we would have to show all our working and we had to write them on pieces of paper along with the answer. I bet students in Thai schools can do really well at this since they have to show every step of their working while we tend to just write down the problem then the answer with the help of the calculator. So this was different from what we usually do but at least we had some practice with past papers, which really helped. Anyway, Paper 4 was quite ok and I think I did quite well on it. In fact, all of my friends said that it was pretty good and they thought they did quite well, too. Yet, this dawned a new problem – if most of us found it easy, this must mean that the mean will be higher and the range will be high. Oh, crap. This must mean that instead of a 95 being an A* and an 83 [or something] being an A, it could become a 98 as an A* and a 92 as an A. Oh no! I hope this doesn’t happen! For the afternoon session, we had ICT, which was all on the theory of computers, internet, hardware, software, operating systems, user interface, and all these really confusing technology stuff. I thought I did quite good and honestly, I know no crap about computers… But say, I’m hoping that I get a B since my coursework has gotten me an A already so it’s likely that it’ll pull my final grade up to an A.

24th – The last day of the exams!! Well, for me and the majority of our Year at least. For this day, we had Science Paper 1 [Multiple Choice]. Some of the questions were easy, some were difficult. But overall, I think I did pretty well. Right after this, we were all so happy that our IG’s were over. Some people, like Nun, who take French have to wait until June to finish their exams but we are done!

I hope the results come out good… The results will be coming out on August 18th [for CIE exams, which is the majority of my exams] and August 25th [for AQA and EDEXCEL exams, which is ICT and Maths].

The day after my last exam, I decided to visit RIS right before they have their finals. Believe me, your finals are nothing compared to this – these were really hard and I am hoping that I pass… If we get lower than a C on a certain subject, we will have to redo that subject again. And if we don’t pass five subjects, we will have to redo Year 11 again. Oh God, just to think about it is painful. Anyway, went to RIS and had lots of fun meeting all of you and catching up on things. Glad your results for your finals were good.

The next day was the 26th and I went out to Siam with some Harrow people and lots of people came [Pat, Nun, Joe, Donut, Leng, Blue, Ta, Jeeb, Gaf, Syne, Tan, Julie, and myself]. Although some of us separated to go watch movies first, but most of us [Pat, Nun, Donut, Blue, Ta, Jeeb, Gaf, Syne, and myself] went to eat pizza and took some studio pics. I look totally hilarious. Anyway, too bad I had to leave early so I wasn’t able to watch Star Wars and eat MK with them afterwards. Pity. Anyway, we should go out again!

On the 31st, my mom got tickets for us to go and watch Miss Universe 2005 at Impact and it was great! Glad Canada, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and Venezuela made it to the finals, though I kind of wanted Thailand [of course, since I’m Thai] to make it to the semi-finals or final 15, at least. I really wanted Venezuela to get in the top three though… Anyway, glad Canada got it – not USA… USA looked rather bouncy [no, not her breasts] in the swimsuit walk. But jeesh, talk about Latina power!

Anyway, that was what I wrote in June after we had the exams. On those two days, that I went to get the results, saw quite a lot of people, those who are leaving and those who are staying. Just to sum up, here’s my actual IGCSE results and my Mock Exam [Trial results] results. Please note: My mock exams results were really bad.

Subject Real Exam Results Mock Exam Results
Business Studies B C
Coordinated Science BB BB
English Literature A D
First Language English B D
First Language Thai C B
History A A
ICT [Computers] A B
Mathematics [CIE] A C
Mathematics [EDEXCEL] A* -

So overall, I did quite good [Except for Thai] and I either scored the same as the Mock exam or better [except for Thai, of course]. Remember that I mentioned earlier that some Year 10s did the Math CIE Exam, too? Well, Deer got her result and she got an A* [The highest grade to achieve, something like an A+] for it! That’s one smart girl! Anyway, I passed into the sixth form and will be starting my A-Levels very soon!

August 20 – Boom’s Birthday Party at Patsiree
After a tough day at ROTC [R.D. a.k.a. Military Training], I went to the dentist and got ready for Boom’s 17th Birthday party that evening. The restaurant was somewhere around his house, which was in Soi Ruamrudee, and right across from his house. In all about 20 people [Por, Kevin, Prang, Aom, Cake, Prang, Nithi, Mek, Mew, Praew, Ping, Kwang, Mim, Tanya, Kid, Poom, George, Boom's friend from his old school, and obviously, Boom] came to the party, all at different times of course. Got there around 6 and saw that several people were there already but I wasn’t late, I think. So we ate, talked, had some fun, wrote some funny messages on the board for Boom. Around 8, we went across the road to Boom’s house and watched some Academy Fantasia before the cake came and we played some pool and some sang karaoke. The thing lasted until 11:30 PM but I left at around 9:30 PM since it’ll be about an hour and a half drive to get to my house. Well, the party was fun and it was great to see all of them before they moved onto England, America, and colleges here in Thailand. G’luck to everyone that’s moving abroad or into university and have lots of fun!

August 30 – Sixth Form Orientation
Sixth Form Orientation was one day before school. We met up in the library, listened to Mrs. Keys [Head of Sixth Form], and did some little advisement activities to get to know our fellow sixth formers. Note: The sixth form is made up of Year 12s and Year 13s, so a lot of us do not know the others in the other year. In addition, we got to meet and get to know the new students that are entering Harrow and the sixth form, too. Later, we did some activities on language learning and learned about the Sixth Form Award program and how we can earn credits from the different activities that we’ll be in, in which we will have to earn approximately 500 credits at the end of Year 13. At lunch time, I had to go and see Mr. Herbert, the Head of Drama, about the upcoming Drama production that will be performed at the end of January, which will be the Shakespeare play, “Twelfth Night” [in which I and some of the Year 12s learned in our English class]. We were basically told the different roles we’ll be performing as and will have to come and practice every Tuesday for an hour [now I already have two credits that I'll get per week!]. Here’s just some of the roles I remember…

Character Actor Description
Orsino Me A lovesick Duke in love with Olivia
Olivia Prang A “mourning” selfish Countess
Viola Kate A shipwreck survivor disguised as a man
Sebastian Chris Viola’s believed-to-be-dead twin brother
Antonio Nithi Sebastian’s saviour who seems to be “in love” with him
Malvolio Raghav An annoying steward who embarrasses himself
Sir Toby Golf Y. 11 A misbehaved “knight”

There are several more characters but I’m not sure who’s playing them. Kitti is also in it but he forgot who he was playing, though he said he would be playing a girl. [Hahaha] Anyway, after lunch, we went to the new Sixth Form Common Room, which used to belong the creche center [Pre-K/Nursery]. There was plenty of space and we had the entire first floor to ourselves. We had two relaxing rooms, one study room, a careers office, and Mrs. Keys’ office there. For the rest of the afternoon, we did a little role-play on bullying and our group, made up of me, Trin, Chris, Plai, Julie, Yuka, Toy, Bow [Y. 13], Charlie [Y. 13] and Nop [Y. 13], was asked to perform again, however, with a more pleasant ending. At the end of the day, Mrs. Keys gave some announcement on the uniform and the “privileges” for Sixth Form students, who can wear business suits if they want. Also, we have learned that from now on, we only have to wear the boater on Mondays [Hoorah!] In addition, because Thursdays are House Days, we will have to wear our House color shirt on those days [So green for Byron]. So, today was a great day and it was fun getting to meet the other new students [there were about 9-10 in all] and school’s starting tomorrow!

As for the A-Level subjects, I decided to take five subjects [like the others] and am doing Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Maths, and Critical Thinking/English. I’ll probably have the toughest schedule since I have all three Sciences, in which people said are really hard. Oh well, we’ll see how it all turns out… I actually wanted to do History or ICT or even Psychology but then it clashed with the Sciences and Maths [didn't really wanted to do Critical Thinking but we had to choose SOMETHING in the last column and I would be really bad at Further Maths and I passed both IGCSE English and Math so I wouldn't need the retake.]. So far, I know that I have some classes with Kitti, Trin, Bifern, Tina, Toy, Raghav, and many other people. Can’t wait to let this year start!

Crap… Talking about school – I better get to bed now since I’ll have to wake up at 6:30! And it’s already 1! Oh, and I changed my mobile number already because I broke my old phone and stuff. If you want the number, ask, but I think I emailed it out to all my friends already. Anyway, here’s an entry so don’t complain! See you guys later…

Currently Playing: Fix You by Coldplay

h1

Year 11 Nan Expedition

July 28, 2005

Alright. At last. After months of waiting – here it is! This entry is entirely about the Nan Expedition which took place during June 26th to July 4th. I’ll write about some of the previous stuff later since this one is [I believe] the biggest event that happened for the past seven months [except for my IGCSE's, of course]. So, first of all, I moved from Xanga to BLOGGER because I just think that Blogger is much better. Easier to handle and we can do many things with it. Because this is Blogger now, you can leave a comment after the entries, which means that you don’t need an account to leave a comment, like Xanga. So leave some comments for each of the entries! The next thing is, I just turned 16 on July 13, and I would just like to thank all the people that said “Happy Birthday” to me – Mandy [who called right before midnight to say so], Boom [who messaged me right at midnight], Tanya, Raghav, Tan, Rose, Mek, Prim [all of whom messaged me later during the day], Tent, Amara, Jirayuth, Arielle, Nehal, and all you other guys who said so to me on MSN. Now, the entry. I have decided to separate the photos from the entry so that it’ll be more convenient since I have received [a lot of] comments on how slow my Xanga used to load because there were so many pics. So now I left the photos in a Yahoo Album where you can view it [though people still say that the album itself is taking awhile to load because there are so many pictures]. Anyway, hope you guys like it this way, with the new way I handle the entries and the new site. If you want to view the pictures from other events [Byron House Camp, Thai Rath Trip, Sports Day, May Collection, and others], just go to the album and they’re in different folders. Oh, and THANK YOU, Joe, for giving me some of the pics you took, especially the pics from the rafting sessions. So, here it goes – the day-by-day record of the Nan Expedition, which is now the best school trip I ever had – enjoy!

Click the image above to go to the photo albums.
———-
Sunday, June 26, 2005 – Day 1

Thinking that it would take about an hour to get there, we ended up reaching Hualumpong Station in just half an hour and surprisingly, found half of us already there. As time went by, each of the students began to arrive, Nun, Pat, Oat, Bifern, Ta, Kitti, Raghav, Joe, and the rest of the crowd. Each person arrived with something – Syne with Southpark Season 1, 2, and 5 DVD’s that I wanted to borrow, Kitti and this red dot on his head since he just came back from the temple, along with his guitar where Ta hogged for the whole trip, Joe and his waterproof camera [which ended up really handy later during the rafting days], and everyone with these really heavy bags filled with God-knows-what. While we waited for the boarding time, some people went to buy snacks and drinks for the long ten-hour train ride from Bangkok to Den Chai in Prae province up North.

Finally, at 8:10 PM, we slowly walked along the platform and tried to find our train. As soon as we found it, we carried our bags (with all our strength) up the train and walked through the train to find a sitting and sleeping area. Pat and I found a spot and agreed that I would sleep on top and he would sleep at the bottom of the bunk. The rest of the ten-hour train journey was filled with many things – card games [Slave and “Pai Thoap” (Hitting card)], singing, eating, reading some books, signing some people’s friendship books, etc. Oh, and before the trip, Chris mentioned about this “vote” he and his friends had saying that Bifern and I should get together – well, we kind of played back and pretended that we did, which really fooled him! Haha, will tell more about it later. Ever wonder how the bathrooms would look like on a train? Well, remember “The Mummy Returns”? It was something like that – just this whole in the floor that leads to the tracks. Luckily, there were two bathrooms, one with the exact same version like the movie and another with something more like a toilet, which was the one everybody used.

Anyway, before we knew it, it was already 11 and the teachers began chasing us to go to bed. Well, we WERE in our beds but we didn’t sleep! We just ended up talking and playing this “continuing game” [remember, RF?] and I finally gave up and fell asleep at midnight. Now, sleeping on the train is something that is quite fun. You know, the whole thing where you have this tiny little room all to yourself [and it’s quite comfy, too]. Yet, it kind of got annoying especially later when you’ll find yourself constantly waking up at two or three in the morning because the train keeps on making loud noises or making some sharp turns that push you, making you nearly fall off your bed. In my case, I was up on the top bunk, which made me worried about falling off the bunk onto the floor. Anyways, that was it for Day 1, which was filled with all this energy and excitement where we were thriving to find out what is awaiting for us in Nan. Well, all I can say is, by the time we went to bed, we were pretty tired already and that was only 4 hours!

———-

Monday, June 27, 2005 – Day 2

Day 2. We found ourselves up around 5:30 in the morning as we tried with all our strength to keep our eyes open as we brushed our teeth, stand as still as we can as the train shook hardly, and sharing, waiting, and taking turns with the two bathrooms and sinks. Finally at 6, we arrived in Den Chai where we had to go on these really big tour buses. There were two of them so about half of us were in one and the other half in another. The ride was half an hour to this hotel in Prae where we had a quick breakfast. Luckily, Kitti brought some VCDs and we ended up watching “Bruce Almighty” along the way.

After breakfast, we ended taking this two hour ride into Nan where we finished the movie and ended up playing some more of the “continuing game”. As soon as we reached The City Park Hotel in Nan, we got our rooms [Girls – 2nd floor, Boys – 3rd floor]. I ended up staying with Raghav with Gaf and Tian right across the hall from us. Because we were free until noon, we had to find something to entertain ourselves with. So we went down to the pool and played some cards and once we were bored with that, we went to play a little soccer. After finding ourselves bored with the whole kicking the ball and running after it, we moved up to Nun and Bifern’s room [257] where we just spent time playing cards.

At last, noon – lunch! So, Nun, Pat, Bifern, Ta, Kitti, Gaf, Raghav, Tian, and I went down to the restaurant and found everybody there already. [The nine of us ended up being late for every single meal throughout the whole trip.] Once we were done eating, we were informed that we would be trekking during the afternoon so we should go and change into appropriate clothing. Oh, I forgot to mention, while we played cards at the pool, Gaf’s friend in Nan, M, that he and Por met on Pramool.com came to visit us and informed us that he would bring some KFC for us at night. How nice of him! Anyway, the nine of us boarded our van and it took about 20 to 30 minutes to get to the trekking area.

Once we got there, we were divided into Group A and Group B, which was written on our key cards. Luckily, the nine of us were together along with Jeeb’s group, the Japanese group, and Lewis and Kate [Group A]. So, the trekking began and the long walk up the hills and going into different caves began to tire us. Each of the caves we went into had its own history and story [There were four caves in all]. As we went up each hill, there were these little steps, but the problem was they were muddy and slippery, so we had to hold on to the bars and the rocks next to us, which ended up being quite hard since we each had a bottle of water which we had to hold on to. For one of the caves, there was this little shrine that had bat crap all over the floor. Then the next thing I knew, which practically scared the hell out of me, there were spider webs all over in every single cave. And these weren’t those tiny little spider webs that you see in the corner of your house or anything, these were HUGE and HUMONGOUS, just like Shelob’s in “Lord of the Rings”. Ok, maybe not THAT big but you know what I mean.

Then we saw this really large spider at the size of my hand, which scared the creep out of me. Anyway, we had to bend our backs as we walked through the caves, climb down them, and even crawl through some of the openings just to get in and out of the cave. Honestly, for one of the caves, it made me feel quite claustrophobic since we had to crawl through this really low cave and stand up in this really low and narrow walkway where we had to wait to climb down the stairs, which were really high. I have to admit, this was like some sort of Fear Factor thing with all the spider webs and spiders and bat crap all over. But anyway, the experience was quite fun and by the time we finished the trek, which was about two hours, we found ourselves soaked with sweat and extremely exhausted.

Anyway, Mandy, remember that white shirt you got me? Well, it’s kind of dirty now from this trek, haha… But don’t worry, it was all washed up and is as clean as new. So, back to the trip, after the trek, we went back to the hotel where we had a choice of either swimming, playing soccer, or playing tennis. We chose to jump into the cool pool after the long trekking and played a little game of water polo. After swimming for about an hour, we went to clean ourselves up and went to Nun and Bifern’s room [their room was the place where we hung out most of the time when we had free time] and played some card games, e.g. Slave, Killer, and “Pai Thoap”. As we played cards, Ta and Kitti serenaded us with their guitar skills and played many songs that were actually quite good. By six, we had dinner and were told that we have to return to the restaurant at 8 for some sort of quiz. So as we waited for time to pass, Pat went up to his room to take a nap since he wasn’t feeling well and the other 8 of us just spent time hanging out by the pool and exploring the hotel site.

Finally, at 8, we got Pat and went back to the restaurant where we were divided into teams by the tables we were sitting at. In all, there were six teams: Jeeb’s team, Chris’s team, Prang’s team, Por’s team, the Japanese team, and our team. There were several rounds in all. The first round was about Sports, where half of it was about the British teams and stuff. Thank God we had Kitti, Ta, and Pat who were the sports fanatics and helped us. After the first round, Chris’s team was leading then our team and Jeeb’s team. The next round was on movies and we were at the same spot fighting for second place with Jeeb’s team. The next few rounds were Geography [which Raghav did a GREAT job at it scoring 9 out of 10], Music [which we all did pretty well, though it was hard at the lyrics part since we didn’t know the lyrics for 50 Cents’ Candy Shop or J. Lo’s Get Right], Quotes [which we ended up doing quite well], Guess the Teacher [which we did quite badly], and the General Knowledge round [which we did great!].

By then, we were still in the top three and there were only two rounds left. One round was about guessing, where we had to guess how many brothers and sisters all the 7 teachers had combined [we guessed 14 but the number was 20 – the Japanese team put down 16 so they got the score]. We also had to guess how much money all the teachers currently had there at the table combined. We guessed 25,000 Baht [ridiculously high, I know] and we were at first disappointed since Ms. Mackrory and Mrs. Beresford had none and four other teachers had a few thousand. However, we were surprised when we found out that Mr. Carter had 45,000 Baht, which made US the closest and making us get 6 points!

The next round was also a fluke since we had to guess how many countries all 7 teachers went to once combined. At first, we were going to say 150 countries, but changed our minds to 99 to make it realistic. The answer? 150. Wow – we should have said 150 in the first place! Anyway, we were the closest [again!] and got 6 more points. Finally, the last round, we were currently in the lead followed by Chris and Jeeb’s teams. The last round was about True or False. Some of the questions were:

Some lipsticks have fish scale in them – True or False? [True!]

Mosquitoes are the deadliest killers in the whole world – True or False? [True!]

A bus ticket on the London bus costs more than 70 Baht – True or False? [True but we said False]

Human hair is stronger than rubber – True or False? [False!]

There was another question that I can’t remember. Anyway, we sort of had this funny thing with Ms. Mackrory, who was the MC, since we were asking “For the bus ticket one, is the ticket a normal ticket or a package promotion ticket?” and “For the human hair and rubber one, what kind of rubber is it? Synthetic or natural?” Haha, anyway, there were also five other questions on the teachers:

Ms. Mackrory can speak fluent Russian – True or False? [False but we said True since we kind of thought that she looked Russian – WRONG!]

Mrs. Beresford has appeared in Australian Television – True or False? [True!]

Mr. Haughton has appeared in a car commercial – True or False? [False! Although we were saying he might have appeared in a Tuk-Tuk commercial!]

Mr. Carter [who speaks fluent Thai] has met King Rama IX – True or False? [False! We were the only team that got that right!]

Mr. Francois owns a small castle in France – True or False? [False! Our reason for it was kind of funny but kind of mean, too, though.]

Anyway, by the end of the whole quiz, Mr. Carter went giving points around to the team with the best team name. Well, Prang’s team, Jeeb’s team, Chris’s team, and our team didn’t get a single point but Por’s team [“Pikachu”] and the Japanese team [some Japanese name] got points for it. Still, at the final total, it was our team that won! When we found out we were jumping up and down and banging the table so hard you would’ve thought one of us won the Olympics or something. Well, that’s what you get when you have Set 1 Students, Pop Culture Freaks, Sport Maniacs [Manchester United, in particular], a Geography Expert, People with Photographic Memories, and Good Guessers combined together in one team!

After the fun quiz, we went back to Nun’s room where we had a little celebration for our win with delicious KFC that was cleared up in a matter of minutes. For the rest of the night, we played cards on and on until 11 when the boys were chased to go back up to our rooms. But because we were constantly going in and out of Gaf’s room, I ended up going to bed at midnight. Oh, forgot to mention, because our air-conditioner wasn’t working, we ended up changing rooms and we ended up at the other side of the building where we were the first room [301]. Gaf and Tian also decided to change rooms so they’ll be across us, too, so they were in room 302 right across from us.

———-

Tuesday, June 28th, 2005 – Day 3

Woke up at 6 and got ready for breakfast at 6:30>. The nine of us ended up going down late again and once we were done, we were informed that we will be divided into Groups A and B the same as yesterday and Group A will be learning about CPR while Group B will go cycling around Nan and visiting places. By noon, we will switch and do the same thing the other group did. So we ended up learning about CPR and life-saving techniques. We had quite a fun time practicing saving and doing some mouth-to-mouth with the dummy. Bifern said, “I can’t believe it – my first kiss will be given to a dummy!” Haha, quite funny.

Anyway, after we finished learning about CPR during the morning, we went on Song Taews to Dhevaraj Hotel where we would have lunch with Group B and go cycling as they come back to the hotel to learn CPR. We had quite a fun time on the Song Taew and once we reached Dhevaraj Hotel, we ended up getting the private room since the restaurant area was full. So we and Jeeb’s group ended up eating in the room and had lots of fun talking and playing a little Killer game. Joe warned me about the cycling. He said that he threw up at one point because they had to walk up this 303-steps stairs and he wasn’t feeling well that day so he ended up throwing up. Well, at first I thought he was joking about the steps – but little did I know that he wasn’t.

After lunch, we were given some warning on using the bicycles and rules to keep straight in a line because we’ll be riding on the streets and they wouldn’t want any of us to get run over. Apparently, even though I rode the bicycle at House Camp 6-7 months ago, I found myself having trouble with riding the bike! I don’t know what went wrong but I wasn’t able to ride it [how embarrassing] so I ended up going on the motorcycle with one of the Total Entertainment staff. We reached “Chao Ratcha Boot” [เจ้าราชบุตร], which was the house of the King of Nan, which now belongs to his descendant and is now a little museum. In there, we found these really nice pots, records, carriages, pictures, statues, and many other cool things. We kept on stepping on the carpet in front of the treasure, which had a siren and sensor on it that kept on going off once a person steps on it. It was quite cool to see all the money and coins before and they looked really different from what they are today. Oh, and while we were in the house, it kind of drizzled but went away after a few minutes.

So I went into the car while the others rode their bikes to the Nan museum which was just a few minutes away. We basically got to see how it was like to live in Nan before there were such inventions such as electricity or cars or even ACs. We also saw some of the statues of Buddhas and the Sila Jaruek, which were quite interesting. Sadly, we weren’t allowed to take any pictures in there so there aren’t any pics for you to see. It also kind of drizzled there while we were standing outside around the large tree.

Later, we went to this temple that had paintings all over the walls and is said to be the most beautiful painting of Northern Thailand. The design of the statues and paintings were really great and Naag looked really scary, but also beautiful. After that, it was quite a long way to the next place where we went up a hill that was very steep. Luckily, I was in the car while others had to ride and push their bikes up the hill. As if they weren’t tired enough, we had to walk [and run] up these stairs that had 303 steps. Joe wasn’t joking – it was tiring.

As we raced up the stairs [since Ryan from Total Entertainment said that he would have a surprise for us if we reach up there first and was able to count all the steps], we found it quite fun until we reached the 80th step when it started to rain. Now, it wasn’t drizzling like earlier – it was raining [and pouring] like cats and dogs! Another thing I didn’t like was that it would come and go, come and go, making it even harder for us to go up. Well, after all the hard work, Sky reached the top first followed by me and Syne and we were relieved we reached it and began to rest in the sala nearby. We sat and waited while the others struggled to come up and finally, everybody reached the top. Finally, we had to walk back down the steps to the song taews that will be taking us back to the hotel.

Well, as soon as we got to the hotel, we were informed that we will be taken to Tesco Lotus after we changed to let us get anything that we want. Group B were surprised to see us all soaked from the rain then we went to Lotus and bought some more snacks and some people decided to buy some shampoo and soap. Once we got back from Lotus, we jumped into the pool and relaxed until it was almost time for dinner. During dinner, there wasn’t anything for us to do after but some people just sang karaoke while we ate. One funny thing was when Nun, Jeeb, Jane, Siree, and Oat were singing “I Believe” by Tata Young, Mr. Francois was behind them and was looking at the lyrics. And at the “Set me on fire!” part, he made a tiny “Ooh!” sound as if he was surprised by it – maybe because of the meaning behind it! Lol…

Anyway, after the karaoke, we found out that M came back again with some chicken [Gai Yaang Haa Dao – Five Star Chicken] with sticky rice. This time, we spent time in Gaf’s room since we kind of made Nun’s room dirty from the KFC night. Well, we just spent the night playing cards, talking, and singing. Oh, we also did some little prank calls to other rooms and I have to admit – it was really funny! We were doing something like [this is in thai] –

“Hello, Sawasdee ka, tee nee Kor-Wor-Yor Call Center! Goad 1 pueh ka-naad yai. Goad 2 pueh ka-naad lek. Goad 3 pueh ka-naad pahn-glaang. Goad 4 ta mai thong gaan. Kob Khun Ka.”

Ha. Ha. Ha. That’s all I can say. I don’t think I’ll translate it because it’s a little x-rated but it was funny the way some of them were actually pressing the numbers!

Well, we had some funny incidents that we played that were kind of embarrassing to some, but anyway, by the time it was 11, we had to go back to our rooms again before we’re chased. Oh, also, there were some rumors about a ghost appearing in some people’s rooms. At first, we all thought it was a joke, but it sort of got serious by the next day. Anyway, went to bed at midnight again. Also forgot to tell another thing, remember the whole trick Bifern and I did on Chris about being a couple? Yeah, by Tuesday [today], he had a conversation with me and it went like this:

Chris: Are you sure you and Bifern are together?
Jason: Yeah, why?
Chris: Well, because there’s all these guys around her…
Jason: What? Oh, you mean them? [Points towards my table]
Chris: Yeah…
Jason: Nah, they’re just friends – you know, friends!
Chris: Oh, OK, just making sure.
[ After dinner, as I walked out.]
Jason: Oh, Chris, you want to hear something funny?
Chris: Yeah?
Jason: We were never a couple!
Chris: Huh? [Then made his "rabbit-about-to-get-runover" look.] OHH!
Sky: [Out of nowhere] Oh man – that was good!

Haha, anyway, that was pretty funny – sorry about the trick, Chris! We just wanted to see how you guys would react and stuff!

———-

Wednesday, June 29th, 2005 – Day 4

Woke up at six again feeling all drowsy and we had breakfast. After breakfast, we were informed to come to the lobby area by 8. We reached the lobby area and we were informed that we will be learning about rafting and camping today. But before that, we will be divided into our rafting groups – so no more Group A and B. This time we’ll be in our rafting groups, 2 boys and 2 girls in each raft. So Gaf and I paired up with Jeeb and Toy [who are in World Challenge and will be going for a four-week trip in South Africa next year helping people]. Then it was said that Groups 1 to 5 will be going rafting first while the rest will go learning about camping.

So up on the song taews we went – my group went on the same one with Joe’s group and we had a fun conversation. We ended up getting there late because we had to stop at Seven Eleven for the staff to buy some strings for those wearing glasses to prevent our glasses from falling while rafting. Once we got there, there were five groups in all [Joe’s group, Nun’s group, Por’s group, Boom’s group, and my group]. We learned the different rafting instructions and practiced rafting in the river. Then, as we rafted, each of us had to jump down into the river and have our teammates pull us up as if we were drowning and needed help. It wasn’t a problem when Toy, Jeeb, or Gaf went down but when I went down, both Toy and Jeeb had to use all their strength to pull me up. Haha, anyway, just realized how heavy I am!

Then we stopped and learned about how to float if we are separated from our raft and can’t be saved. We have to go feet first and open up our arms – do not try to stand. At one point during the practicing session, Toy, Jeeb, Joe, and I decided to go together at once holding each others’ hands and people said we looked like many starfish. Then we had to learn about how to grab the safety rope and which side to hold on to it once you grab it to avoid being strangled and stuff. We had some great acting skills from Maek who screamed for help as he went down the river. It was really entertaining. After the practice and lessons, we continued to raft and had some little competition. It was really fun – I wish I can go rafting again!

After the rafting lessons, we came back to the hotel on song taews and had some lunch. Right when the camping groups went for the rafting lessons, we had to come and do the camping part and learned how to set up tents. Alright, setting up the tents may seem hard at first but after doing quite a few of them, then tend to get easier – although it got complicated when there were different types of tents. Anyway, once the tent lessons were done, we got our waterproof bags to put our clothes and stuff in for the camp. So we just packed and waited until three where we went to Lotus again to buy some more stuff if we need any. So we just bought some last minute stuff like some more soap and shampoo or even clothes.

At Lotus, I was trying to find some ziplock bags for my camera because it isn’t waterproof. But none of the staff knew what I was talking about even though I explained it. So I gave up and decided not to take my camera for the rafting session – don’t be sad yet! Luckily, Joe had his waterproof camera so it was really helpful and I have lots of pics from the camp. [Thanks for the pics, Joe!] After Lotus, we just jumped into the pool with our clothes and this time, we had a large group of people playing water polo. Several people ended up with cramps and had to stop but finally, it ended up with the nine of us again and we decided to play a little game of Killer but in the kid’s pool. It was quite fun being the person who gets to tell who’s who and seeing how each person chooses the wrong person as the killer and stuff.

Then we had dinner where we quickly went up to play some cards and M arrived again with some Moo Ping [Grilled Pork] with sticky rice. This time, we had the little party in my room. Surprisingly, we ended up having 250 pork sticks! And half a bucket of sticky rice. Well, we finished the pork but had plenty of sticky rice leftover. By then, we had so many people in our room that it was getting a little too crowded and there was this little push-up competition between M and Sky. Not sure who won since I was out of the room because our group decided to move to Ta and Kitti’s room [320] where we decided to hang for the rest of the night playing and singing to the guitar and playing some cards. I know, must sound really boring, just singing and playing cards – but what can I say, there was nothing else for us to do and it did get quite fun, playing the cards, I mean.

Well, Joe also taught me and Nun a new card game called “Dummy”, which is fun but needs quite a lot of thought in order to play it. But it was really fun. Nun, who just learned it that night, ended up beating the crap out of us every single time we played it! Well, for the rest of the night, we were singing, playing cards, talking, and giving our cell phone numbers to M. Oh, Ta, Kitti, Por, and Gaf had this drum fever and started hitting the tiny round table. It was quite fun at first until Gaf hit it so hard it broke. Broke! Ouch! We were so stunned when that happened! Then, right in time, we were told to return to our rooms. They told us that we have to leave a bit early because we’ll be leaving early for camp tomorrow. So I think I fell asleep around 11:30 or so.

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Thursday, June 30th, 2005 – Day 5

Woke up really early at around 5 or 5:30 and had breakfast. Right after breakfast, we had a few minutes to do some last minute packing and had to leave in the vans around 7 or so. The drive was about two hours up a mountain where the weather got really cold and windy that the AC was not necessary and we just opened the windows. For the first hour, I just slept to get some energy and we reached a little stop area where we stopped to take some photographs among the clouds and mist near a cliff. It was quite cool and felt like we weren’t in Thailand at all! We took a big group picture right before we boarded the vans again and drove for another hour or so where we all fell asleep and woke up finding ourselves driving into a school with little children waving all over at us. They were really cute and we waved back at them just before we parked and got off.

We ate in the library and had a choice of eating Kao Mun Gai [Rice and chicken] or Kao Moo Daeng [Rice and Pork]. OK, I have to admit it, the food was really good and we wanted to have more but there were no leftovers. After eating, we decided to put some sunscreen on or getting out any last stuff before we get ready for rafting. Then we had to wait for awhile so we started to play table tennis with the kids there. Guess what! They were kicking our asses! They were so good! None of us were winning at all. And these kids looked like 8th graders [Year 9s]!

After the ping pong competition, we walked a little to the area where our rafting equipment was ready. Lewis did this funny thing where he put the life jacket on inside of his shirt so he looked really muscular – haha, but the teacher told him to wear it properly. We found out that we will have Mr. Carter in our both along with two other rafters. This would be easy since Mr. Carter can understand Thai perfectly so we wouldn’t have to worry about language difficulties. So in all, we had 7 people on our raft. So off we went rafting. We realized that we’d be rafting for about 2 and a half hours nonstop. That sounds like fun! So off we went. Paddle, paddle, paddle, that’s all we did. We had to learn all the words like “pai”, “tuan”, “nuck”, and “puck” to make sure we follow the instructions correctly.

As we paddled, we were hitting trees, hitting each other’s rafts, going through different water rapids, and keeping ourselves from falling off the raft. At one point, we went down the river at this angle that was nearly 90 degrees and both Gaf and I, who were in the back of the boat with one of the professional rafters, plunged forward and hit Jeeb and Toy’s arms. Luckily, we had our chin protection so when my chin hit Jeeb’s arms, it didn’t hurt but sent this sharp pain to my head giving me a little bit of a headache later. But overall, it was really, really fun. Finally, we reached the camp site and had to walk up the cliff where we had to divide into our different groups and start to do our chores. The first five groups [including mine] will have to set up the tents for the first day while the rest does the cooking and we’ll switch the next day.

As we set up the tents, Joe told us about how he saved Leng, who fell out of the raft and quickly pulled him back up. We were done with the tents rather quickly and spent time exploring the campsite. The bathrooms – those were the most shocking things of the camp. You wouldn’t imagine how scary it was! It was just several pieces of wood lined up to make a square room and a little door that doesn’t even close itself properly! So we arranged the tents in a circle around the campfire area for night activities and we just sat and waited for food to be prepared. Some of us decided to shower and some people showered together. There were some chili sauce, spaghetti, some Thai food, and many other things.

The food was OK and for the rest of the time, we [about 8 of us] ended up staying in our tent and played cards and talked until we decided to get out because it was starting to heat up get really humid. While we were outside, we continued to play some games and had some melted marshmallows as we continuously tried to shake off the stupid insects crawling up our legs.

Not much happened this night and we were told to go to bed by 10. So Pat, Ta, Kitti, Raghav, and I shared the big tent and it was quite spacious – I mean, all of us were able to fit in there and it didn’t feel that crowded. It was kind of funny when Ta kept doing this dance while Raghav was praying [I know, it’s mean, but Ta was funny]. Well, we fell asleep and woke up the next day finding something we didn’t expect.

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Friday, July 1st, 2005 – Day 6

We woke up at 6 AM to find all the clothes we hung wet. Was it the dew? No, it was because of the rain. According to the teachers, it rained for four straight hours last night while we slept and the water level rose. Even worse, the pipes weren’t working so we had to wait for about half an hour for water to come till we can brush our teeth. Later, we just sat there as we waited for breakfast and talked to one another.

After breakfast, we were informed that our plan for rafting for the whole day would have to be cancelled since the water level rose too high and made some of the Level 3 or 4 rapids that we would go through turn into a Level 5, which is the highest and most dangerous. Aw, great – what a pity. So that meant that we would have to stay there at the same campsite instead of getting to go to a new one and have a great adventure.

Anyway, so we waited and had nothing to do until we were informed that we will be trekking up the mountain to a waterfall. Cool, right? So up we went – walking up slippery soil, dodging any loose plants or trees that will fall, avoiding the possibility of stepping on a loose rock or not having a strong grip that could cause us to fall down the cliff, and making sure we don’t grab trees that have thorns or poison on them. The wonders of nature. This totally reminded me of Mrs. Rao’s [RIS 8th grade] great lesson on the rainforest, ecosystem, symbiosis, and all the stuff we did for our poster that made our science class get 20 extra credit points.

As we went, we nearly fell off the cliff into the forest below, nearly slipped, nearly stepped on a boar’s feces, and nearly got hit in the head by twigs and leaves. Still, it was so fun climbing up the pathway that was practically 90 degrees! So, about halfway through the trek, we were told to stop. Reason? It was too dangerous to continue any further – and it was near lunch time, too. Bummer, so the whole time we walked up there was a waste – this only meant that we have to walk DOWN the mountain now. So off we went practically crawling down the mountain grabbing anything we can with our hands. Luckily, nobody got any serious injuries but a few scrapes and scars.

After having a quick lunch, we were told to not to go and sleep [since we were all feeling drowsy – must have been from the sleep debt we had from the trip] since we’ll be building some stuff from bamboos. Feeling quite disappointed, we kept ourselves awake and were told to divide into our House teams. Um, what were the teams again? I totally forgot about the whole House thing since school was done for us. Anyway, Byron and Nehru, Churchill and Sonakul, and Keller and Suriyothai were the different house pairings. For Byron and Nehru, we had to help each other build some sort of a shelter, which was the hardest. Churchill and Sonakul had to make some sort of shelf while Keller and Suriyothai had to make a sitting area. Sounds easy? No, it was like being on Survivor! We had to get the bamboos and cut, peel, and scrape them off to make each of the items. The shelter was the last to be completed since it was hard and the biggest.

So when they were all completed, Prang gave a cute name to the whole project – “A Shelter, a Shelf, and a Shady Chair”. Talk about alliteration – she would get an A for that in my English class! We also learned how to cook rice by using bamboos and fire – it was sort of weird but very interesting. Anyway, after the whole completion of the bamboo figures, we had some soft drinks [with ice, thankfully] and were told that we’ll be going down to this fresh water stream. Ok, this sounded quite relaxing so after about 15 minutes, we walked down the mountain and went through a little jungle area and reached the stream. One word: Cold. Despite the hot air and sun, the water was really cold as if it was in the freezer! So we swam a bit, relaxed, and splashed water at one another [including the teachers]. Have to admit it – it was fun!

So about half an hour later, we retreated back to the campsite and it was my group’s turn to cook. However, half of Group A was waiting to use the shower, which was being used by Group B. So there was only Toy, Siree, Jeeb, Joe, Oat, Nancy, Prang, Aom, and I that were doing the food. Some people came later around the end when we were nearly done but we had a little problem over the “pad-gra-pao” since no matter how much chili or sugar we added, it still ended up salty! Yet, dinner went well with several macaroni and cheese with some carbonara sauce, which was really good, though a little too salty.

Anyway, after dinner, we had a chance to relax right before we had a little campfire session. At the campfire session, we had this little thing where if we don’t do the actions correctly, we’ll have to come out into the middle of the circle and do this little dance that was really embarrassing. So in the end, there were Pat, Joe, Jane, and Siree that had to do this [really embarrassing] dance – it was hilarious! So after the little icebreaker, we had to do this paper-rock-scissors game on evolution where we all start off as an egg, then turn into a chicken, then dinosaur, then finally, a human. We are supposed to find a person who is at the same stage as us and if we lose, we’ll have to go back to the previous stage, and if we win, evolve to the next one.

Then we had a little fortune telling thing from Ryan where he said he can tell the future from smelling our shoes. So, he took a deep breath and smelled Donut’s shoe, which was really close to his face, and said, “Ahh, I see that you will move to the UK to study and live… You will also meet a great, rich man that you will marry.” Sounds nice, eh? The funny part is, Donut told us, that the shoe belongs to her brother not her! Haha, that’s funny. Anyway, he also smelled Boom’s shoes and said, “I see that in your life, you will take a very long journey.” Aw, sort of cliché, but the next thing we knew, Ryan threw Boom’s shoe with full force into the darkness. Poor Boom had to run after it and find it with a flashlight. [He came back with it about 10 minutes later.] Ryan also smelled my shoe and said, “Aw, poor you man, you will marry a 4500 ton German woman.” That was funny, eh?

After the whole fortune-telling thing, Ms. Mackrory had a little game where we have to say a word that is related to the previous word, such as, “Computer”, “Internet”, “MSN”, “Chatting”, and the list goes on. Well, at first it was Oat that was winning with the whole “Thailand”, “Bangkok”, “Traffic”, and then “Jam”. Then Jane came up and used the exact same words, which made him lose. [“You’re lame!” He exclaimed right before he got hit in the head.] Quite funny. I was also called up to play and compete with Jane. We had a tie until the final round where the word was “cake”. Then words like “sweet”, “frosting”, “chocolate”, “strawberry”, “S & P”, and others were shooting out from both of us until I wasn’t able to think of another word and got hit on my head. Jane won again! And after a few games, the reigning Queen ended up to be Jane, who beat Mr. Riley, the Head of English Department!

So after the game, we had a little dancing contest where Jeeb and Raghav competed – Jeeb won all the way with her taking off her jacket and swinging it around. Then we had some more marshmallows and we had to get ready for bed. We also played a little Survivor game since Oat had this flashlight that gives a light just like in Survivor during the Night-mode interviews. Nun, Plai, Kwang, Sky, and I decided to play a few games of Dummy just before we were chased to our tents around 9.

As I began to fall asleep, it began to rain. Oh rats, not again! At that moment, everybody made a big groan that people miles away can probably hear. Well, despite the rain, I fell asleep really early due to exhaustion.

———-

Saturday, July 2nd, 2005 – Day 7

We woke up early Saturday morning at around 6 or 7 to find ourselves completely drowsy. I also found half my body wet from the rain that must’ve seeped in since I was sleeping at the side of the tent. Well, the usual routine – brush our teeth, wash our face, use the toilet, etc, etc. We also ate and wondered if we will be rafting or not today due to the great rain last night. Luckily, we will be. Hooray! After a few group pics in our rafting gear, off we went! Paddle, paddle, paddle.

After about an hour of paddling, we had to make a stop to let the professional rafters take our boat through some Level 5 water rapids. We, on the other hand, had to walk through some rocky terrain and wait until all the boats were through. Finally, we paddled some more and found another Level 5 course that we students had to get off at. However, this time it wasn’t as easy for us to walk through since we had to carefully walk on the side of the mountain and stay in a certain position for 5 to 10 minutes.

After standing or sitting around, we had to climb up a wall and climb back down – I nearly slipped on my way down but thank God the staff members were there to help and carry me as I went down. Also, as soon as we got down, we had to move into our boats. At one point, we were sort of confused since the teachers told us to keep moving into the rafts and we don’t have to worry if we’re on our raft or not.

So we went in and waited until we were told to move BACK to our boats. Now, it isn’t that easy to move, you have to jump into each raft and walk through them – you can’t just swim through the water because it is really deep and you wouldn’t want to risk falling into them even though you have your lifejacket on. So we were on one particular boat when the first boat started to move. That wouldn’t be a problem, however, all the boats were tied together and connected so all the boats went, which was a big problem since Jeeb was in the middle of crossing between the rafts and she nearly fell! So luckily they stopped in time, preventing Jeeb from falling off.

Yet, the next conflict was that the boat I was sitting in began to sink because we had like, 15 people in it! So as the boat sank, the teachers began grabbing anybody they can and throwing them into the nearby raft. That was some scary incident! So in the end, Jeeb and I ended up on Boom’s raft while Toy and Gaf were in some other raft. We had to wait for awhile until our raft finally found us and so off we went, with only Jeeb and I as the students in the raft.

Anyway, we paddled on and on until we reached this little area where we stopped to have some “pad thai” and “pad si ew” along with some more macaroni cheese. Oh, forgot to mention, during the rafting lessons, we asked the instructors – “What if we need to use the bathroom?” The answer? Just jump off the raft and hang on to it while you do your business. Great. I thought nobody would actually do it but quite a lot of people were!

Alright, back to the story, while we ate, some people needed to use the bathroom but the water there was too shallow so we found this little nice grassy area that covered us from others. It was really weird having to do that with the worry of anybody walking up to you any moment. But after we finished eating and resting, we grabbed our bags and started walking. Walking to God-knows-where. I have to admit it – I didn’t feel tired during the trek at all! I was full of energy and kept on walking and walking. Don’t know what got into me – maybe all that pork sticks that I ate from M a few nights ago.

Well, the stuff was kind of heavy – Imagine having to carry your bag with clothes and stuff in it while wearing your lifejacket and helmet as you walked up this mountainous terrain. Yet, it was fun! But anyway, after about an hour or so, we were told that we would be going on for another 45 minutes. The view was quite nice until there were all these plants with thorns that were waiting to scrap our skin off. It felt like Children of the Corn or something since we were in these really tall fields and can’t see anything around us but the green grass and big trees.

Anyway, every time we went down a stream, these tiny little rocks will get into my trainers and they would get really annoying while I walk. As we walked, we passed a guy holding a rifle – for hunting, I guess, but it looked pretty cool. We also spotted several cows that were just sitting there and by just the sight of us, it started to stand up and walk away. Thank God it didn’t start chasing after us! Oh, we were following one of the staff one way and at one point, we turned around and saw that there was nobody behind us! Crap! There was only Ta, Bifern, Gaf, Tian, and I who were there and our teacher, Mr. Carter, was already way ahead of us through the fields.

Finally, we saw the others at the opposite side from us walking up the mountain while we were walking through the fields. Weird. But as we walked and tried to keep up with Mr. Carter, we saw this green snake and Bifern began screaming, which I think scared the snake instead…

Oh and at one point, there was this step that we had to take down into the mud but once we stepped on it, the mud camp all the way up to our knees and it had this really disgusting smell. Mud mixed with… cow crap? Unluckily, I was wearing long pants [since I thought that we’ll be trekking so to prevent any chances of the thorns scratching me, it would be a good choice – which was until the mud area] so the mud was all over up to my knees. Finally, we got out of the fields and saw this grassy area that was leading up to the mountains.

So up we went edging closer to modern civilization where there were these big tractors and construction equipment. Finally, after practically crawling up the mountain, we reached the top! We’ve made it! We shouted joyously, as we saw half of the group already there. After throwing our bags to the floor and taking off our helmets, we grabbed a can of soft drink [COLD, thank God] and made some sort of toast for our accomplishment. It was also my first time to have Pepsi Ice – it was so freaking good!

As we waited for the rest of the group to come, we saw Tina and Masa coming up on the pick-up truck, looking extremely exhausted. At first, we were thinking about how lucky they were to get here on a truck but then we found out the story from Tina. Tina said that they were led by this guy to a totally different place. They ended up on the mountain opposite from us! Poor them and they had to walk a bit until the truck came to get them. Well, we thought we had it bad but hers was worse!

So, after getting to sit down and rest for about 15 minutes, we got on some pick-up trucks that took us to some air-conditioned vans, which would take us back to the hotel. Just as we were about to get onto the van, this person told us to go to wash our feet because they were dirty and muddy. He said there was a pipe about 100 meters away. So off we went and were nearly there until we were called back since they were about to leave. [WTF? – we thought]

Then we sat in the car and relaxed with some AC and ice. As we went down hill, we opened up the windows because it was really cool and Bifern and I started to shout out the windows as loud as we can making this whole play. [Prim – remember the thing you did when I called you? Yeah, something like that though we changed it to a Lost in the Jungle version.] Then we began to play a little “continuous game”, which lasted the whole journey where we had to continue the songs. However, I got tired at first so I slept, as well as Nun, Pat, and Raghav. Tina, Kitti, Donut, Ta, and Bifern went on playing and singing at the top of their lungs.

We made a short stop at a small shop to buy some snacks and by then, I was awake now and played along, too. Finally, we reached the hotel and as soon as we got there, I collapsed onto the bed – the hotel was heaven compared to the camp! After washing up a bit, we went down to the pool to relax in the cool water right before going up to Nun and Bifern’s room to relax and play some more cards [again].

Dinner came and we were told that breakfast for tomorrow will be at NINE! EXCELENTE! And they said there is NO CURFEW tonight – so ideas of an all-nighter popped up all over in our group. Oh, and I have to thank Prang for giving me such great first-aid treatment with my foot – she is the most helpful person, I think, on this trip. As time passed, M came again with some “sa-lim” [A Thai dessert] and played some cards. However, for most of the time, people were going around taking pictures of one another and asking them to sign their friendship book right before they leave to England.

For this night, I spent most of the time in Tina and Donut’s room [254] with Nun, Pat, Por, Raghav, Tina [obviously since it’s her room], and Donut [same reason as Tina’s]. So we talked about the last few days and clearing some misunderstandings and worries and I got to talk to some people in Bangkok and was told about the Live 8 concert. Man, I wanted to watch it like hell!

Anyway, don’t know what got into Boom and Maek that night since they kept on saying hi and stuff into the phone while I talked to my sis and Mandy. Also, they were playing soccer in the middle of the hallway, too. Well, time passed by and people began to feel tired. We wanted the all-nighter thing but there wasn’t anything to do so we all decided to retreat to our rooms.

That night, George, Nithi, and Por came to sleep in our room and since I didn’t want to bother them, because it was really late by the time I came back from Tina’s room, I decided to go to sleep in Gaf’s room, which was right across the hall. So, what time did I go to bed that night? The latest of all nights – 1:30 AM.

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Sunday, July 3rd, 2005 – Day 8

Woke up around 8:30 to find Gaf and Tian still asleep, so I woke them up since we had to get down to breakfast in time – at least for once since it was the last day. Then I walked across the hall to my room and sort of woke the inhabitants in my room up, well, they got up by themselves as soon as I walked in. Well, George and I played some Dummy since he just learned it from Kwang yesterday and we had quite a lot of fun. Finally, breakfast time. We were early!

After breakfast, we had some time to get ready for our trip to the Unseen Silver Company Limited. So, we boarded the vans and off we went. The factory was quite nearby and when we got there, we had this little presentation on the company. [Thank you SO much for nominating my name as the translator – Nun & Pat…] Anyway, they mentioned about the company just starting off and having a main market in countries like Brazil, Japan, and China and are now getting ready to move into the global market. And because they usually close off on a Sunday, they have decided to open the factory up for us to allow us to see how work is done and will let their employees half a day off on Monday instead.

In addition to our visit, each of us will be getting a silver ring in which we can engrave anything we want onto it. Quite cool. Also, we can buy some of the rings on sale there too, which all looked pretty nice, actually. So off we went with getting our rings and deciding on what we will write, some people wrote things such as, “Phoenix”, “Biff Christensen”, “Wray”, “LPManiac”, “Malangporz”, “GO!”, Roman Numericals that represent important dates, etc. [Hope you guys don’t mind me mentioning what you wrote.]

Anyway, the engraving process took quite awhile since there was only one guy and he took quite awhile on each of them, so we had to leave our rings to let them do it while we go back to the hotel for lunch. So, after our last meal at the hotel, we just basically had time to hang out until four or so. I just hung out in Tina’s room with her, Donut, Joe, and Raghav and spent time talking and playing some games. Then around 3 or so, we went back to our rooms to make sure we packed all our stuff just before we went down for the little closing ceremony and getting our rings. There was a little prize giving to the most helpful people and Sky, Prang, Nuch, Masa, and, I think, Aom.

After we got our rings and t-shirts as souvenirs, we boarded the buses and started our dinner as we left the hotel. Most of the people were on the other bus so our bus only had a few people [Pat, Nun, Bifern, Ta, Kitti, Gaf, Joe, Tina, Donut, Tian, Raghav, and myself], which was good since we were able to be really loud without disturbing others. On our way to the train station in Prae province, we had to take a 3-hour drive so Kitti turned on “The Bodyguard” [the Thai movie, not the one with Whitney Houston in it]. We watched it and it was rather corny, though it was a good time-passer [At least it was better than “Payak-Rai…” that I watched with some RIS friends [Tent, Tanya, Pim, JJ, JJ's friend (Thee), and Tanya's brother (Kanin), which was very corny.].

We stopped at a gas station to buy snacks and use the bathrooms, although people tried to avoid it since there were no lights and it was really dark [around 6 PM or so]. Finally, at round 7:30 or so, we reached the train station in Den Chai and put our stuff down as we waited for the train to arrive. Oh, forgot to mention, Leng sort of twisted his angle on the very last day of the trip because he was playing soccer. How great is that – he survived the camp without getting any serious injuries but ended up getting hurt from a soccer ball. So he had to use support from the crutches.

So we waited for the train and as we waited, we played cards, as usual, and had some fun talking to each other and taking last snaps of the trip. Apparently, as we waited for the train, some drunk guy tried to take a bag from Kwang’s group and luckily, Por and Ryan were there to stop them from doing it. To pass time, Raghav, Pat, Kate, Nancy, Donut, Julie, and I played some Slave while other people also played cards, such as Dummy. At last, the train arrived at 9:10 and we boarded the train where there was a little confusion about which compartment we were on at first.

But finally, we settled down and the same deal with the bunk – Pat will be at the bottom and I’ll be on top, though it sort of changed later and Nun ended up at the bottom of my bunk while Pat was at the top of her bunk. As the train went, we started to ask questions about the Harrow House Shout, which will take place on Monday, which is the day we’ll get back and we were wondering if anybody will be going or not. Finally, around 11 or so, we were forced to get into our bunks but we finally did around 11:30, which made me go to bed around midnight or so.

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Monday, July 4th, 2005 – Day 9

This was only like an hour or so though… Well, I was woken up by Pat, who went back to sleep immediately, since I will be getting off at Don Muang station, which is about 30 minutes to an hour earlier than Hualumpong station. Anyway, Pat woke me up at around 4:30 and I was feeling like crap. We were told that we will be reaching Don Muang in about half an hour. So we brushed our teeth and everything and sat there waiting. About half the group was getting off here, e.g. Tina, Donut, Leng, Kwang, Chris, Lewis, Kate, and many other people. As soon as the train approached the platform, we got off feeling all drowsy and tired. Luckily, I only had to wait for 5 minutes or so for Dad and Lynn to come get me.

Anyway, it was a great trip – had lots of fun, made several new friends, got to know more about my friends, and had a trip that was filled with great memories that will remain as my best trip ever.

This is to all of my friends on the trip: Although there were some misunderstandings and secrets on this trip, I hope we all forget about it and leave it behind – whether because our friends got something we wanted or there were something we tried but didn’t get it.

Anyway, to all of you going to the UK, US, Australia, and Thai Universities next school year: Good luck and have lots of fun! Though, don’t get too carried away going out!

As for those that are still continuing Harrow next year: See y’all soon in the Sixth Form and our Koh Chang trip and hope that it’s just as fun as this one! That’s it for the Nan Expedition and enjoy the pics.

Currently Listening: Wake Me Up When September Ends by Greenday

Currently Reading: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling. [Actually, I already finished it... This is an excellent book! Great story, great ending. If you guys haven't read it, buy it and read it! Don't expect that you'll find out the ending from me... Can't wait for Book 7!]

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Harrow Fair & Last Day of Term 1

December 19, 2004

So, the closer it gets to Christmas, the colder it gets and this means that we all (well, maybe not all) will have a nice long winter vacation. Oh, wait, that also means that my mock exams (practice exams) and real IGCSE exams are coming up… Oh God, don’t want to think about it. Well, from my last entry to today, a lot of events have happened because it was Loy Kratong, Harrow Fair, the Last Day of School, and I went out with some people to World Trade. But before I go on to tell you guys about the events, please just take a quick moment to stop by this SITE and vote for my sister, Lynn, for “BEST THAI BLOG”. It only takes a few seconds. And her site name is “BRAIN FARTS”, ask her for an explanation of the title… Don’t forget to vote now… So, continuing the blog entry, here are pics from each of the events… Hope you enjoy them. (This entry won’t be as long as the previous one, trust me ). NOTE: THERE ARE ABOUT 117 PICTURES SO IT MAY TAKE TIME TO LOAD.

Loy Kratong

Not many pics for this day because I didn’t bring the camera to school… (Only two pictures, actually) But I had to get the pictures from Nun (a.k.a. Pat), who was very nice to give me the pics… Thanks, Nun! Well, Loy Kratong – Besides being forced to dress up in Thai costumes, we had lots of fun that day because there was a “Fear Factor” competition and hey, this was REALLY like Fear Factor… Try eating grasshoppers, worms, scorpions, raw chicken feet, red ant salad, and some other things I don’t remember. Well, the winner? A kid from The Language Center (TLC) – Leila said that the TLC section won for three years already. Hmm… Wonder what they teach there… Well, it was pretty fun watching the students and teachers struggle trying to put the disgusting food down their mouths! Haha, I should have brought my camera that day. Oh well, always next year. Here are the two pictures I got from Nun.


From left to right:
Girls (Front Row):
Julie, Masho, Donut, Nun, Bifern, and Blue
Boys (Back Row): Ta, Raghav, Me, and Ben (Not “Big Ben”)


This is the Science Set 1 class… From left to right:
Standing:Ta, Kate, Siree, Champ, Trin, Kid, Mim, Kenishiro, Kwang, Ping, Bifern, Jeeb, Nun, Sai, and Pear.
Sitting: Pat [Pronounced as "PUTT"], George, Toy, and Julie.


Harrow Fair
Harrow Fair – Something like RIS’s Fun Fair but I have to say, Harrow’s is way more crowded and actually has a lot more activities. Well, it seems like it’s mainly focused on selling things here… Not really on the games… But there was also a fashion show that students were in. In addition, there were the normal activities similar to RIS’s, Dunk the Teacher, Tin Can Alley, etc, etc… There was also foods from all over – Thai, Western, Indian, Japanese, etc. It was a very fun day and also very tiring. Oh – I didn’t scan the sticker pictures in. Well, you’ll probably see that another time… So – I got there and met up with some others (the guys just came back from ร.ด. – Millitary Training – I will be in it next year in case you were wondering). Well, not much to say about the day but that it was fun and had lots of activities. I’ll just let the pictures describe the day to you… As they say, a picture can tell a thousand words… And this time, there are way more pictures than the Loy Kratong ones, because I brought my camera with me that day.


Tina and Siree gathering up a crowd for their cotton candy game. Their rule was that you pay 20 Baht and you can spin your own cotton candy for twenty seconds – whatever size it is, you get the whole thing. That’s Mr. Wise with his portion of the cotton candy. When I arrived there, Mim was doing it and she got a REALLY BIG cotton candy.


The Fair just when it started…


One kid trying to make his cotton candy.


Gaf with a lightening speed move as he spins and spins his cotton candy up. He paid 40 Baht so he got an extra 20 seconds – but the bad thing was his cotton candy fell apart while doing it so he wasted time trying to put it back together. Results? Same size as the 20-second ones…


Nun at the Walk Ralley as she tries to solve the riddle. “Rearrange the following letters to make one word.” It’s very easy actually if you think carefully. The answer is right in your face! Can’t get it? Read the riddle carefully – “Rearrange the following letters to make ONE WORD”. Now, can you get it? It’s “ONE WORD” – how simple is that!


Bifern – the Tennis Master – as she tries to hit the tennis balls into the tiny square box on the ground.


Pat bring back the tennis ball.


Gaf and Pat trying to throw the darts right at the center. Actually, while the guys were practising so hard to make sure it hits the center, Bifern, who just grabbed a dart and threw it, threw it right into the center! Wow…


Raghav relaxing after the walk ralley.


The poor dartboard that was our victim…


That’s Ben (Big Ben) in the Fashion Show… Along with somebody…


Boom and Fa.


Sky and Champ.


Champ and Fa.


Junko.


From left to right: Pun, Praew, and Junko.


Don’t really know who these people are – but they’re from a younger year – just thought the picture looked nice…


Paras and Poom.


Aom.


Jane, Poom (Another Poom), and Prang.


Jane and Prang.


The models up for one last bit.


The models again…


From left to right: Jeeb, Nun, and Raghav.


From left to right:
Guys: Raghav, Gaf, and Me.
Girls: Nun, Bifern, Toy, Jeeb, and Tina.


From left to right:
Back Row: Gaf and Me.
Middle Row: Nun and Toy.
Front Row: Bifern and Jeeb.


The Harrow Fair environment.


A way leading to the area behind the TLC building… Notice anything weird in front? (Just joking – it’s Bifern!)


Going to the games area – that’s Gaf’s head sticking into the pic – sorry for the bad pic, Gaf… But that’s for all the spam messages! (Just joking!)


Well, we all decided to play with kites (don’t think deep) and well, a couple of times (many times, actually), the kites ended up getting stuck in the trees… So we had some trouble with them…


Stuck again…


Sky along with some other people trying to raise some money by putting up a game for the visitors.


Here’s a scene from “Dunk the Teacher” – Apparently, it was the Head that was being dunked! Thanks for taking the pic for me, Pat – I wouldn’t be that quick… I felt bad for one teacher, who went on the Dunking thing and after EVERY SINGLE ROUND, he would get dunked. I mean, one right after the other… I could say – he probably got dunked at least 15 times? Unluckily, one of the balls actually hit his face too (and they use a BASKETBALL, not a tennis ball or baseball like RIS) so it must have hurt a lot…


Around 3 PM…


The Head posing for a pic.


Just spotted this painting by this artist – looks really nice…


Bifern with all the stuff she got that day…

Last Day of School
The last day of school was a day everybody was waiting for. This would mean that it was the end of Term 1. This would mean that it was time for our liberation. This would mean that it was time for our reports to be sent home. This would mean that it was time for a full one month Christmas break. This would mean that our mocks and IGCSE exams are getting closer. This would mean – Ok, I think you get the message how important this last day was for us… Well, here’s just a quick overview of that day… We had usual classes for the first 6 periods (the periods before lunch)… But Tina and I got to skip classes because we were doing the reading for Carol Services that evening… (Something like reading bits from the Bible – but it was paraphrased so it wouldn’t be as confusing.) After the classes, we, Year 11 students, had a Year 11 Party just right above the Dining Hall. That meant that we didn’t have to wait in the long torturing lunch line. So we went up and had pizza, KFC, Pringles, Ice-Cream, canteen food, and some other stuff. After feasting, we turned on some music and several people were dancing – some went really wild. We tried to make a disco environment by switching the lights on and off – but pathetically, it failed and didn’t even help to create a disco environment. Well, after the party, we had our last Science class – Biology for me. Luckily, instead of having to learn about how the kidneys work, we played a little game of charades related to Christmas. After that, we had one last assembly with a little performance of the “Twelve Days of Christmas” by the Harrow teachers – really funny. After that, we had the Finals of the Inter-House Football matches. It was fun watching the teams compete. Later, we returned to the Dining Hall to have our Christmas Feast with our House and after that, we went straight up to the Carol Service. After an hour or so of the Carol Service, which ended around 7:20 PM, we finally went home. It was a fun and tiring day. So, here are some captures of the events…



Year 11 students forgetting our manners and diving straight into the Pizza boxes and KFC buckets for our food.



“It’s a chicken!” Says Por.



Pat eating the whole bucket of KFC chickens – just joking! He didn’t eat the whole thing… It was already empty by the time he got it.



Por enjoying his chicken.



From left to right: June, Tina, and Nun.



Gaf slowly disecting his chicken. That’s Sky on his left.



Tina, Nun, and Tan relaxing after eating.



Raghav enjoying his noodles.



Oat and Ant.



Champ and Jeeb getting the crowd stirred up for the dancing.



Jeeb getting into the music (I believe it was “Destiny’s Child – Lose My Breath” that was on then.).



From left to right: Fa, Praew, Ploy, Raghav, and Jeeb. Poor Raghav was forced to dance because it was claimed that he danced really well on a fieldtrip last year…



The guys chilling. From left to right:
Back: Boom and Kevin.
Front:Joe and Por.



From left to right: Praew, Kid, Raghav, Tina, Nun, and Oat.



The girls planning on what to do next.



From the back of the group. That’s only some of them there.



Getting ready for some party. From left to right on the opposite side: Bifern, Siree, Gaf, Boom, George, Pun, Tina, and Junko.



Clockwise order starting from the left side: Nun, Fa (Half of her), Tanggua, Mim, Gun, Toy, Tan, Ms. McClintock (Head of Religious Studies), June, Bifern, Siree, Pat (a bit of him behind George), Boom, George, Pun, Tina (the top bit of her head), Junko, and half of Kid.


Clockwise order starting from the left side: Nun, Fa, Leng (a bit of his head behind Fa), Tanggua, Mim, Omm, Toy, Ae (Her back), Plai, Nuch, Ping, Lookkade, June, Bifern (a very bit of her), Siree, Gaf, and Maek.



Nun working on the radio to get something more upbeat.



Clockwise order starting from the left outer-ring: Toy, Siree, Nuch, Ping, Lookkade, June, Bifern, Por, Gaf, Leng, Maek, Boom (behind Jeeb’s head), Mew (also behind Jeeb’s head), Nithi, George, Pun, Pat, and Gun. In Center: Jeeb and Raghav.



Clockwise order starting from the left outer-ring: Maek, Nithi, Pat’s head, George, Tina, Junko, Gun, Sai, Kid, Oat, Raghav, Joe, Nun, Mim, Omm, Ploy’s head, and Toy. In center: Champ and Jeeb.



Clockwise order starting from the left outer-ring: Sai, Kid, Champ, Oat, Joe, Nun, Pun, Prang, Fa, Raghav’s upper head, Tanggua, Mim’s head, and Omm. In center: Jeeb and Mr. Machin. The poor Head of Business Studies and Sixth Form teacher was pulled into the dancing circle. Haha, funny watching it though…



Clockwise order starting from the left outer-ring: Ms. McClintock, Toy, Siree, Plai, Blue, Ae, Music, Ping’s head, Takuto, and Mr. Machin’s back. In center: Oat.



Calling upon the “master” – Mr. Herbert – the Head of Drama.



Clockwise order starting from left outer-ring: Ae, Music, Ping, Por, Sai, June, Bifern, Gaf, Maek, and half of Kevin. In center: Jeeb and Mr. Herbert duel-dancing.



Clockwise order starting from left outer-ring: Half of Ae, Music, Por, Ping, Nuch, Trin, June, Leng, Maek, and Kevin. In center: Mr. Herbert and Oat duel-dancing after Jeeb failed… In the end? Mr. Herbert won. Reason? Oat wasn’t able to stop laughing, just like Jeeb.



Starting from the left side: Mew, Por, Trin, June, Bifern, Gaf, Maek, Leng, Kevin, Boom, Jeeb, Pat, George, and Fa in the very front.



Clockwise order starting from the left outer-ring: Toy, Ae, Tan, Music, Ping, Lookkade, Por, Mew, and Siree. In center: Nun and Oat behind her.



Cleaning up the garbage after the party.



The teachers of Nehru house doing the First day of Christmas bit in the “Twelve Days of Christmas” song. Spot anybody familiar.



Nun’s reward for completing the AIDS Awareness Quiz – looks pretty neat, eh? Those “flowers” are actually condoms… Nun, who didn’t know said that she’s going to change it with Pat, who got a cup from “Cabbages and Condoms” – Hahaha…



The soccer field where the houses were about to have their final soccer matches.



FROGGY – The Byron House Mascot (The cutest of all, too.) Froggy was stolen during the half-term break and it was gone for about a month and a half until somebody found it in the Sports Hall Changing Room – Uhh, how did it get there in the first place???



Suriyothai’s House Mascot – a fat cow… And hey, it really IS fat! It’s really big and really heavy!



Tina after she shot the penalty ball straight in, thus making Suriyothai the winning house for the KS4 Girls.



Here’s the Common Room of the Boarding House.



Here’s how Gaf’s Boarding Room looks like… Looks very homey…



Another bit of the Boarding Room.



A view of the soccer field area from the Boarding House.



The crowd gathering up for the final penalty shoot between the KS4 Boys teams – Nehru and Keller.



Pat – the goalkeeper for Keller.



Por – the goalkeeper for Nehru. The results for the day were as followed for each game…
KS3 GIRLS – Keller VS Sonakul – Winner: KELLER
KS3 BOYS – Byron VS Nehru – Winner: BYRON
KS4 GIRLS – Suriyothai VS Churchill – Winner: SURIYOTHAI
KS4 BOYS – Nehru VS Keller – Winner: NEHRU


World Trade with the RISians
On Thursday, I decided to go out with some of my fellow RISians at World Trade (Now known as “Central World Plaza“). The original plan was to have Pim, Tanya, Tent, Ice, Jirayuth, Kevin P., and Me to go out. However, Jirayuth said that he had some symptoms of pneumonia while Kevin P. had to get braces for his lower jaw. So it was down to Pim, Tanya, Tent, Ice, and Me. We met up in front of CD Warehouse then we went on to the Ice Skating Rink. At first it was empty because it was a school day and it was around 11 AM. But later, around noon, elementary school students came swarming in with their teachers followed by students from Thai schools. Well, Tent, Tanya, and Ice didn’t have any trouble skating… But Pim and I did – we were struggling. I don’t know why but my legs wouldn’t even move – I had to end up pulling myself along the side and slide my legs through the ice. It looked really sad since all these little kids were skating past me as if they were pros and I was holding on to the rail and moving very, very slowly. Well, after some skating, we left the ice skating area and headed for the restaurant we built a very well reputation with – MK. The last time I went out with them to MK, we were, um, should I say, loud? Noisy, loud, followed by several curses, and well, you probably get the idea. But that MK was at MBK, this time, we’re at World Trade – so it won’t be as bad. Oh wait, but this MK was much quieter than the one at MBK – so that means we must be quiet too. So, after ordering four of each at the beginning of our order, we found ourselves overloaded with all these food around us. The pile of food for the suki was as high as the Empire State! Like last time, we all had a battle for the food we wanted to eat. You see, there were five of us and they usually brought 6 of each food. So we would get one each and for the last piece, we would fight over it. Wait, actually, more like Pim, Tent, and Ice fighting over it. Tanya and I didn’t interfere with them because they were searching for the shrimp (this is an example) all over the suki pot while it was boiling and splashing all the soup everywhere. When one person gets it, the other two will use their chopsticks and pull it out. Sigh, and we call ourselves 15 year-olds… After the battle in MK, we went down to Swenson’s and had a few ice-creams. Later, we made a last-minute change to do Bowling instead of wandering around. Well, Tanya and I didn’t bowl because Tanya wasn’t allowed to and I ran out of money (because I didn’t know that we had to end up spending 250 Baht for our lunch – each – and I didn’t know that we were going to go bowling. So I didn’t bring extra cash.) So, after watching Tent, Pim, and Ice bowling for an hour, we went to Kinokuniya’s and began acting nerdy as we went through the books. Tent had to buy Romeo and Juliet for his English class and the girls were trying to decide which Chicklit they should buy – either the Shopaholics, Can You Keep A Secret (which they all borrowed from the library), Jemima J, I Don’t Know How She Does It, P.S. I Love You, etc, etc, etc, and many more books. I was just walking around the store and by the time we were done browsing the store, it was time to go. It was fun getting to come out with my fellow RISians again. Next time, Jirayuth and Kevin P., make sure you guys can come because it’s been a blast hanging out with these four and I bet it would be even more fun with you two, too! Here are some pics of the day…


Tent skating around.


Ice trying to become a pro at ice skating.


The ice skating arena. I know, it looks oddly yellow but this time, it isn’t my camera’s fault, it was already yellow like that. I guess the light makes it yellow? Because even the rest of us were looking sort of yellow – too yellow, actually.


Some more of the ice skating arena.


Tanya and Ice trying to skate backwards.


Tent. He said that his sweat was turning into ice!


Pim took a hard fall climbing into the skating area through the wall.


A very blurred pic of Ice.


Tanya – Our shooter!


Taking a quick break.


A last bit of the arena before we leave.


Looking eight stories down…


Ice, Tanya, and Pim ordering their dishes.


Lovely veggies for our bodies.


Just the plate, glass, chopsticks, and pot.


Ice, Tanya, and Pim – Full and Happy! (Right?)


Banana Boat… Thank you very much for taking the cherry and cracker, Ice and Pim…


Pim throwing her bowling ball. The poor ball, everytime it goes down, there’s a loud BANG to it.


Ice throwing the ball professionally.


Tent throwing his ball – everytime he’s going to throw it, he bends really low and then throws it.


The bowling alley.


More of the bowling alley.


This looks like in the Thai Horror flick, “Shutter”… No, it’s not a ghost, it was just Ice’s reflection!


The bowling master taking a break.


The three contestants taking a look at their scores.


First place – TENT, Second place – ICE, Third place – PIM.


Tanya as she sits and relaxes while the others play.


Last view of the bowling alley.


Tanya and Ice skimming through Chicklits in Kinokuniya.


Tent taking a look at the kids’ section.


One last pic of them before we leave. We were going to take some more but then the guard came and told us that we can’t take pictures in there…


Getting Christmassy for the Christmas Holidays…


Just on the way out – Exactly everything that Bangkok is here in this pic – Filled with traffic, pollution, noise, and a sense of feeling home.


A last peep of World Trade (or Central World Plaza).


Oh, recently, Chris moved homes and guess what? His new house is now right across the lake from my house! What an odd coincidence is that? Well, hope you don’t mind, Chris, but here’s a pic of your house…


Nice house you’ve got there, dude.


Well, got to go and sleep now – it’s 1:10 AM! See you later…

Currently Listening: Open Your Eyes by Alter Bridge

Currently Watching: House of Flying Daggers starring Ziyi Zhang, Takeshi Kaneshiro, and Andy Lau.

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