Media Heavy Post Warning. I’m not going to optimize or downsize most of the images on this page so don’t view this unless you’re on desktop or on a smart phone with a high resolution screen. The videos also add to the experience so please try to watch them. I have decided to do the nice thing and link some of the inessential or weirder images instead of embedding them to lessen the impact on bandwidth, though .
Also it’s a pretty long post so good luck, friends xD
Suggested pre-reading: Depression’s A Bitch – http://justkhoi.com/me/depressions-a-bitch/ It’s pretty long and somber, but it would mean a lot to me if you guys read/listen to it first before reading/looking at the rest of these posts. I finished it before getting to the airport for my flight to Seattle. I was in a very dark place when I said it but I couldn’t clearly write what I felt without the constant pressure of editing for grammar and clarity or keeping everybody happy. It helped establish the mindset of why I was going on this random last minute trip.
Friday September 2nd, 2016
Nothing feels better than waking up because you hit your head on the wall. I blindly search for my phone for a few minutes trying not to open my eyes. 7:45am… Not too bad, I still had 6 hours before I have to get to the airport. “I should probably pack,” I told myself. I turned on my computer and brushed my teeth as it booted.
This was my first non-family, non-business trip I ever took. I don’t consider day trips or trips to Vegas a trip. Those happen way too often to count. I hoped to use this trip as a way to find myself. Too much of my recent times were reliant on others to define myself. If I didn’t know who the hell I was maybe I could find myself far from home.
A friend suggested I video log/ “vlog” this trip, but after recording a few video clips in the morning I realized: vlogging isn’t for me. I hate the way my voice sounds. I hate the way I look. I hate the way I talk. I don’t have the confidence to be talking into a phone or camera while walking around. I’m just not that coordinated. I’ll just use all my pictures as a visual log. 🙂
I took my Hobonichi planner off the ever growing stack of junk and wrote down everything I needed to do before the flight. I needed to pack. I needed to charge everything. I needed to shower and shave. I needed to buy some things from Target. I needed to transcribe an audio clip from last night.
As I’m about to close the notebook, today’s quote catches my eye:
I’m guilty of this, too . . .
but we all think we know ourselves better than others do.
And that’s a big fat lie.
Other people do know me better than I know myself. Out of pride, I often neglect the advice of my close friends. Combined with the fortune cookie I received a few weeks back, maybe it was finally time to start listening to some people. I mean, it was Chau and Gina that suggested I go to Seattle to take my mind off things and get away for a bit. Well, Gina suggested I go to eat and #GetFatWithGina.
I go and run my errands and come back to realize: I still didn’t pack. I never travel. I never go anywhere. I never leave my house. How many outfits do I need for 5 days and 4 nights? I just know I needed one “nice” outfit because Gina wanted to get kaiseki (懐石) on Sunday night. Whelp the suitcase was jam packed with clothes and 3 pairs of shoes. I get the feeling I overpacked but… better safe than sorry, right? It’s not like I was going to get any swag from PAX to take home. I just wanted to explore and find myself. Oh and eat.
I needed to go and take a shower and do skincare. I had not shaved since Chau’s birthday. Yeah it was a long time ago. Mr. Shower 3x a day and shave every day didn’t shave for a week. I looked disgusting, much like a homeless neckbeard. I don’t take many selfies but looking at these pictures reminded me how much I let myself go and how much of a lazy eye I had developed after my fall in October of last year. I might as well take extra care of my skin if I wasn’t going to be able to do all the steps every day I was gone. I put on a facemask. I had bought 30 facemasks for Chau’s birthday present but I decided she deserved something better so I kept these for myself. I had no idea how to use facemasks so I looked scary and stupid.
Overall it took me an hour and 6 minutes to do everything. Shower, shave, brush teeth. cleanse, tone, face mask, moisturize and other things… I now understand why girls take so long in the shower. It’s not the actual showering portion that takes forever but everything after.
I needed to finish transcribing what I said the night before. I had transcribed most of it but I wasn’t really done. I just really wanted to finish transcribing before I left. I felt it justified this trip for me. I needed an escape that only travel could provide but most people would judge and never know why.
My brother-in-law dropped by with my niece and nephew to pick me up and I wasn’t done.
My flight was supposed to leave at 3:45pm, and I needed to get to the airport by 1:45 to get through security. I eventually finished transcribing it on the way to the airport while sitting in my brother-in-law’s car, but it was really rushed and i didn’t edit the audio file. I would have to do that once I get back. Everything I needed to do before going to Seattle was done.
Airport security was quick. I was through it in less than 5 minutes. For a holiday weekend, I would have expected a lot more people. Guess not. Whelp, I’m here 2 hours early. What should I do? Food.
Grilled Chicken Burger
The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck
Last night I had Korean BBQ for Diana’s birthday at Kang Ho-Dong Baekjeong, but I was craving a chicken now. As I made my way through Terminal 6 I came upon The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck. Something about that chicken burger caught my eye. The last time I was flying out of LAX I also got a burger, but it was from Ruby’s Diner. I should have learned my lesson and not get a burger or any food from the airport. None of it is ever good or worth the price.
It wasn’t a bad burger by any means but it wasn’t a good burger… The bun was dry. The chicken patty was dry, but tasted okay. The avocado was decent, but the consistency was off. I hardly tasted the herb aioli. Overall meh, but not bad. I wouldn’t pay $14 for that again, though. If I wasn’t starving it probably would have been worse.
But the fries, the fries… anybody that knows me knows I’m in love with potatoes. If the potatoes are mediocre it makes the rest of the offerings mediocre. Well… these fries were mediocre. Unseasoned, unremarkable, and very forgettable. Oh whale. This just prepares me for better food once I get to Seattle right?
An hour and a few trips to buy bottles of water later, it was finally time to board. I don’t fly often. Like I said before, this was my first non-family, non-business trip I’ve ever taken. I was getting restless while seated. We had such a long delay with planes taking their sweet time on the runway. I counted at least 10 minutes after everybody boarded that we were able to leave the gate and another 20 minutes before taking off. Luckily I had a window seat.
I honestly get bored sitting around doing nothing. The plane didn’t have in-flight entertainment so I was left to my own devices. I took a few pictures out the window as we flew but… it’s just sky and land and that gets boring after a while. Some of the shots really were beautiful, though. Luckily, the flight attendants came by around the same time I got bored!
It wasn’t much of a drink. I wanted cognac or whisky. I normally prefer Hennessy, Remy or Martell but let’s not complain here. I’ll only complain that they didn’t believe I was over 21 even after giving them my ID. Asians think I’m old, other races think I’m younger. Sigh.
Anyway about 45 minutes before the flight was supposed to land I realized I had free in-flight WiFi thanks to T-mobile. Where was that always present Khoi curiosity a few minutes back? Or did the alcohol make me more curious. But god, it was slow. I couldn’t do anything with that WiFi besides send LINE messages to Chau and Kelly. The 45 minutes of slow WiFi wasn’t even enough to upload that takeoff video I had recorded earlier. It felt like I was back in 2004 with 384kbps internet again.
Finally landed. Time to get into contact with Kelly and get out of this airport. I was ready to stretch my legs. I had to take a tram to the ground transportation but man, that tram was so crowded. For how fast I went through airport security at LAX, I expected something faster and easier in SEA. Calls cut in and out as I moved from station to station trying to get out.
Kelly was waiting for me outside. Luckily, Seattle-Tacoma isn’t too crowded when it comes to cars waiting to pick people up. I haven’t seen Kelly in a year. She’s our little sister. The last time we had seen had her was last year for Chau’s birthday. But me being me, I’m still awkward and have trouble making conversation with 99.999999% of people.
We decided to go to one of her favorite places to take visiting friends: AFK Tavern.
It was a ways away from Downtown Seattle and pretty far from the airport but when we arrived we were quickly seated. I don’t go out drinking very much so I didn’t really know etiquette is for a tavern. We sat down and were greeted by a massive menu of gaming themed food and drinks.
I can’t remember half the things on the menu but Kelly quickly suggested a drink, a drop/bomb shot called the “Sonic Rainboom.” Khoi being the eternal idiot he is, assumed it was just a “rain” put in between Guile’s Sonic Boom. Nope. It was some rainbow drink themed after My Little Pony. Sorry I never watched it so please forgive my ignorance.
Yes, let’s start with alcohol before the food is even ordered. It was quite tasty. A little sweet for my tastes but the curdling of the milk in the Bailey’s gave it a unique texture. We downed it pretty quickly before looking back at the menu.
There were lots of burgers, sliders, pasta and cuts of steak to look through, but one menu item in particular caught my eye.
I mean… I’m fat. I’m out of town. Why not live it up and eat something ginormous?
“Go big or go home, Khoi”
Kelly was a food enabler.
The waitress stopped by to take our orders and I just had one question, “How big is the Warchief?”
“It’s about ye high.”
“Do you think I could finish it?”
“Well if you were hungry, it’s still a lot. Let’s put it that way.”
“I’m always down for a challenge and I’m from out of town so might as well try something right?”
“If anything you can take it to go.”
Ah, yes… Breakfast or late night snack in case I couldn’t sleep. I mean who could pass up the opportunity?
“What about you, miss?”
Kelly was smart, though.
“I think I’m just going to share with him.”
🙁 No conquering The Warchief alone. I was kinda sad, but I guess I could share with Kelly.
And then The Warchief arrived.
Well, the waitress wasn’t wrong. If I was hungry it was still a lot. I just wanted to get rid of that disappointing chicken burger’s taste from my mouth, and this burger was a welcome diversion.
Kelly and I decided to cut the burger down the middle. Even if we cut it down the middle it was still too big to eat. This burger had to be eaten with a fork and knife. I had admitted defeat.
Overall, it was pretty good. It was an exercise in gluttony, though. I’m pretty sure I ate more in half of that one burger than I did in the days leading up to my trip. Everything was pretty good save for the salami. It was kinda dry and I don’t think I’m a fan of salami to begin with. The fries were better than the fries I had for lunch so that’s definitely a plus.
Would I eat it again? Hell no. I’m getting fat. It’s a novelty purchase more than an actual item to frequently order.
After finishing that burger we decided we needed another drink.
Kelly chose “Ryuk The Shinigami.” It just reminded me I’m not a fan of Fireball. I like cinnamon in certain things but the concentration of cinnamon in Fireball, I wasn’t a fan of.
After we finished our drinks and paid the bill we had to go take care of the Devil Cat.
Devil Cat? Yes the Devil Cat named Dexter. He was a very unfriendly, diabetic and obese cat. Upon entering the house you see these creepy pair of eyes staring back at you from the top of the stairs.
Kelly had to give Dexter his shots and feed both cats in the morning and in the evening. The noises he made were bone-chilling. I now knew why Kelly deemed him “The Devil Cat.”
After that was done with we had to take a spoopy drive back to her place.
Luckily once we got back to her place, it wasn’t so spoopy after all. And there were 3 awesome cats waiting for us 😀 Unfortunately, I only really took pics and recorded the best cat: Cat Khoi aka Gunni.
And yup… I was allergic
Unfortunately I had to split this post into multiple posts. It got pretty long and too many images lagged the loading of the page even on a pretty strong PC. Also I felt I should at least post something before I felt I was “done” or else I wouldn’t post anything until like October.