Thursday, January 17, 2013

Local Library Project

Above is the link to my library project.  I've been working on this for a few months now and it's finally finished. All I need now is donations!  We're going to be painting the library, organizing the books, and training students and teachers to use it and maintain it. I'm so excited about this project and so are my students.

These past 3 months have been crazy.  Trying to balance a new social life with school and working on this project has been an interesting experience. I think I've finally found a happy medium to all of it and the rest of this year should be productive and fun. I'm trying to work with the bakery that I was baking cupcakes with before. I was initially working there with the Finnish manager to try to teach her and her staff how to bake cupcakes to put them on the menu. We made apple cinnamon cupcakes with a honey spice frosting, oreo cupcakes with a white frosting, and chocolate banana cupcakes with a chocolate frosting. They were all incredibly amazing and I had so much fun doing it. But the woman I was baking with was going back to Finland and the NGO closed for a few months. The NGO works with and hires disabled people from the community here and provides medical care and scholarships for disabled students and adults. Hopefully, I can start working with this NGO again because they do amazing work.

Christmas, my 22nd birthday, and New Years were all insanely fun. I had an amazing Christmas lunch with my friends from the Australian restaurant, cooked by an amazing chef from Ireland.  My birthday was also fantastic. Things got a little crazy, or, more accurately, I got a little crazy but when it's your birthday I think you're allowed to let loose a bit. New Years was also fun but there was really no countdown involved. I was talking to a friend and then we asked how many seconds left before midnight and realized that we had already missed it. It was the worst countdown I've ever had but the best New Years by far.

That's about all that's been going on in my life. I've got about 6 or 7 months left here and I'm going to make them count! Please consider donating to my library project. I've been working really hard on this grant and my school needs this library renovation badly. My students and I can't wait to get this started. Here's the link again.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Last 6 Months

So I haven't updated this since....well...April. I know! So bad. I'm awful at this blogging thing. And now you're going to be stuck with a super long post! Lucky you! 

Here's the last six months of my life in a nutshell...

-finished school
-killed time until I went back to America
-went back to America
-came back to Cambodia
-dealing with animal/creature problems
-found a place to bake cupcakes
-school just started today

April, May, June, and the first half of July was life as usual. Nothing crazy happened. I started teaching at an NGO called Don Bosco at their school of Social Communication. Students who have already finished high school and who live in poor villages can go to this organization and get free technical training. So my students learned web design, photography, journalism, etc. They were great students and I enjoyed teaching them but it was just way too much English teaching in my life at that point so I stopped doing it after a few months. 

Then I went to AMERICA!!!! It was both challenging and wonderful.  I got to eat the food that I wanted to eat, sleep in amazingly comfortable beds without a mosquito net, and I got to hang out with some of my friends who were awesome.  It was difficult though because I started to realize that people are so caught up in their own lives that no one really cared what I'd been doing this past year. I would mention that I live in Cambodia and the reaction I got was "Oh, cool." and then they would proceed to tell me all about their lives for the past year. I guess I sort of assumed people would be interested in hearing my experiences but they only really wanted to hear the crazy stories and then after one or two of those they lost interest. It was difficult relating to a lot of my old friends and I felt like I got closer to people who I didn't expect to get closer to and I felt a distance between people who I considered to be good friends before I left. Also in America, I met a girl. She is an amazing person and we are now dating! It's difficult trying to pull off a long distance relationship but we're trying to make it work and seeing where it goes. I still have 11 months before I come home so we'll see what happens between now and then. 

Coming back was difficult. I missed all the comforts of home and I seriously considered leaving. Then I came back to site and realized how much I missed my family and my life here.  I painted my room and reorganized and I feel like my life is in the right place now. I still have thoughts of going home because life would be so much easier and I would get to be with my girlfriend and in a bed that I can get a good night's sleep in and eating food that I miss so dearly but ultimately at this point I'm committed to staying. I need to do work here that I can be proud of by the end of my service.  That's not to say I won't make the decision to leave sometime in the future but as of right this very minute I'm here and I'm making the most of it. 

I've got a bunch of other things to talk about but I'll save them for later posts. Look forward to my baking cupcake stories, the animal stories (which is the main reason that I've considered leaving lately), and stories about the beginning of school. 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Malaysia Vacation

I just got back from my trip to Malaysia! It was so great.  I was in Kuala Lumpur for 3 days and then in Penang for 3 days.  I traveled to Kuala Lumpur with my friends Gilbert, Les, and Gilbert's friend Johnny and they were all great to travel with.  We went to the symphony, the mall (it felt like America in there!), and the Batu Caves.  It was really fun. Then I traveled by myself to Penang which is an island. It was interesting to travel by myself outside of Cambodia for the first time. It was a little stressful but ultimately is was a really good experience for me. I met a really nice girl at the hostel in Kuala Lumpur and then met up with her again in Penang.  She was great to do things with and we walked around all of the Georgetown area of Penang and saw all the colonial buildings and Fort Cornwallis.  We also ate AMAZING food. They have a lot of Chinese food and Indian food and I was staying in a hostel really close to both Chinatown and Little India.  When we were in Kuala Lumpur we ate a lot of Western food and we had to get our fix of McDonald's but when I was in Penang I really wanted to eat local food and I'm so glad I did.

The first thing I noticed about Malaysia is the diversity there. There are girls in short shorts and there are girls wearing headscarves and there are Muslims and Christians and Hindus and Indians, and Chinese, and Westerners, every different type of person you could imagine was represented. It was great to see. Cambodia is so homogeneous so going to a place where there are so many different types of people was really awesome.

Two really crazy things happened to me while I was traveling though. First, a girl got mugged right outside of my guesthouse. I heard screaming and then two girls from Whales came in and one had her purse stolen by a guy on a moto.  This girl grabbed onto the front of the moto to get her purse back and was dragged down the street a little ways.  She came in the guest house bruised and scraped up.  It was pretty bad. But she got her bag back with all her stuff still inside of it so her injuries weren't for nothing. And they caught the guy who did it right down the street.  The police came and they wanted the girls to go to the police station to fill out a report but they were really shaken and scared to go so they asked me to come with them. I was shocked, but of course I said yes.  So here I am, at 3am, riding in the back of a Malaysian cop car with the sirens blaring going 100 miles an hour through the streets of Kuala Lumpur.  It was a pretty interesting experience. I waited at the police station for them to fill out their report and then we went back to the guest house.  It was a very exciting night.

The second thing that happened to me was the earthquake.  The day before I was leaving to come back to Cambodia there was an earthquake off the coast of Sumatra and we felt it in Penang.  My whole bunk bed was shaking and I didn't know what it was at first until someone told me it was an earthquake later. They issued a tsunami warning and they closed the bridge off the island for a while but later in the evening they lifted all the warnings and reopened the bridge. No harm done. It was just an exciting experience.  I love natural disasters and I think they are so interesting so it was nice to finally get to experience one.

So that was my trip in a nutshell. I love traveling but I'm so glad to be back home in Cambodia.  It was weird because I couldn't wait to get out of the third world but once I got away from Cambodia I realized how much I missed it.  I finally realized and accepted the fact that Cambodia is my home now.  And it's really nice to be in a place where you know what's going on, you can converse with everyone, you know how to get around easily, and you know exactly what to expect.

New Family, New Outlook

I'm so bad about updating this blog and I apologize.

My life has changed dramatically in the past 2 months. It's been such a positive change and I'm so happy. There are a few major things that have happened that I'd like to share with everyone. First of all, and most importantly, I moved to a new family!!!! Things were starting to feel a little hopeless with my old family and I was scared that I wasn't going to be able to move. I was starting to get into a pretty bad depression and the thoughts of leaving and going back home were becoming more and more prevalent.  My old host family wasn't bad, my host brother and sister were really good people but they just never talked to me and it was very isolating and lonely to be in that house. They also had three very young children that were very loud. I was getting irritable and angry all the time being in the house and I needed to get out for my own mental health.  However, after about 2 months of searching, I finally found my new family. They are related to my old family and they are absolutely wonderful.  I now have a mom again, which I really needed, and all my "siblings" are around my age. I have a host sister that is 21, and two host brothers, 20 and 23 years old. My mom is an amazing woman too. She's helped me so much and I can tell she really cares about me and is happy to have me in the house with them.  She's a crazy woman though.  Not like my mom in training at all.  My new family likes to push my buttons and they get on my nerves a lot but I think that's how family should be. They are definitely not what I pictured a typical Khmer family to be like but I love them just as much as I loved my training family.  We all sit around and talk a lot and my mom likes to get drunk every now and then which is hilarious.  They are just a fun crazy family and I'm constantly laughing and having a good time with them. I feel like I can be myself and that they've really accepted me into their family. It's nice living with people that you know have your back.  I could probably go on and on about them because in the 2 months I've lived with them so many funny/crazy/weird things have happened that I could talk about but I'll cut this short and just let you know that I am so happy with this new family.  No matter how much they annoy me and drive me up the wall, I'm so glad and I feel so lucky that things worked out and I'm in such a great environment now.

Also, in this new house, my room is huge, I have wifi, a refrigerator, my own bathroom, and an awesome fan. I'm living the high life in Cambodia. I almost feel a little guilty because I probably live better than most volunteers AND I'm in a city with a ton of Western conveniences.  But I feel so lucky and so blessed.

Another big thing that has happened is that I've lost 26 pounds and counting! All my clothes are too big for me now and I'm going to have to get them tailored.  It's such an amazing feeling.  I just hope it keeps going so that by the time I come back to America I'll be able to surprise everyone.  I'm finally starting to look in the mirror and see myself as beautiful. However, it's a little scary to be getting down to a weight that I haven't been since freshman year of high school.  The security blanket is finally being shed. This is all pretty new to me but I'm just so happy that I'm just going with it.

So overall, my life is going fantastically and I'm happier than I have been since training.  The only thing I'm a little bummed about is my work.  I haven't taught in so long, there are so many random holidays that keep preventing me from teaching and I feel like a slacker. I'm not used to having so much free time. Hopefully when school starts back up I'll get up the motivation to work again and give the students my full attention like they deserve. I need to find some other things to occupy my time as well.  I really want to be productive and make a difference and so far I've been slacking. But now that I'm in a good place with my family and my environment I think I can start doing some good work. Cambodia deserves my best and I intend to give it.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


So when you have a lot of free time, as I do, you begin to obsess about things.  Too much free time makes your mind wonder and focus on very strange things that busy people don't have the time to really think about.  So now my two recent obsessions and some explanations.  

Obsession #1 Getting my nose piercing back.  
This isn't just an urge to get my piercing back, it's a NEED.  I've been wanting it back for a long time but never got it done because I was worried about getting it pierced in Cambodia.  Well screw that.  I can't stop thinking about it.  I loved the way I looked with it.  I felt amazing when I looked in the mirror and saw it.  I know this obsession is weird but I wanted my nose piercing for the first time so badly and now I need it back even worse.  It's going to happen.  I just hope that they have a small ring to put in my nose instead of just a stud.  I see foreigners wear their nose rings around and I'm always so jealous.  Soon I will have mine back. 

Obsession #2 Food/My Weight.

I feel like these two things go hand and hand.  I'm ready to get really honest right now so be prepared.  I've struggled with my weight all my life.  I've always thought of myself as the fat girl and I feel like it becomes a disease.  "Fat Girl Syndrome" should be a diagnosable disorder because it messes with you mentally and physically.  I've had times in my life when I've felt beautiful, sexy, etc. but it's not the norm.  Most of the time I feel like an outcast because of my weight and I've attributed every rejection I've ever had to how much I weigh.  Along those same lines though, maybe it's a mental block that prohibits me from losing weight.  I think I'd be terrified to shed all the weight that I want to lose because I'd no longer have that security blanket.  If I can no longer attribute my rejections to my weight...that must mean that some people don't like my personality...they don't like ME personally and I can't blame that on the weight.  It's so much easier to think "If I were thinner they wouldn't have rejected me" than to actually accept that maybe they didn't like who I am as a person.  That thought scares the shit out of me.  So maybe I'm scared to lose the weight.  I wouldn't know what to do if I wasn't overweight.  If I looked "normal" I don't know how I would deal with it.  

Everyone has their struggles in life and my weight has always been the big one.  I want to lose weight deep down.  I'm scared, but I know that I want this weight gone. It's just beginning to seem like that will never happen.   I've never been committed enough I guess.  The only time I lost significant weight in the past was my senior year of high school when I made a bet with my parents to see who could lose 20 lbs first.  It was the bet that kept me going and my constantly active and busy school, sports, and work life. Now that I have so much free time it's harder to stay away from food.  

However, with all that said, I am losing weight in Cambodia.  I've lost 10lbs already and to some people that sounds like a lot but don't congratulate me yet.  10lbs is just a drop in the bucket for me.  And I was almost at my heaviest weight when I came here so losing ten pounds puts me down to my "normal" weight.  I don't know how to lose weight in Cambodia.  The heat makes me incredibly lazy, I don't have control over my food, I don't know what's happening right now but every day I feel thinner.  I tried cutting back on the coke for a week and I did it but I started drinking it again soon after.  I see tons of other volunteers that have lost TONS of weight here and I'm really happy for them but I look at myself and think "I'm the heaviest girl here and I haven't lost nearly as much as a lot of the other girls".  And they don't seem to be trying too hard, it's just coming naturally.  So why isn't it coming for me? I had this expectation coming in that I would immediately lose tons of weight without even trying and come back super skinny and beautiful and surprise everyone.  And while I'm slowly losing weight now for some reason, I feel like if the miraculous weight loss was going to happen, it would have already.  I don't know.  I lost weight during training because I biked a ton and then I gained some back coming to site and now I'm losing some again.  I don't know what my body is doing.  I feel like I was eating less and working out more during training and I kept it up for 2 months and didn't lose as much as I would have if I did that in the states or as much as other girls who were smaller than me did during training. And now I'm eating the same as I did in training, with a lot less exercise and I'm losing weight.   I don't know.  It's all so confusing.  I feel like this is a confusingly written paragraph so I'll stop rambling and get on to my next point.

The food obsession.  Maybe it's just because I eat horrible food all the time and am stuck with plain white rice for every meal, but i'm obsessed with food.  All I think about is the next meal.  But then when i'm sitting at the table eating it, i'm suddenly not hungry.  Sometimes I have to force down the rice just so I know I'll eat enough to be full.  Maybe that's what's causing the weight loss now.  I'm not eating that much at meals.  I still snack sometimes, eat bread, and drink a lot of coke, but maybe it's the fact that i'm not eating much at meals that's leading me to shed some pounds now.  Who knows. All I know is that I think about food way more than the average person....but probably not that much more than the average volunteer.  However, when I was back home, I feel like my unhealthy relationship with food was what kept me at this weight and what prevented me from losing weight whenever I tried to diet.  I feel like I have a hard time stopping.  When I'm eating I don't want to stop, I have to eat whatever is on my plate no matter how much it is.  It's like the thing in your head that is supposed to tell you when to stop is temporarily out of order sometimes.  And other times it's working fine and I can say no to food. Ugh, I feel like the more I talk about this the more confused I become about what my issues are. 

But I do know it's a control issue in some ways.  Anorexics feel like they can control their life when they control what they eat and I feel the same way sort of.  When I lost 20 lbs in high school I was meticulously counting calories and controlling what I ate. It was done in a healthy way, I promise, and all the other things in my life became very controllable.  My room was always clean, my homework was always done, I met deadlines and didn't forget things.  But when i'm not in control of my eating my life doesn't feel so controlled.  And when my life feels chaotic and messy, I eat a lot.  It's a nasty cycle and one that is damned hard to break.  It was broken in 12th grade with the outside motivating factor of the contest with my parents but I don't have anything in my life that would work like that here. I don't know. Sometimes it just seems so hopeless.  I feel like i've been this size for so long and it's never going to change.

I just wanted to tell you the things that I've been thinking about constantly in the past week or so.  I hope my weight loss due to uncontrollable circumstances keeps happening because then I can keep doing nothing and slowly reach my goal.  My goal weight is 160lbs.  If I could reach that I feel like I would be at a perfect weight and wouldn't want to lose any more than that.  That's still 60-70 pounds away for me.  I need to find a way to get inspired to lose weight instead of obsessing over it.  

This is the first time I've ever discussed my weight publically.  I've talked to some people about it but I've never really shared like this.  My fears, barriers, cycles of unhealthiness, you know them all now.  Sorry if this post is confusing to read. I'm very tired and I kept having sporadic thoughts throughout this post. Let me know what you think. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Missing the comforts of home

Hello all you readers of my blog!  And my "readers" I of course mean the 6 of you that actually read this.  Maybe 7.  On a good day.  Anyway, my life is going pretty steadily right now.  I haven't had to teach for the past 2 weeks.  Chinese New Year took out 3 days of school, the day after hardly anyone showed up so I went home early, and I only had to teach for 2 hours on Friday.  This week they are doing testing all week so I didn't have to show up for that either.  And next week, Tuesday is a holiday.  SO MUCH FREE TIME.  This free time is both a blessing and a curse.  On one hand I have a lot of free time to read extremely long books in very short amounts of time.  On the other hand, I read all the good books and now I'm stuck with shitty ones.  I mean, bad ones...sorry Mom.  I get to sleep in until whenever I want to, but when I wake up I have absolutely nothing to do other than read copious amounts of literature.  And not anything that will expand my mind or anything.  I don't want to waste my free time learning stuff.  That would just be silly.  I want to read trashy romances and sci fi books to alleviate the sucky-ness of both the boring-ness and lack of love in my life. So to sum up this paragraph of rambling, I've been reading a lot lately. 

I'd like to make a list of things that I miss from back home.  So I will.
1. People having the same manner standards that I do.  I miss it in the U.S. when it's very rude to ask people how much they weigh.  It's not rude here to ask, it just gets on my nerves.  And when the children will follow you around screaming HELLO at the top of their lungs and their parents think it's funny.  In America, if your kid is being obnoxious, you'd probably take it away and apologize.  Nope, not here.  Also, when I'm walking down the street, people like to ask if I want a tuk tuk or a moto.  Instead of just letting me walk by when I say no, they stand in my way, try to talk to me, then when I don't, they make jokes to their friends about me.  Not polite in America, totally acceptable here.  I'm not saying that I think it's wrong.  It's just annoying to me because I've been brought up differently.  It's just their cultural norm to do things the way they do it and I understand that but it doesn't mean I can't get annoyed with it all the same.

2. Having a police force I can trust.  I've never had to deal with police in America, except for when I got my one speeding ticket.  But I know that if I was ever in danger, if I ever got in a car accident, etc, they would be there to help.  Here it's not the same story.  If you get into an accident here they'll show up, but no matter what happened it's always the foreigner's fault.  You could be stopped at a stop light and someone rams into you from behind and it's your fault.  Their reasoning "If you weren't in this country, the accident wouldn't have happened".  It's completely true and logical, but complete bullshit too.  I've heard that this happens from several different sources but have never experienced it, thank goodness. But it's nice to know that if i'm on my bike and I get hit by a moto or a car driven by a Khmer person, I'm going to have to pay for all damages.  Sorry, if this sounds a bit bitter.  It's just they way it works, or so I've heard.  Also, you can drive at night without headlights and no one says a word, but driving during the day with your headlights on will cost you $1.25 in fines.  One of my friends got pulled over on his moto for driving with his headlights on during the day.  Just another example of ridiculous laws that the police here enforce.  Oh well, I just hope I never have to deal with them. Corruption is very real and it can be very dangerous for a foreigner. 

3. I miss being able to earn my own money.  It's difficult to know that no matter how hard to work, you will never get more money.  It's difficult when you've always been able to afford the things you want and if there was something you couldn't afford, you could work harder, put in more hours, find some outside work, etc, to get the thing you want.  Here, I can't do that.  It's the same small allowance every month and you have to pull from outside money if you ever want to do more.  I've been very fortunate that my parents have been supporting me while I'm here but I don't want to have to rely on them.  Oh well, I guess I just need to get better with my money and learn to live even more modestly. 

4. I miss training.  I miss being around all my friends and other people who are going through the same thing as I am and being able to talk to them and hang out with them on a daily basis.  It's hard to be alone, especially in the city that I'm placed in.  I feel very isolated.  I don't fit in with the tourists but I don't fit in with the people that live here either.  It's very lonely sometimes.  Hopefully that'll be alleviated a little bit by my new family.  Right now my family has stopped talking to me completely and we only exchange maybe 2 sentences a day.  It's very frustrating and depressing to be at home now.  So I try to get out of the house as much as possible. I feel like this post is getting to be a downer.  I'll try to wrap it up soon.

5. Along the lines of missing training, I miss my training host family.  They mean so much to me still.  I feel so guilty that I haven't gotten a chance to go back and see them yet.  I was so spoiled there and I absolutely love them.  In those 2 months that I lived there they showed me so much love and my host mom especially made me feel like part of the family.  I've been living with this new family at site for 4 months now and I don't feel even the tiniest bit of love on their part.  I don't feel like part of the family and I don't think they know how to make me part of the family.  I'm moving to a new host family with a mom that reminds me of my training host mom so I hope that this new family will be better.  The new house will be a downgrade but I'm willing to give up my comforts that I have now in order to have a family that accepts me and treats me like one of their own.  

Some other things I miss include
Air conditioning
good spaghetti
watching tv
the YMCA
not eating rice for every meal.

Oh my goodness...the rice.  Every time lunch or dinner rolls around I'm dreading eating.  The amounts of rice i've consumed in the past 6 months has been insane.  I hate it.  I wish I never had to eat rice ever again.  I'm going through a major rejection phase of it.  It makes me want to cry looking at it.  I wish rice would die.  Even talking about eating it is making me angry.  So I'll stop.

So I realize that this is sort of a negative blog post but I promise they won't all be like this.  There are many things I do like about site and I definitely want to be here.  I miss the comforts of home and I miss my family and friends a lot but I know that this is where I should be and where I need to be.  I hope I can find a productive routine to get into and start to feel a little bit happier about my service.  My vacation in April to Malaysia will definitely help.  

I'm going to Phnom Penh this weekend so that should be fun.  I'll keep you updated! 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Chinese New Year - Karaoke Bar

 So Chinese New Year was last week.  Most of it was uneventful but there were a few moments of interesting-ness.  On Sunday my host brother slaughtered 2 chickens in the morning to make soup with later, and then they prepared a lot of food and left it out to the ancestors or something.  All I know is that a ton of food was on the floor for a long time while the incense burned.  And I almost died. The incense was so strong and they burned about 20-30 sticks of it at the same time.  I feel like they were trying to smoke me out of the house.  I woke up and my eyes were watering and something smelled funny and the longer I stayed in my room, the more pain I was in.  I finally left my room and saw the food on the floor and the incense so I decided to stay away from it for a while.  The house finally aired out and then it was time to eat all the food that had just been sitting on the floor getting cold for an hour. And this was food that should be eaten temperature chicken...not good. and probably not healthy either. Oh well,  I eat a lot of questionable things in this country.  If I was picky about the health standards of everything I eat, I'd never have anything to eat.  So we ate and we started drinking beer. I had about 3 or 4 at was 11am.  Don't judge, everyone else was doing it too.  Then they all got tired and went for their afternoon nap and I wasn't tired so I went to go get internet.  On my way, I walked by a restaurant that I eat at sometimes.  There were tons of people there and they all called me over to come sit with them.  I politely said no but one woman grabbed my arm and pulled me down to sit with them so I felt like i had to.  Then they gave me a beer.  Then they gave me three more.  So I was on my 7th beer at this point and I think I got a Khmer boyfriend during this whole thing.  They would just talk to me in Khmer, laugh, blabber on some more, and then sometimes someone would translate a little for me but not usually.  My Khmer boyfriend spoke a lot of English and he convinced himself by the end of me being there that I was going to be his girlfriend.  Crazy Khmer boys.  So I eventually left and when I came back later they were all drunk and had passed out.  The next day, I saw them again, and they called me this time.  They kept asking when I was coming back.  I told them i didn't know and they kept saying that they were going to sing and dance.  At this point I really wanted to go sing and dance with them.  I was thinking we'd go to a bar or a Khmer club and do these things and I would be around some women that I trusted so it would be ok for me to go and I really wanted to integrate more. This was my chance.  I finally went back and they said they were going to Karaoke.  I was a little worried but I decided I needed to integrate and do this with them and I'd probably have a good time.  Boy was I wrong.  I was miserable the whole time.  We went to this place and you rent a room and you and all the people you come with go in and pick songs to sing.  They are all soooooooooo slow and boring and khmer.  And they kept pressuring me to dance but I can't dance to something that slow.  The music was just awful.  And there was a creepy old guy sitting next to me that would keep making me carry his lap top bag around and he would just say things to me that made me think he was just an ass.  He actually said "You have a beautiful face, too bad you're so fat" and then started talking to me about genetically modified organisms and the green revolution.  I have no idea why.  And he made me read the letter he got about getting a Japanese visa.  Like I cared about any of this.  He was probably just thinking he was impressing me by all of this but it just made me extremely ticked off. And then he sang a terrible song to me in English and that was my cue to make up an excuse to leave.  So i told them that i had to go talk to my mom in America and I got the heck out of there.  I walked home and I've never felt so relieved to be out of a place.  Note to self: Never NEVER go to a karaoke bar.  Oh, and all the Khmer people kept calling me hot dog because they thought that's what my name sounded like and they can't pronounce my real name so they decided this would be funny.  I was not amused.  Here are some pictures of me and the people I went with.  Also a note: Khmer men should not touch women, at all, but they do it to me because they think they can get away with it.  I won't be letting it happen anymore.  
This is the woman I went with.  She's very nice and she definitely likes to drink.
This is the creepy guy who kept making me carry his bags and talked about the Green Revolution.  So creepy. During this picture he tried to sniff kiss my cheek.  So odd.  He should not be touching me.  I should have given him a good smack. 
One of the feet of the chicken in my Chinese New Year soup.  Looks delicious right?   
This was the karaoke room.
Karaoke room