Southeast, a Love Story…

Sup y’all! Vegan Trap Queen Eb here, aka Mr. Steal Yo Girl, bka Ebby Eb! Spirit told me to blog…. So a bish is blogging. I’ll probably jump from topic to topic but fxk it. Keep up w/ the kid!  I have A LOT on my mind, like most people I assume. I be tryna vent on Facebook but them heaux so sensitive (in my Kanye voice). So I figure I can fully express myself on this blog without the backlash of peoples’ projections.  From living with Lupus, to #VeganDickOnly, to my personal childhood trauma and random stories like “that one time in band camp”, get the tea on your Favorite Vegan couple from yours truly.

(I never actually went to band camp btw, didn’t play any instruments either. Y’all know how that ish go when you raised in a single parent home with 2 other siblings but no worries, we always had everything we needed)

Anyway though, this first post is dedicated to my Queen, Chele. Y’all, I love her SOUL.  Literally. Anybody know exactly what I mean by that? To really be in love with a person’s soul?  Its like waking up every morning knowing you can have your favorite ice cream for breakfast if you wanted to.  It’s like having your favorite love song on repeat in your head 24/7. I burst out in love songs constantly (she hates my singing, but fxk it!).  She has helped me grow in more ways than one. From educating me on how eating meat was the leading cause in my lupus flare ups to helping me find my birth family, I thank the universe daily for sending me her.  

So here’s how we met…

picture it; January 2014, Southeast DC…

I had just moved back to DC from Richmond, working as a teacher’s aide for a self-contained classroom. (s/o to Ms. O!) So I’m sitting at the round table with one of my students and in walks the High Priestess herself, looking astounding!  No really, the Bish was glowing y’all! Melanin on all types of fleek! (do the kids still say that these days?) At the time I was single, but I did have a lil bait on my line, nothing too serious. No joint compared to what was standing in front of me right then and there.

Y’all…. IT WAS LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT.

Deadass. I was like “I need it in my life… come put it in my life”. (s/o to Juvi!) So boom, she comes in the classroom and starts to take off her NorthFace and as she turns around to put her coat on the back of her chair, I noticed her big ass tattoo on her lower back, then all her hand tattoos.  I thought to myself, “a woman with tattoos on her hands like she does has a story to tell and I want to hear ALL of it”.

In a matter of 37 seconds my soul knew that SHE was in fact the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.  Then it hit me, this Bish is nobody’s lesbian. It’s cool though, neither were any of my other joints forreal! So my conceited self like, fxk it, she’s so amazing I’ll settle with being her friend if she ain’t with the sh*ts.  So I do what I do best when I like a female, make em laugh! Easy enough right? Yep! So boom, we working w/ the lil bebes teaching them how to read n sh*t and getting to know each other (as coworkers of course). I find out she from DC. I’m like bet, a city girl!  No shade to the southern beauties but y’all just a lil too slow for the Kid. One day we were on the train after work heading home (we later on found out we lived dumb close to each other), I was like “gimme ya phone”. I sent myself a text message without her knowing and handed her back her phone.  I sent her a text that night, forgot exactly what I said but it was something along the lines of “aye girl”. Real smooth right?…

Fast forward to the month of April, not realizing we both had just finished celebrating our birthdays #MermaidGang. Y’all I flirted with her SO HARD at work, like on some OD inappropriate ish…. Remember, we in a classroom full of non-reading 5 year olds. One time while we were working with a student I wrote on a small white board “will you sit on my face?” Obviously it worked 😉 LOL

Weeks later I finally get the courage to invite her over to the crib (well at the time, I was sleeping on an air mattress in my best friend’s apartment).  In my head I’m like “Man I hope she’s not turned off by my living arrangements. I’m just out here tryna be on the come up, I hope she understand”. And thankfully, she ain’t trip cuz she a real one.  Aint nothing worse than a fake bougie bish that don’t understand the hustle.

So boom, she come over looking and smelling real heaven sent.  I cooked my specialty, rasta pasta. Shorty was still vegetarian at the time and that was the only meal I knew that was kosher enough for my soon to be wife to consume.  And guess what? SHE BODIED MY SH*T!!!! (thoroughly enjoyed the food for the people in the back) That meal was the start of something magical. Our shared love for food has helped us bond tremendously. 5 years later and we still NEVER not eat together.  So… first date was a success and we went back to work the next Monday like nothing happened. And yes, that same night we had our first kiss. I felt like a teenage girl with her first crush all over again. Her lips and skin was so soft, in my head I’m like “damn I need to ask this bish what’s her skin regimen”.  

So Spring is upon us and we are officially dating.  I got my lil Summer love affair going on, new job on the horizon, locs swangin, and skin glowin! Life’s great! I move in my new house with my bestie and another roomie the beginning of July and asked Bae to be my girlfriend on July 26th, 2014.

Here’s how the convo went:

We laid up in my new sh*t, real lesbian like. And I’m like “Aye boo will you be my girlfriend?”

Her: “Yea but can we get a boyfriend?”

Me: “Yea, I want kids the natural way anyway”.

Her: “Aite, bet.”

Y’all prolly like “So where’s the boyfriend?”….. STAY TUNED!

Trap Queens Travel Stories

Leaving America was scary and liberating.  We planned for about a year to leave the country.  We used one travel, a popular site at the time to book one way tickets to Bangkok, Thailand.  We’d both spent almost our whole lives watching the travel channel and dreaming of going far far away.  After Sandra Bland’s tragic murder, we got on travel sites immediately. We wanted to leave. We did our research on teach abroad programs, chose the cheapest option and booked a flight.  In retrospect, this was a great decision and saved us the additional legwork of having to find a job on our own in a foreign country. All that was required was a bachelor’s degree and to be a native English speaker.   We were too hype! Thailand! Here we come!

It was both Me and Eb’s first time out of the country and our first time on a ten hour plus flight.  Things we learned from that first long flight: 1. Always take Sudafed first. It keeps your ears from popping at high altitudes.  2. If you’re vegan, bring snacks. Most airports will NOT have anything that you even remotely want to eat. 3. Drink all the free wine.  Once we landed in Thailand, we walked out of Suvarbhumni International Airport and out into the city of Bangkok with clear goals and expectations.  We were not your typical go with the flow, down for whatever tourists. We had a plan; this was more than a visit for us, this was the start of a new life.  Our plan was simple and direct: Live abroad and be our own bosses. Our expectations were that Thailand would be a place where we would be able to connect with spirit and nature and the universe that surrounds us.  It was that and more.

We were in Thailand for months before we visited Chiang Mai, Thailand, a UNESCO site.   We’d heard lots of stories from our traveling and teaching friends but nothing really prepares you for the people you’ll meet and the experiences you’ll have once you get there.  We moved to Thailand to teach ESL and lived in a small town in Northern Thailand called Phrae (sounds like Pear) that is much harder to pronounce than it looks. After about two months, four bouts of food poisoning, and one very good hostel recommendation, we finally made it to Chiang Mai.  Our first night ended on a rooftop rapping about everything from quantum physics to international hip hop artists with new people from about five different countries. Chiang Mai is filled with global citizens; international travelers who are aware of their ability to impact the world in positive ways and apply themselves to doing that wherever they go.  There are artists, poets, musicians, yogis, chefs, activists, shamans, mediums, life coaches and locals who are understanding and supportive and welcome us into their communities.

Thai people are a rare jewel in the world and that kind of cultural niceness is something to see! It’s not something you hear a lot about but Thai people are lowkey amazing.   Granted, nobody’s perfect and every experience with a Thai citizen isn’t roses but as black Americans, we’d never experienced the type of hospitality that we’ve received in Thailand.  It’s difficult to put into words but this sums it up. In Thailand, a common greeting is, “Gin Khao?”, which means essentially, “Have you eaten?”. It’s a short phrase but it shows concern and a willingness to share that is typical of Thai people.

Food is a huge part of Thai culture and it’s no different in Chiang Mai.  We love food, more than average. It’s how we became chefs, traveling for food and following our tastebuds.  We’ve based entire vacations around food. We’ve gone to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia just for dosas. Kampot, Cambodia for world certified pepper and even Norway for vegan pizza.  We invest in spices and quality ingredients. Food’s our thing. We even cooked for our first date. Nothing prepared us for the food in Chiang Mai and Southeast Asian cuisine in general.  Chiang Mai is a foodie haven; amazing food, creative presentation, adequate service and extremely low prices. Want Chinese? Want American? Want street Thai? Want fancy Thai? How about Mexican food made by a Burmese chef? ( You definitely want that last one, trust me.)  Vegan? No problem? Raw vegan? No problem! Do you love good naan? Pick a Royal India, they’re about 5 of them and they’re all delicious. The number of cultures taking up residence in Chiang Mai is amazingly beautiful. Chiang Mai organically merges Thai culture with other global cultures.

Being in Chiang Mai, affectionately known as CM, has also helped to increase my awareness of global issues.  Living in Southeast Asia taught us about the multitude of violent conflicts happening in Burma, political corruption in Cambodia as well as Thailand’s own problem with plastic waste and its notorious penchant for human trafficking.  Lightworkers never want for a cause here. There are various NGOs operating and changing lives. Organizations like Urban Light, which is one of the only organizations that focuses on specifically empowering boys who have been involved in illicit sex work; or Wildflower Home, that houses children and mothers who have escaped domestic violence, forced marriages, prostitution and various other abuses.  The unspoken imperative in Chiang Mai is to serve.  

Following your path and shining your light takes on a deeper more concrete meaning in CM.    The lofty ideals of the perpetual altruist manifest here. From Suan Sati, a meditation retreat that practices a zero waste policy, citywide trash clean-up events, and tantric sex workshops to lunar steam nights at Mala Dhara, an eco-resort about twenty minutes outside of the city, singing bowl meditations, and laughter yoga, CM makes pilgrims out of all of us.  The energy here is infectious and empowering and while the official religion of the country is Buddhism, you can strengthen any spiritual practice from Christianity to Shamanism in Chiang Mai.

Chiang Mai speaks to our inner children; to desires never fulfilled and passions never invested in.  It’s probably one of the few places in the world where you can watch the sunrise atop a golden temple, go ziplining afterwards, get your aura read then have a good meal, read a book at a cat café and get a massage all in one day without breaking the bank.  It’s an amazing spot for both the well seasoned and first time world traveler.