First Plane Ride & Airbnb Experience

Introduction/Wedding

Planes, Airbnb and a wedding. None of this would have been possible if not for my friends Vincent and Eddie. If I went at this alone I’m certain I would have been lost at the airport and my flight would have left without me. With that, I would have missed out on a friend’s wedding and a hidden nightclub to say the least. So, to tell this story we’ll have to go back to 2015…

A friend of mine, Wae, recently moved to Texas and was soon to be married. Our history, he is the brother of my sister’s baby daddy. We knew each other already but when I got a temp job, not only did I work at the same location as him, but we ended up working in the same department. So that brought us closer together. Wae was a big influence during my early fitness days. He got me to workout with him at the gym he went to. And as we like to call it, we were getting “swole!”

So it was a traditional Lao wedding. An event that I believe goes on an entire week. But probably ended up being 2 days maybe. From preparations to having monks come and blessed those who are soon to be, and of course, the reception. Now, you know it’s an Asian wedding if there’s Remy Martin, Hennessey, Heineken and Corona involved. So, this wasn’t one of my most proudest moments, but when I was at the venue of the wedding sitting at a table, I noticed that the servers bringing out the food was wearing the exact same thing I was. A simple white button-down shirt with a black vest and tie. One of the guest at the wedding mistaken me for a server too. I’m sure they weren’t the only one. How embarrassing for me. Eventually, after a few drinks I was able to look past that and still managed to have a great time, even though I knew almost no one.

Posing before heading off to the wedding. (Photo by Eddie)
Sangria bar?
Art inside the Dallas museum
Candy shop with a bouncer?
Hidden nightclub. (All other photos complimentary by Vincent)

My Experience

Going back to the flight, I probably wouldn’t have even gone if I was by myself. Fortunately some of my friends wanted to tag along and experiencing the city of Dallas. The worst part about the flight for me was descending. Every time I flew my ears would pop, even when I would chew gum or tried plugging my ears. So the flight was taken care of for me as I set-up the Airbnb, which was a nice cozy apartment. Only like a 5 minute walk from downtown. Thank you Natalie for the listing! I would definitely stay there again if I find myself back in Dallas.

A lot of what we did was checking out dive bars, eating a really large pizza because, well, Texas. Found a nice Mexican restaurant with cheap margaritas, checked out the museum and a couple nightclubs. And I can’t say exactly how it happened but we somehow found ourselves inside a pretty cool nightclub, which was hidden behind or underneath a candy shop. Overall, it was a great experience for me with plenty more stories like this to come. Stay tuned!

First Blog/Lao New Year

Introduction

Where does my story begin? That’s hard to say, considering there were many events in my life that were memorable. Having to pick just one is difficult to start with. But the least I could do is tell you a little bit about myself. I’m 33 years old and just recently celebrated Lao New Year with my family. For Thanksgiving I was in charge of making the turkey of which I burnt… just once. And there was another time I undercooked it… I’m getting better. Practice makes progress.

There was one time I had a shoe thrown at my head, going to a wedding dressed exactly like the waiters. Now I am one as of today. Sort of. Had an amazing trip to Florida with one of my previous employers to be a part of a thing they called Team Rally. I was a stripper for a night, escaped from a party we started and I farted in front of a girl I had just met. These are to name a few of many stories I’ll be sharing in detail, in the near future.

Lao New Year

Let’s start with one of my most recent memory. I went to my mom’s to celebrate the Pi Mai. We had the Sou Khaan(a blessing in having a happy and healthy life) which is where someone is saying good prayers for you while tying a white string around your wrist(s). The Lao Buddhist tradition has it where you typically have both hands together sitting flat, then you bow down to honor the one that prays for you. Or so I believe. I haven’t been paying as much attention to my ancestors religion the older I got. You do however have to sit in almost any other position than crossed legged or Indian style, which can get very uncomfortable after a long period of time. Normally during a Thuk Baht ceremony(people offering food for the monks for blessing them).

We then had ourselves some pho. Afterwards, I helped my brother-in-law move a mattress and dresser to his and my sister’s place. I spent some time with one of my nieces and one of my other sisters was later going to grill some chicken and fajitas, which told me only one thing… that I was staying longer. While waiting for the food, I got to spend some quality time with my sister’s boyfriend before heading home for the night. The conversations we had felt real. I had a great time talking to Derrick. We shared stories, had some laughs. I even told him and my sister about my fart story… Overall, it was exactly how Ice Cube explained it, “Today was a good day.” I got to spend some time with my family, bonded with my sister’s boyfriend and eat some really good food. As simple as it was, it was memorable.

The Takeaway

That night I learned a part of what it’s like to be a parent. Derrick has a kid with my sister. And that made me think of my friends with their kids, and understanding from their perspective what it’s like not having as much free time as they used to. Not seeing it from their point of view. I never understood until this night why it was so difficult hanging out. So the very few times we are able to get together for events and whatnot, I just want to make the most of it. Just cherish the moments with the people you surround yourself with. I hope you enjoyed reading this as I enjoyed writing it. Until the next one.

Kawb Jai