Music On Repeat

I have this tendency to murder songs that I love by listening to them so much they essentially become attached to my brain. Music is my saving grace and a balm for life so I consider it a healthy thing. Here are my most recent victims.

“Time Trap” by Built to Spill

I’ve become a fan of Built to Spill over the recent years. They make me feel like I was a teen in the early 90s, which is something I’ve always wanted to be but obviously impossible. The slow build in the beginning of the song is so juicy. Ya girl loves layering.

“House of the Rising Sun” by alt-J

I know they are jerky for hipsters but I love alt-J. I first listened to this song on a ferry ride to Koh Phangan a couple of weeks ago. 0:53 – 1:34, looking out at the glistening water, sun starting to set behind a green mountain, and hearing the crescendo and decrescendo of those strings – something struck a chord (no pun intended). I’ll never forget it.

“Pretty Things” by Big Thief

A poignant love song that seems full of emptiness, if you get what I mean. Maybe not. This is the perfect starting song for what turned out to be a wonderful second album from this band. Check them out if you haven’t yet. The solo, acoustic version of “Masterpiece” makes me swoon every time.

“Happy Djong” by Twelve Point Buck

I was lurking on American surfer Dane Reynold’s Instagram and found a video with a clip from the beginning of a song that I could not get out of my head. I Shazamed it so hard. I believe those were the two most millennial sentences I have ever typed. Turns out Twelve Point Buck is an Australian band. If you’re into lo-fi surfer rock then you will definitely like them. I didn’t know I was into that genre but apparently I am so maybe you should just try them anyway. They’re still pretty unknown so I couldn’t find a YouTube video of just the song, but I found this surfing video – appropriate – that features it in the first half. That’ll do.

“Fly Tonight (feat. Frankmusik)” by RuPaul

The most unusual of my obsessions lately as it is a drag club banger, but I unabashedly declare my love for this song. It is the one that plays at the end of each episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race in Seasons 6 & 7 (and maybe beyond but I don’t know yet DON’T SPOIL IT) after RuPaul says “Let the music play!” I cannot wait for when this song plays at a party and I cannot help but overdramatically lip sync, or should I say…for my life?

Ru_Lipsync

“Shook Ones Pt. II” by Mobb Deep

Recent sad events have revived my love of this song. RIP Prodigy 😦

Where to Wander: Part I

Well, the past few months have been quite the rollercoaster personally! I moved into a new apartment, started my new teaching job, and have traveled to a few places around Bangkok. While I’ve successfully written in a daily journal since I’ve arrived, I’ve also ignored this blog. What else is new?

Thus far I’ve been to four places: Pattaya (has potential but was unfortunately mired in the “sexpat” scene), Koh Samui (beautiful and need to return), Koh Phangan (site of the notorious Full Moon Party and essentially nothing else), and Cambodia (a technicality as I was there for 30 minutes on a border run). All were lovely little jaunts, but I feel as though I came here for a reason – to travel! It’s important for me to start planning out where I really want to go while I’m here. So, I shall publicly display them here in the hopes it will remind me to plan. I’ll think big and start with other countries.

Laos

Pak Ou (Source)

Luang Prabang has a reputation for being extremely relaxed and relaxing, which I am all for. Phu Si will give me my workout for the day (329 steps up!), and the Handicraft Night Market also seems like a lovely place to wander, though I have a feeling that I will soon tire of markets as I will temples. What doesn’t sound tired is Pak Ou, a cave temple (!) just outside of Luang Prabang. It seems absolutely eerie and magical. Not too far from Pak Ou is Ban Xang Hai village, where they are famous for locally-produced wine and whiskey (right up my alley). Finally, the sheer number of waterfalls and lagoons (like Blue Lagoon and Kuang Si) is impressive. I don’t think I could resist a soak in those waters.

Cambodia

Choeung Ek (Source)

Again, technically I’ve been here but it certainly didn’t constitute a check off the ol’ travel list. Of course, there’s Angkor Wat, a prolific landmark of the country. I’ve had friends who have been there already. I’m also fascinated with Cambodia’s dark history and the reign of the Khmer Rouge. The Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocidal Crimes and the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek are both landmarks of this tumultuous and frightening time, and visiting them would be a good way to learn more and to pay my respects.

China

darchen-full-view
Darchen (Source)

Oh man, this country will be a challenge to see in one go. A whopper of a trip. Honestly I sucked the life out of Lonely Planet (process ongoing) to try and pick out my top sights. I really enjoy nature and natural sights, so the Tiger Leaping Gorge and Yangzi are definitely up there. Both seem totally surreal. My golden gem of a visit would be to go to Darchen & Mount Kailash in Tibet, if I can get there. In addition to the outdoorsy stuff, I’d love to see the Forbidden City in Běijīng and Tiánzǐfáng (French Concession) in Shànghǎi. And, of course, who could forget or ignore the Great Wall. I can envision the touristy selfie now.

Vietnam

thien-duong
Thiên Đường Cave (Source)

Parks on parks on parks on parks! Cat Tien National Park seems like a wonderful place to observe wildlife, and its exclusivity (you have to call ahead) makes it enticing. Thiên Đường (Paradise) Cave in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park may ignite my bathophobia, but for a good cause. Imagine seeing one of those ginormous fangs of stone hanging right in front of your face. I’ll just make sure to meditate twice as long before I go. There’s Halong Bay, of course – but nearby Ba Be National Park looks incredible, secluded and lush. A hiker’s paradise. Also, someone please remind me to get my malaria shots. Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi seem quite similar to Bangkok in terms of energy, so I will probably spend very little time in either. Hoi An, however, sounds much more up my alley – an old marine town.

Okay, that’s about enough research for today, but I will definitely be writing about India, Malaysia, Japan, Indonesia, The Phillipines, Nepal, and Australia later.