Recently in Travel Category

My Best Thai Cuisine Experience

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Hello blog readers! As you all know this week is restaurant week and we decided to write some things about our favorite restaurants or just restaurants that is worth trying in the Twin Cities area. You might think that I'm going to pick an Indonesian restaurant but sadly no, because there are no Indonesian restaurants in Minnesota that I know of. So Sad! So I decided to write about a Thai restaurant that I visited over the summer in downtown St. Paul.

The name of the restaurant is Ruam Mit Thai and is located on 475 St. Peter Street in Saint Paul. I don't go to Thai restaurants a lot but this place is definitely the best I've ever visited. I went there with three other Indonesians and we all agreed that the food was delicious. We all ordered separate items so that we can taste each other's dishes (a common behavior for most Indonesians and probably other cultures). We decided to choose which dish out of the four that we ordered is the best and it was the Matsaman Curry.

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I don't do a lot of restaurant reviews but I would definitely recommend this restaurant to anyone who hasn't tried Thai food and is in the Twin Cities area. The place is comfortable and is reachable by bus by just taking the 16 towards downtown St. Paul and getting off at St Peter & 7 St.

So if you are ever tired of eating "college student food" or ran out of ideas of what to cook for lunch or dinner, head over to downtown St. Paul and taste the deliciousness that is Thai food in this highly recommended restaurant!

Still Feel Like Summer

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While I put my thought to write this week blog, I could feel this is about to make me feel homesick. In anyhow, this week I am sharing everyone about my experience during the past winter break in my hometown Bangkok, Thailand. This is gonna be very random blog with lots of photographs, by the way. :D

Here were my checklist that I made from my trip:


-visited Phnom Penh, Cambodia and attend a Cambodian friend (of my family) wedding.

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sightseeing at S-21 Genocide camp in Phnom penh

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group dancing in the wedding I attended


-visited Northern Thailand including four provinces Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phrae, and Lumphang to meet my old roommate family (and she just delivered her baby!) Also visited my uncle and my aunt. Visited my parents' hometown.


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sightseeing at Baan Si Dum (Black House), Chiang Rai

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Meet a craftman while he was working

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The craftman's work will become at part of this sculpture

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Inside the main gallery of Baan Si Dum


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Four-people shot: My friend, my ex-roommate, Maple (in her belly at that time), and me

-visited the border of Thailand-Myanmar called "the golden triangle."

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The golden triangle gate to Myanmar

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Crowded market at the golden triangle


-visited two music colleges in Bangkok as a guest-lecturer

-visited temple to have the Buddhist ceremony for 100-year anniversary the pass-away of my great grand-mother (she was 102, by the way.)

-visited my grand-mother and other familty members(my father's side)

-spent time with my BIG FAT thai-chinese family(my mother's side) on Pre-chinese new year day.


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my BIG FAT thai-chinese family (I try to imitate the "Big Fat Greet Family" movie :D)


-attended my best friend wedding. It was a triple-language wedding: thai, chinese, and english!

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My friend and I and her new husband, her Bostonian college sweetheart <3


-attended my friend's vocal recital

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congratulated my friend a baritone Ghittinant Chins after the recital


-meet my good old pals! (and lots of friends!)

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A dinner party with good old friends at one of their place


-visited the hospital multiple time to have the health checked up and a surgery (I am ok now.)


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Myself resting before the surgery

-had a dental checked

-had my haircut and permed

-thai massages

-watched thai movie

-more temples and palaces!

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The contrast between old and new building at the Suan Pakkard Palace, Bangkok

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Peacefulness inside the group of building in the Suan Pakkard Palace

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The Lacquer Pavilion where the interior is all painted in gold on black lacquer.

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I found a funny thai-culinary section in the painted wall


-shopping shopping and shopping!

-food food food!


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O-Sushi!: great japanese food, one of my favorite food, can be found every where around town, Bangkok

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Noodle is everywhere: noodle bowl ready to be served during busy lunchtime, Lumphang.

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Here is what facinating: the authentic thai-tea making station!, Phrae

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And the store-owner allowed me to finish making my own thai tea


-and fresh air!


Now, can you imagine that there were so many things to do, soooo many places to visit, and Soooooooo many people, friends and family to meet? I still cannot believe that it has been over! as I still can feel the summer vibes followed me back here to Minneapolis. To speak of, who would have thought that Minnesotans are having such a mild winter this year; What a nice way welcoming me back (fingers crossed...)

40 days hometrip it was such wonderful break! Beside that it gave me such a strong jet lack(con), not only it recharged my energy so much(pro) but also it made me realized how much more appreciation I gained in having my family, my friends, my culture, not to mention the sun, hot air, and the food!


Now the fact that I am expecting another year before graduate(finger crossed again), I imagine how much I will learn and will change in this last year being away from home?


Still feel homesick, yet still feel like summer;
::Banchinda::

Trash? Treasure! U of M links you to the world!

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Are you wondering what you can do in the vacation time while attending the University of Minnesota? You might want to travel back to your home country visiting families and friends that you are missing every day, you can find an internship anywhere in the U.S to gain professional experience, you can drive a car or jump on a train being a traveler on the road to explore more of America...Today I would like share about what I did last summer. I really want to say that U of M can provide us amazing experience that you might never expect before.

This summer, I went to Cairo with a group of five students studying the trash and recycling! We worked with a solid waste management company, Irtiqa, and NGOs working with garbage collectors in Cairo.Trash can be treasure if we sort and recycle them well! I really learned a lot from this opportunity.

We can produce new plastic bags from plastic garbage:

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We can make new bricks from the construction waste:
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We can turn organic waste into compost to plant food and flowers even in the desert:
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We can even make a sidewalk from the trash:
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After this experience, I deeply feel that everyone can make changes even in our daily routine life. Maybe we can start protecting our environment by reducing the waste, source sorting at home and etc. I gained professional and personal development from the summer experience, as well as explore to different cultures, wonderful people and beautiful landscapes in Egypt.

The Pyramids!

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What I did in the summer is just one of many possibilities you might have in the U of M. The University has tons of interesting programs or opportunities that you can explore and get yourself involved in. Do not hesitate to talk to people, your classmates, professors and your adviser, or anyone that you meet, if you have an idea or you are interested in what other people are doing. You will find your life experience much much more colorful than you can imagine studying at the U. Good luck with that!

In and around Minneapolis!

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In my country,"fall"is referred to as autumn.I think this is true for many other places too?Like i mentioned previously,i never had a chance to appreciate the changing seasons as it was always very warm in my part of the world.I heard the word fall for the first time when i enrolled for my classes.Needless to say,i experienced my first fall in Minnesota,and unlike the word "autumn",i found it pretty amazing.The temperatures are moderate,the trees are changing colors(yes,the color of falls),the skies are clear for the most part and it is the best season for outing.So me and my friends decided to go around the cities last weekend.We went to the como park zoo and conservatory,a lake in Alexandria,which is a small town in middle of Minnesota and Duluth!

The Como Zoo and conservatory is located in St.Paul and easily accessible by public transit.lts a must visit in winters as the plants would stay green despite the weather.

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A Fulbright alumni invited us to his place in Alexandria and took us around a Lake in his boat!Now I feel like a true Minnesotan!Boating is fun and a stay in Minneapolis without a boating adventure would have been incomplete.It was pleasant to see how people enjoy the outdoors in fall. DSCN9910.JPG

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And last but not the least,i went to Duluth.It is located on the shores of Lake superior(which according to my knowledge is the largest lake in USA).The reason to visit Duluth was to see color of falls which unfortunately had not peaked by then,still it was a beautiful experience.


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Calling all students! We want to tell you about an exciting opportunity to explore more of Minnesota. Do camping, canoeing, campfires under the stars, making great new friends, and going to see new places sound fun to you? If so, ISSS invites you to join our Wilderness Week program to northern Minnesota.

Dates are August 18-22, 2011. This will be a great chance to meet students from all over the world. All international and US students (new and returning) are eligible. This is your chance to try (or try again) canoeing, hiking and camping in Minnesota! Enjoy campfires, stories, and time to meet new friends before the semester begins.

The cost of the trip is $395.00 per person. This price includes transportation, meals, group equipment, and guides.

For information email isssww@umn.edu, visit http://isss.umn.edu/programs/wildernessweek/ or call 612-626-7100.

Don't delay and miss your chance! When we talk with graduating students about what they wish they had done while at the U, exploring other areas of Minnesota and especially nature are top on the list.

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The magic word is...

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Salam everyone,
I've missed you guys!! It's been a while since I last blogged. We had a little over a month off of school for winter break, and I decided to go back home to visit my family and friends. I haven't had a chance to travel back to Bahrain since I moved to the States to pursue my masters degree, that was about a year and a half ago. It was a wonderful trip and it was SO good to see my parents, my siblings, my cousins and some of my childhood friends again.

SPSP 2011 in SanAn, TX

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SPSP = Society for Personality and Social Psychology
2011 = Year after 2010 and before 2012
SanAn = San Antonio
TX = Texas

..but what does it mean?

This blog concerns one of the top reasons to go to graduate school: Conferences.

I am happy to be back

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Hi everyone!
Happy New Year 2011 and welcome back to my blog!
I have some exciting news for you. Over the winter break (or summer considering I was in Africa) I got married! I was very happy to see all my friends and relatives back home in Tanzania and to meet my new family in Swaziland. The weather was perfect and my wedding day was the best day of my life. I was and I still am very very happy! It was hard planning a wedding while studying last fall but it was all worth it in the end and more proof that there is life in graduate school! I am happy to be back in Minnesota (despite the chilling weather) to start my spring semester and my last year of graduate school!
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