I’m finally posting something😅 Now that it’s summer and we have more free time because school’s out. So, you know what that means… TRAVEL! ✈️
We’re going to Europe again. I know right? Three years in a row. 😱 This time around we will be going to Switzerland, France, Germany, Belgium, and the UK. 🇨🇭🇫🇷🇩🇪🇧🇪🇬🇧
A couple days ago, we flew to London from Seattle, had a 5-hour layover, then took a short flight to Geneva. After two days here, we’ll take a train to Morzine, which is in the French part of the Swiss Alps. We vacation there with our friends for a little over a week then take the train through Munich to Bad Blankenburg!!🚈 If you don’t know what that is, it’s the little town in Germany that the #SeattleBundas visited last year to do volunteer work. I’m excited to go back so I can see some of the friends that I met last time!
After BB (Bad Blankenburg), we are doing more volunteer work in Darby, England. It will be similar to BB but the people will speak english! Between Germany and England, we’ll be visiting our friends in Belgium.
We are already in Geneva, but for some reason I still don’t feel like we’re actually here. It feels like a weird dream or something…💭 Must be the jetlag!
Finally! I’m back with a new blog post and your daily dose of Smiley Maile with tons of emojis.😜
I know Mom and Trey have already talked about being IN India, but nobody’s talked about getting TO India!🇮🇳 This trip was a little different for us, because dad had arrived in India three weeks before us. So, no travel dad to guide us!😝 But, mom was great and did awesome putting up with Trey and me.😂
Well, enough with my blabbering. On with the travel already!✈️🇮🇳
For my cousin Gracie’s fourth birthday, she really really REALLY wanted to have a sleepover with cousins.💜 Since her birthday party was on the day of our flight, I slept over at her house the day before. (That was crazy!)
We had a fun night with just us girl cousins, (and of course Aunty Katie and Anders!) and the next morning, people started to arrive for the party.
The party was fun, and when it ended Mom, Trey, Grandma, Grandpa, Aunty Tiffy, Jaxon, Layla, and I all got into Grandma’s car and we drove to the airport. When we got there, we all said our goodbyes and then Mom, Trey and I headed inside the aiprort.
Security lines weren’t too bad, since it was a Saturday afternoon, so we got through that pretty quickly. After that we got to our gate in really good time. Mom and I both have gotten into adult coloring books and we like doing them when we travel, but mom forgot hers at home! So we went into a Hudson News shop and she got a cute little book with Bible verses and little doodles on the sides.🌺
Here’s a pic of us at the gate.😋
A bit later, we finally got in the plane! I got the window seat, (yay!) Mom was in the middle, and Trey had the aisle seat.💺 We hadn’t even taken off yet, but I wanted to see what movies they had on the little tv things they have on the back of seats.📺 I was scrolling through and found that they had “Finding Dory”! I was soooooo happy because when the movie came out, we weren’t able to see it because we were in Germany.🐟
Finally, at about six thirty, we took off. Lately, I’ve been really into taking time-lapse videos on my phone, so here is that.
The whole flight to Dubai was fourteen and a half hours!!😱 It was the longest plane ride I’ve ever taken by far. It was so weird, because of the route we’d taken, we saw the sun set two times and we even saw the moon rise!🌅
We landed in Dubai and the layover there was a couple hours, and we ate and just chilled for a while because we were sooo tired. Then, the flight to Delhi from Dubai was about four hours.✈️ On that flight I finished up the BFG movie, (I had started it on the Seattle-Dubai flight) and then slept the rest of the time.💤
Over all, we spent about exactly twenty four hours traveling and we were POOPED.💩😴 I’m pretty sure Mom covered the rest of the events that happened that night, and you can read that in her blog, “The first 24 hours in India, a deliriously tired brain dump.” I’m still not over jet lag on our fifth day, but I’m grateful to be here.😊
Guess what!?😆 We have been living here in the Youth With a Mission (YWAM) base in Bad Blankenburg, Germany for almost a week now.📍🌍 In this blog, I am going to tell you 6 things about living in close quarters (3 good and 3 not so good). While this is a big building, there are 70 of us living here right now, so it’s pretty busy!
👍 Let’s start with the good news: 👍
Always having friends. You don’t have to go far to find some good people. 👯
Getting to know people really well cause they’re here all the time. 🕰👭
There are people from 26 countries here. It’s a great way to learn about different customs and cultures. 🌍
👎 Now, here are some not so awesome things about living in close quarters: 👎
You can’t ever get a break from people.👨👩👧👦 Your room! Family is there.👫 The shower! It’s a shared bathroom.🚿🚽
The wifi is shared with 70 other people, so its REALLY slow. 📶🌀
If people are having a conversation, even if there are only 2 people, you can hear it. It’s never quiet!! 💬
Of course, this is my perspective of how it is after being here for only a week,📆 so I will probably make an updated version of this in a couple weeks, and then at the end of our stay here.📑
So, today I am going to blog about foods we have had through our Europe trip! First, I’m going tell you what I thought that country’s food was, then I’ll tell you what it actually was.😊😉🍴😋
I’m going to start off with Germany, the first country we went to.🇩🇪Before I came to Germany, I thought German food was all bratwurst and schnitzel. I didn’t even know what a frankfurter was until I heard we were going to be landing in Frankfurt.😂 And to be honest, I had no idea what a schnitzel was either, It just sounded German-ish. Until I actually went to Germany. 😏😂🇩🇪
When we got to Germany, the first meal we had was in a German pub.🍻 I ordered a schnitzel, Dad ordered shweinshaxe (pork knuckle)🐷, Mom ordered a schnitzel with mushroom sauce🍄, and Trey ordered a frankfurter with lentil soup. It turns out, a frankfurter is basically a german hot dog. And a schnitzel is sliced, breaded, and fried meat☺️. I had potato wedges with my shnitzel and they were good, but the shnitzel was amazing!
The next country we visited was France, which I knew a little bit more about than some of the other countries we visited.🇫🇷
Before we went to France, I thought French food was all croissants, baguettes, crepes, escargot, and macaroons. And mostly, that’s what it was! ☺️
We stopped to get some baguettes on the way down from the Eiffel tower and ate them on the grass. They were yummy, but nowhere near as good as the jambon (ham and cheese) baguettes we got on our first full day in paris!😜
We took an awesome walking tour of Paris but unfortunately, it was rainy and cold.💦We got some yummy crepes to warm us up!
On one of our last nights in Paris, We found a little resturaunt in the heart of the city and ordered some escargo!🐌 I wasn’t super excited to eat snail, but I was willing to try. I actually thought I might like it, because it smelled okay and you could eat it with bread and cooked veggies. When I tried it, it was worse than I thought it would be! It was sort of like a mushroom, (I don’t like mushrooms either!) only it was saltier (and yuckier!).
Then, we went to England. Before I came to England I thought all English people had Fish and Chips all day, every day. Plus some tea, and a bit of bubble and squeak (stir-fried veggies) for breakfast. Until I went to England. My theory about fish and chips was sort of correct, people did have a lot of it, but they didn’t have it all day, every day, just alot.🐟🍟 My tea theory was also only sort of true. Did you know that The U.K. Is as much a coffee country as it is a tea country?☕️
The last country’s food that I’m going to talk about is Italy. Before I came to Italy, I thought Italian food was pizza, pasta, wine,🍷 tiramisu, and gelato!!!🍦😄
One of the first Italian Queens, Queen Margherita, ate so much of this type of pizza they named it after her. It is also why the Italian Flag is red, white, and green. Red is tomato sauce, white is mozzarella cheese, and green is the basil topping. I can understand why the Queen ate so much of that pizza, it’s delicious!
And that is basically all I have had so far in Italy😂😂 But there are a couple other things that I had no idea about that are very Italian. For example, bruschetta! Bruschetta is lightly salted bread with olive oil and tomatoes on top! It’s soooo gooood…
So, I’m gonna do something different on this post, instead of going and writing a whole long post about the entire tour, I’m going to show you the highlights of the trip with pictures I took with my camera! 📷 😊
I just have to sit down and take a breath. I mean, I’ve now been to Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia! I’ve snuggled with tigers for Pete’s sake!🐯 (Not drugged or tranquilized!😁) I’ve looked across a stream to find China on the other side! I’ve climbed over the ancient ruins of Ta Prohm, Angkor Wat, AND Beng Mealea temple! I’ve swum in one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World! (Ha Long Bay was Awesome!) I’ve tasted a fruit that smells like rotten meat! (by the way, don’t try Durian!)😖
And now, I get to rest in this awesome country, Indonesia.☺️
So, our first couple of days here I noticed a lot of differences between the U.S. and Indonesia.
First off, most of the locals here wear long sleeves even in this H☀T and sticky weather! Many of the Muslim women here wear headdresses, too! I believe they are called hijab. And even worse, the hijab are normally dark-colored so they soak up the sun and heat even more. If that were me, I would either faint, or get heat stroke.😰 🌞
Another thing that’s different and sort of fun is that some of the companies here have names that have to do with their location. For example, when we were driving through Jakarta I saw a store called Transjakarta. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of that, but I did get some photos of some other companies!
The third thing is TRAFFIC. Oh. my. word! It’s crazy!!!😳🚙🚘🚗🚕🚖 People don’t really stay in the lanes and kind of swerve around other cars to get to the place they’re going a little bit faster. Let me rephrase that: People don’t stay in their lanes and when they do it’s not for long! And people will swerve around other cars to get where they’re going a little bit faster, especially motorcycles! Man, if you’ve gone to California and you didn’t like how the motorcycles drove on the lines, you won’t survive here!😝 The motorcycles ride on the lines, drive on the opposite side of the street than they’re supposed to be on, go on the sidewalks even when it’s crowded, and sometimes they have up to families of five squished on the same bike.
Oh yeah! I forgot to say that there are also some horses that ride along the side of the street. You can ride them around town! I haven’t tried it yet, but I hope to! They look really fun!🏇
The fourth difference between the U.S. and Indonesia are the bathrooms!😝🚽🚿🛁 So, there are these things I call bum guns. And whenever you go #2 you have to squeeze the lever on the handle and water will come out. Then, you clean your bum with it. It tickles!
Also, the water that comes out of the faucet isn’t clean for drinking, so whenever you brush your teeth you have to go to the water dispenser, get a glass of water, and brush your teeth with that. Another different thing about bathrooms are the showers!🚿 Since there is more water pressure in the morning, unless you take showers in the AM you will get C ❄ LD showers every day!
So, this will be my longest time ever away from home, I mean, more than two whole months! Man, that’s just crazy to think about. We’ll be staying with some friends that are living in Bandung, which is just west of Jakarta, Indonesia’s Capitol. We aren’t just going to stay in Indonesia, we’re going to go to some other countries in Southeast Asia too: Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos on a 25 day tour.
We’ve been planning, preparing, and prepping like crazy! Mainly, all the “P’s.” But, the worst part of the “P’s” is IMMUNIZATIONS. Blugh.💉 I was worrying and dreading and worrying and dreading and worrying and dreading and worrying and dreading! But, when we got to the doctors office, it turns out that for one of the shots, you could trade out for pills! And the other shots that aren’t pills, are only for grown ups! Two of the pills that we take now are typhoid and malaria. So much for that worrying and dreading.
The other thing is food. I’ve got to get used to Indonesian food! In order to get ready, we’ve been having more Asian, and more spicy foods. For example, the other day we had spicy Asian stir fry, which wasn’t a really big deal because I don’t mind heat, I kinda like things spicy! My mom even made our green beans spicy with Sriracha.
We leave soon (May 11th!), so I’ve got to get to packing, I mean, I just packed for two weeks in Japan, now I gotta pack for two months for Southeast Asia.
We (my family) met my grandparents at their hotel in Ginza where a bus picked us up along with a couple other groups. We all rode for about 15 minutes until we reached the station place (I think). There, we waited in line for a couple minutes and then the workers gave us these stickers (which u think were basically our tickets).
After we got our stickers/tickets we hopped on a different bus and rode for about an hour and a half until we got to a spot where we could take super pretty pictures of Mount Fuji.
Then, we continued on for about half an hour until we got to the 4th Station where you could take some pictures of the Japanese Southern Alps and Mount Fuji from below:
The road conditions were bad so we couldn’t go any higher, but we got ice cream as a consolation prize.
We continued on the bus for about half an hour, until reached a hotel where we ate lunch! It was a Japanese style lunch with a bento box, some miso soup, and a bowl of rice.🍚
The lunch was surprisingly good! No, it was great!😄After we ate our meal, we rode the bus for about thirty more minutes until we got to Lake Ashi. The lake was very pretty, but what I think the two coolest things were: the ferry that looked like a pirate boat
and the swan boats! They were super cool! They were paddle boats shaped like swans.
After we rode around the lake once, we hopped on a ski lift thingy. Actually, I have no idea what it was. It was the shape and size of a bus, had no seats, and no wheels. But, it was riding on wires like a ski lift.
Anyway, we rode it up these mountains things (I have no idea which mountains), and when we got to the top, oh it was prettiest thing ever! You could see the Japanese alps, you could see Tokyo, and you could see a golf course (not sure which one though!)
After we came back down the mountain in the ski lift thingy, we shopped around for some mochi and found some vanilla mochi with red bean filling.😛 When we were done eating our mochi, Ma’ama (my grandma), Mom, and Papa went down to the bakery (that was next to the mochi place) and while they were there Dad, Trey (my brother), and I went looking for something to do. We were walking around the shops when we saw a little girl sitting on a robotic panda thing and we realized she was driving it! So when she was done, Trey and I hopped on the panda, put some yen in, and started driving around! It was so, so fun!
After all if the family met back up, we climbed back on the bus and rode for about twenty more minutes until it dropped us off at the train station. Can you guess what type of train we rode to get back to Ginza? The bullet train!🚄 After we rode the bullet train back to Ginza, we walked a few blocks until we got back to our apartment, got ready for bed, and called it a night!😴💤
✌⭕⛎➕ (aka peace out)
P.S. I don’t know if I said this in any of my other posts, but most of the locals here wear masks😷. Not because they’re sick or anything, just because… because? I guess it’s just germs or something but I have no idea!😆