Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Itty bitty Update

     So sorry for the lag in posting. Two days ago I walked with another nanny up to the fresh market and then to a vendor/restaurant to eat lunch. It tasted great! The fresh market had so much: fruit, vegetables, fish (raw), butchered meat, sweets, breads etc. After the meal, however, things went from 'yay, new places' to 'oh god, stomach cramps'. So...yeah, my stomach is still adjusting. The stomach cramps were about a 7.5 on a 10 scale, but that is not what caused major suckage. The bad part was walking back home through the raw fish...
     So, I'm working a half day today and I'm off tomorrow. My first days off since starting here, so expect many updates in that time. After laundry and another try at the fresh market, I'll come back with some pictures for you. And then on Thursday I'm playing tourist and going to see the Grand Palace and the famous Reclining Buddha.
    Until then...

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Work, work, work

     So the leading category in my poll right now is work. Henceforth, (I just like being able to say henceforth, we don't get to use it nearly as much as we should be able to in normal conversation) I shall dish about work.
     Well, the family is very kind and welcoming. They are conscientious about my needs and even keep asking about how my mother is doing. My charge, Nadia, is so adorable. I know I've said that before but it bears repeating. It's been less than a week with her and I think we've already bonded. She has taken to me quickly; she gives me hugs and loves on me so I think that's a yes from her. I'm very excited to watch her learn and grow over the next year. We spend time everyday reading and going over various preschool activities. She is a very smart little girl and I think she will do very well.
     Usually, by the end of the day I've been pretty tired, but I think I'm getting over my jet lag...finally!
I haven't had a chance to explore the neighborhood yet. I think on my day off I'll do that and then report back. Fun Thai fact for the day: the mattresses are much harder over here. I like a good firm mattress myself but just for those discerning travelers who want to know...
     Any specific questions? Feel free to leave not only comments but questions about what it's like over here.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Malls, Gas and More Food

     So I’m fairly tired. But someone complimented me by saying I was a fairly prolific blogger and I have to live up to it now.
     I have been watching Nadia for three days now, and I’m fairly certain that I’m smitten. She is too cute! Things have been a little bit hectic because one of the other nannies had a ceremony to go to, so we’ve been playing hot potato with which ever kid is crying at the moment. The twins are very sweet as well. The boy is incredibly active, while the girl, his twin, is very docile and calm.
     Today, we went to Seacon Square; it was a jaw-droppingly huge mall. I think I may have seen one of everything, and two McDonald’s. I’m not kidding. There was a Dunkin’ Doughnuts, Starbucks, Swenson’s, Sizzler, plus a roller rink, a large play land for the kids, a Cineplex, the Food court and tons of little stores in between.
     OH, and before I forget. Get this…gas was 29.34 baht. If 30 baht equals one dollar—yeah, exactly—the gas was less than a dollar.
     And now we move on to the food portion of my blog. It’s going to get tedious if I post every meal I have on here, so I’m just putting up some that stand out. *Side note-my new employers bought a turkey for us on Thursday so that I could have Thanksgiving. Isn’t that so nice! I’m lucky to be with such a thoughtful family.* Yesterday for lunch I had the Thai version of chicken and rice soup.

Again, it all came in bags and wrapped in parchment. I like the way they have it set up. For those who want it really plain, you could just eat the chicken, rice and cucumber in the parchment. For a little bit more, you add the bag of broth and herbs to it, and then still (my favorite part) to make it spicier and more flavorful there was the smaller bag with the dark liquid—ground chilies in a liquid form. And finally, I met my match when it came to spiciness. The smallest bag had some, what smelled like, ginger and chilies with seeds and all. It smelled divine but I have been very smart so far and been using baby steps, so the fact that it was too spicy didn’t ruin the whole dish for me. Overall, I’d give this one a solid 3.5 out of 5 stars.
  This evening I had the one, the only, the original Pad Thai. So it turns out that in the States, when they make Pad Thai, they make it way too sweet. I just ate this…

…and it was delicious spicy.

So—any questions? Concerns? Comments? 
For now I'm off to bed. To bed, to bed I said. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Money, Food & Roosters

     I know it’s bad when my sister points out that I haven’t updated my blog! So, here I am, updating.
     I spent most of my second day sleeping. Jet lag is real people. I did explore some the morning/afternoon on Monday. I walked around and just absorbed, I walked into shops with AC in order to get out of the heat (yes, it’s winter and 90 degrees here), and I went back to my temporary room to nap. Well, the nap turned into about a six hour sleep. I woke around 9:30pm and in an effort to get on schedule, I forced myself to sleep four more hours later that night.
     Tuesday was a little more interesting. My employer took me to set up a bank account, take a picture for my visa application, and get lunch.
     My banks theme/main color is emerald green, which I find fitting. However, the whole time I was there, I couldn’t help but be reminded of Oz and the Emerald City. At least Dorothy understood what they were saying. It only helps spur me on to learn the language. Today is Wednesday, in Thai it’s pronounced Wan put - the wan sounds like the name Juan and the put sounds like a droplet of water dripping from a kitchen faucet.
Picture taking was not extraordinary, pretty much just your standard sit, smile, shoot scenario.
     Okay, lunch. I know that’s what you’re all really interested in, huh? Which, by the way, allow me to direct your attention to the right of the screen, where you will see a new poll I added to this here site. I’d like to make it a bit more interactive, so if you’re reading this, please feel free to contribute. So, we now return to our regularly scheduled programming—lunch. I had traditional Thai noodles with pork liver, loose pork, chicken, fish, bean sprouts, cilantro, and this seed that looked a bit like a cashew and a bit like a sunflower seed. There was more, but that’s what I could decipher. It came in a bag, much like a fish you buy at the pet store would. They close the bag with a rubber band, and let me tell you, they have it down to an art form. There was also a smaller bag that contained Thai jalapeños in vinegar—oh! So good! And finally, you could add sugar and ground chilli to it as well. I tried it all. I loved the jalapeños in vinegar, so I added all of that. I then, in baby steps, added the ground chilli, oh gawd was it good; it was so good I added more. The sugar tasted okay on it but it definitely was best spicy.  
     After lunch, and some surfing on the web, I took another nap for about an hour and a half. Then, around six-thirty, my employer picked me up from that house to bring me to the other house. 


This guy was hanging around outside while I was waiting for her.

  Traffic was sooooo bad. I can see where Bangkok gets its reputation as far as the roads are concerned. We had to detour a little bit because there is still a little bit of standing water on the normal route. Everything I saw was dry as a bone, though. Bangkok is big! I’ve only seen a little bit of it so far, but on the drive from one house to the other we took the highway and I must’ve seen 15 or more skyscrapers, at least 30 billboards, and more street vendors along the way than I can count. We arrived at the house just after eight and I got to meet the kids. Nadia is adorable. She was a bit shy at first but she is very curious and I think we’ll be fast friends. The twins, Nadine and Nathan, are too cute! They were born in July and at four months old they are holding their heads up nicely. I got ready for bed and by 9:30 I was out. Of course this means I woke up at 3:30 a.m. I tried to go back to sleep, I did! To no avail. So, I decided to post and then start my day.

     One thing—does everyone’s neighbor in Bangkok own a rooster? There was one at the other house, and now here too. I suppose that will help with the waking up, but I suspect that it may turn annoying quickly, lol. I do, on the other hand, love all the birds. It sounds like the bird house at the zoo in St. Louis, and I’ve always loved the morning birds chirping and singing. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sawadee ka (Hello)

     I was debating about what I should put in my first blog post from Bangkok but I think I should stick to a chronological order. Therefore, I’m going to talk about my trip here as well as my first day.

     I boarded my first plane around 7 a.m. Thursday morning Eastern Standard Time and landed in Bangkok at 1:10 a.m. Bangkok time. Whoa boy. I’m still a bit tired and cramped and I had an entire day to recover so far. I think by tomorrow I should feel better. Let’s see, what stands out? Well, my first two flights were short. Flight number one to Charlotte was only 30 minutes and flight two to Dulles (Washington D.C.) was just at an hour. I had a nice conversation with the flight attendant on flight two since they stuck me in the back of the plane right beside where she sat. That airplane was a small one; there were two seats and only one aisle.  Not so bad. I had to book it to my connecting gate in Washington and was not able to sit or walk around at all. They were holding the plane for me, in fact. That plane (flight 3 from D.C. to Tokyo) was HUGE. There were nine seats in each row and two aisles. I was sitting in the middle in the middle. The last two flights were booked full too so there was no elbow room. I think I understand what cattle feel like now. They herded us into the planes in lines-to stand and wait-and then crammed way too many of us into a space that should only hold half the amount it did. Poor cattle. The last two planes were the same, a Boeing 777. Here’s a picture.

I was sitting about two rows back from that partition-wall-thingy. Yes, that’s the technical term for it. I heard them say it: in English, Japanese and Thai. J
     Oh, and the coolest thing about my flights--the in-flight entertainment. You can see in the picture that the seatbacks have a small screen about 6 inches by 3.5 inches. They were interactive and you could choose movies, tv, trivia games, audiobooks, satellite radio, and more. There was also a GPS map that told you exactly where we were at that moment. You could see the satellite picture along with our path, both intended and already traveled. At the bottom of the screen the readout told you all sorts of info; things like altitude, time left in the trip, outside temperature, and more whenever you wanted. I found myself frequently pausing my movie to find out where we were and how much longer I had to play sardine. The movie selection was excellent, there was at least 15 new releases to choose from, and about 15 more in various categories. I watched Larry Crowne, Water For Elephants, Unstoppable, Friends With Benefits, Something Borrowed, and a few more that I can’t remember at the moment. Did I mention they were long flights? The selections of TV shows were good as well. I watched a few episodes of Glee, Dexter, and Big Bang Theory. By the end of my traveling I think I accumulated maybe four hours of sleep, but I’ve never slept well during flights.

     Other than the long conversation with the flight attendant on flight number 2, I didn’t really talk to anyone on the planes. It was very bus-like. People come in, sit down and the headphones go on. What else…? OH, oh, oh man are people gross. I was in economy seating so there wasn’t really room to leave a mess. But the people in first class and business class! I mean, really? Really, people? Rolling my carryon through those areas while I was disembarking was astounding. There was trash everywhere, blankets just thrown willy-nilly on the floors, and the headsets left out, cords stretched out just begging for someone to trip over them. Those poor flight attendants! I just consider it common courtesy to put back what you took out. If you found the headset wrapped up in the seatback pocket in front of you, then when you’re done, you wrap it up and put it in the seatback pocket in front of you. In my opinion. They fed us a lot, too. I ate like 3 meals, 4 snacks and had maybe 4 sodas and 4 or 5 waters during my flights.
     Also, the signs and monitors were very easy to read and follow. If there wasn’t English available usually the pictures were obvious enough. All the restrooms had the pink skirted female form and the blue male form, so I didn’t accidentally walk into a men’s room. Which is good, ‘cause I can just see me doing something like that. Oh boy, now I’m really glad I didn’t do something like that, lol.

     Okay, so I landed in Bangkok, used the restroom, and proceeded to Immigration. I filled out my arrival card on the airplane (thank you flight attendants!) and after about waiting maybe fifteen minutes it was my turn. I was anxious because this dude with the stamp could keep me out. So I had all my paperwork ready and organized and when it came time…the Immigration officer didn’t say anything! Not a word. Not a ‘How long will you be in Thailand?’ or a ‘Where are you headed next?’, nada, nothing. He looked at my paperwork and passport for about thirty seconds and then stamped everything. 

     O-kay, so…that was easy. But since turnabout is fair play, when I next went to baggage claim, yep, you probably guessed it, they lost my bag. One bag! However, I was smart enough to bring the really important things in my carryon luggage, along with 3 days worth of clothes. They will be delivering my bag very early tomorrow morning, maybe early afternoon. I even put bright pink duct tape all over the thing so that it would be easily recognizable. Ah, well.
     My new employers picked me up from the airport around 2 a.m. and then brought me back to their house.
     I am currently staying in their ‘other’ house, yes you read that right, they have two houses. They are living in the other one and they wanted to give me a little space and time to recuperate from my trip and jet lag. Isn’t that nice? It’s a lovely home in a nice location, and close to some shopping centers and sky train stations (more on those later).
     I’ll tell you a bit more and then reserve the rest for later, I know this post is long.

This evening, they took me out to eat dinner and then to a supermarket to get a few things to eat at the house. Sorry I don’t have any pictures. I will take some foodie pics tomorrow, I promise. My first Thai meal was egg noodles and pork with a green leafy veggie in a pork sauce. It was very yummy but very tame on the tongue, mild. I added some Thai jalapeño to it and it tasted great! I couldn’t even finish the whole thing. I also tried some of Art’s dish and it was really yummy!!! Spicer and very flavorful. She said they have it at most Thai restaurants, so yay! I knew I’d like it. I was concerned about the whole new bacteria thing. I read that whenever you travel abroad, you oftentimes will have quite an upset stomach for a while because of the new bacteria in the food that your body is not used to. My stomach was a tiny bit unhappy this evening but nothing horrible, so if my body can acclimate quickly I will be a very happy camper. I leave you with some pictures of money, 'cause c'mon, who doesn't like money?

That’s all for tonight folks. I’ll regale you with some more awesomeness tomorrow.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


I am here. In Bangkok.
I am tired.
I am cramping, cranky and generally curmudgeonly.
My new employers picked me up roughly around two a.m. Bangkok time. It was a very nice first meeting and I'll go ahead and say that I'm quite taken with them. They are very kind and I feel very lucky.
And right now I am very lucky because I get to sleep for a nice long chunk of uninterrupted time. When I am out of this coma, I will return and give you all the skinny on my 30 HOUR trip to Bangkok.
Until then...

Friday, November 18, 2011


     Odd how fate decides to time things. Yesterday I was concerned with last minute preparation, packing and saying a few farewells. That was until the EMTs had to come and take my mother to the hospital because we couldn’t wake her. Long story made VERY short because I’m VERY tired-my mom has a very bad pneumonia and is in the ICU of our local hospital. She was out of it for the entire day and night so I was unable to say bye to her (at least a two-way parting). The last we spoke was when I said good night to her on Wednesday. I debated staying. I argued with myself and then argued some more. Cutting to the chase, I’m still going to Bangkok today. I’m sitting in the airport right now waiting for my first of four flights. From my small town in North Carolina I fly to Charlotte, NC, then Washington D.C., then the looooong flight from D.C. to Tokyo, and finally from Japan to Bangkok.
     More news to come but I’m just too ugh right now to be very eloquent. Thanks for sticking with me folks and I promise more upbeat posts in the future, I swear. For now I’m going to go sleep on a few planes, try to enjoy some airline food, and read my Kindle. My suggestion for today? Tell your mom that you love her, maybe have a good conversation with her, and stretch your legs for me so I can at least be comfortable vicariously. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Blues

     I feel odd. I’m prepared. Which is new for me: not preparation as a whole, but having all my personal affairs in order ahead of time. I mean, if I were to be wearing a sash, it would state, in big, bold, elegant letters-Miss Procrastination. Don’t get me wrong, when it comes to work, or doing something for others I’m usually Miss Punctual but for some reason I have a propensity to push the clock. I don’t necessarily get off on the drama of deadlines or anything but I do usually tend to wait until the last minute; I have in the past anyway, I’m working on that. Hence, me being so prepared.

     Okay, I’m rambling, I know. Just think of it as an outlet for all my nervous energy. My bags are packed and weigh the appropriate amount, which was a fun little event in itself. Last night, I took my luggage to the airport for a dry run. I wanted to be sure that my checked bag did not exceed the limit. I heaved my bag up onto the scale and the readout stated in bright red letters 50.0 lbs. I had a brief moment of panic since the airlines website stated that for international flights the restriction was 44 lbs. However, the attendant working the desk said, “Right on the money.” So I checked, and yep, the international restrictions are-in fact-fifty pounds. Whoo hoo! Apparently packing is not a lost art with me, as I once previously thought.
     Then I preceded the gullible portion of the evening. I moved to take some of the airlines little paper/plastic name and address tags so that I could have them labeled already. The attendant told me in a very authoritative and commanding voice that they were now charging a quarter a piece for those things.
     “Yeah, right.” I quipped fairly sarcastically.
     “No, seriously. We’re charging for everything now.” (Again with the convincing tone)
This logic did not escape me. Airlines DO charge for everything. So, yes, I will admit to falling onto the susceptible train. My eyebrows shot up and I said a quick never mind. When my back was turned to him, he called out, “Kidding, kidding.”
Cue my very heartfelt, “Ha. Ha.”
     The gentleman in line behind me even said, “Remind me never to play poker with you.”
Go ahead, laugh. I am.
      For my last day in the States for a while, I spent the morning cleaning and finalizing my packing endeavor. Now, in about an hour, I will pick up Gracie and spend the afternoon with her. I’m not sure what’s on the schedule for tonight. I imagine I’ll probably post one more time from the airport. For now…I’ve got the ‘last day blues’.

Monday, November 14, 2011


     Only three and a half days remain until I make that arduous twenty-eight hour flight. There is, what I would expect to be, normal amount of anxiety and nervous energy in anticipation of my move. In these last few days I am making my final preparations, ensuring I have everything I will need to take and saying goodbye to a few folks. In my immediate vicinity, I will admit to not missing very much. I’ve always had that wandering spirit, so there is a degree of separation already present.  On the other hand, there is one five-year-old in particular that I will be missing quite fiercely.

     Gracie has a very special place in my heart and I find it easier to compartmentalize and not think about all I’ll be missing rather than concentrating on it. Instead I’m trying to think about the new little girl I will be taking care of. I’m also very thankful for technology. Skype may be my new best friend.

     Last week on the tenth, I accompanied Gracie on her field trip to the Children’s Museum and then the park to eat lunch. Wow. Chaos often comes in the form of little five and six-year-old bodies bouncing around. While I fully believe in the power and impact of socializing your child, sometimes a more concentrated, solitary effort is better. We had several different stations to visit and were only permitted ten minutes at each station. We stopped at the color station and Gracie piped out different colored liquids to create new colors. We moved onto the doctor station, where Gracie picked out a ‘sick teddy bear’ and then had to diagnose him and wrap his broken leg. She had a lot of fun looking at x-rays and determining what part of the body they were before being rushed onto the next station. We visited the dentist station, the circus station, the grocery store station and several more. All in all it was almost too much to stimulate her little brain and not enough time to fully enjoy it. The highlight for me was the last station we hit: the weather station. Gracie stood in front of a green screen and explained that there was a tornado coming J and what the temperature was. My favorite part was when she finished off her report with the cursory ‘back to you’. The stuff this kid comes up with amazes me. Little sponges.

     I am never bothered when I see parents asking other adults to adjust their language or behavior around kids. It’s how they learn. So why wouldn’t a parent want to moderate what their child is exposed to? Conversely, I see the wisdom in preparing your kid. I see it almost like an immune system. One that is never exposed to viruses or germs will be easily prone to contract sickness. An immune system that has been exposed to its fair share of INVADERS will be stronger and better equipped to deal with it when sicknesses do arise. So, in my humble opinion, I say find a happy medium and just ask yourself if you are doing your child a disservice by protecting them too fiercely. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My Broken Heart/Kindle

     I apologize for my lag in posting. I experienced my own little personal disaster. Two days ago, I picked up my Kindle to read some more travel guides or perhaps some chick-lit fluff, I will keep that to myself, and the e-reader’s screen freaked out on me.

     Let me back up a little and explain my relationship with the Kindle. One year and one month ago, my mother purchased a Kindle for me as an early Christmas present. I. Was. In. Love. My entire library at my fingertips? Oh, yeah! I can usually devour a book in one or two sittings, so having thousands of books at my disposal and never having to lug around heavy books; it was Heaven in a conveniently sized electronic device. I used my Kindle everyday, especially because of the ability to check my email via the 3G/WiFi connectivity. Four gigs of memory and user-friendly. If you don’t have an e-reader and you like to read, I highly recommend them. I never worry about being bored while waiting for a doctor, or say on a 28 hour plane ride like the one I have looming in eight days.
     Fast forward to two days ago when I tried to turn on my little friend and the screen geeked out on me; I cried. I’ll admit it. I sat on my bed, broken device in hand, feeling miserable and I cried. I was very upset. Now I know there are much more important things in life and I even know that I pointed out priorities a few posts ago, but that didn’t stop my eyes from leaking like a Levee in Louisiana pre-Katrina. I am a white, American female who is fully aware that I’ve got it a lot better than a great deal of the population. But I had become so dependent on my e-reader that the sudden loss was a little crushing. I can recognize my ability to be shallow and spoiled.
     After entirely too much time spent throwing myself a pity party, I called my best friend and confidant to tell him about my own personal disaster. Well, in he rides on his steed, his armor glinting in the bright sun. Within minutes he ordered me a new one.
I know, he’s amazing.
     Now, in retrospect, I’m more thankful for having someone like this in my life than getting a shiny new toy. I could do without this gadget that I loved so much. I couldn’t imagine giving up a relationship wherein someone cares about me that way. So, I’m grateful that my Kindle broke. It became a magnifying glass for me, showing me what I already knew, even closer. I was comforted and secure. More importantly, I am secure in the knowledge that I have this person in my life, and I am thankful, so thankful. 
     If you have a quiet minute to think today, my suggestion would be to ask yourself this: who in your life comes to your rescue when you need it, and do they know how appreciated they are? 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Packing: A Lost Art?

     Well, for me it is. You would think that with as many times as I’ve moved around, I should have it down pat. Well I don’t. I succumb to all the nostalgic estrogen whirling around in my body and end up wanting to bring everything. I tried to do a quick count on how many times I’ve actually moved and I came up with fifteen but I’m sure I’m forgetting one or two. As a child, my parents were constantly moving me around, and it was not because I’m a military kid. Usually we moved from one house to another house or trailer to trailer because of finances or drama. Probably drama. That’s a can of worms I won’t subject you to though.
     By the time I was eleven I know of at least nine different times we moved, and I don’t mean a temporary relocation, I’m talkin’ full out, pack up everything you own and unpack it somewhere else ‘supposedly for good’. So I guess it became a tradition with me. I have come to thrive on change. Something about a completely new environment and new people gives me a fresh outlook; it is invigorating. So let’s see, from eleven to nineteen I count six more moves. Luckily, when I moved in with my sister, things calmed for a bit and I was able to attend only two high schools.
     After high school, it was time for college, and there was no way I was staying in my hometown. So I traveled to the other side of the state to attend University. But those ants in my pants just couldn’t let me be content, so after two years of study it was time to go again. Where this time? I searched online for work and travel jobs and came upon the discovery of Glacier Bay Cruise lines; a small, adventure cruise line that hired me after one application and one two hour phone interview. I moved to live onboard ship in Alaska.
     There is more after that but I think you’re getting the picture. I’m deviating from my original point though. Packing. After all that traveling and all that wandering you would think that I pack like a pro, right? Wrong, wrong, wrong. I still want to take much more than I need and stress about it right up until my departure. ‘Well, what if I need this? I can’t leave that, I might need that set of thermal gloves in case the tropical paradise of Thailand suddenly has a freak cold spell and then I’ll be the only one left with cold fingers and then there won’t be anywhere to buy thermal gloves because it’s Thailand and tropical and they probably don’t have anywhere to buy thermal gloves because they don’t ever need them….’ And on it goes. I’m sorry for the run-on folks, but this is my brain; it runs on and on and on…..
     I’ve googled the phrase ‘travel+packing+Thailand’ and pretty much any variation you could come up with, and they all have very good advice. ‘Course it would help if I actually was capable of following said advice. I’m kidding. I’m sure I’ll do fine. But…
     Problem is I’ve only got one checked bag that can weigh no more than 44 lbs, one carryon, and one personal item. How on earth am I going to pack all my essentials in just those items? I could pay the extra $70.00 for an additional checked bag, but I ain’t made o’ money, so I’ll have to stick to what is allowed. I know, I know, logically I can buy most of what I need when I get over there but that doesn’t stop the worry train from speeding down the tracks well over the speed limit. Even sitting in my room staring at all my half-packed luggage is sending me into fits of anxiety. I want to wait until I’m within four or five days of my departure date to really pack. Nevertheless, I would also rather just pack it now and have it done.
     You see? People do you see what I have to put up with in my own head? It’s dizzying, is it not?
     I’m making a promise to myself. I will be cold and calculated. I will be merciless and unforgiving. Thermal gloves, I’m sorry but you can’t come. And that’s just the way it is!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


     This is the first of what I assume will be many posts about Thai food. I love to cook! I love food! However, I am poorly educated when it comes to Thai food and its preparation. So, I propose that you learn with me.

     Unfortunately, the only real exposure I’ve had to genuine Thai dishes has been in a restaurant wherein someone else has done the cooking. I began searching for recipes and various ways to prepare the local dishes. And the instant I started reading the ingredients from several common dishes it was apparent that I’m going to enjoy cooking most of them. This site will be extremely helpful both now and while I'm there. If you'd like to cook along with me I suggest looking at some of the recipes and testing your palette along with me.
     Since Bangkok is in a tropical region, there is an abundance of fruit, which I also love.  I’m really excited to try Rambutan.*

It’s definitely unique looking, right?
The descriptions I’ve found can’t really compare it to another fruit that I’m familiar with. The inside has been said to have a fleshy grape-like texture and it is more sweet than sour. And the plethora of fruit isn’t all.

     Rice. Rice is so important in Thai culture that when someone greets you, they sometimes will ask gin kow reu yang?, which literally translates as ‘have you consumed rice yet?.  Jasmine rice is at the top of the rice food chain but sticky rice, steamed and short grain, and boiled brown or purple rice are easily accessible.
     I read in the Lonely Planet guidebook along with several other sources, that the usual way to eat is what American’s call family style. Everyone gets a bowl of rice or noodles and several dishes (curries, stir-frys or soups) are brought to the middle of the table; everyone eats a little of this or that with their rice.  It seems very informal and oriented towards socializing. In fact, my guidebooks say that you rarely see Thai people eating alone. The more the merrier. A meal is an event, a chance to sample good food and be with good people, laughing with and talking to family and friends. Another difference is that when dining out, food is not timed and carefully delivered at specific intervals. The food is prepared and whenever it is ready it comes to the table. When it’s done it’s delivered.
     I’ll let you know within a few weeks.
     A few weeks. My original time table had me leaving tomorrow morning and now I’m not even packed yet. Still learning what I can before I go. A few weeks seems like not enough time and Too much time. Good news-the flood did not do any damage to the place I’ll be staying. The water did not even reach all the way up the street. I’ll take some pictures when I arrive so you have a frame of reference.

15 days to go…

*Pictures from www.joysthaifood.com