Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Caap Moo

We went way up North for the holiday and found foggy jungle mountain tops, red and white pomegranates, persimmons, jelly candies, a surrealist temple, coffee, but the highlight was fried pork skins.
The skins are seasoned with some chilli, garlic and onion. Adi was an instant fan, dubbing them, "the crispy things that I like."
Outside of Chiang Mai there were several spots to buy them in small bag size and duffel bag size. When we stopped at a rest area to eat, this lovely young lady was frying up a small batch right next to us.

Deep fried pork skin. It is eaten with a spicy sauce like Nam Prik Noom.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Our car for now

Yes, this is an 1995 Audi 2.0 E80. If I was an auto mechanic then this car would be prefect. My mom had it for a while and it has been sitting around for about 8 months before I got to it. The gears needed to be replaced so I got it done. It was so expensive that I wanted to give it back to the guy. I was told that there are only a few of these left on the road because it's so expensive to fix. I need to get an Toyota instead if I want to save money. Oh well it's good for now. Wiley, Adi and I are cruising along in this fine automobile.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sand and Sun

Sattahip: Adi and his cousin Noong Boaan.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

political situation

The Thai political situation is very confusing to me. The more I ask about it the more confused I am. The red shirts want an non active Monarchy. The yellow shirts wants things to stay the way they are. Will have to learn more about this. My family members are all over the place on this matter which makes it even harder to get to the truth.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wiley's office

Wiley at his office.
Adi's classroom.
Wiley and Adi saying goodbye.

Monday, October 12, 2009

pregnant while in Thailand

OK, consider yourself lucky for not having to wear such a big dress while pregro. This is what I tell myself. My aunt told me that it is very common for ladies to wear this kind of dress at 3months. I couldn't believe it, "really?" There are some advantages to being pregnant. For one people will get up for you on buses and sky trains. One should never walk, lift, nor drive while pregnant. Oh, do not ride on a motorcycle taxi, well, this one I agree with.
I first met with a Doctor, who I should call "Dr. know it all," cause I have a PHD in front of my name. He was really old school with his methods of birthing. I couldn't question his way at all. He even told me that I was wrong for not getting a blood test for some strange blood disease called. Thalassemias (thal-a-SE-me-ahs) are inherited blood disorders. "Inherited" means they're passed on from parents to children through genes. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/Thalassemia/Thalassemia_WhatIs.html Only common in some areas of the world. I tried to explain to him that in the US they do no such test because it's not common. Well, that didn't go well. He threw his head back with disbelief. Then he said I can't make me take the test, but it's a must. So I say, "It's kinda too late I'm 30weeks into my pregnancy Doc."
Let's move on to the birth it self. I would be in a room with about 40-45 other ladies with labor pains. They will only let you in a room when you are close to delivering. Once you are done delivering then you are moved back into a large room with other mothers who just had their babies. Doesn't sound fun right but the kicker is this. The nurses will be mean to you too. The doctor told me this with a smile on his face. I shook my head back with disbelief. I couldn't contain myself. I stopped speaking Thai at this point and said "NO Freaking Way". I left his dirty office with fear for myself and my baby. Before I forget he also told me that he'll give me a stick to fight with the nurses. No Thank You...
I am happy to say I did meet a very nice EDUCATED Doctor at St. Louis Hospital. Clean friendly and no stupid remarks.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Adi New school

Yes, we are putting this cute little boy into an Thai school. Not to worry there is one English speaking teacher there. We hope to have him there for a couple of terms which is about 4 months for each term. This school is very close to our house and it's very affordable.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

To my eyes, Thai desserts are from Mars. These sweets are undoubtedly tasty, but when you look at what you are eating, you get a sense of vertigo. Strange jellies, sweets made from unsweet ingredients, manipulated egg yolks and smoked cookies are all part of the tradition in Thai patisserie.

What is lacking in wheat flour, butter, cream and all things dairy (except condensed milk, of course,) is made up with ingenious technique and rice flour, glutinous rice flour, coconut cream and a smattering of agar agar.

I went to Old Siam Plaza today, which is the aging and proud grandma of Bangkok’s burgeoning a/c shopping malls. This place has three floors of vendors, but the real reason I went is that on the bottom floor there is a food vender area devoted to the art of Thai desserts. There are not many other places where this many sweets vendors converge.

Here’s a sample:

Fried/ dried any veggie or fruit chips

Pumpkin custard

Sweet stews of mung bean, taro and corn

Smoked cookies

Kanom krok with various toppings

Egg yolks blended with sugar and drizzled into sugar syrup to create perfect threads…

…To make these

Sweet pickles

Kanom beung

Nothing like breathing exhaust on the back of a pickup taxi after eating way too much sugar

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Leaving the market in Lopburi

Who needs a car? When a family of three can sit up front and there's still room for two more people in the back.

There seems to be a dilemma when making a meal in Thailand. There are many options.

The easiest, of course, is to simply go to the market and buy some food to take home. This may seem ridiculous, but it is actually easier and cheaper than any other option. One can get almost any dish on the street for less than 50 baht (a couple dollars). Almost any meal can be bought in any market packaged in endless large and small plastic bags for the purpose of your enjoyment at home: rice and chicken with broth, sauce and cucumbers; any variety of curry; stir fried noodles with all of the appropriate condiments; anything. This is not exactly making a meal, but creating a meal to be brought together at home.

The other option at the opposite end of the spectrum is to go to any of the a/c supplied superstores popping out of the red earth like frogs appearing after a hard rain. Central, Big C, Lotus and Carrefoure are the places to shop if you want hygienically packaged meats, 20 varieties of hot dogs and veggies good enough to pose for Japanese wax food models. Unfortunately, while shopping and paying for this experience, there is the image of the outdoor market playing in your head and you realize that 1. you are getting ripped off, and 2. it is no fun. There is no haggling, no shoving, no motorcycles to dodge, no deft stepping, knowing that there is just 1 cm of open aired flip flop rubber between you and the market muck of the fish scales and pork blood.

Creating a meal at the market is fun in many ways. The challenge is keeping your meal defined in your head while keeping your head from being decapitated from the Thai head high umbrellas. If you are not careful, you will go with an idea for a meal and you may come back with a disparate variety of ingredients and way too many sweets for one family to eat.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

When food is good is good

We stopped at a very good noodle place while on our way to Lopburi. Their Ba Mi (egg noddle) was so chewy and tasty I had two bowls. It was the first time Adi ate everything. This place was run by a couple who could be anyone's mom or dad. They took care of us and they treated very one like friends and family. Man I have to go back for more later.