Monday, November 28, 2005

In Thai, we call beer ... Singha

As a result of my "bragging" at last week's party on Romanians fondness to Palinca(Eastern European life and death source) one of my friends researched, where exactly Romania IS on an alcohol consumption scale. If you're Romanian, you won't believe it: WE'RE not even in the top 50!!(quick, bribe these guys with some liquor). Thailand's way ahead somewhere on the 20th place, with (guess what) Luxembourg heading the ranking, followed by Hungary (this hurts!:) just kiddin..) and Ireland (no surprise here).

To make it more intresting, I've researched on the tea consumption...and guess what, THERE'S NOT EVEN ONE Asian country in the top 18 (according to Japan Today Forum). No China? No Japan? Better keep this one away from my in-laws.

Photo by Ake

Friday, November 25, 2005


That's granny! I'm a huge fan of hers! 90 years old and a tough cookie!

Today is Ake's dad's birthday. We call him THE EMPEROR cause he's the coolest guy I've ever seen, always on top of things, always in control. So, we had to get up at 5 am to do the good deed and offer food to the monks. Great! I always wanted to do it, but not knowing the customs and yes, most of the times being too lazy, I've never done it. The sunrise was great, and the monks soo humble and had this strange quietness about them that's really touchy.

We pass the food and they pray for us while and after receiving it. The strange thing is, it's all done in Balinese sanscrit, so no one but them really understands anything. It like the beginning of Christianity when it was all done in Latin. The Thais don't seem bothered by it, just go along with it. They say " It's the right thing, offering and being thankful, that's all you need to know".

Monday, November 21, 2005

The Party
Another week packed with work...Every evening or so I got my small dose of the holiday drug, checking out cool places to go around Thailand.
The weather was vile from a swimming coach point of view...20-25 C is BAAAD news, people! We only get to have fun when all others are drowning their missery in beer, at 35 C.
It all got better and today we went out to a Thanksgiving party. Great group! Weird customs around the world was the ongoing theme of the evening. The romanian poison - Palinca was a hit, again, and that only from the stories of a few brave men who've tried some with my dad earlier in the year. The evening felt like being aroud the fire with a bunch of good souls on a cold night. Very soothing...Batteries fully charged for the last stretch before December!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Living Loy Kratong
As I was saying, the candle festival. I played the carry boy part today as I was only in charge of providing the food and carrying the tripod. Rats! Ake was fully enjoying his new toy, so I humbly accepted my novice part. If you expect any candle photos, stop right now, cause we couldn't take any. The closest we got got was some blurry lights; the river bank was too high.

Super cool night! We hit towards the Golden Mountain, passing the food venders. I swear, if it moves, the Thais can cooked it!!!;)) Missed making it to the top cause it started raining and Ake was too protective of his baby...:-)

Headed to Kao San, the foreginer's hang out, where we got the most fantastic drumming show - some Thai and foreign backpackers where jamming their hearts out (beer bottle, spoons, a kind of long pipe, drums and shakers). Nearby, two drunk Thai teenagers where trying their best to make a buck or two agonizing their way into an old Thai rock dice.

A quick stop at Starbucks for an iced chocolate...There was this couple next to us, probably at an early stage in the relationship cause the guy was pretty nervous. However, within 15 min he was scoring big points.

The last stop was the river. A cool guy was playing the saxophone, so we didn't spend much time looking for candles, but instead hanged out next to him while Ake was taking photos of the fort behind, the saxophone and the crowd.

I love the old Bangkok...nighty night!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Loy Kratong

That’s the candle festival starting tomorrow…Again, I love festivals and stuff, and this one is spectacular…the whole river looks fantastic over night, candles and flowers floating. By morning all the glamour is gone, and we’re back to cleaning our own mess. Most of it gets cleaned up, but there’re still all the leaves and plants that are decomposing in the river. The rest of the scientific story is: CO 2 goes up and all the critters in the river have to suffer…
I guess I really am part of the crowd, for loving it, even though I don’t launch a Kratong, but this festival sort of makes me sad. We really are like that, we can only offer, we can only love OUR WAY…. There must be a lesson for the receiver though too…what can you accept in the name of love?

Back in time for a second there, when I used to buy teddy bears for my mom’s birthdays … R u giggling there? Well, she used to constantly buy me socks, shirts or underwear. Then again, what else was there? … empty coffee shops. Now, don’t get the idea I’m craving coffee now...:))…Quit 2 months ago. Scouts honor!

Anyhow, we’ll be there with bells on…:)

Monday, November 14, 2005

Mouth to mouth :)

This morning Ake woke me up at 6 am (and this is the only morning we both get to sleep in) complaining of chest pains and nausea…I backtracked in my mind all the things he’d eaten at the Granpa’s 94 th BDday Party and then it clicked: CHEST PAIN and straight away: Here’s my chance for mouth to mouth! Missed it though cause my catch was running off to throw up.

He’s all good now, but we might have to put on hold rich Chinese feasts, TEN course meals altogether …

The BDay Party was great...basically a huge family reunion, and all I need to tell is that Ake has 100 cousins, only cousins (we still don't know all their names :)))... add moms and dads and you have the whole picture.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Paddles away

I’ve been counting: 10 straight days we’ve been flooded. Bangkok has a BAAAAAD sewage system, so the slightest rain and we’ve got the canoes out. I really don’t care anymore, I live on the 3rd floor…I’m safe…just kiddin'..:)

I’ve spent my entire week either working or reading about Thailand…I’m buzzing with excitement now… One thing I’d really love, is see a turtle … snorkel next to a turtle, that would do it for me! ...and apparently Surin and Similan are packed with sea life, and we'll be there for Christmas! I also can’t wait to see Lucia, Cipri or Roberto’s reaction when they'll see a sea cucumber or their first papaya salad (extra hot). Ahhh, the advantages of knowing it all…he he he he…

Talking news...I'm really wondering if there's ever gonna be a Gandhi for the muslims, a Dalai Lama...we all need it.

Ending on a happy tone: Had another laugh seeing the gods sipping Fanta…

Sunday, November 06, 2005

<'Ernest Hemingway once wrote, "The world is a fine place and worth fighting for". I believe the second part." '...Morgan Freeman, Seven.
Saw a great movie last night. Expected something in a line of a gun gang movie, but in returned I got this strong SEVEN feeling. For me, it's in the top 3. If you're a SEVEN fan, I guess you'll love this one.
The ratings keep pushing the violence and the sexuality as an overall tone, but actually I think it's quite subtle regarding the topic. It's like you see just above the surface. I'm not one to go wild for Nicholas Cage, but he is the man for this part. That face expression that he has in most of his movies was the THING for this one, being really mental rational like, overcontrolled, rather than emotional or physical.
That's it from, you actually gotta see it before reading endless reviews!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Learning Thai

I’ve gotten into the habit of reading a bit from my Thai language crash course book every night. An interesting chapter yesterday: LOVE. I totally lost it after learning how to say:
Are you here alone?
Is it your first time?
Don’t be shy! and Don't be afraid!
You have beautiful eyes!
Please, be tender!

and funnily
You are sooo quiet! (That’s probably thrown in there for foreigners that are dating transvestites and don’t know it, cause the only way of guessing sometimes who's playing for who is THE VOICE!) If you know me, you can probably guess I don’t hear this one very often.
However, one definitely useful phrase: TELL ME THE TRUTH!

Oh, and, Friday is D Day…incoming Canon!