Broken Arm: Take 2

There is now another broken wrist in the family.

Today, almost three years after Mom broke her arm while hiking down from Refugio Piltriquitron in El Bolson, Argentina, we hiked up to Scout Lookout at Zion National Park in Utah. We arrived here yesterday after a long, icy drive through Oregon, Nevada, and Utah (fortunately, neither Dad nor I crashed the car, despite below-zero temperatures and 80 mph speed limits). This morning, after a high-calorie breakfast, I drove us into the park. 28 degrees Fahrenheit never seemed so warm.

We paid a visit to the visitors’ center-turned-shop before heading to the Court of Patriarchs. There, Ethan and I discovered the ease of letting ourselves slide down the icy hills while hanging onto the handrails. Mom did not enjoy this as much as we did.

We finalllllly found a parking spot at Zion Lodge. It was only a half-mile walk from the Grotto Trailhead, where we started hiking. Ethan had decided not to bring a backpack so I was stuck carrying his water bottle and his hat and gloves as he shed them.

Ethan and I were far ahead of the parents, but we stopped occasionally to let them catch up. The exposed switchbacks up the first mile or so were the hardest. After we entered a shady canyon, the going was easy until we reached eight switchbacks. At the top of those, we reached the infamous Walter’s Wiggles. Apparently these are really difficult, but they seemed very easy, not steep, and short. However, they were also very icy and snowy and we had to go slowly.

The infamous Walter's Wiggles. Now just imagine them snowy and icy

The infamous Walter’s Wiggles. Now just imagine them snowy and icy

Along the way, Ethan and I befriended siblings Ethan and Porsche. Ethan II advised Ethan I on ice hiking technique and the physics of friction. At the top of the Wiggles, we stopped at Scout Lookout while everyone else on the trail continued to Angel’s Landing. Because we didn’t have crampons or any other sort of shoe gear, we played it safe and did not go on.

Ethan and Eryn at Scout Lookout

Ethan and Eryn at Scout Lookout

Ethan and I started down the canyon ahead of Mom and Dad. To take on icy Walter’s Wiggles, we slid down on our feet with our hands behind us, in the form of a crab. This worked well, but Ethan abandoned this approach when some grown men were coming down behind us. In his pride, he continued on down a switchback and out of my sight. Then the two men behind me, who were going much faster than me, exclaimed, “Are you all right?? What happened?”

That was when I saw Ethan, who was grimacing and clutching his left wrist. After assuring him that nothing was broken based on his mobility, the men continued on. And so did we.

We carefully picked our way down to Zion Lodge. We peeked in there and then returned to our hotel, where Mom and Dad set about trying to find a clinic that worked with our insurance. Mom and Ethan finally left for a clinic 40 minutes away. There, they determined that his radius was in fact fractured all the way through, though they only had to put him in a brace because the bone is still aligned.

The worst part about all this is that Ethan will still be able to take notes in AP government as he is right-handed (though he won’t be able to play the piano, saxophone, or guitar).

Couscous and Cake

Tonight we’re celebrating Mom’s birthday. (I won’t tell you how old she will be tomorrow.) We get to eat cake and ice cream! This is after a supper of couscous and tagine at Thami’s. We planned on going to Scorpion du Desert, but it was too loud. We’d forgotten that Saturday nights are music nights.

We would have gone to Café Clock, but we went there for breakfast. For a while, there was a leak coming from the floor above us. After our Cusco Catastrophe, we were immediately on edge, but it turns out it was “just water”—not cleaning solution as we had thought.

After breakfast and working on pictures, we went to the Bata Museum which had lots of old clothes and paintings and rugs and locks and keys. It was in a building surrounding a garden. Once we were done there, we left to a larger garden, which was well-maintained. Dad tried to extract money from the ATM next to the man who sells snails, but it wasn’t working, so we went down the street to another one. On the way up, we bought deep-fried, crispy, thin donuts, which were coated in sugar.

Delicioso.

Ciao!

Needing to Phorget at Physical Torture

80 days to go!

 

I went with Mom to her Physical Torture today. She cried at several times and at one point begged for me to read to her to take her mind off the pain. I’m not sure she would have been interested in what I was reading—reading about the US’s economy in the 1920s for school isn’t all that interesting.

On our way home, we stopped by Marjane (the local super-sized grocery store) building for haircuts. My hair is now blessedly straight, but as soon as I get under the water of the shower tomorrow, my joy will be gone…

Back at the flat, it was raining. From the time we got home from PT to the time we left for supper, we did just about nothing except schoolwork, push-ups, and working on Crete (that would be Dad).

For supper, I had Thai chicken. Between the ginger and coconut milk, it definitely reminded me of Thailand.

Ciao!

Cast Off

Mom is relieved to announce that her cast is finally off.

It turned into a four-country trauma (Argentina, Chile, Peru, Morocco) but finally ended this morning at a clinic. After the cast was removed, her PT (Physical Torture) began. She now has to go the clinic three times a week for the next three weeks for PT.

We’re all glad that she can use her right arm– now she can wash dishes again!

Victory in Vertical

Our apartment is very vertical: one corner is devoted to the staircase.

On the ground floor is the dining table, which is the only thing in the center of the apartment. Also, there are three little nooks for sitting and relaxing on couches as well as a full bathroom and a kitchen. Up a few feet is a landing that is unused, and then turn a corner and, up three steps, is the exit to my room, which has a balcony that looks into my parents’ room. Their room’s entry is up a few stairs from mine, but the floors are at the same height.

Ethan has the next bedroom, and above that is the roof, which has a washing machine, clothes line, and a key to move the glass from the skylight. Above the room with the laundry machine is a deck, where Ethan laid for a while this morning as Mom and I did laundry.

Mom was actually able to do laundry with her right hand.

Yes, you read that correctly: her cast is off! It took all of this morning, but she and Dad returned finally victorious.

Right now we’re sitting in the ground floor, eating our Moroccan pastries after a dinner of tagine and couscous.

Ciao!

Casts and Couscous

The first half of our day was devoted to (a) learning more about our trip to the Amazon on Monday and (b) trying to get Mom’s cast off. Guess what? It didn’t come off! Instead the doctor told Mom to get it off in two weeks (when we’re in Morocco). While Mom and Dad were working on that, Ethan did schoolwork and I read Code Name Verity, which is an amazing book (I spent most of supper telling Ethan to read it).

Eventually (at around 5 p.m.) we went out for a walk, which ended up with us finding a place for supper called Greens Organic. Mom and I shared a bowl of pumpkin soup and chicken on couscous. It was delicious. So was the (free) dessert: the brownie to compare to all brownies.

On the way home, we stopped at Plaza de Armas to take in the atmosphere. Every Peruvian town/city has a Plaza de Armas—the main square. Dad and Ethan started being embarrassing, so I was relieved when we left the public eye.

Ciao!

I Always Knew My Mother Was Cracked

Today a doctor discovered that Mom has a crack in her ulna (the bone next to your radius in your lower arm) and that there’s a T-shaped-crack in her radius. The crack in the ulna is not a problem; he said that it’s common for people to break both. Mom’s right radius is in three parts—one on each side of the T.

We learned this after (finally) getting to a clinic.

Once we had breakfast (carbs and cheese), we strolled down the river, through a fresh food market, to the center of town where Mom and I sat in a plaza while Dad and Ethan looked for ATMs that accepted American cards. No such luck, unfortunately, so we headed to the clinic. Along the way, we found a mall. Dad checked out the ATMs (no success) and Mom found the laundry place we were looking for. We also got water and cappuccino cookies. I pointed out the cookies-and-cream Oreos to Dad.

At the clinic, Ethan and I sat and waited while our parents went from one room to the other with different doctors. We finally waited outside the triage room. Outside was a chart, and we decided that Mom was T5. T1 was needing to be “reanimated”, which would be immediate. T2 was an emergency, and the wait is less than fifteen minutes. If your situation was simply urgent, you could wait up to thirty minutes. Next was “minor urgency,” a.k.a. T4, and the maximum wait claimed to be eighty minutes. For not-urgent situations, two hours was the longest you could wait. That was T5. While we waited, I watched the ladies behind the counter watch soap operas on TV while the sounds of fake crying and babies’ crying filled the room.

Mom eventually got her x-rays, which told the story. On the way home, we passed by a restaurant called Guacamole. After chilling in the apartment and returning to the clinic to discuss the x-rays, we ate there.

The invalid may or may not have surgery tomorrow. If she does have the surgery, then she will not have to have a cast, which would be great. On the other hand, there has to be a 2-millimeter gap between the main section of the radius and the part that the tendons aren’t holding in place for her to have a surgery.

Ciao!

Sales and Sweet Dinosaurs

Because of Mom’s injury, today was sort of a down day. We slept in til ten, which seemed waaay to early, and Ethan and I had to make breakfast. Once that was over, I washed the dishes and we finally headed out.

Our first stop was the laundry place, where Mom and Ethan dropped off a basket of our clothes. Then came the bank, the clinic (for the x-rays), and the grocery store, where we bought breakfast foods and a scarf that is now Mom’s sling. We drove home and stayed there for about two hours as Dad dealt with the insurance company and I did schoolwork and made more bracelets like the ones that Paz, Mary Lou’s granddaughter, makes. We eventually left for Lago Puelo after a slight delay. On the way, we bought ice cream from Saurios Heladeria Artesenal, whose mascot is a swimming purple dinosaur. Dad and I chose the flavors—four in the kilo container. The woman who scooped our ice cream weighed the tub: 1.005 kilos.

The .005 extra is for the tub’s weight. It’s now become standard that they get really close in weight: at Sumo in BA, our ¾ kilo weighed .755 kilos, and in Bariloche, someone’s quarter-kilo tub weighed .250.

We eventually got to the beach of the choppy Lago Puelo, where we devoured the Black Jungle, Boysenberry, Semi-Bitter Chocolate, and Saurios Chocolate. It was delicious. Ethan went for a walk afterwards, and came running back to us: “They’re here!”

They, of course, means Juan, Paz, and co. Ethan changed into his swimsuit so he could go out on the raft with ten-year-old Juan, and I made bracelets with twelve-year-old Paz. Inez, who was with Paz when I first met her, and her family also came. All of Paz’s immediate family—mother, father, and three brothers, Juan, Lucas, and baby Jose—were there. Lucas went around with Paz’s bracelets and sold them for ten pesos apiece. During the time I was there, Paz earned eighty pesos. Ten of those pesos were brought in by a blue bracelet I made.

Ciao!

Lion of the Andes

I slept in (again) and then had my typical breakfast of cereal, egg, banana, and toast. After that we just did schoolwork and deleted pictures and napped until about 1:15, when Dad decided it was time to go on the hike up Cerro Piltriquitron.

It was a long and dusty hike up 350 meters, where we met an older couple from Colorado who had just gone to Antarctica by boat. They said it was beautiful, but the boat ride was very rough. In all the questions they asked about our trip, they never asked the Number One Question: What are you doing for school? They even asked a whopping total of seven questions before it turned into a normal conversation.

“You’re the first Americans we’ve seen in a week,” she said.

“Sorry to spoil the run for you,” my dad replied.

We continued on up, passing the garden of carved trees that we skipped. At the top we admired the view before Mom and Ethan each got Fantas, Dad and I chose water, and I ordered a pizza. Ethan was sent away from our bench, but when I was on my last piece of pizza, Mom and Dad tried to convince me to give Ethan a piece. “I’m not moving from this bench or advertising,” I said, thinking that if he wanted it, he would come get it.

But I had pity on him.

“Okay, who wants a piece of pizza?” I asked loudly. “I do, I do!” Ethan cried. He came and stood in front of me. “I do too,” Dad added.

“Okay, Ethan,” I announced clearly. “Do not touch this piece of pizza that is sitting, unguarded, on my lap. I am now admiring the view.” I turned my face towards the rocks, but apparently he had ignored me so I repeated myself. As I watched his reflection on Mom’s sunglasses, I saw him grab a piece. Once we were done eating, we befriended the bearded yellow cat that hid among the lupine. It was a sweet cat, and I got a picture of it yawning.

“I got a picture of it yawning!” I exclaimed. “It’s almost as good as a lion in Kruger!”

“Lion of the Andes,” Dad said. “That’ll be the title of my post tonight,” I decided.

We started down the hill. Dad, Ethan, and I went on ahead, talking about science subjects. We were starting in on pH levels when we heard a cry: “Help! Help!” We looked back up and saw Mom sitting in the dirt. Ethan and I raced back up the hill.

“I fell, and I think my wrist is broken. It’s swelling fast,” she choked out. Dad helped her up. Some people tried to help us, but they didn’t speak English and we didn’t speak Spanish.

The walk down seemed to take a lot less time than it did going up. Mom held her wrist to her chest, and Ethan and I followed a ways behind. “Finally!” Ethan crowed. We were to the parking lot. Mom and Ethan went to the car while Dad and I went to the view. I took out my camera and—it wasn’t there. “Oh, no,” I whispered. Then, louder, “I lost my camera!”

The ride down to the pavement was excruciatingly long. Ethan and Dad tried to keep the mood light (failing for the most part). Finally we got to the pavement. After a wrong turn, we got to the hospital. We shuffled into the waiting room, Ethan and I leaning against a wall, Mom taking a chair, and Dad knocking on the doors and asking, “Ingles?”

Someone came and called them away. Dad kept us up-to-date by texting us on Mom’s phone. She needed a specialist since the ends of the bone, her radius, overlapped, so she was taken in ambulance there (so they wouldn’t have to remove the IV) while the three of us followed in a car. By then, the doctors had given her drugs, so she was fine. Dad, Ethan, and I had pizza and a salad at Pizza Uno before we returned. At that point, Dad found out that she would be out of surgery in 30-40 minutes as it was about to start, so he drove Ethan and me home, where we are now.

Mom and Dad eventually came home around midnight, Mom’s arm encased in plaster, after Ethan and I had spent two hours down with Paz, Juan, and the three little boys.

Ciao!

French Fries in Italian Restaurants

We found another ice cream place! It’s called Sumo, and we got a quarter kilogram. Half is raspberry mousse and the other half is a really good chocolate flavor. That was after tasty supper of arroz con pollo, made by the Colombian woman who runs the restaurant next door. Thankfully some English-speaking Colombian tourists translated the verbal menu for us. Mom had thought that the restaurant was Italian because of the red and green decorations.

When we got our food, it was a pile of orange rice in the middle with a dob of ketchup on top and some yellowish brown things surrounding it.

“What’s this?” Ethan asked. “The chicken?” We all stared at him. Dad broke the silence. “Chicken? That’s a French fry.”

Today was a down day, so the only thing we did was go to the market in Plaza Dorrego. We all got fresh-squeezed orange juice, which will help Mom with her cold.

Anyway, I need to go. Everyone is watching old TV shows, like Hee Haw, without me.

Ciao!

Putt-Putt Police

Mom, Ethan, and I went on the “more easy” mini golf course (the other option was plain old “easy”) today. None of us beat the Junior’s or Men’s record of the day—41—and none of us beat the Women’s—48—either. Mom earned 57 points, Ethan was second with 66, and I won (by getting the most points, of course) with 83. My worst two holes—numbers 14 and 3—were cut short by our 10-hit limit (thank goodness).

Ethan was the only one to hit a hole-in-one—coincidentally on #14, which, as you should recall, I bombed. Mom got 5, making our average for that hole 5.33. My best holes were 12, 13, and 17. I scored 2 on each of those. On 12, each earned a 2. For 13, I actually received the fewest points while Ethan got 3 and Mom got 4. On 17, Mom and I got 2 while Ethan got 3. Mom’s best holes were 1, 8, 12, and 17. Her average for the first nine was three.

Her worst holes were 3, 14, and 16—she got 5 on each. Ethan’s best hole was 14 (getting the only hole-in-one) while his worst was 3, where he got 8. (Yeah, 3 was not our best hole…)

Ethan was sometimes a little too flexible about how far away his black golf ball was from the edge of the course, so I—the honorary Putt-Putt Police—“helped” him place it in the correct position.

Ciao!

…Where Thousands of Butts Have Gone Before

We first went to Oudtshoorn to check out the Highgate Ostrich Farm, but it was inexplicably closed. So we went to the Safari ostrich farm, where Mom, Ethan, and I rode ostriches while Dad took pictures (he’s already ridden twice before). Then we went back through Oudtshoorn to the Cango Caves, one of the Seven Wonders of Southern Africa.

We decided to do the 90-minute Adventure Tour verses the hour-long Standard Tour. That was probably our best choice because the path was very boring (except for the Bushman setting with a leopard in the background) up until the Standard Tour entered and the Adventure Tour began. “Watch out for the animals in here. We have crocodiles, snakes, and bats, so be careful,” our guide, Christopher, warned. Mom started freaking out when he laughed. “Okay, there are no crocodiles or snakes, but there are bats.”

First up is Jacob’s Alley- 172 steps- followed by King Solomon’s Mines. From there, we went up a steep metal ladder to the Lumbago Walk. Ethan and I were glad to be right behind Christopher. If we had been behind all the slow adults, we would not have enjoyed ourselves as much. The Lumbago Walk is basically a low area that ends up in the Crystal Palace and up to the Tunnel of Love. The Tunnel of Love is named because it “gives you a loving squeeze.” Ethan and I were fine, but some of the other members (possibly including our parents) were squished. Following being squished, we passed through the Banqueting Hall and the Devil’s Workshop before hitting the Devil’s Chimney. Ethan went first, followed by me, Mom, Dad, and the rest of our group.

The Devil’s Chimney is a ten-foot-long, two-feet-wide upward crawl. Mom had a hard time, but the rest of us came out fine. Then we slid on our hands and knees through the Postbox, meeting up with Christopher, who had taken the easy way round. We then walked to the Coffin, went in this time, and followed the cave (including the Tunnel of Love) back out.

My title today comes from when we were sliding down into the Ice Chamber, leading up to the Coffin. The rock was worn smooth because so many people had stood/sat/slid in the exact same places over the years, thus causing my quote that became my title.

Ciao!

We’ve Been Decapitated!

 

That’s a lie. If anything, we have been re-headed today after we went to the Knysna Heads for the view. After walking around on the East Head, we had our first real mochas since Chiang Mai, Thailand. They were delicious and came with (delicious) biscotti. We drove around a little bit more than headed over to Thesen Island to look at the Sirocco’s and Tapas restaurants. We decided that Tapas looked better, so we’ll (hopefully) be returning tomorrow night.
Ethan and I flipped, swung, and rode giraffes,  zebras, and lions with braided manes at the nearby playground. We checked out the multimillion-rand real estate and then hopped over to Clicks, where I agonized over which color of nail polish I should get once mine runs out (I narrowed it down to Violet Voltage and Twisted Pink). We returned to Haus Knysna after going the length of Rio Street. Mom made a supper of stir-fry for us after Silvia- our current landlord- stopped by to see how we were faring.
We’re doing well.
Ciao!

Animated Animal Sightings

“Ooh, look, some of those impala are preggie,” Mom said.

Preggie?” I asked.

“Preggers.”

Pregnant.”

Ethan laughed. We were driving from Letaba rest camp after resting (it is a rest camp, after all!) up after our tiresome drives this morning. We got up at 3:30 to go on a morning drive, and we saw eight lions, thirteen elephants, twenty-three giraffes, a small-spotted genet, and a Sharpe’s grysbok. We returned to bungalow 117 and had breakfast before finally leaving Olifants.

The drive was about forty kilometers, and we saw Cape buffalo, elephants, hippos, crocodiles, elephants, wildebeeste, zebra, impala, giraffes, waterbuck, a male bushbuck, and lots of different types of birds. The next drive was when we saw the pregnant impala. We also saw a new animal for Kruger: banded mongoose.

When we drove up after I shouted “Stop!”, they ran up to the car, mouths wide open. These squeazels (as we’ve dubbed them- a cross between squirrels and weasels) were bigger than any we’d ever seen before. Just as I rolled down my window to take a picture, they retreated into the shade. After many repeats of this, we discovered that it was a raptor of some sort that was scaring the mongoose back and forth. We left after having taken lots of pictures.

On the bridge over the Letaba River where you could get out, we saw baboons, waterbuck, birds (of course!), and a couple who told us about crocodiles trying to get at a dead, bloated hippo. So after we were done on the bridge, we followed them and saw the hippo. There was another live hippo next to it, and we were told that sometimes the crocs tried to eat it, too.

Ciao!

Airborne Above Australia (Again)

We’re finally in WA- that is, West Australia. We got here after flying from Ayers Rock to Alice Springs to Adelaide to Perth. There used to be a regular flight from Ayers to Perth, but Qantas Airlines canceled it.

On the flight from Ayers to Alice, we got a snack of two cookies, cheese, 110 milliliters of water, and three crackers. There was an hour-long layover in Alice, and then we headed for Adelaide. I watched an episode of Big Bang Theory, and then, because the regularly scheduled programming was canceled, two really boring programs played. Instead of watching those, I read Sacajawea.

It was raining in Adelaide. In case you don’t know, Adelaide is on the southern coast of Australia. We had a three-hour layover (or so) there. The domestic terminal had a surprising variety of shops (of course, Australia is a big country), including Chocolat & Wicked Desserts and Smiggle. I love Smiggle! They organize the store by color. There is pink, purple, green, black, blue, and white/rainbow. I found the cutest mouse mouse, which is a cordless pink computer mouse that is shaped like a mouse. The ears are the buttons and there’s even a little face!

Chocolat & Wicked Desserts was more my style, though, what with its generous scoops of gelato that were inexpensive by Australian standards. I got two scoops, one of chocolate and one of honey-cinnamon. Ethan got one of chocolate and one of hazelnut. Mom got the same as me, and Dad got one scoop honey-cinnamon and one scoop chocolate-hazelnut.

We finallyfinallyfinally got on the plane after a ridiculously long delay. Once we were on we were told the reason for the delay.

When we were coming into Adelaide, there was some really strong turbulence. Some people threw up, so we had to clean it up and replace some seat cushions.

TMI. We did not need to know that there was a storm that we would fly through. There was a little bit of turbulence, but it was the first time that I have heard people (females) squeal on a plane. For supper, we were served pumpkin pasta, a mini Toblerone, cheese, and crackers. I also watched The Sapphires, the beginning of Rio, and three episodes of Modern Family.

Once we landed in Perth, we got our four suitcases and our Avis rental car and headed north for two hours until we reached Jurien Bay. It’s been a long day.

Ciao!

One Last Time

At a Swensen’s in Thailand… hopefully. We may actually get to go to India tomorrow! Swensen’s was pretty much all we did today except for swimming twice. The first time we were at Viva Gardens and Ethan and I swam by ourselves. Well, there were two little boys in the pool too, but they stayed in the shallow end. Ethan and I are such tall people that we could only be in the deep end (1.2 meters). Well, only in the deep end until we raced. We had one really long race at the end: three half-laps with different strokes (the crawl, backstroke, and breaststroke), touching each of the fountains on the spout, and all sorts of crazy things. Ethan eventually won and I was very disappointed.

At Swensen’s we all had chocolate ice cream (of course) and after that Mom and I looked at clothes in the Tesco Lotus (Swensen’s is in the building) while Dad and Ethan lurked. Once done there, we returnd to Viva Gardens one last time, picked up our luggage, and rode in a green taxi (green!) to BS Residence. After Ethan and I did our schoolwork for the day, we went swimming with Dad as Mom ordered supper from The Pizza Company. (Guess what we got?) It was a very successful day! Ciao!

We’re Now Officially Trekkers!

Meaning we went on one “trek.”

Vin, Lindsay, Kristen, and our guides were our companions today on our trek from Vientiane to the waterfall and back to Vientiane.

We started off at 8:13 instead of eight o’clock because we had issues with the laundry. In the songtow, we took some more turns on all the one-way streets ’til we finally got to the guesthouse at which Lindsay and Kristen, two Canadian friends, were staying. Some more turns found us picking up another lady: “This is Vin,” our guide said. “She is from Vietnam.” She opened her mouth and out came English words with an Australian accent. She later explained, “My parents [who are Vietnamese] moved back to Vietnam when I was young. I stayed with my grandparents in Australia.”

We picked up two guides in a village, and from there we walked down to a river. We got into two long boats and went upstream for about forty minutes. The scenery was not overly exciting, but it was interesting that Ethan had to keep dumping water out of the boat as we motored along. Once he let the can into the water, but the driver got it for Ethan. It was on a string, so it would’t have gone any where, but it was rather annoying when it was splashing us.

The hike lasted about two hours, although Ethan said, “That wasn’t a hike this morning. That was a walk.” To keep ourselves occupied, we sweated. We also crossed several streams and finally came to a stop at some large rocks in a creek. After resting for five minutes, we finished crossing the water and walked for another hour or so before arriving at the end of the road and the sign announcing the waterfall. After the appropriate amount of pictures was taken, we continued on with Ethan, Kristen, and I leading the way. We didn’t actually know where we were going, so we leaders had to wait at the fork for the guide to catch up and take us where we wanted to go.

The lunch was not very good. It was vegetables and pineapple on a skewer with barbecue sauce (which I am not very fond of), fried rice (the ants added flavor), and bread (smeared with barbecue sauce). The only thing I had nothing against was my banana. Even my water bottle deserted me, rolling down the rock and into the dark depths below.

Vin, Lindsay, Ethan, and Dad were the only ones courageous enough to swim. Vin actually did swim, but Lindsay didn’t really need that towel she brought. Ethan and Dad went underneath the waterfall and, I think, swam the longest. After they all dried off, we went back to the road. Ethan and I were in the process of getting in the songtow when we were told we were going to visit another waterfall, which was more impressive. The first waterfall was in the form of stairsteps. This one was just a drop. Lindsay and Kristen also discovered little pieces of flora that looked like hands. Dad was holding one, attached it to his nose, and pretended like he was being attacked by it. Okay, it doesn’t sound like it was funny, but Ethan, Mom, Lindsay, and I were dying. You had to be there.

On our way to supper tonight, I heard One Direction playing. I reacted (I’ll never tell how), and Dad asked if I was being directional. Ethan said, “No, she just heard One Direction.” Don’t worry; he eventually got it. Ciao!

Today Was a(n) [insert adjective] Day

You can comment on what sort of day you think it was after you read this. This is in chronological order according to the times on my stupid (you’ll see why) watch:

2:33: I wake up, look at my watch, think Thank goodness there’s still an hour, and go back to sleep.

3:25: Alarm doesn’t go off.

4:08: We wake up to Mom knocking on our door. I tell Ethan to get his butt in the shower, and I answer the door. We think she had been standing and knocking for quite a while.

4:10: Ethan finishes his shower- if you can call a nozzle sticking out of a wall and spraying the toilet a shower.

4:33: We’re all dressed, showered, packed, and out the door in the airport shuttle.

4:44: Our arrival at the airport is too early; we have to wait until five o’clock rolls around.

4:59: We’re checking in and the lady looks at our tickets from Bangkok to New Delhi.

5:00: She asks if we have our Indian visas.

5:01: We don’t.

5:06: She pulls up a list of countries whose citizens don’t need visas beforehand: Cambodia, Singapore, South Korea, Mexico, Vietnam… the US is not on there.

5:07: We head to the benches to regroup and an exclamation is heard: “I want to go home.”

5:38: A family sits down across from us, happily eating their Hilton breakfast and displaying their Swiss passports.

5:52: They finally leave.

6:37: We go to the United Airlines counter and reschedule our flight to India for Friday.

6:39: The benches are a wonderful find.

7:32: Our bags (except for Dad’s backpack) are left with the people at LEFT BAGGAGE.

7:33: We find another bench.

7:46: Ethan and I go up to the (frigid) observation deck. That airport has the AC on waay too high.

7:49: We head to the FamilyMart and look at all the sickly-sweet looking foods.

7:51: We return to our parents.

9:31: The female half of us changes the new flight to Saturday, July 28.

9:35: Mom goes looking for unguarded electrical outlets for her phone.

9:41: She returns with no luck.

9:47: We look for breakfast.

9:58: Chocolate waffles!!!

10:03: We buy our tickets for the airport train, which goes in to town.

10:07: Oreos are bought just to get some smaller bills/coins.

10:09: We begin to wait for the train.

10:23: It finally comes.

10:52: We quickly exit the station and walk to the tube.

11:09: We’re spit out of the train into the rain.

11:10: We start walking the wrong way.

11:22: We stop and ask where we are.

12:01: Finally! The stairs up to the GLAS HAUS loom in front of us.

12:07: We enter the Indian Visa Application Centre.

12:09: We’re back in the hallway to fill out the remaining three forms- Mom’s, Ethan’s, and mine- on the iPad.

13:12: We’re now officially in the Centre.

14:29: After being forced to pretend that my signature at age nine is still the same three years later, we leave with the promise to return with our passports next week.

14:57: The underground’s doors close too soon and I am left behind.

14:59: A Thai lady tells me that she’ll make sure I get to the right place (the next stop). That was nice, but I would have been perfectly fine on my own.

15:01: The next train comes.

15:03: I get off and Ethan tells me that Mom’s looking for me. Thankfully she didn’t go back (although we could’ve easily called her. We had four bars… underground!).

15:07: We’re back on our way to the airport.

16:32: Supper is served at Twin Time, a restaurant in the airport that serves tiny portions. My chicken satay and Thai iced tea were AMAZING.

17:49: Ethan invites me to come to the bookstore with him so he can show me the Justin Bieber book. Of course, he didn’t tell me this beforehand.

18:13: 31 Flavors! (Ethan counted- there were 30 flavors in 32 tubs. FYI, 31 Flavors is Baskin Robbins)

18:17: I try a spoonful of green tea ice cream. Be warned! (Unless you like greasy ice cream that tastes like moldy [and looks] like moldy vanilla.) Dad, Ethan, and I each get one scoop of Chocolate Mousse Royale and one scoop of World Class Chocolate. Mom had one scoop of the former and one scoop of mint chip.

18:31: Dad buys water at the 7-Eleven.

18:37: We retrieve our luggage.

19:29: We arrive at Mariya Boutique Residence, and I grab a banana.

20:46: Mom chokes on her malaria pill as I read her this post.

21:13: I bid you… Ciao!

Height

Status

For those of you who know us well, you know that the height of Ethan, our mother, and me is very important to us. Until today, we thought that our mother was 4’11.5″. When Ethan and I were measured and it turned out that I am 4’11.5″, we took the time out of breakfast to measure Mother. Turns out, she’s 5′. Ethan’s still only 4’10.5″, and I’m lording it over him because I’m pretty sure he’ll end up taller than me. And you can bet there will be a post when one of us become taller than Mother.
Ciao!