Monday, May 20, 2013

The past 6 months...

I can't believe I've been home for 6 months!  I've done so much and spent time with so many great people!

When I got home from China my parents' garage was full of all my belongings from my storage in Los Angeles.  So we had a garage sale!  It was such a freeing experience.  I recommend it!

Thanksgiving was soooo delicious.

My sister Julie got engaged while I was gone!  She married Josh in a cute little chapel on 12/12/12.  It was really fun to meet Josh's family and spend time with relatives.

One of my saddest days in China was Christmas the previous year so having Christmas at home with my family was truly a special day this year.

After 3.5 months I was still hanging out at home so I did something no Fischer has ever done before. I went on tour with my dad and his Wind Symphony.  We traveled on a bus to Indiana, Alabama, Ohio, and North Carolina for 10 days.  It was nice to spend time with my dad and so awesome to see him at work.

After 4 months of not doing much (I'm not complaining!) I started working again.  I spent a couple weeks in Los Angeles and then 6 weeks in Charlotte, NC.  I worked on a reality show for WEtv.   It was good to be back in production, see people I hadn't seen in years, and make some new friends.  A high point of the job was hiding from the cameras in a bathroom at a club.

On my way back to Chicago I stopped in Boston to visit my high school friend Sara.  Yoga, sushi, mani / pedi's, sleeping in, and catching up was all we did for 2 days and it was perfect.

Mother's Day!

I should write a whole blog post about my high school friend Eleanor.  Living only miles away from her was so comforting and special.  She also has the most beautiful inspiring family!

My friend of 25 years - Alison -and her husband Steve had their 3rd child- Maddock -while I was home.  I was honored to become his godmother!   Another beautiful family!

One of the best parts of the past 6 monts was living at home a majority of the time.  My parents spoiled me and never seemed to mind having me around (all the time) and driving their cars.  Thanks mom and dad!

On May 20th I leave for China with my parents.  My dad's Wind Symphony will be playing concerts and touring for 10 days.  My parents have been to China before and of course I have been there but we've never been there together.  After the first 10 days I'll make my way back to Xi'an and then to a town a few hours north. I'll be spending the summer there promoting a new school for Aston English Schools.  It's a small city and will be a completely different experience.  The good news is if it's difficult and lonely it's only for 3 months and not far from Xi'an.

These are just a few highlights from the past 6 months.   It's been so special connecting with friends and family again.  I have the best people in my life and I'm so thankful!

Lastly, I am retiring this blog but have a similar blog here.  I've been writing on it for a while and would love for you to bookmark it.  Though these blogs were written so everyone knew what I was doing abroad I really enjoy writing and I'm going to keep it up even when I'm not abroad.  Feel free to comment and say hi!


Sunday, January 6, 2013


I LOVE Bangkok.  Maybe one day I'll live there!  It is a bit like my favorite city - Hong Kong - but much cheaper.

We had breakfast on the beach for Linda's birthday and an amazing fish dinner that evening in Bangkok.  She picked out the fish she wanted and they cooked it for us.  Seriously, this was the best fish I've ever had. 

On our last day we spent a few hours shopping at the Paragon and MBK.  You must visit these places if you go to Bangkok.  The Paragon is basically a fancy mall with lots of international shops.  We went there to visit H&M and UNIQLO.  Then we walked to MBK.  This is where you want to go for gifts.  It's huge and has everything - DVDs, iPad/phone/pod covers, electronics, candles, clothes, bags, candy, home decor, journals, spices, etc.  We bought LOTS and then went back to the hostel to pack.

It was impossible not to compare Thailand and China.  Thailand is definitely more civilized than China.  It's cleaner, people speak English, and it just feels more like the western way we're used to (maybe I had been in China too long?).  There are so many places to see and cities / islands to travel to.

There are more western toilets than in China but we came across a very nice squat toilet at the bus station.  They even had sandals to change into. They're so clean in Thailand!

I left Bangkok at night and flew 5 hours to Tokyo. I had 4 hours to spend in the airport and I was off on an 11 hour flight to Chicago.  The journey home felt like it was over so quickly.  I didn't have to sit next to anyone on either flight.  Then after 21 months abroad I was HOME!

Food in Thailand

Everything I saw to consume in Thailand looked good - and fresh.  Even their fried bugs were some how appetizing (though I didn't try them). 

These are some of my favorites:

The juice!  They have fresh juice everywhere.  It's either in bottles like this:

Or you can tell them what you want and they'll make it fresh for you.

Curry vegetables, tofu, and rice.  One of my favorites!  Eaten on the side of the street in the rain.

Egg rolls.  These are similar to what we eat in the west as Chinese food.  They're cut up and a delicious snack!

Pancakes!  You might remember we also ate them on the beach on Koh Samet.  They taste equally as good in the city or on the beach.  This one was banana and condensed milk.

Coffee was everywhere and such a treat!  Coffee is hard to find in China. 

More curry with tofu and vegetables, vegetables with noodles, and vegetables with rice.  (Yes, we ate a lot of vegetables and not a lot of meat.)

Spicy papaya salad and of course curry tofu with vegetables.  We saw the neighbor across the street fetch a papaya for our salad. 

I have to mention Linda's birthday dinner again since it was my favorite meal in Thailand.  Fish, mozzarella salad, vegetables and tofu, and sparkling wine.    Amazing!

My last meal in Thailand was pad thai and an egg roll.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Koh Samet

Linda has been to Thailand many times but she had never been to the island of Koh Samet.  Koh Samet is only a bus and a ferry ride from Bangkok so we decided to check it out.

We ended up loving it there. We had no hostels booked so we took it night by night and stayed in 3 different places.

On the first night we accidentally saw the big fire show on the beach while eating sea food curry and drinking Thai beer (soooo much better than Chinese beer).
 How low can you go? (We didn't try)

There wasn't a lot to do on Koh Samet (if you don't count finding new places to sleep almost every day) so we spent a lot of time on the beach.

We ate a pancake nearly every night.  YUM!  These are in Bangkok too but it was more fun eating them on the beach.  You can get just about anything inside - peanut butter, chocolate, eggs, fruit, nuts, and condensed milk. 

We stayed in the nicest place on the last night -it included breakfast and was very close to the beach.

 It was a nice way to start Linda's birthday!
7 Eleven is EVERYWHERE in Thailand.  But in 2 spots on Koh Samet we saw 2 right across the street from each other.   We did have a favorite.  One was cleaner and had more to choose from.

Next: Bangkok!