Doing Dewey Returns From Abroad

November 7, 2014 Uncategorized 37

IMG_20141102_000150As you may or may not have noticed, things have been a bit slow around the blog lately. That’s because for the last two weeks, I’ve been in the Philippines and Thailand! The picture above is the view from the front of the International Rice Research Institute, which I visited for about one week to do research with some collaborators. It was very hot (100F and felt like 113F one day!) and very humid, but incredibly beautiful.

The food was all delicious, especially the sisig (top left) and the dragon fruit (bottom left).  I also had a great time at a conference in Thailand where I met researchers who’ve written some of the best papers in my field. I got to do some shopping in both Bangkok and Manila. Guess what I bought for souvenirs? Books of course! Apparently most modern Filipino authors write in English, so I had a wealth of choices in the Philippines and had a hard time narrowing it down. In Bangkok, I was surprised by how few books were available by Thai authors in any language but I was able to find two very different books I’m excited about there as well.

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37 Responses to “Doing Dewey Returns From Abroad”

    • DoingDewey

      It was quite an experience! I had a great time and it was definitely different from anything I’ve ever done. It was a bit scary at times to be travelling by myself, but everything went smoothly and the people hosting me in the Philippines were fantastic 🙂

    • DoingDewey

      Not freaky at all! Thanks for the e-mail 🙂 I loved sisig so much! I’ll have to see if I can find a recipe. Are there any you would recommend?

    • DoingDewey

      It really was! It rained a little bit, but mostly the weather was beautiful and it was all green and blue and gorgeous the whole time I was there.

  1. Jennine G.

    Wow! How exciting! I can’t even imagine how much there would be to take in. And of course, gotta get a book souvenior everywhere you go.

    • DoingDewey

      While I was there, I couldn’t wait to get home to my fiance, but I also desperately wished I had more time there. There really were a ton of new and different things to do! I ended up spending two days doing touristy things in the Philippines (Tagaytay volcano and the Mall of Asia) and one day shopping in Bangkok, but I also have a wishlist of things I’d love to do if I get a chance to go again.

      I’ve been thinking for a while about what kind of souvenirs I’d like to collect and I don’t know why it took me so long to think of books! I think it’ll be a great way to diversify my reading and I’ll enjoy learning more about the countries I’m visiting that way.

    • DoingDewey

      They were both beautiful countries and I learned a lot about rice while I was there! My work is very academic and theoretical compared to a lot of the more hands on, breeding and planting work of many of the people I met, so it was fun to get a different perspective. I haven’t read anything by Filipino authors before, so I’m excited to give them a try 🙂

  2. Laurie C

    Sounds like a fantastic trip, especially for a work-related trip! My family hosted an exchange student from the Philippines back when I was in high school, but I’ve never thought about visiting there. Great to see photos!

    • DoingDewey

      It’s true! I was really lucky to be able to go somewhere so beautiful and so far away on a work trip! Although I’d love to go back and do more there, I’m even happy with the amount of time I had to explore on the weekends I was there. It was definitely a fun trip 🙂

  3. Sophie

    Hope you had a great time and learned lots at the IRRI, Katie! That dragon fruit looks soooo good – I’ve always wanted to travel to the Philippines and Thailand… mostly because of the food. 😛 Feminista looks like an interesting book, and I hope that you’ll review it on the blog. Glad to have you back in a more similar time zone!

    • DoingDewey

      The food wasn’t all my thing, but there was a lot that I really loved. I’d think that and the natural beauty are both great reasons to visit. I’m excited to read Feminista and will definitely do a review. Thanks Sophie! I had a great time, but I’m also happy to be back 🙂

  4. Sharlene

    Oh how lovely your trip sounds! I’m from Southeast Asia myself (Singapore), and it’s been a while since I’ve been back and ‘enjoyed’ the heat and humidity! I’m trying to absorb some of that from your photos! 😛

    • DoingDewey

      It was really nice! I definitely didn’t mind trading the cold here for some heat and humidity for a while, although I was glad I didn’t have to spend too much time outside. I hope you get a chance to visit yourself soon 🙂

  5. Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy

    Wow it’s so cool that you got to go to the Philippines and Thailand for work! I’ve only been to the Philippines! The food looks delish in your pics – pork sisig is one of my favorite filipino dishes! Great book haul too!

    • DoingDewey

      I think getting to travel could be one of the best things about working in academia. I wouldn’t want to do it too often (too tiring!), but occasionally travelling for work would be wonderful!

  6. Geoff W

    Please please please tell me The Rice Research Institute really does research rice and it’s yummy deliciousness? You’ll have to let me know about the Philippines books and authors I started dating a Filipino recently and the only book I’ve read set in/written about it is Dog Eaters by Hagadorn which is an old book and he thought was a hilarious title.

    • DoingDewey

      They do research rice and its yummy deliciousness! Actually, one of my favorite things I learned while I was there is that there are actually people whose job it is to make sure that as they breed rice for traits like drought tolerance, it stays yummy and delicious. They analyze starch content and the aromatic compounds that make the rice smell good and all sorts of interesting things. It’s pretty cool stuff!

    • DoingDewey

      Thanks Melinda! Although I sometimes found myself craving familiar food, I also really loved experimenting and ended up finding some new foods I love.

  7. Amanda

    How exciting that you got to go to Thailand! I’ve always wanted to go there.

    It looks like Thailand is still under military rule (that’s what my google fu skills tell me). Did it feel safe and such while you were there?

    • DoingDewey

      Bangkok was one of the least clean cities I’ve ever been in, with much of the streets smelling like garbage in the area near my hotel. There were definitely nicer areas – downtown near the shopping centers was very upscale – but I think that was the exception, not the rule. There were also a lot of cats and dogs on the streets and crossing busy streets meant dashing across with no timer to tell you when the light would change. Because of these little things which suggested lack of order, I sometimes felt uncomfortable, but I never felt threatened and the people there seemed at worst indifferent. I didn’t notice any military presence at all. Generally as long as I was travelling with at least one other person from the conference, I felt safe.

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