Archive for September, 2010|Monthly archive page

Best Discovery

Guess what? I discovered a foot massage parlour IN MY OFFICE block!!!!!! How brillo is that for good news on a Thursday??? And it’s all super-private with curtains so no one can see you in there chilling away.

I had a particularly stressful morning and slipped out for a foot rub in the cool, dimly-lit, lavender-smelling massage room on a comfy lazy-boy couch.

 There was one old Chinese dude getting his knuckles cracked which made me clench my teeth – but he left after a few minutes so I could waft in and out of consciousness 😉

China Town Bulk

My fabulous Leah and her equally fabulous sister Rachel hit China Town yesterday. They spotted some pretty toe rings and asked for one each. The little Chinese lady told them they had to buy in bulk, no single sales. So here is what they returned home with 🙂

Moon Cakes

It is most certainly moon cake time in Thailand. A traditionally Chinese festival widely celebrated in Thailand. It is to celebrate the harvest time of year. Moon Cakes are little stodgy cupcakes with different flavours given to family and friends by pretty much everyone in Thailand. Every single media owner has given bags and bags of them to us at the office. Problem is, no one seems to actually like eating them. Everyone buys them and gives them to loved ones, but I have yet to meet anyone eating one. In fact, everyone at my office tried to off-load their bag of moon cakes on me thinking a foreigner might enjoy them.

They look beautiful but the taste is very strange. They are sweet, very sweet, with custard and cream and egg. Some have different innards but they are all encased in this heavy cake. They are so dense you could knock a grown man out with one.

Indus & Tropical Rain Storms

Wow, what a weekend! As usual it all went far too fast. It really is so fantastic having friends to visit because you get to do all the things you simply put off as a ‘resident’.

We went to the crazy MBK Mall which is essentially a huge market in a mall format. 6 floors of every kind of purchase-able good was available in it’s original flavour i.e. the real deal, and it’s fake counterpart, i.e. ripped-off version. MBK Website

Each floor is dedicated to a certain range of goods, for example, the 4th floor is all electronics (from cameras and tripods to remote controlled helicopters and 100inch 3D flat screen TV’s, the first and second floors are for clothing and so on. The girls bought a new Canon camera and long lense for half the price it would be in Singapore, South Africa or Canada – all original with international warrantees and tax-back forms for the airport (7%)

I bought a pink egg-shaped mouse for my laptop at work 😉

Last night we went to the fabulous Indus Indian Restaurant. WOW is all I can say. DE-LI-CIOUS. Indus Website It was the most beautiful restaurant which had obviously once been a stately mansion with lush manicured lawns, bubbling water features and a huge terrace scattered with red couches and tiny candles.

Just as we had finished eating (Lamb Rogenjosh, veggie korma, cheese naan……all served in copper pots balanced over tea-light candles) the heavens exploded in the most fanastic tropical rain storm.

I kept thinking of a scene from ‘The Constant Gardener’ which is filmed in West Africa – massive fat drops of hot tropical rain pelting the earth, steam rising from the cement, thousands of croaking frogs singing with glee.

Just perfect.

My Monday morning Latte is now my only companion.

Fuzzy Friday Head

Leah and Rachel have arrived!!! We now have:

1 x avocado bonnet (so the half you don’t eat doesn’t go brown)

1 x egg cup with matching egg-head spoon

1 x customised coffee mug for Robbie ‘To Know Me is to Love me’

4 x bottles of wine and bubbles (love love love)

1 x smiley face bottle opener

1 x Sex and The City & Soprano DVD box sets! wooo hooooooo

We went for dinner at a local Thai in a desperate search to find some vegetarian food…..slight issue as most dishes are cooked in fish or oyster sauce and these tofu-fiends are rather purist. Am on a mission to find some good veggie restaurants for tonight and will be sure to pack my own handbag portion of bacon bits to sprinkle onto green items 😉

Oh – and I have a fuzzy head from acting like it was me on holiday and threw back celebratory G&T’s till about midnight. I have a ‘loud’ top on today to distract from my eye bags and average presentation…….

Wai Bumping

This is the third time I have nearly knocked someone over because they stop dead in their tracks to ‘wai’ respecfully to the resident spirit house.

Every single business in Thailand will have a spirit house outside the entrance. They tend to vary in size and expense – some are rather extravagent with gold trimmings and beautiful wooden carvings, others are simply a Monks orange robe drapped around a tree.

In this manner, people can pray and give their offerings whenever they want. What I have noticed is that many people don’t go over to the spirit house but will rather stop in their tracks, often mid-conversation with a friend, to bow, wai, and silently mouth the words to a prayer, before trotting off and continuing the chat without missing a beat.

The issue arises when I am walking behind tottering about in heels. There is no warning of when someone will stop. There is some expert telepathic communication that goes on where everyone else just flows around the praying person like a river, without the second thought. I, on the other hand, am clearly not tuned into the same wave-length and hence slam into the poor soul and cause a scene.

I have seen businessmen in suits finishing a ciggie, turning to face the spirit house from across the car park and waiing. I have seen people chatting on their cellphones stopping to wai and then returing to the chat.

You will also often find that if there is something big happening at work (eg new account announcement), there will be a lot more incense sticks burning at the spirit house.

I Literally have to stop using ‘literally’

The Oatmeal click the link for classic article

Ever noticed how many people are using ‘literally’ for, like, everthing these days? One episode of Keeping up the Kardashians has 900 ‘literally’ comments and not much else. The Oatmeal, as always, has a classic opinion on the matter. Let’s all remember the true meaning and, literally, not over-use the poor word.

Margarita – Jugs of the stuff

Charley Browns website

We went for Margarita Madness at Charley Browns last night after work. What bliss after a nightmare stressful day to be welcomed by a massive jug a original frozen margarita and two enormous salty-rimmed glasses! I had two and felt like my head was too heavy for my shoulders – you know the feeling when you start getting lower and lower in your seat to the point you are holding yourself up with by clinging to your glass?

So we ordered chimichunkas with extra guac on the side (one can never have too much avo), a couple of chicken fajitas and a steaming plate of peri peri chicken wings which blew the roof of my mouth off.

We trundled back on Robbie’s scooter and I was asleep by 9:30pm. Light weight.

Charley Browns Mexican Mayhem

Team C Evidence

Here is my team before we ventured off into the underground……we did win a prize, although for what I am not sure and I don’t know what the prize is either. With my limited Thai all I managed to hear were the words ‘two hundred’ so either I am getting cash or 200 punishment sit-ups for being useless at Thai charades……..heh heh

Dream Team!!!!

Surviving Under-Ground

I have just recovered (it is 4pm on Saturday) from my Friday ‘amazing race’ session based around the MRT underground tube station in Bangkok. Essentially the entire company (+-100 people) were split up into several groups. We were each given a unique coloured bandana in order to identify our teams in the busy station, a fan, a map and a test – all in written in Thai.

I felt bad for my team that they got lumped with me but I was determined to throw caution to the wind and go with the flow (and desperately seek out light green bandana’s like a person possessed lest I get lost far from home where no one knows your name)

Essentially we had between 1:30pm and 6pm to get to 10 different underground stations and complete a task at each stop. The tasks were hillarious:

1) Catch university students and pressure them into copying a pose from a magazine ad – join them in the pose and photograph it as evidence. So imagine me, leaping through the air, legs and arms splayed with my uni student in stitches next to me while his mates take photo’s…

2) Thai charades – not much to report here as I had no idea what was being said or acted

3) Pick the name of a song out of a hat (we got ‘my hearts goes sha la la la la, – clap clap clap – in the mooorrnnninng’) and make a two minute dance routine……and have it filmed……….

4) Line up the contents of your clothing/handbag across the floor to reach a certain length – belts, shoes and laces were removed to beat the prevoius team. There were lipsticks, money, coins, bus passes, hair bands, a tube of toothpaste….

5) We received five photo’s and had to find and photograph the locations ourselves (much running involved) These were things like train platform numbers and clocks. (did you know you can catch an over ground train to Hua Hin for 20 Baht !!!)

6) Leave the underground, find a Chinese temple, remove shoes, drop  cash into box, take a Chinese fortune slip and return with it as proof. Mine said I would soon be rewarded for my investment…….another girl in my team had a rather gloomy prediction and was mortified. In Thai-Chinese culture you would fold and tie the bad prediction to the branch of a tree to stop it from happening.

7) Repeat each persons full name in your team – none of us knew each other (this is the purpose of the day) so this was a challenge. It was especially hard for me as Thai names are long and no one actually uses their real names when they introduce themselves to you. For example: the girl you simply know as ‘May’ is actually named ‘Thanyanrant’ and then there is usually an even longer surname. Thankfully my team mates saw the fear in my eyes and kindly got me through

8) We made it back to the most beautiful hotel where the air smelt of lavender and sparkling water and white linen adorned the tables. After sweating up a storm, dancing, stripping, singing, cheering, running, falling, slipping, this was a most welcome sight. I nearly cried with joy in the bathroom at the fluffy white hand towls and creamy soap.

9) Awards ceremony – not too sure what went on here but each team won a prize which was donated by the owners of the MRT advertising space. We then got to watch the hillarious dancing clips that people can come up with over sushi, prawns, masaman curry and hot garlic bread rolls. I was asleep by 8pm.

Picture to follow on Monday 🙂