Saturday, August 31, 2013

Being Farang


I am so thankful for lazy Sundays, the week is so long and tiring and its nice to relax on the weekend. As always there is so much to write and only so much space time. I've had my first week of Thai language classes and orientation and tomorrow we start Thai Foundations class. I even had homework this weekend reading about Thai culture and practicing writing my Thai alphabet. This week also included a scavenger hunt around the city and rock climbing/rappelling at Crazy Horse Buttress as part of the school day. I'll try to do a picture post soon. Yesterday, Dew and I went to a new museum in Chiang Mai called Art in Paradise: Illusion Art Museum. The museum opened about 2 months ago and is awesome. You can see pictures from the museum in the blog post below.

Being Farang

To write about this topic already seems pre-mature, as do most of my "judgments" thus far on life in Thailand. I've learned so much in a week about Thai culture and myself that I am certain this post will get an update before I leave Thailand. Also, the title is totally a joke on the BBC show Being Human.

Farang is the generic non-derogatory Thai word for a Westerner, or a white skinned foreigner. Being farang comes with a host of benefits and a few disadvantages. One of the perks is that the Thai people generally regard farang with [slightly detached] amusement. The Thai are patient and kind-hearted and often excuse Farang from behaviors that would otherwise be deemed culturally offensive. We get extra leeway in our every action because it is assumed we don't know better. We are especially treated well when people see us with our Thai families, speaking Thai, or wearing our uniforms because it shows that we are making local connections to the country and culture.

Just the other day, I came across a monk standing on the road waiting for a rot deng. Racing through my cultural knowledge bank, I knew it was not necessary to wai every monk everywhere, but I was walking right past him on the road so I was debating the appropriate action in my head. I'm walking closer, he's talking on the cell phone, I get closer, still debating, he chats on the phone and at the last second I decide to go for it and Wai, BUT I LEAVE MY HEAD UP MAKING EYE CONTACT AS I BOW, essentially ruining any intent of showing respect with the Wai. Embarrassed, I try to lower my head, panic and quickly walk away. The monk smiles, laughs at me and then gets on his Rot Deng. The car then drives very slowly past me and the monk and driver laugh at me again as they drive off. Their laughter is an expression of the Thai value/idiom mai pen rai, the "no worries" attitude that Thais take to many different situations. Meanwhile, I bang my head against my fist and laugh at myself muttering, "silly, stupid farang," and silently thanking whoever will listen that I *am* a farang  and given leeway.

Another short story is of a girl on my program who was invited to a Buddhist ceremony. She wore a nice black skirt with a yellow and gray striped shirt. When she arrived at the ceremony, she found everyone there was dressed in white! No one gave her any trouble, because they knew she didn't know, but it isn't easy to handle. Can you imagine? Even Ajan Mark has stories of his own like this, once wearing hiking gear to a fancy wedding party! Misunderstandings happen and thankfully the Thai are nice enough to laugh at and with us for the most part.

Unfortunately, being farang also can come with a host of stereotypes. Many travelers (to Thailand, or elsewhere) do not travel with a mind towards cultural sensitivity. The stereotype worldwide is of the loud ignorant American. Many farang speak no Thai, dress in culturally offensive ways, and aren't mindful of Thai traditions. There are stories of Americans being imprisoned and/or assaulted for pushing the limits too far and disrespecting the King, Buddha, or Thai society. This takes an extra lot of ignorance to Thai culture and values so I only bring it up to show that Thai patience with farang does have a limit. 

This whole thought process really began on Thursday when all of us students came together to present our pictures from the Scavenger Hunt. One of the list items was to find "things that are interesting," whatever they may be. One of the groups took a picture of obviously American tourists, dressed in short shorts, tank tops, standing with cameras. Immediately, I was faced with extreme cognitive dissonance. Already, I look at those farang and feel somehow different, almost superior from them these "other farang". I am bothered by their behavior and seek to distance myself from it. I had the feeling others were experiencing this dissonance as well, but cannot speak for them.

ISDSI as a program seeks to help integrate its students to Thai culture as much as possible. This is the reason they pus us with host families, teach us Thai, have us do pre-trip reading and have us wear our uniforms. Many of us actively try to avoid "farang-y" behaviors, trying to integrate as best we can to Thai ways of life, even as our light-skinned American selves.

The fact of the matter though is that we *are* farang. We will never be Thai no matter how long we live here, but we can strive to become "accepted outsiders". Studying abroad is a balancing act in culture and identity. We live between two minds, and two cultures. We distance ourselves from farang to avoid sterotypes, but are thankful for the label when entering new and delicate cultural situations. We laugh at ourselves for our farang-y mishaps and use our status as farang to calm our fears of cultural missteps. Cross-cultural learning is an amazing and confusing process of removing social barriers and accepting new cultural ideas without dismissing our home cultural values. We find so many similarities in our experiences and see our lives from different perspectives. As we travel, we hope to find reflections of ourselves in people from other areas of the world. I leave you with this picture:

Dew and me at the Art in Paradise museum in Chiang Mai

Just A Few Pictures

Here are just a few photos that I could easily get uploaded. I have pictures from the scavenger hunt and rock climbing as well that I will try to get up. The first picture is at Wat Prasin, a very beautiful temple in the Old City. The other pictures are from Art In Paradise, a new museum in Chiang Mai that features interactive illusion art. Dew and I took over 500 pictures yesterday, so below are just a few.
Kuhn Paw, Dew, and me at Wat Prasin

Swimming at the Art in Paradise Exhibit

I went surfing too! 

Mini vacation to Rome!
I LOVE this picture


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Adventures to School and Misc. Musings

Hello everyone! I really want to write a long and amusing blog post right now, but its 9:00p (21:00) and I'm already starting to fade. The latest I've stayed up since arriving here is 10:15p. Yesterday, I was asleep by 8:45p! Jet lag is still hitting hard, its hot, the days our long, and living in a new culture is very mentally taxing. I am having an AMAZING time here though and loving my new way of life so far. It is really hard to believe that I have only been here 5 days. I am only on my SECOND day of school and it is still orientation! I already have been introduced to so many new words, customs, foods, fruits, and routines. Seriously, Thai fruit is incredible and I had never heard of most of it before coming here. I had my first Mangosteen (Thai, mankoot) the other day, and I loved it so much that my host mother gave me that for my Thai name! So now I introduce myself:
di chan chu Mankoot! 

I can't help but worry that I'm on the up and up of culture shock and I wish crash sometime soon, but that's the way of it. You have your ups and downs. :)


I have so much I want to write that I don't even know where to begin.

The weekend was super fun and relaxing. Dew and my parents (Mae and Paw, lit. Mother, Father) took me around Chiang Mai. We went to open air markets, a lantern festival, Wats, rice fields and to see family. I've also been to two Thai Malls which is *really* weird because they are pretty much identical to American malls, except they have a few more Tech stores. Samsung seems pretty big here and Dew and I have almost the same smart phone.

Also, I knew before coming about Thai censorship laws, but I only found out today that Thailand has one of the most extensive internet surveillance programs in the world, so I'm certain my blog has already been flagged.

Monday, school began. I wake up at 6 am, promptly make my bed and take a shower. In Thailand, cleanliness is extremely important and its common to take 2-3 showers a day. I thought it would be a drag, but I LOVE it. It is so hot here and showers feel so good, plus, its a great time to relax and recoop. I am going to write a whole post on Thai bathrooms here since they are different from the US, but one thing at a time. After getting dressed I eat a quick breakfast, a fried egg that Paw makes for me and some toast then head to school. A-roi! (delicious)

 To get to school I take a form of public transportation called the Song Tao (lit: two benches).  It is a giant truck with two benches in the back of it that about 10 people can comfortably fit in facing each other. I say comfortably 10 because people pack in to them and sometimes there are probably up to 20 people on a Song Tao and off the back of it.  My stop is about a 2 minute walk from home. WAY more entertaining then a subway or bus and you get to chatting with the people around you (or at least I would, if I could speak more Thai, but soon enough). There are tons of song taos, one goes by almost every 5 minutes, so if one is full, nbd, get on the next.  Each district has its own song tao that is a different color and that follows a specified route.I take the yellow trucks for Maerim district. The Red trucks are similar to taxis and take you anywhere. I take the truck several stops and then get off and walk about 15 minutes to school. There are 2 other girls that live nearby me and we walk home together from school and if we are lucky get on the same one on the way there too, but its not a guarantee. Oh, also. Round trip to school and back, 30 baht ($1USD) #SAY WHAT?

Thai students all wear a school uniform of a white collared shirt and black or blue skirt. Wearing the uniform has definitely impacted how people treat us. When they see us in the uniform they know that even though we are foreigners, we are students. The people on the Song Tao treat us very well and are certainly amused by us. Yesterday, Hannah, Emily and I were all nervous about getting off on the right stop. Actually, I think Emily was nervous, Hannah seemed cool as a cucumber, I was flat out panicking. Mae nuan had given me a piece of paper with my stop written in Thai to give to a fellow passenger, but I wanted to try and find my place on my own. She also sent me to school with an umbrella.  Everyone in the taxi could tell we were nervous and there were also black clouds on the horizon. Emily gets off first and the whole taxi cheers. Next stop is me, and I am not doing so well. I think I see my stop, and then the taxi stops and I realize it isn't. It starts sprinkling. I wait a bit longer, but give in to my pride and give my neighbor the piece of paper, the whole taxi is interested to see where my stop is, then one woman says, HERE! It's HERE about a second after I give the paper up. I hit the buzzer and it starts POURING RAIN. The whole taxi yells at me to open my umbrella, but I'm just trying to get out and pay and I'm laughing. So I get out of the truck and pay the guy with a huge smile on my face as the rain comes down and I've never been so happy in my life for rain and to be alive and in the right spot at the right time. So I run over to what I think is cover and its not, and struggle to open my umbrella and I can't get it open and out of the corner of my eye I see another umbrella, I look up, IT'S PAW! I was soo happy to see him, but he doesn't speak much English so all I could say was, PAW! PAW! PAW! He gave me his umbrella and opened mine up and we began the walk through 3 inch puddles of water to his car, and then to home. It rains almost every afternoon in Thailand (in this season, the rainy one) but the rain is warm.

Today's trip went much better and I hit the buzzer at the right spot with no help. :D #soproud. (and yes I'm using hashtags, because that's the mood I'm in) The other girls and I have a lot of fun together on the walks from school and today we found a small milk tea shop that we are gonna stop at every day.

Back to school. From 8-12 at school we have Thai language class. Right now, they are mixing and matching students and teachers, but tomorrow they are going to assign us classes. 12-1 is lunch and then 1-4 will be Thai culture class, also known as Foundations, but right now we are doing orientation stuff. Going over rules, learning more about culture and such. I'm super impressed with the program and the level of support the students get here. Ajan Mark (Ajan=teacher, Mark is the director of the program) has dealt with a lot of mishaps and issues over the years and has lived in Thailand 20+ years and  has connections to all sorts of people in Thailand who can help in all sorts of different situations. On Tuesdays and Thursdays we do cross fit. More on that later. I don't get home each night until about 5:30 or 6:30 and then dinner, I wash the dishes, and relax till I fall asleep.

OMG! I just looked up from the computer and my host family is watching re-runs of AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR. GOTTA GO!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Introducing My Host Family

There is so much I could write, it is a bit overwhelming. I guess the logical step is to tell you about where I am staying and my host family and a little about this past weekend. We did a lot of relaxing, but we also went out a lot as well. Expect posts to be a bit more disjointed now, I'm doing so much and don't want to put it all in one post and there is already stuff from Friday I forgot to post, like winning the ISDSI rock paper scissors "tournament" and going to a temple Friday morning.

I live in the Mae Rim district in the central part of the Chiang Mai province. Mae Rim district neighbors the Mueang Chiang Mai district, the capital district, which contains the city of Chiang Mai and my school, ISDSI. To get to school most days I will take a taxi of sorts to school. The taxi is a big truck with bench seats in the back and an open back. They red ones take you wherever you want to go, but each district also has its own with set routes. The Mae Rim ones are yellow. Our house is very nice two story and is on a big plot of land. I have my own room upstairs with air conditioning. We also have two bathrooms that have western style toilets and showers.  Across the way is my host mom's sister's house, I haven't met her yet though.

Every Friday about 10 feet from the gate of our house is a huge open-air market/carnival where they sell EVERYTHING from electronics, to fruit and produce, meat, dessert, clothes, and shoes. It is really similar to the shuk (market) in Israel.

Kuhn Paw (lit. Father) is my host father. He used to teach chemistry and now he is retired. He is very nice, but does not speak much English. He has helped me learn the names of the fruit we are eating. Kuhn Paw grows ma-mooang (mangos) and gloo-ay (bananas) in the front yard. We eat a lot of fruit here, some that I have had before, but most of it is new to me! Also, just in case anyone was worried, THEY HAVE NUTELLA HERE! :) Paw also has a beautiful garden and pagoda area in the front lawn that he works on.

Kuhn Mae (lit Mother) is my host mom. She is an English teacher for 16-18 year olds in the upper secondary school. She was on a educational school trip with teachers and administrators in the central part of Thailand when I arrived, but she got home last night and I met her this morning. She is very nice. She lived in Melbourne Australia for a while when she learned how to teach English and how to train English teachers. She also received a Fullbright scholarship to study in the states. She spent time in DC, Kentucky, and Oregon staying with host families. She has also taken educational trips in Vietnam, Laos and New Zealand. She presented her reseach in Malaysia the past two years. She's telling me her ccredentials to type now. :)

My pii sau is my host sister. Her nickname is Dew. Most people in Thailand have a longer full name and a shorter nickname that they go by. Dew is 22 and studies Geology at Chiang Mai University. She studied abroad in New York for 3 months and speaks very good English. We are facebook friends now and she has already read a bit of my blog! Dew has been taking me around Chiang Mai this weekend and to the markets and malls. She is teaching me a lot about Thai language and culture. Tonight we are going to a walking street to see the Chiang Mai Lantern Festival. So excited!

My pii shai is my host brother. His nickname is Dawn. He finished university and is a marine engineer, but he is working in Japan right now, so I haven't met him.

Culture shock is not what I would have thought it at all. I expected it to be this overwhelming feeling of doom and helplessness. In reality, culture shock is the quiet nagging feeling of "what now, what do I do?" accompanied with wonder at how similar the world really is. Things here are not so strange or "foreign" as I thought they might be, but I'm sure this has to do with my host family and being in the city.

Tomorrow I start school at ISDSI. From 8-12 we will learn Thai language and from 1-4, we learn about Thai culture. So far, a lot of what I learned from my reading has been correct, but some of it has also been incorrect. Still, I am super thankful for the reading that we had to do, because it has helped me in several practical ways so far. Mostly, I just watch Dew and Paw, and now Mae and try to imitate what they are doing.k

Friday, August 23, 2013

First Post From Thailand!

Hey all! Typing this from ISDSI campus in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I'm here. I'm safe. I'm hot! Its humid and hot here, but actually not as bad as I thought it would be. The keyboard here sticks and I don't have much time (because I'm trying to limit my time on the computer) so pardon any typos.

Plane was long but uneventful. Korean airways is super nice and posh. I watched Wall-E and Chicago on the plane flight over. I was middle seat between two korean people. I expected the Incheon International airport in Seoul to be a foreign world, but it looked exactly like any international airport with American stores too. The only major difference was that announcements were made in Korean first. Most people flew over on the same flight and we started to find each other and aggragate in Seoul, though none of us had assigned seats together.

The flight from Seoul to Chiang Mai was fine, but exhausting. I was in a window seat next to a guy from Kansas City. He had a farmer-type accent and i was wondering what he was doing there. He broke every stereotype I had about small town Kansas boys. He was traveling to meet his future father in law for the first time. He was engaged to a Thai woman. He had traveled all over Europe and South America and had been to Thailand before. He was giving me cultural tips about Thailand! Nice guy. Towards the end of the flight when I was feeling really down and exhausted, I asked him how anyone would ever travel to Thailand again after such a terribly long flight. He joked that he thought it was like women with pregancy, that there must be something in the food that makes you forget about the pain. :)

We stayed in a super nice hostel last night that had this beautiful garden area. I'll try to get pictures up at some point, but I'm not sure how easy it is to do that.

I did walk around Chiang Mai a bit after breakfast this morning with a group. Chiang Mai has an old city that is surrounded by a wall (Just like Israel!) and then a moat around the wall. The city was strange in that it lacked strangeness. There were 7/11 convenience stores everywhere and even a KUMON reading/math center. It was only weird that the signs were in Thai. Also, crossing the street is terrifying. Last thing, we walked into a grocery stores and everything is SO cheap. You can buy 4 packs of drinks and food for less than $2USD. Oh, and they had OREOS! OREOS! :)

Today we are doing some orientation at ISDSI then going with our host families. We had to learn how to eat using our hands and with sticky rice. Then, Pi Pui (Pi means elder, Pui is her name) came around with a northern Thailand snack, fried bamboo worms. They looked like meal worms. I went for it. I ate one. It was salty. Mentally it was kinda gross, but it tasted fine. I just knew that it was my first "outside my comfort zone" thing and I had to do it. Everyone at my table did. When she came back around for seconds though, I politely declined. We also ate this super cool lychee like fruit, called rambatan or something. (The english name is rambatan). Sticky rice is also delicious!

We did some team building exercises and everyone here is super nice. Most of my interactions thus far have been with Americans, so we'll see how I feel on Monday.

Gotta go for now.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Last Post From the USA: Travel Itinerary

Hey everyone! Thanks for reading thus far. I've really loved writing this blog and getting to see the map that shows what countries my readers are from. I have views coming in from around the globe. Some of them from people I know, (Shout out to Sonora, studying Music and volunteering in South Africa, Flo in Israel, Sheldon vacationing in Ecuador, Janay studying International Development in Ecuador, Jodi teaching English in Japan) and some of them I have no idea about. I have an abundance of views from Russia and no clue why. Either way, all of you are awesome! 


4:00a (EST) Wake up and shortly thereafter leave for the airport
6:00a (EST) Depart Flint for Chicago O'Hare
6:05a (CST) Arrive in Chicago O'Hare
12:45a (CST) Depart Chicago for Seoul, Korea
4:25p (KST, aka GMT + 9:00 aka 13 hours ahead of EST), August 22nd, arrive in Seoul, Korea
7:20p Depart Seoul Korea
10:50p (ICT, aka GMT +7:00 aka 11 hours ahead of EST) Arrive in Chiang Mai, Thailand 


  1. I will probably not be sleeping the night of the 20th 
  2. I will be traveling ~27 hours or so, probably a bit more
  3. I will have LOTS of free time on Wednesday Aug. 21 between 6:00a (CST) and 12:00p (CST) so PLEASE call me. I won't have my computer with me, so I'll probably just be eating bagels and feeling super jittery. Also, this is your LAST CHANCE to hear my voice for 4 months so TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT! :) 
  4. Oh, one more thing. I just added this handy-dandy page (up top) to my blog about how to send me mail. Please send me mail. Please? 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Ridiculous Things I Do As The Trip Gets Closer

  1. stay up later and later, anxious about my program
  2. have ridiculous dreams/nightmares about my trip when I finally do sleep 
  3. be in denial about the fact that I'm leaving
  4. realize all the stuff I haven't done/need to do
  5. continue not to do it
  6. make lists. a lot of lists. 
  7. ponder what I'm forgetting to pack
  8. add unnecessary things to the pile of things to pack
  9. download all the music I've been streaming on Spotify for the past 6 months 
  10. practice saying, "Hello, my name is Wendy.." in Thai over and over again

Thursday, August 15, 2013


"Pre-field preparations move us beyond discussions of packing lists and assorted "dos" and "don'ts" to consider the ultimate purposes and practical learning strategies needed for us to enter deeply into our host culture" (Becoming World Wise, 10).

This is a very important post that I have known I needed to write, but have been putting off. I can't put it off much longer seeing as I'M LEAVING IN LESS THAN A WEEK!  My expectations are extremely important to have written down because this is the post that will help me reflect when I return  from the program and will help me be in the proper mindset for departure and throughout the program.

What I'm hoping to get from this trip:

The question overwhelms me. I chose ISDSI because I wanted a structured and engaging program that would push me outside of my comfort zone. Many people chose to galavant around Europe, visit pubs, and simply attend school in a foreign county. That is an excellent way to spend a term abroad for many students, but it was not what I was hoping for in a study abroad program. When I realized the extent of my study abroad options, I realized I had to figure out what it was I wanted out of a program to help me narrow down my options:

I knew I wanted a home-stay, because I hoped I could create connections to a family, have a home base where someone expected me for dinner, and learn about culture from an inside perspective. I knew that in having a home-stay I might sacrifice some freedoms, but what I gain will be more valuable.

I knew I wanted to learn the local language. In third grade, after singing a German song in Choir class, I decided I wanted to be a linguist and learn a ton of languages. I've always loved learning language and had a knack for it if I do say so myself. Wherever I ended up, I wanted to speak the local language.

I knew I didn't care if the program fit my major, because the time in another country and studying something I loved was the important part for me. I wanted to make sure I had time to experience the country and wouldn't be overwhelmed with course work or stressed. And I knew that I wanted to find a program that dealt with social justice.

Through all my interactions with ISDSI so far, they seem so vested in all of us as students and individuals. They have goals and expectations for us on this program and thus, I have goals and expectations for myself.

I am so thankful that the instructors for ISDSI gave us Slimbach's Becoming World Wise for pre-trip reading. It has been immensely helpful in framing my study abroad experience and for the most part, I've loved reading it. The book is modern and mixes textbook facts, with social justice considerations, and a lot of hippy-dippy spiritual world loving stuff. It does, at some points, manage to get a bit *too* hippy dippy for me, and that is an accomplishment because I'm pretty damn hippy dippy.

One of my favorite more laughable "out there" parts is this:
"Grounding our global learning in a liberated imagination enables us to break through cultural illusions and ethical paralysis into a more radical ( from the Latin radix, meaning "root") understanding of what is going on. In "Redemption Song," Bob Marley sings of freedom in terms of emancipating ourselves from mental slavery. Only as our minds are set free can we see and experience the world as it truly is. At the point of our overarching purpose and underlying passion, our imagination is released from captivity to a culture of programmed self-gratification into a life committed to the common good" (Becoming World Wise, 53). 
Seriously, Slimbach? Let's get the drum circle going and somebody light up the peace pipe. amirite? All this text needed was a few choicely placed "dudes" and "mans" and it would fit perfect at any drug infested music festival.

But for its flaws, the book does manage to communicate exactly what it is I want from my experience: to travel for the good of the world and to balance my desire for self-improvement with my desire to better the world. The book challenges the traveler to be more selfless in their sojourns and seriously makes you believe that through the collective power of thousands of students studying abroad, we can start a revolution in global consciousness. How cool is that?

Being put into a new place I will experience strangeness and vulnerability, but in these periods of instability we are best able to examine ourselves, our values, and our choices, to make changes to our life's path. As a twenty year old unsure of the rest of my life, I want and need all of this for myself, selfishly. But, hopefully these changes lead me to being more vested with the fate of the world. I am very involved in the domestic social justice world, but I want to be involved in global social justice as well, in a nitty-gritty way. I will finally stop talking about the "increasingly smaller/globalized/ modern world" and be a part of it when I make connections to those in Thailand. I will be challenged to look past differences in people to find commonalities and be more connected to humanity, not just by my experiences with Thai people, but by the lifestyle choices I make during and after the program, and the issues I will be better able to shed light on. 

As I read further into the book, new issues and ideas about travel abroad are swimming through my head, but I need to get this posted for now. With much further reflecting to be done, here is a list of some of my expectations: 

I expect: 

  1. to be semi-fluent in Thai
  2. to shop in Thailand
  3. to try new foods
  4. to feel sick from trying new foods
  5. to dislike some of the field work
  6. to yearn for my computer and Netflix account
  7. to offend some Thais with my garish American ways
  8. to be offended by some Thai cultural ways 
  9. to embarrass myself often
  10. to gain better cross-cultural understanding
  11. to learn about sustainable development in a practical way
  12. to explore alternative concepts of justice
  13. to learn about global challenges from a new perspective
  14. to become more effective in global social justice pursuits 
  15. to bridge my culture with another's culture
  16. to find differences and celebrate commonalities
  17. to have better understanding of what it means to be a global citizen
  18. to leave my host community better than when I found it
  19. to question a lot, and listen even more
  20. to communicate in different ways
  21. to be stared at as a dark-haired fair skinned Westerner
  22. to make a traditional Buddhist offering in the Tai Wats (temples)
  23. to push my limits 
  24. to feel vulnerable, unstable, homesick, elated, disgusted, anxious, awkward, empowered, accomplished, tired, dirty, 
  25. to have know idea what I'm doing
  26. to figure it all out