Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Weekend in Guam

I love blogging. Blogging is my lazy version of scrapbooking. When I leave Saipan I'll print all these entries up and make a book to remember
all my little adventures.

This past weekend I met up with some good friends in Guam. The picture on the left is of my friend, Gemma, and my cute nephew, Max. Max is showing off his little Noah's Ark tool set that he made during Sabbath School.

I found out that my girlfriend, Nikki, was going to be in Guam while passing through to the Philippines. So I booked a ticket to meet up with her and my other friends. While we were in Guam Mike and Gemma gave us an island tour.

We ended up at Fort Soledad. A lot of rich American history on this little island when the US recaptured Guam from the Japanese in WWII.

On my left is Sydney, Mike's brother. He's graduating Medical School at Loma Linda University this May and is finishing up his last rotation at the SDA Clinic in Guam. He definitely inspired me to go back school. For what? Eeek. I'm still deciding. I just know I don't want to do dental hygiene full time.

This picture is of Magellan landing. There is a tribute by the water that says "Magellan landed some where near here"!

A picture of the Mercado family. From Left to right: Gemma, Max, Mike, and Sydney.
Gemma is a MD at the Guam SDA Clinic and Mike works as an MD on the Naval Base in Guam.

Look out point near Talofofo Falls near the Yokoi Cave. On my next visit to Guam I'd like to see the Yokoi Cave. There is an amazing story behind this cave. Yoki was a Japanese Solider in WWII that retreated in the jungle of Guam and hid from the US forces going unnoticed. He survived in a cave for 28 years before being discovered by local farmers in 1972.

Nikki and I enjoying dinner at the Mermaid Tavern in Guam!I recommend this place because they've got delicious food! I had the seared Ahi with mash potatoes and salad. Not only did we have a great meal there was live Blue Grass music! Nikki is one of my best friends from California and I'm so glad I got to see her again. Last time I saw her was almost a year ago.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Awkward moment

awkward = uncomfortable or abnormal. It all started when I went to get a massage in Garapan with Crystal.

Most of the time I'm really anal about who I get my massage from and where I go. I almost never change because the times that I do I always regret it. I usually go to a girl named Tre at the Summer Holiday inn. She's amazing. Today was a little different. I felt like being adventurous and looking for a new spot to hang out at..

At first glance this spa reminded me of Bali. Its got dark flooring, stone textured walls, and beautiful furniture. The girl that gave me my massage was really good but after I got up I noticed that my eyes felt funny. I realize that my eyes are swollen almost shut. I looked like Wil Smith in the movie Hitch! lol

I must of been allergic to the oil that she was using. I tried to ask the girl what was in the ingredients of the oil but she couldn't understand English. She just stood there and looked at me as I tried to tell her that my eyes aren't normal. There was an awkward moment of silence. She didn't understand so I just paid my $25 fee for an hour massage and headed out to get some medicine.

Well, two Benadryl tablets later and my eyes are starting to go back to its normal size. Note to self: bring my own oil for the massage and no contact in the face area. Grrr.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Riki Turns 21 and Spring Break!

Great things come in small packages and Riki is one of them. We celebrated her 21st birthday over dinner at Spicy Thai.

We crammed together in the corner at one of the low tables. You're either sitting cross-legged on a pillow or on the bamboo mat . The thick lacy curtain blocks our view of the outside and there are colorful Christmas lights still hanging from the ceiling. I really like it here and they have the best Thai food

In the meantime various plates are being served to us. Lets see, there was Phad Thai, Fried vegetable rice, Tofu Yellow Curry, Spicy Papaya Salad, Mixed Vegetables, and Veggie Egg rolls. All my favorites! Great company and good eats. Life is good.

My how the school year has flown by. Spring break has started and some of the teachers will go to either Australia or the Philippines for a week. I'm going to Guam for the weekend to meet up with my girl friend, Nikki, from California.

In about two months the teachers will be leaving and I will have to say goodbye again=( Riki will be attending Loma Linda University in June for the Masters in Occupational Therapy degree in California. The other girls have all made plans already. Me? My contract ends in September. I feel like I'm floating inbetween dreams right now. Not quite sure where I belong yet but I kind of have an idea.

Well, where ever we end up . . . I'm so thankful that God brought us together here in Saipan. I know I'll always cherish the moments we spent together.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Where's Your Sense of Humor?

Sometimes I can take things or decisions in life too seriously. I'm still learning to lighten up. In the meantime I love surrounding myself around really funny, passionate, and positive people.

If you know me you'll know that I laugh REALLY loud! I know Angelo makes fun of me. I mean, I really belt my laughs. My mom says its not proper for a lady to have such a hearty laugh. My head tilts back and you could probably see my tonsils! But when I think something or someone is really funny I really let go! I love sharing a good laugh. I think it really bonds you to someone. Mostly because they get you and your silliness.

Anyways, I need a laugh today so tell me your funny and corny jokes. Ok, here's my joke: What did the Salmon say when he hit the wall? He said, "DAM!" he he he Get it? Dam? Damn?! Ok, you're turn ;)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

My 8 Favorite Eats in Saipan

Looking over my budget I notice that most of my money is spent on food! I love food. Food makes me really happy! Sometimes I enjoy food with company but most of the time you will find me eating out solo w/ a good read. Yes, I'm a loner. lol I guess you can say that I'm not shy about enjoying a nice dinner alone whether it is in a nice restaurant or low key eatery.

Anyaqq tagged me to list 8 facts about me. I am going to modify this meme since I've already done that here and list 8 of my favorite eats on Saipan. I've been wanting to do this for awhile now. So here goes in no particular order.

1. Spicy Thai- I am a big fan of Thai food especially if its EXTRA spicy! On the menu I recommend the Pad Thai with Tofu, Vegetable egg rolls, and Thai Iced tea w/ Milk. The service is usually fast and friendly.

2. Remington Cafe- I go here sometimes for lunch. I try and stick to my Vegetarian diet as much as possible but sometimes its hard. Before I came to Saipan I was a Vegetarian for nine years. Since I arrived in Saipan sixteen months ago I started eating fish and then chicken. Now I just believe that everything in moderation is okay. On the menu here I recommend the Chicken Katsu meal with Iced Coffee. The iced coffee has coffee ice cubes in it! I love the Japanese people that work there. Every time I go in there I add a new Japanese phrase or word in my vocabulary. The decor in this cafe has a modern feel to it.

3. The Bean Cafe- I'm a morning person so my favorite meal of the day is breakfast. One day I am going to throw a party and have everyone bring their favorite breakfast food. My favorite thing to eat on the menu here is the French Toast accompanied with an Iced Hazelnut coffee. Crystal and I used to have breakfast here after our long bike rides on Sundays. I love feel of this small jazzy coffee shop. I also love that no one smokes in there and that they have wireless connection.

4. Taste of India- I never really liked Indian food before until I tasted a dish called Alogobi. Its got eggplant and potatoes cooked in a curry. It's absolutely delicious. Try also the Vegetable Samosa, and Bhatura Bread. The drink that I am hooked on is the Masala tea.

5. Capricciosa-I know that this Italian restaurant is kind of expensive but there is one dish that keeps me coming back. It's the Cream of Tomato Mushroom Spaghetti dish with fresh Parmesan cheese on top.

6. Len- This little restaurant makes me feel like I'm back in Tokyo. I just love the way this restaurant was designed. You'll have to keep your eyes peeled out because if you are not familiar with the location you can easily pass it. On the menu I recommend the hot pot! It comes with chicken, tofu, and all kinds vegetables that you cook right in front of you. The garlic chicken is tasty!

7. Grotto 2298- If you are a diver you will love this little restaurant! The owner is a diver and has decorated his walls with beautiful underwater pictures. On the menu try the Sweet and Sour Eggplant, Tuna Sashimi and Avocado, Japanese Spaghetti, and Fried Garlic.

8. Oleai's Bar and Grill Restaurant-Two words: dollar tacos. This place has become a favorite to us for lunch after our morning dive on Sundays. I usually get a couple of veggie tacos and an ice tea. Oleai's is located right on the water's edge so you've got a great view of the lagoon during lunch. I love it here.

I just ordered a couple of books on amazon. One of them is My Last Supper: 50 Great Chefs and their Final Meals. I thought it would be a fun and interesting read. So I leave you with this question: If you were to die tomorrow, what single dish or what one mouthful of food, would you choose as your last?"

Humm, I'd have to go with Italian food. The Cream of Tomato Mushroom Spaghetti dish would be my last dish!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Green Flash: Myth or Fact?

Tonight Amy, Ken, Crystal and I did the tank swim after work. It was low tide and we were almost swimming on our bellies! After our swim we watched the beautiful sunset and kept our eyes peeled for the infamous "green flash"! I saw it tonight! Woo hoo! It does exist! Has anyone seen it?

The green flash is from the Sun. Just as the setting Sun disappears completely from view, a last glimmer appears startlingly green for just a few seconds. It's rare so you are lucky if you see it! Just one of Saipan's simple joys.

Next time your out on a sunset walk on Saipan's beaches check for the green flash=) Here's a sample picture of what it may look like.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

XTERRA Race Anxiety

The XTERRA Race is this Saturday! Guess what! I'm not doing it! What?! I'm having cold feet! I know, I'm all talk. Hey, I don't see your bum out there either except for amazing Lewie . I have been training for this race but I seriously don't feel ready. I'm too slow!

I think I should start with the enticer tri races or smaller races first instead of jumping into a big one. I need to build my confidence. Everyone says just to do it. Who cares if you are the last one but I am having anxiety. I wonder if this feeling is normal before a big race. I'm nervous! blah.

Some people crave competition and the adrenaline rush. They are my heros!

Monday, March 03, 2008

All Look The Same?

I hear about racism all the time. Its all over the news. Last week I read a report on how four white students in South Africa at a university made a video of black housekeepers being mocked and also served them stew laced with urine. I was just disgusted but mostly saddened by how cruel some people can be.

This situation made me think back and remember a time when I had to deal with racism. I was visiting Toronto, Canada with my friend, Maria, just weeks before I came out to Saipan. I was walking around town minding my own business and stopped to admire the view of the CN tower. Out from no where a Caucasian Male comes up to my face and says that "all Chinese people should die". That "we don't have any business being here". That we are "filthy". It happened so fast. He just laughed and walked off. I was left there stunned and tongue tied. I look back and sometimes think about what I should of said as a come back. One of them was "I'm not Chinese you idiot!" j/k I'm kind of glad I didn't say anything to him. Whatever. I'll have to forgive him and his ignorance.

Saipan is a melting pot of different cultures. The cultures range from Vietnamese, Chinese, Filipino, Thai, Indonesian, Chamorro, Korean, Japanese,and more. Since living on Saipan I have learned more about each culture and its values. We're all very different in amazing ways. I think I've even come to recognize which asian is which. Most people say that we "all look the same". Click here to take my test and see how well you do at identifying the different asian races. Tell me your score on a comment. I want to know how you did. I got 10 out of 18.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Happy Feet

I got to dance the night away on Saturday with Lori Serna and her friends. Lori is one of the dental hygienists at the SDA Clinic. She celebrated her 40th birthday at the Aqua Resort and we had a blast! She's a genius to have a salsa birthday party!

She hired four dance instructors and during the party I got to dance with some of them. Free salsa, Cha Cha, and Merengue dance lessons. I'm addicted and I think I'll take advantage of the $10 salsa lessons. You can't beat that price. Sometimes Angel and them may even come to your home and give you lessons. From left to ride: Me, Lori (bday girl), and Laurie.

I think Salsa is life changing. It's just so much fun and you just learn to lighten up even if you do stink at dancing! I think its a shame that some guys don't want to learn how to dance with their significant other. What better way to connect and add excitement to your relationship. I just love learning new things. Oh, and I love a guy who can dance and let loose on the dance floor. ke ke ke