Tag Archives: sun

Walking in the Sun

If I am walking down a half-shaded sidewalk, I will walk on the sunny part. If someone whips out an umbrella to use as a sun shade, I will politely decline. If waiting for the bus, I will avoid the shade of the tree. 

I do not know if it is an Amy thing, or a non-Asian thing, or an American thing, but it keeps happening and my friends here keep commenting: I gravitate towards the sun.

Partially, I think the reason is that I take other steps to avoid the sun. I wear floppy hats and sunglasses and long sleeves. I look like I have a sun allergy half the time. I might as well enjoy my protection. 

Partially, I think my Asian friends avoid the sun because they want to avoid getting tan. I have no fear of tanning. I mean, I burn. And, yeah, lobster red is not my favorite color. But I know at the end of the day it will fade and I will go back to pasty white. So, I do not fear the consequences of the sun (outside of a general fear of skin cancer, of course, but I doubt standing under a tree will help me much there.)

Partially, I think I gravitate towards the sunny areas because no one else is standing in them. There are so many people in Bangkok. If I see a square foot without another human being, I’m going to go stand in it. Because why not? 

Partially, however, I think I gravitate to the sun because…why not? Maybe I do not know better. I have managed to avoid bad sunburns. And while it has been warm, only recently have the temperatures consistently reached three digits. (Plus, once again, I doubt being under a tree will help much when it is 101 degrees with 70% humidity.)

But whatever the reason, it is noticeable enough for people to comment on my weird affection for the light!

(Joke is on them because as a redhead I need less vitamin D and will therefore survive longer when the apocalypse hits and we all hide in basement bunkers.)

Dressed Like a Tourist

Last week, one of my classmates informed me I dressed like a tourist. After swallowing all the snarky responses that came to mind, I forced myself to recognize the truth in his words. 

I do dress like a tourist. 

Partially, the tourist look is inevitable. I am never going to become BFFs with the sun. Accordingly, I will dress like I am avoiding the sun and look like a tourist who can’t handle a hot climate. 

But partially, I blame the advice I got coming over here. I repeatedly heard about how conservative Thai culture was. People stressed that I needed outfits that hit my knee and covered my shoulders. What they did not say is that such modesty is really only required if you’re visiting a temple. AKA I constantly look  like I’m headed to church.

I particularly stand out around the other students. My classmates wear shorts, mini skirts, tank tops, sweatpants, you name it. Mostly, though, they wear t-shirts and jeans. Meanwhile, I’m perpetually one jean jumper away from fitting in at a Baptist homeschool convention.

Mindful of my classmate’s advice, on Thursday I threw on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt before heading to school. I figured I would fit right in. Then I caught sight of myself in the mirror: I looked like a stay at home mom who realized she needed to wear actual clothing to run errands. 

Then I added my sun hat. And what do you know, I looked just like a tourist. 

Dry-Wick Shirts (Part II)

For Part I of this fascinating saga, click here.

I initially hypothesized that the bright, pastel colors for women’s dry wick shirts came from safety concerns. After all, if highlighter colors show more restraint than your shirt, no one is going to hit you with a car.  (Probably.)

That might be the case. But I have uncovered a second reason for the dearth of options. I have read just about every Amazon review out there for long sleeve, dry-wick shirts and let me tell you: the only other people buying these clothes are middle aged women going on holiday at Disney World. 

Do young people not care about their skin? Or are they scared away by the lack of options like I am? Do they not buy the clothing because it is ugly, or is it ugly because no buys it? Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Who can tell? 

All I know is:

Dry-Wick Shirts

It is time we get to the bottom of a Very Important Question: why are women’s dry-wick shirts such ugly colors? 

I have been searching for some dressier dry-wick shirts for Thailand and every time I find a design I like, it comes in black, baby blue, coral, some obnoxious bright blue, and possibly white. 

And it is not just jogging dry-wick shirts. I’ve searched golf shirts, fishing shirts, bowling shirts, and general workout wear. Every one of them comes in coral. 

I do not wear coral. Or baby blue. Or white.

If you happen to see pictures of me in Thailand and I’m head to toe in black, I haven’t gone goth. I’ve just refused to make my sunburn stand out even more by matching it with coral. Incidentally, I have every expectation of spending next semester like this:

Colorado Mood Swings

Colorado has the strangest weather. Within an hour, the sky darkens, the clouds dump rain, and then the sun comes out. You would never guess it just poured. This place has the most bi-polar weather I have ever seen.

Never Pee Alone

At this point last week, I was wandering around a campground hoping someone would eventually notice me missing and come find me. 

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For the first, and last, weekend of the summer, all 14 of us interns were in town. We decided to then all leave town and go camping in Buena Vista, Colorado. 

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As those who know me well, or not so well, know, I’m not a big camper. But I did spend all of last summer as a camp counselor in a wilderness camp, so I thought, how hard can it be? I felt particularly scornful of the mattress pads and tents. I was a real mountain woman! I did not need such luxuries! (Though I’d take ’em!) 

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Sunday morning I woke up and needed to do my business. I started walking away from the campsite to find a convenient bush…and kept walking…and walking…and eventually it dawned on me that I had no clue where I was. 

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I listened for the sounds of my somewhat loud compatriots but could not hear them. I looked for familiar landmarks but suddenly felt unsure. Was the house on the hill behind us? Or did we drive pass it when entering the campsite? And where had that river come from?

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I considered my options carefully. I could follow the river but, as there was definitely no river by our campground, this would get me nowhere. I could sit in one place and wait for someone to find me. However, I was not confident they had even noticed I was gone yet, or would think to walk this far out in search of me. Further, I was not dressed for the heat and already felt myself sunburning. 

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Worse, the only thing on my feet were cheap, Wal Greens flip flops. Every rock and thorn punctured them and went straight into my foot. No matter how judiciously I avoided the cacti, they somehow found me. 

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After wandering for what felt like days but in reality was only 30 minutes, I realized that if I could find the road that looped around the whole campgrounds, I could find our specific campsite. So I shoved my way through the brush until I located someone else’s campsite, and from there the road. I started walking on it until I heard distant shouting. Up on the largest rock they could find stood three of my fellow interns shouting my name. 

Apparently, they were the 4th group sent out in search of me. 

We made it back just in time for breakfast! 

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Moral of the story? Always take a buddy when you have to pee.

COLD! And sleepy…

It is 6 degrees out! The winter sun and I have a lot in common….

How the winter sun works: