Saturday, August 10, 2013

Reflection on Thailand

Reflection on Thailand
            The journey coming home was a long one to say the least, but it is nice to be back in the U.S.A.  When I arrived in the airport in Kansas City, I almost felt weird seeing my family and boyfriend there, like it was sort of surreal.  Because our flight arrived so late I was not able to get my first wish of being home (which was going to a Mexican restaurant), so I settled for what was available at 10:30, which was Taco Bell.  

            One aspect of my trip to Thailand I will never forget is the food.  I was quite an adventurous eater and tried many different foods including new Chinese and Vietnamese dishes.  I became a huge fan of Vietnamese spring rolls and I am still in search of the best Vietnamese restaurant in the Kansas City area.  Something I was very excited to share with my family was my love of massaman curry, a dish made with several spices, coconut milk, chicken, potatoes, tomatoes, and onions.  This was one of my favorite, if not my favorite, dishes while in Thailand and I found some premade spice packets at the grocery store to bring back home with me.   Before I bought the spices I checked to make sure the directions were in English, and there were as well as Thai, Chinese, and Japanese.  Clearly I am not the only person who is a fan of massaman.  

             However, just because the directions were in English does not mean they were very clear.   I repeatedly asked my dad as I was making it, “What do you think that means?”, so we guessed and fumbled our way through making the meal.  To my great surprise (and relief), it turned out great.  My parents saw why I raved about the dish and we have plans to make it again.   I am also excited to go to Thai restaurants now because I think I will have a pretty good knowledge of what the dishes are.  

            Something I find exciting is when I find someone who has also been to Thailand to talk with.  I was able to give my cousin advice when she goes on vacation to the South in a month and I wanted to write her an entire book of where to go.  One day I was in a Chipotle eating dinner with my family when I saw a girl who had the same exact wallet as I did from a hill tribe market in Thailand.  I though that it was way too unique to be coincidental, so I asked her where she got it from.  She proceeded to tell me that her wallet had come all the way from Thailand and that it was a gift from her roommate who spent the last six months doing her internship there.  I said I went on a study abroad trip with KU, and she then asked me, “Do you know Melissa Hill? She is my roommate.”  We both were surprised at what a small world it is, but in a way it showed me how little things like a wallet can connect us.  

            Although I sat with my family and showed them a slideshow of all of my pictures (all 2,000) and the slideshow of Pat’s (our tour guide who also took around 2,000 pictures), it is difficult to describe exactly how certain moments felt, but I am thankful for the visual aid of the pictures.  The most difficult thing I get asked is, “How was Thailand?”. I would like to respond with, “Do you have about five hours, I might be able to cover most of the main points in that amount of time”, but I normally just say, “It was an incredible and eye-opening experience, I hope I can go back some day”. 

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