Simple Joys

About two weeks ago, we launched Oimei Co. campaign on Startsomegood.com and I tell ya, it’s nearly consumed every waking moment of my days and even in my sleep O_O !!

Lessons learned so far: in order to stay motivated and inspired I must: do something else, really just hang out with friends AND most importantly….step away from the computer (I know this sounds like a no brainer but it’s been a huge challenge for me). After all, the whole purpose of starting something is to enjoy work. So, aside from all the campaigning, planning, e-mailing, creating promo material, reading, researching and number crunching, I’m still enjoy the little things ๐Ÿ™‚

Like getting a hair cut in Laos.

Back in Laos for the third time in the past 5 months because my Thailand student visa has expired and I had to leave the country to apply for a Thai Tourist visa which will grant me another 60 days in Thailand.ย  Looks like I’ll be home for the holidays this year, and snow boarding! Definitely looking forward to this.

After completing my Visa documents at the Thai embassy, I wandered around and decided that I will finally get myself a hair cut after nearly 8 months without one; and I must say, I’ve never appreciated a hair cut more than this one. Though it was nothing fancy, it sure felt nice to have healthier hair and be rid of all those creatures living in there.


It was a very interesting salon experience from the moment I walked in and discovered that the girl who was about to cut my hair only speaks Laotian/Thai and some Vietnamese. Me on the other hand, I speak Vietnamese some Thai and English. Once again, body gestures, pointing and laughing has saved the day. The only thing I understood when it came to describing the kind of hair cut I wanted was when she asked me if I want to look like a Korean pop star…I laughed and gave her the go. After a couple hours of silly mixed conversations between Vietnamese/Laotian/Thai and some English; I still had hair on my head with no dead ends (my only expectation) and her showing me a photo of her son: “das my son, he planking……”

Frankly I still don’t understand this “planking” lingo, so I was completely lost. I kept saying to her, “huh? excuse me? what language?” and she’d repeat…”ya, my son! he planking!” and I said..oh he’s naked? ..sleeping?! ” uncertain if she was using a Laotian/Thai or Vietnamese word that I didn’t understand. After the 20th time I finally understood, “OH!! PLANKING!” Her son…planking. Hilarious.


AFTER the hair cut I also discovered from the manager that she does not usually cut hair and for that reason, I can have the hair cut for free. WHAT the…..anyway, if this was a year ago I’d be pretty upset but of course I found it funny and gave some money to the sweet gal. Yep, a whole $6! 2 bucks more than what the hair cut was supposed to cost ๐Ÿ˜›

Learning how to bake apple pie from scratch and stealing recipes from Di Thao (auntie Thao) in Vientiane. Had the opportunity to stay with a friends’ relative in Laos and…..reconfirmed how much I miss my own mama. Woke up to Di Thao baking beautiful apple pies on Sunday morning. This amazing woman is originally from Laos, lived in France for some years and returned home. She speaks Laotian, French, Vietnamese, Thai & English so needless to say I had a little trouble stealing all her written recipes but she was very kind to share and let me in on some of her secrets. A Good Sunday.




Hanging out in good company.
I’ve been very fortunate to have a handful of friends from back home pass through Bangkok this past month. It’s always comforting to see familiar faces and a pleasure showing them around this city that I adore!

A night out in Bangkok. Friends from back home (bay area, California). There is something very special about reuniting or really befriending acquaintances in an entirely new environment. Great conversations, good vibes and unforgettable memories ๐Ÿ˜‰


What better way to discover any place than by cycling/walking. A dear friend of mine, Michael from Bangkok Vanguards organized a 75km charity ride through Bangkok, dodging through the city’s traffic, along dusty highways, incredibly scenic canals, caught a river taxi through to Koh Kret Island, through historic temples and arriving at Baan Pakret Children’s foundation.


Our Crew


Some of the kids at the orphanage. It was a very nice reward to visit the foundation during our bike ride. We had the opportunity to bring toys and candy for the kids and hang out with them for a couple hours. I wasn’t sure what to expect upon arriving at the orphanage butย  I must say that with the joy of sharing a little bit of happiness also came a lot of sadness. I was blown away by the amount of children who are without parents, a family,ย  love and affection. This experience left a bittersweet feeling inside but it’s great to know that they have a safe place to stay with food and help to search for their family. If you are ever in Thailand and would like to visit or volunteer at an orphanage, please pay them a visit at Baan Pakret Children’s Foundation in Nonthanburi province. (they do not currently have a website in English but msg. me if you’d like more details)


A date to Ayutthaya with an old friend who has moved to Hong Kong for the past year, Cathy. We’ve known each other for more than a decade without really “knowing” each other. Was a great time briefly recapping our lives and discovering all our commonalities. Always beautiful to see how traveling molds us and being able to relate experiences with others.



Speaking of traveling. One of my dearest friends’ I’ve made in Bangkok, Ta Pa Na. He is a humble design guru who has helped me a lot in developing my ideas for Oimei Co. Well, he has just received a scholarship to study his master’s in Fashion Management in Milan. He has long dreamed of studying in Europe and is now grasping the opportunity to do so. This is a drawing he made of me and what he knew of me in our brief four month friendship!! Surrounded by some of the wonderful people I met during this journey and hints of Oimei Co. Ah, this guy is amazing! Such a thoughtful gift -_-


When we are down, wrecked & worn. Beauty surrounds us. Look with eyes wide open, see the beauty and be grateful. I am grateful.

Back to work I go ๐Ÿ˜› Next post will be details about our campaign. Progress, next steps, thank you’s…everythingggg. We appreciate the continued support! Thanks for all the love!

ubuntu

The last few weeks of May was rather bitter sweet. It was the end of a year exchange and though I’d like to think it was not the “end” of many beautiful friendships thatย  blossomed from this journey; it just may be. However, I am confident that for most of us it was just a temporary farewell and we shall meet again in the future.

I was told far too often before I left my home in America that I will undoubtedly meet some of my best, lifetime friends during this experience and it’s so true. Most would also say that it is bound to happen because we are essentially drawn together from our homes all around the world by this experience and almost forced to stick together. Personally, I think it takes people fully opening themselves up and allowing others in, to really experience meaningful friendships/relationships. In this sense, I have been very blessed because in such a short amount of time I managed to build rich, fulfilling friendships with people who seemingly had nothing in common with me.

A handful or maybe even two, of beautiful friendships have developed among individuals from various countries, cultural/religious backgrounds, languages, experiences, perceptions, education and ideas. I wouldn’t even know where to begin sharing all of the things I’ve learned from everyone I have met this year but I am thankful for having you all in my life and the huge contribution you’ve made to my personal growth.

Wishing my friends nothing but the best and look forward to crossing paths again. xo

Some photos of memorable times and faces I adore! Thanks for all the good times!

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Ubuntu philosophy: “I am what I am because of who we all are.”

The Blue Lady

Just a few meters down Rajvithi Soi 9 from our Victory monument home for the past 4 months, is our beloved “blue lady.” Not too long ago she had the opportunity to rent a very small space, threw together 3 tables, a few stools, painted the place blue and satisfied many people with her amazing culinary skills!

Aroy mak maaaaak (very delicious), always fragrant, fresh, quick and affordable for us. So, this was the spot at least….2 times a week. But more often, two times a day :p

With just a few days left together, we decided to to ask her if she can throw together a little lesson for us and of course she exceeded our expectations. We got to learn how to cook a few of our favorite dishes, spent a beautiful day together and one last meal at our favorite restaurant. Unfortunately for us, she doesn’t speak much english at all but we fell in love with her charisma. This woman is unbelievably talented yet so humble and we’re very fortunate for the opportunity to spend a day with her as she shared some of her secrets ๐Ÿ™‚

Some footage from our day. Enjoy!