The journey to happiness is the journey of self discovery
The journey is paved with Authenticity.
Getting friendly with the authentic SELF
When I stopped trying to fit in;
I stopped hiding; pulled the curtain
Then I found myself
Staring right back at me.
Hello self …. nice to see you again
Must have been rough and lonely,
hiding behind all that facade
Tryna fit in.
So long Masquerade.
Naked but not ashamed
Chiang Mai got off to a rough start when our 5 star hotel turned out to be a 2 star health hazard.
We booked an hotel touted for its proximity to the night bazaar and 5 star status plus its cooking school offering.
On arrival, we were immediately alarmed and disappointed by the appearance of our hotel. While the staff was very welcoming and pleasant, the formerly beautiful reception carpet had large visible stains likely from years of being walked on. It looked like it’s never been replaced since the inception of the hotel >10 years ago.
One could tell that the decor was formerly glorious but now aged, worn and in disrepair. We exchanged looks but carried on with Check in.
After Check in we proceeded upstairs to our “deluxe club room”. The hallways were dark and dimly lit, dingy and reminiscent of the hallway from an episode in “the shining”.
Of course, it’s dimly lit because there’s lots to hide that they hope you don’t notice.
In the room, the carpets and furniture was tattered and you could see the frayed pillow fabric that’s beginning to unravel. That would have been somewhat tolerable except that the odor was equally overwhelming. It was a combination of dust, mildew and mold.
We threw the one window open as soon as we were left alone and hoped that would help but …. no.
Sadly, we sat on the chair and frantically began to comb the web for alternatives. There was no way we would sleep here. We couldn’t breathe and couldn’t risk developing breathing difficulties from exposure to allergens and mold in the air.
We combed traveler pictures of hotels on trip advisor and they told a different story from the hotel pictures of many hotels. We concluded that Chiang Mai is an old town with many old and worn hotels in dire need of upgrades despite their “5 star ratings”. A very far cry from our Bangkok hotel experience.
Finally we found a new hotel far away from everything, looked modern and seemed recently built. There were few reviews, risky, but worth a try because we were determined not to spend any nights in our 5 star scam.
Finally, we booked and moved to that hotel on the far side of town and lost all the money paid in full to our original hotel as it was non refundable. We figured it was better to minimize our losses to financial ones and not add health problems in a foreign country.
We however came back for our non refundable cooking class with the Chef and that was fun.
All in all, we hope that the rest of our time here is fun and enjoyable with no more snafus!
On the upside, everything seems cheaper here than Bangkok. Let the shopping begin!!
Warning: totally frivolous post.
Somehow I ended up with a collection of pictures of me taking pictures. Totally candid and unposed.
Our tour guide to the grand palace and the floating market, “Joker” (who I totally recommend btw) was documenting our trip and naturally, he got me getting my pictures ….
See, part of this trip experience for me was getting to know my camera better and developing my eyes and angles for photography. Lots of beautiful things to see and experience and a decent camera to freeze a moment in time.
a serving of prawn, noodles and morning glory vegetablesriver raised prawns…the chefs/cooks at workquail eggs…..guess who had a serving of bugs…… yummya selection of dried roasted bugssoy sauce flavored froyo “
It’s the first phrase and maybe most important phrase to learn in Thailand. It means “hello”. I ve said and heard it a great many times since arrival in Bangkok.
It is followed closely by “khup khun ka” – Thank you.
Said with a warm nod, a smile or even a “wai” (prayer hand) when appropriate, you can get a lot done in the land of smiles.
Did you notice the greetings end in “ka”? That’s how ladies end sentences. The men go with “khrup”.
And did I mention there’s a “shrine” on every corner? And the awesomest massage parlors, and food?
Thank you for reading. Khup khun ka. 🙏🏾😃
Written Jan 2015, rediscovered and published May 2018
I have been wondering lately about weaves.
Why do we as a group feel compelled to wear “hair hats”? Who taught us that our afro textured hair wasnt good enough as is to be worn in public. Why do many of us not “feel beautiful” unless we had an artificial hair covering on our scalp?
These are things that we never think about. For many of us, we grew into perms and weaves and went with the flow because it just “is” but do we ever stop to wonder why? What is so wrong with wearing our own afro textured hair without donations from the factory, a religious worshipper in India, a goat or a yak?
Many people defend weaves by saying that “other ethnicities” wear weaves too but lets be honest for a moment, which other ethnicity wears weaves religiously as a rite of passage the way afro descendants do?
An even more worrisome trend is one within the so called natural communty. A trend in which we sew in artificial hair or crotchet it in, in the name of protective styling. It is worrisome because the natural hair community claims to have come a step further in accepting their afro textures by rejecting chemical relaxers and straighteners.
How accepting of one’s afro hair/texture can one claim to be if that hair is always covered up under artificial sew ins and crocheted hair?
So, I’v heard we are protecting our hair from “winter, dry weather, harmattan, manipulation” etc so it can grow. Ok, let’s agree for the sake of argument that afro hair needs protecting. There are many hair styles that can equally “protect” the hair; afro puff, corn rows, flat twists are examples of styles that keep the hair tucked away from manipulation without requiring the addition of artificial hair extensions. Why do most people choose “hair hats” instead?
Is it a return to the comfort of what’s familiar from the perm days or is it a reflection of the fact that people have not accepted the afro textured hair and we still dont “feel beautiful” in it. Some say, they wear weaves because they are convenient and low maintenance. In fact thats NOT true because wearing “good weaves” require daily styling, flat ironing and other maintenance that extension free natural styles like twists and corn rows do not require therefore I consider that an invalid excuse.
Whatever reasons we have for clinging to and loving our weaves. We ought to be honest with ourselves. Let’s not call it protective styling – because there are other ways of “protective styling” hair without artificial hair. Let’s wonder what it means for us and upcoming generations of girls who will be unable to “feel beautiful” without artificial hair.
Found this journal of my high school days written by another grad and thought , wow….memories. yeah, I graduated from fggc oyo too!
It was Friday evening; I had just completed my portion of weeding the grass behind our hostel for the weekly manual labor. I decided to maximize the 40 minutes or so before dinner, so I took out my school uniform and socks and began to wash. I’d barely finished rinsing the items when the “Clarion Call” came.
“A Junior Girl! A Junior Girl!!” Senior Damilola shouted from her corner.
I dropped my wet socks on my locker and ran inside the dorm along with 5 other junior students trying to beat each other to it. We unceremoniously formed a queue of six in front of Senior Damilola’s bunk; I was the 4th on the queue. The idea was that the last person got the toughest task while the first got the easiest.
Starting from the rear, she said “Chioma, take my shirt and socks, wash and bring…
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1.5yrs relaxer free
3wks post “big chop”
Hair goal: to grow and wear my #chemicalfreehair most of the time #extensionfree
Regimen: L.O.C twice a day to keep dryness at bay (takes 3mins). My hair loves water. Silk cover at bedtime. Fingercombing. Cowash weekly.
Favorite products: water+oil mix, Shea moisture curling gel souffle, Camille rose pudding.
The truth about “the lie from China” worn on African heads all over the world, eloquently described by my friend.
This is something someone should say something about.
Someone else though, not me. But until then…
I don’t understand why there is so much fake hair here. And it’s not cleverly hidden fake hair.
It looks like Nigerian women have taken the bold step of no longer pretending like the straight luscious hair is theirs. But they haven’t come full circle to accepting their own hair as it is or accepting hair styles that fit African hair.
So they no longer try to mask the crude tracks or the disjointed connections between their real hair and the fake add-ons.
Everywhere I look, there is a beautiful woman wearing a lie from China on her head.
If you confront them, the Nigerian female populace always reacts defensively. They will never directly say they wear fake hair because they think it is nicer than their own African hair. Instead they’ll moan and…
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