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Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Bangkok June 19th 2022

Although they eat some very unusual shit in Thailand, cooking with poo is, thankfully, not literal. It's the cooking school of Poo, a lady from the Khlong Toei slum in Bangkok. Before starting her cooking school, Poo spent 14 hours a day cooking food and making live-in-a-slum money, about 200 bhat ($7usd) a day. But a bubbly personality, a pinch of escape-life-in-the-slum tenaciousness, a dollop of getting-a-business-started help from an Australian missionary, some very clever branding, a well-titled cookbook (Cooking with Poo), and an endorsement from celebrity chef Jamie Oliver were the breadcrumbs leading her out of poverty. Despite the change in fortune, Poo didn’t move the cooking school into a shiny antiseptic space on Sukhumvit (i.e., the fancy part of town where poor people wear uniforms). Instead, she takes tourists to the ‘real’ market and ... read more
waterbugs are disgusting
yum yum frogs; some were still breathing
tourists in the meat aisle

Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Bangkok May 31st 2022

Raw sewage. Carrion. Vomit custard. Rotting fish. Death. Someone compared it to eating ice cream in an outhouse. Anthony Bourdain said it was like “French kissing your dead grandmother,” and one 19thcentury journalist said, "To eat it seems to be the sacrifice of self-respect”. None of that matters. We have to do it. We have to eat durian. And we’re making the kid eat some too. Although allegedly banned on the sky train, we smelled it yesterday on the way home from school. It was only a hint, much fainter than the wall of stink that wafts through the grocery store, but definitely durian. There is no way to contain the stank. If it is cut, it smells; uncut, it smells; vacuum sealed, it smells. The prodigious funk is apparently an advantageous evolutionary adaptation. When the ... read more
packaged heaven or hell?

Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Bangkok May 20th 2022

Banyan trees are killers. They start life in a nice mulchy fork of another tree’s branches, and as they grow, they send tendrily aerial roots twisting and twining down and around the host tree. Once the roots find the ground, they thicken and slowly choke the other tree to death. This is the ‘strangler’ fig. A large part of the world considers them sacred.The one in our front yard is at least three stories high and more than sixty feet around. The host tree has long ago vanished and rather than a discernable central trunk, the body of the tree is a braided mess of differently sized roots woven into densely knotted masses. Pillared roots form secondary trunks and hold up the tree’s mass, making it appear as if the one tree is actually a forest ... read more
how do the spirits feel about kids in their tree?
a hum drum spirit house with a lot of figures, fanta, and flowers
the entertainers for the spirits

Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Bangkok May 3rd 2022

People wash up on foreign shores for many reasons – opportunity, sanctuary, happenstance, adventure, love, vacation or in my case, a dependent spouse visa. While tourists come and go, ex-pats (ex-patriots) settle in and take root. In Thailand, most ex-pats are from neighboring countries. Some are permanent ‘migrant’ workers, some are bigwigs of international corporations, and some are things in between. Then there are the Westerners, who also run the gamut and number somewhere between a couple hundred thousand and a million. Over the years, a fair few of these have ended up with Thai wives. The malls are full of heavy jowled, thinning haired, sagging belly, tattooed, flip flopped old white men holding their high-heeled, smartly dressed, 15-year younger wives’ Louise Vuitton monogrammed purses while window shopping at the new Gucci store. While these fellows ... read more
tonal variations on 'paa'. high tone 'paa', for reasons unclear, doesn't mean anything
what do want to have for lunch?
soi cowboy: late night language school ... and other things

Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Bangkok March 20th 2022

In the immortal word salad of George W. Bush, “Fool me once, shame on … shame on you. Fool me – you can’t get fooled again.” By which he clearly meant that the first time you do something, you can be forgiven your ignorance, but if it’s the second or sixth time, you have obviously failed to learn from previous experience. And yet, here we are again, moving overseas with a cat. Evidently George isn’t the only one with questionable mental faculties. Rewind to three years ago: we left Bangkok with a kid and a cat. Then Covid happened, and we got Covid stranded in middle America. This was very tolerable despite the rational assumption that nothing in middle America is very tolerable. We took walks, enjoyed fall colors and winter snowfall, puttered about the yard, ... read more
sunset over the Andaman Sea
bougainvilla
obligatory picture of coconut

Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Bangkok March 3rd 2022

Due to the pandemic, most travelers suffer from being forced to stay at home as a safety precaution. This pandemic caused a lot of canceled travel and stress to explorers and wanderers. Several years have passed and my spirit is still hoping that I can go back to Thailand again in the future. My first visit to the Kingdom was superb. I traveled a lot and was able to visit a lot of places and enjoy authentic Thai dishes. The second time around I was able to experience the Northernmost part and the neighboring countries.... read more

Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Bangkok February 2nd 2022

Here are the top ten food destinations, url=https://na01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Ftripadvisor.mediaroom.com%2F2022-01-19-Tripadvisors-Community-of-Travelers-Awards-22-Top-Trending-Destinations-for-2022&data=04%7C01%7C%7C5268cf2a62a042bb9def08d9e667788e%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637794154342486056%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000&sdata=yDhddqB72GSqoxtRBhOdW%2FQsunyXUWbqjfQMmMhIlXk%3D&reserved=0according to Tripadvisor: Rome, ItalyLondon, UKParis, France... read more
Love Tokyo food

Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Bangkok December 4th 2021

I didn't come to Bangkok with many specific sightseeing goals in mind. Rather, my goal in coming here was more abstract - I wanted to reconnect with the city that shaped and defined much of my life as a young adult. Bewarned that this blog entry is somewhat introspective. A Sort of Homecoming I landed in Bangkok on the evening of December 2nd. From the airport, I took the Airport Rail Link to my hotel, FX Metrolink Makkasan. I stayed in this hotel back in 2013, and I specifically chose it again because it is located next to three critical transport lines: the Airport Rail Link, Petchaburi MRT station on the blue line, and Asoke Pier, a stop on the Klong Saen Saep water taxi route. After checking in, I took the MRT to Terminal 21 ... read more
My Old Neighborhood
My Old Neighborhood
Klong Taxi

Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Bangkok November 27th 2021

Our last full day in Thailand. We got up and left for our COVID tests, a 20 minute walk away. We found it quite easily and since we reserved a time for our tests we didn't wait in line. Results expected this evening. Now we're off to see a couple things we missed in the city last time. Seems so long ago, yet it was only a couple weeks. We got a taxi to the Pak Khlong Talat flower market. Another hint for travelling in Bangkok (along with DON'T DRIVE) - take a taxi, not a tuktuk (motor-tricycle thingy). As opposed to a tuktuk, a taxi is closed, quiet and air conditioned. It has seat belts and a meter, the driver won't try to cheat you and it comes out cheaper. Take a tuktuk once, for ... read more
Flowers at the market
Another flower
Hot pepper stand

Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Bangkok November 26th 2021

We have a COVID test first thing tomorrow morning in Bangkok. We found one that's only ridiculously expensive, so we booked a hotel within walking distance of it, and we'll stay there for our last two nights in Thailand. But we have the whole day to go before that! And no hurry. So we started our morning with a nice breakfast at the hotel and then went for a walk on the beach. The Cha-Am beach isn't nearly as picturesque as Thai beaches appear in the brochures, it's a narrow strip of sand lined with tamarisk, not the wide white sand lined with coconut trees, but it's ok. After a short walk we checked out the hotel pool and had a nice relaxing swim. A quick shower later and with our bags all packed we checked ... read more
Shelling coconuts
And peeling them
More work to be done




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