Tag Archives: Thailand

Dragon Fruit

“This IS a dragon fruit, isn’t it?” I demand of Bethany after Wal Mart’s self-checkout refuses to acknowledge it for the third time.

The Wal Mart employee who has been hovering for the last five minutes (does she think I’m going to steal the thing?) responds instead, “Oh, it is indeed! That is a dragon fruit!”

She politely pushes me aside and begins to type in, “Dr…”

Nothing.

She looks up all the fruit in D. All the fruit in R. All the fruit under fruit.

Dragon fruit is nowhere to be found.

She manually looks up the code for dragon fruit and types it in. Nothing! 

She tries a back, employees-only route for typing in fruit and tries again. Nothing.

We send Bethany to go look up the price. After a second, the Wal Mart employee turns to me, “How much do you think it was?”

I cannot even ballpark guess but I sheepishly suspect more than I wanted to pay. “$2.50?” I offer.

“$2.00 it is,” she says. 

At that moment Bethany shouts from the other side of check out, “$3.99!”

The employee smiles and ignores her. I walk away triumphant with my dragon fruit.

I ate loads of dragon fruit in Thailand. I find it fresh, sweet, and hydrating so I was pretty excited to enjoy it tonight.

It tasted pretty blah after the fresh stuff I was used to in Thailand. Apparently my allergies agreed because five bites in and my tongue began to swell. 

I am currently pumped up on antihistamine feeling disgusted that dragon fruit appears to be going the way of mango and pineapple. Dang allergies.


Craving Spice

People frequently ask me what the best food I ate in Thailand was. I cop out by answering–truthfully–that all food in Thailand is incredibly spicy and that my Anglo-German ancestors gifted me with a very low spice tolerance. 

It takes less explaining than ‘Milk Seafood Ramen.’

But despite my low spice tolerance, I have discovered recently that I miss spicy food. And further, I have no idea where to get it here in Madison. Wal Mart discontinued the closest thing I ate to spicy food pre-Thailand: canned Amy’s Own Spicy Chili. 

I’ve grown eclectic in my attempts to find spicy food. I order sandwiches with jalapenos at the local sandwich cart. Go with sharp cheddar instead of mild when grocery shopping. And sometimes, impulsively buy food clearly targeting the teenage male population, such as “Extra Hot Chili & Lime Pringles.” (You know they are aimed at teenage boys because the packaging comes in neon purple.) 

Alas, none of these things do the trick but they do give me the delightful feeling that I can “handle” spice. 


#Didn’tFailFundamentalRights

My grades from last semester have sslllooowwwwwwlllllyyyyyyy started trickling in. Most importantly, despite all the stress the class caused me, I can officially say: I did not fail Fundamental Rights.

Actually, I got an A. Which particularly matters because out of all my classes, Fundamental Rights worried me the most.

First, it was a freshman level class. Can you imagine how embarrassing it would be as a law student to fail a freshman level class? My classmates were 17 year olds who spent most of the class wrapped in fuzzy blankets, eating snacks, and catching up on gossip. In fact, on more than one occasion, the professor quit talking because you couldn’t hear him over the sound of the students talking. 

Second, I kept missing classes because the school administrators would schedule it for the same time I had other classes. Like Law of Information Technology, a way more confusing class I felt obliged to attend. Missing the first time or two left me vaguely stressed. Five weeks in a row and I was convinced I would fail Fundamental Rights. 

Third, probably because it was a freshman level class, the professors’ teaching styles…ranged considerably. The first professor said “rice” instead of “rights.” (“Human rice is the basis of our society!”) The second professor ignored my request for notes when I missed the class since she didn’t teach during the scheduled teaching times. The third professor usually ended our 3 hour class after an hour. (Appreciated, but not conducive to learning.) 

I had no idea studying abroad would leave me so expectant for pass/fail grades!


Talking About Thailand (With My Prof)

For those of you who followed this blog over the last 7 months, you know Thailand was not everything I expected. It was hard. The school did not run a great program. I never got WiFi or library access. Classes ended in May but my last final was due July 25th.

I tried explaining all this to my professor who runs the program. In fact, I wrote a list before meeting with him so I would make sure he knew exactly what I experienced. 

It went something like this:

Me: “It was very challenging. They would change the classroom without warning, cancel class randomly, change the schedule often….”

Prof: “Sounds like a very challenging experience. But what a great opportunity to experience Thailand!”

Me: “Yes, traffic was terrible. Taxi drivers constantly cheated me. My friend also studying abroad would compare notes with me, but since she was originally from Thailand, she did not experience half of what I experienced.”

Prof: “But it sounds like you made friends!”

Me: “I made, like, three friends.”

Prof: “What an opportunity for growth! So glad you had a good time.”

Me: “I did not have a good time. It was very challenging.”

Prof: “But you got to see lots of Thailand, right?”

Me: “It was very hard to schedule times to travel because the school kept changing when classes were.”

Prof: “Isn’t that just like Thai culture? What an experience. So, what kind of student should we send next?”

Me: “One that can somehow deal with the constantly changing schedule and still be organized enough to keep track of when things come due because no one will them. I don’t think you’ll find that person in law school.”

Prof: “Great! I will be sure to put them in touch.”

…I tried.


Wisconsin’s Rainy Season

Theoretically, my last few months in Thailand overlapped with the rainy season in southeast Asia. In reality, it rained maybe twice that I was aware of. (Though I think I slept through some rain-showers at night.) 

Wisconsin weather apparently has taken it as a personal mission to give me allllll the rain I missed.

Sorry, fellow Wisconsinites.

Today while driving home I got caught in a rainstorm. It was one of those downpours where drivers (including myself) flip on the hazards and pull to the shoulder of the road to await better visibility. 

But it was worth it because at the same time, the most amazing double rainbow filled the sky. I am pretty sure it ended in the field next to the road we were all on. I wish I could have taken pictures, but, you know, I figured staying alive and keeping my eyes on the road sounded like a better plan. But truly, it was amazing. 


The Missing Final

Thought I was done talking about Thailand? Me too. 

But guess what Thammasat University finally produced this morning? The final I never received

As in, the final due June 15 that they never sent out? Yeah, it is now due July 15.

Good thing I didn’t get around to throwing out my notes yet. (That was actually what I planned to do this weekend because who expects a final at the end of June when school has been out over a month?)

To quote my Mom, it is like I’m back being homeschooled. School never ends. You just do it all summer.


Home Sweet Home

And so the plane touched down and I arrived back in the United States after five months away. My Mom and sister met me at the airport. I was so happy to be back I almost kissed the ground. 

And then I remembered, I was in Chicago. 

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