Today is that day!!

My 101 things in 1001 days is all over. 

I made this list a week before I completed my college classes because I had no idea what was going to happen after when I was going to finish college. I had this on my mind in June after the graduation ceremony, my friend who was going to take another year in college tells me “since you graduated, you can pretty much do whatever you want!”

It’s a really nice idea but I didn’t know where I was going or where I’d up the year after graduation. Kept putting it off until the end of August — the week before I completed all my classes and OFFICIALLY graduated from college.

I wrote the list and basically wrote whatever that popped out of my head and money was no object. At the time, I just wanted the list to be a source of inspiration — a catalyst to my life after college. In college, I was working on campus and as soon as I was going to finish my classes I would become unemployed and now what?

I think uncertainty was my drive behind the list. I knew realistically, I needed a whole lot of money to accomplish everything on the list and a lot of time.  But looking through, I don’t think I was too shabby accomplishing whatever I wanted to do.

I did get a full-time job after graduation, I did pay off my credit cards, I was able to travel, and move out of my relative’s place which i thought were my biggest accomplishments. Definitely a big mark in independence. I’m very happy that I’m credit card debt free too — it’s made saving money a whole lot easier.

There were some things I wrote about such as building my network and learn 20 cooking recipes but I realized how hard it was to keep track. Also I don’t want to stop networking and stop cooking and stop blogging after my 1001 days. By the way, I’m still back logged in some dishes I made a while back, they’re still in my SD card.

Looking through my list from 2009–a lot of things do change in 1001 days. I remembered I listed “consider grad school.” I really thought I would go back to school by now or maybe a year before but now I’m perfectly satisfied putting it aside. I’ll just keep networking and making connections in the real world. I’ll admit, it’s not easy to meet people but I think it’s the way to go to be successful and live a satisfying life.

Speaking of more change, who knew that I’d end up moving to another city after graduation? Didn’t put that in my list but I let it happen anyways.

Even though I didn’t accomplish EVERYTHING of the list, to me all that mattered was that I lived a good life after college and not fall into a rut. I really do think there is more to life than just getting married and having children (or accidentally having children). I thought having the list at first was far-fetched or well…cheesy but after being around many people having children and getting married young, I always have my list to look back to. It’s like a super-long post-it reminder that I’ve got a lot more of life to go.

I’m going to look at my 101 things list and maybe I’ll put the things I didn’t accomplish this time to a list of things to do before I’m 30. No set number like 30 things before 30. Just any number…

Phnom Penh part II

So many pictures of Phnom Penh!

Anyways we went to Toul Sleng to start off and toured around. This use to be a high school and then it turned into a prison during the Khmer Rouge regime. Definitely need a tour guide to make the experience of Toul Sleng come alive. Each and every tour guide has a story to tell during the 70s whether they were working in the countryside and/or losing their family members — everyone has a story to tell.

Afterwards, we went to the Killing Fields. The people I traveled with told me they’ve been to Auschwitz and what they saw in the Killing Fields was much worst than Auschwitz. In Auschwitz, there’s nothing; in the Killing Fields on the ground, you see bones and articles of clothing in under each step you walk on.

Then explored the city center. Some people went to the National Museum. I wanted to go to the Royal Palace. Unfortunately some parts of the Palace were closed. Maybe because it was Khmer New Year that day. During Khmer New Year, locals leave the city and visit their families in the village so Phnom Penh was unusually empty.

Heading to Phnom Penh

No luxury tour bus in this trip — not ever! We took a coach bus (think Greyhound) from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh. It’s quite an experience being with locals and Khmer karaoke.

Not exactly what I was expecting. We were looking forward to hopping on the “singing bus” and singing the whole way to Phnom Penh. As you can see here, I can’t read that. My favorite thing about karaoke are the background images telling you the story. The melodramatic acting and story was entertaining by itself!

The coach bus stops midway at some city. During break, we checked out the street food.

To answer someone’s comment on Facebook — yes, the reason why people are so skinny here is because there is no chocolate around the corner.

Anyways, enjoy the Cambodian landscape! FYI, most of the pictures are from the bus so it was kind of hard to take pictures while in motion.

Last night in Siem Reap

Trying to post my vacation pictures on WordPress takes more discipline than I thought. I have to really sit my butt to write a substantial post and add pictures. Today I told myself I couldn’t go and leave the house until I write on my blog. This morning I went outside — went for a run to return a movie at the Red Box kiosk and needed buy milk and bread at the store anyways.

I go home and turn on the laptop and then I make breakfast, cleaned up the bedroom floor (dust and mop), put clothes in the washing machine, ate breakfast while watching the news, put my clothes in the dryer, put my bedsheets and towels in the washing machine, check my e-mail and reply to some e-mails and chat with a friend regarding the New York trip.

I kept telling myself that I couldn’t leave the house until I type a WordPress entry and it was so tempting to go outside and window shop at the mall or bring the laptop to a coffee shop to write but I knew I would probably still browse around until I’m tired and go back home.

So I finally write a WordPress entry and uploaded the pictures and I’ve got some ways to go because there’s so many pictures of Angkor I wanted to share. Then when I press “Publish”, I was a little disappointed how the gallery turned out and I wasn’t sure why the thumbnails looked portrait even though the picture itself was landscape.

I thought maybe I’ll do better the next post so I make another post with a gallery and it’s still funky looking so I needed the change the layout of my blog and it looks so much better.

Why yes, I’m ranting. So two entries later, I did yoga (trying to make it a daily habit whether in the house or in the studio) and decided to pick up some Japanese takeout for dinner and did another entry.

The longest part of doing the entry is uploading the pictures and making sure they all look presentable. There has been times I’ve uploaded multiple pictures and I get FRUSTRATED when one of them doesn’t upload properly.

I guess that’s just me and I’m anal and it takes me a while to write up an entry.

Anyways, here are pictures of my last night in Siem Reap.


The cultural village

Lok Lak

The Tomb Raider cocktail — We had dinner at the Red Piano. This is Angelina Jolie’s cocktail. I love how fresh the lime is!

It was hard to take a picture of the menu..

Down the street from the Red Piano restaurant was bar called Temple Bar.

Why did I have Beer Lao in Cambodia you ask? Well I wanted to try beer in different countries. Since I wasn’t going to Laos, I thought I’ll give this beer a try. I find Beer Lao very hoppy and wish I had some spicy Lao food to go with this.

Showing off the prices at a bar. At night Angkor Beer is 50 cents (and it’s like that at night at most places).

Temple Bar does have a lot of tourists though. I told my roommate about my time in Siem Reap when I came back. He went to Cambodia himself in 2005 and he tells me that it was sleepy town with not much to do. When I told him my version, it blew him away how we went to the bar and stayed up later. Well…looks like there’s been a lot of tourism in Siem Reap since 2005.

More Temples of Angkor

So this is the last of my Temples of Angkor series and look we covered a lot of ground in a day. Here’s a map of what places we went to and where we DIDN’T go!

Overall, Angkor was everything I imagined and it’s despite the tourists it’s worth checking out. It’s kind of…dreamlike with the jungle, the grungy-ness, and  the blocks of the temple lying on the floor…would love to come back again maybe on a bike or motorbike will do too!

There was a lot of walking and a lot of stair climbing overall — definitely didn’t want to climb another stair… With all walking I’ve been doing since I’ve been on vacation, I haven’t pulled out my yoga mat once!

It was so hot that when we got to Angkor Wat Temple, there were all these water reservoirs in the top floor — if only these were filled with water — cooling off in the temple would be amazing :-P.

more pictures at the Temples of Angkor

Even though I rode an elephant around Angkor Thom. I wish I rented a motorcycle for that day but I think it’s necessary to get a tour guide that would explain to you all the all the engravings and the statues or why there are random stones laying around. If I were to check out Angkor myself, I guess it would’t be the same or I guess that’s what listening to an audio tour or a podcast is for.

One can’t do Angkor for one day but this was our last day in Siem Reap and I think we covered a lot of ground. There will be a lot of walking and make sure you bring water. I didn’t have any water on me until after Ta Prohm.

Anyways, this is Ta Prohm — nicknamed the “Tomb Raider Temple”. On the way into Ta Prohm, you’ll see musicians sitting along the side of the walkway — they’re landmine survivors. They may have lost their limbs but they still have their lives and they make a living as musicians.

Siem Reap Day 2 Temples of Angkor

Woke up at 4:30 in the morning to see this

Started with Angkor Thom. Out of the temples we visited this one is my favorite! I even rode on an elephant around the temple.

In Angkor Thom, the central temple was called Bayon there are three levels the underworld (outside the temple), the regular world (inside the temple), and heaven (the top floor of the temple). The steps going into the top floor get steeper and narrower. The steps aren’t narrow because the people back then had narrow feet — that was just how they designed back then. They wanted the top of the temple to be hard to climb up.

Warning: It’s very very picture heavy so stay tune for more pictures or feel free to check out my photobucket!

Just got my keyboard dock!

Last week, my boyfriend bought me the Asus Transformer tablet and keyboard was on it’s way. Last night the keyboard came in. It’s really small…the “Shift” button on the right side of the keyboard is half the size of the “Shift” button in the left hand side.

Just getting use to the feel and size . Will review it soon.

I really like how this keyboard has full size USB ports and an SD card reader. The tablet itself has also a microSD card slot and a mini-HDMI cable.

How have my two weeks been in the U.S…?

It’s been good. There’s change an I can feel it in the air.

Also I’ve been doing yoga more. Taking some hot power yoga classes. When I’m not taking yoga classes in a studio, I practice at home. Hurray for yoga class apps because yoga is not a cheap hobby. Trying to find as many cost effective ways to keep up with the hobby. I know on Android, they have Daily Yoga for back, abs, and hip. From the same app developer, they also have Yoga Workout Planner in the Android market. Great for days when I don’t feel like leaving the house! I do like going to class for inspiration because there would be times I’d go a lot for 2 months straight but then stop because I’d practice at home and forget about practicing later and then suddenly go back to class again.

For vacation, I did bring my yoga mat just in case and during those two weeks, I didn’t pull out the mat once. When I came back and attended class, I felt so out of shape and left class early. I may have lost 3 lbs from my trip because I walked all the time but I didn’t stretch or didn’t hit the mat(TRESS) doing down-dogs and sun poses.