Archive for February, 2011|Monthly archive page

Wild night with new friends

Friday night party time with new friends. All rather hilarious and classic dancing to Tina turners ‘what’s live got to do with it’
Home at 2am
Saturday total right off

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Prayers

Thao maha brahma

Thai dancing and prayers in the middle of mad busy Bangkok streets

Taxi thai style

My view side saddle clutching my dry cleaning while taking a pic. The orange jacket is the official jacket worn by registered bike taxi men and women.

They pay 50,000 baht for it once off but earn upwards of 20,000 a month from transporting people for an average of 10 baht a ride. I am one of those 10 baht people. Weeeeeeeeee

Thai Lessons

Good news! I have persuaded my work to fund Thai lessons for me twice a week! Am so excited because now I don’t have to choose between joining the gym and learning Thai (now I have to join the gym, dammit) My CEO heard about the lessons and has asked to join in, how classic is that? Truth is you NEED to understand Thai if you work here. As much as it is an international agency where business is largely conducted in English, as an expat you miss a lot because of after-meeting chats and discussions. I am not concerned about reading and writing, just speaking it.

My personal ambition is do one presentation in Thai by the end of this year – I also stupidly shared that as my new years resolution with my office (we all had to share) which means I have to do it now.

Comparisons

There are three things that make me laugh in Thailand because they are so different to living in SA. Don’t get me wrong, there is heaps and heaps I miss about SA (the promenade, my friends, Wakami, Gardens Centre Stationary Shop etc) but sometimes I catch myself smiling:

1) Robbery – a tourist was so drunk he had fallen over at 5pm on the pavement on my street. His backpack drooped to the side, a shopping bag with contents spilled out infront of him, his cap lying next to his head etc  What I found so hillarious is how people just carried on with life, stepping respectfully over him. I even watched as a beggar gently laid his cap back on his head. No one would dream about taking his bag/shoes/cap/watch. In SA, he would be naked in 3 seconds and there would be an organ donar bid going on at the border.

2) Re-filling ATM’s: if you know SA, you know you are better off standing next to a ticking bomb than at ATM while it’s being filled or emptied. There are armoured tanks with bullet proof glass and men in head gear nervously clutching Ak47’s. In Thailand you see a couple of young guys, in branded T shirts, jeans and sneakers, with a bag of swag (like out of a cartoon) slung loosely over their shoulders milling down the road eating a pork kebab. They will lay the money bags on the floor and turn their backs to them while they open up the ATM machines.

3) Random Kindness due to Faith – some of you may recall that sad day when the American homeless man jumped to his death from the fourth floor of my office block. Well, the day after that happened, a stray dog appeared at the Starbucks, which was where the man used to sit every day. Everyone started talking about how this dog was in fact a reincarnation of the man. In order to please the gods and propell themselves into a better ‘next life’ everyone has started feeding this delighted dog. She was once skinny, skrawny and rather short tempered. She is now fat and really happy. Every day I see a tin of tuna, or mince, or a chewy bone laid out on her ‘spot’ in Starbucks. This dog will never go hungry again.

Black chicken anyone?

How grim is this

Valentines meat fest

At Tenderloin Restaurant

At tenderloin steak house for dinner……how and why you scream? I got a fab new cocktail ring so gave up my vote to Robbie! Tenderloins is a charmless atmosphere less spot with the best lamb shank I have had in Thailand!
Pic looks gross (any sorry Leah and Rachel) but meat lovers understand the joy of melty lamb

Ok – wrong pic was clearly added – joy of updating from Iphone, will correct later when I have a life

Fin cartoon dog

Cute fin

Hungry scooter drivers and more roof top bars

Hi all,
Am officially blogging from my phone which is going to add an entirely new perspective to instant updates. How cool is that? Am going to attempt an update from the back of a motorbike taxi.
Speaking of motorbike taxis, I had a rather humorous experience yesterday on my way to work. Half way up the road he suddenly swerved to the left and stopped abruptly next to a packed street stall serving breakfast. He lifted the front visor up to reveal the bottom half of his face and shouted in thai. The lady cooking noodles and spicy pork in a huge metal vat simply took the enormous ladel she was stirring with and scooped a dollop into his mouth. All the while I am propped on the back, feet dangling in heels and eyes watering from the wafting chilli fumes. It was like ‘ahhhhh don’t mind me’

Last night after a hellish week at work we celebrated at the new and fabulous Mokka bar and restaurant. Without a doubt the best salmon pasta and spicy chicken wings I gave eaten in years. The owner, a rather fabulous humble entrepreneur who insisted on pouring his customers beers, was a lovely host. After two bottles of bubbles (hey he had a two for one special, don’t judge) I forced him to sit down so I could give him my ‘feedback’ ha ha. first up, I applauded his wings ( he said the executive chef from the seven star Kempinski Hotel, sitting on the next table, had already asked him for his secret) Second, get cushions fir the ladies, he promised they were firmly on his lift! All in all a great spot with more charm than George Cloony. Filled with mis matched lampshades, ornate mirror frames and cool, worn-in furniture, it felt like a four story boudoir of funky rooms and quirky toilets. And if course, a roof top terrace over looking lumpini park.

Cheers to the fabulous secret spots in Bangkok!

Year of The Rabbit

Did you know it was Chinese New Year last (aka Chinese Lunar New Year) week Thursday? Well, I did, because Thailand is so packed with giant rabbits it’s like Easter on crack. I didn’t always know this however.

In fact, I was so initially confused by all the rabbits (which appeared before Christmas) I thought everyone had gone mad and confused Christmas with Easter. Well, truth is, it is the Chinese new year of the rabbit. Chinese New Year is a big deal in Thailand as there is a huge Thai-Chinese population out here. Hence it was a public holiday (woooooeeeeeeee)

Many of my colleagues at work (with Chinese ancestry) said that they are expected to give money to their younger relatives (nieces and nephews) and their elders (aunts, uncles, grand parents, great parents) are expected to give them money in red envelopes. Everyone trys to get together for an annual reunion which sounds rather festive. The general idea is for forgiveness and reconcilliation and to pray for peace, good health and longevity.

Chinese Lunar New Year