Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Doggies Coming - Dragons and Lions at the Chinese New Year - chapter II

After couple of hours of loosing ourselves in the crowd we felt like peace and quiet and backed away in some alley that looked less attractive. 50 or so men in red were playing with some huge polls and masks, and Ake's face goes extatic :" The Dragon Dance! We found it! This is gonna be good!"

Because we were one of the first one's on the scene we got "front tickets", under the dragon's nose as it were...:)))

The drumming started, I mean this blood boiling rhythm that drove all the foreigners into our direction. Fingers clicking, feet stumping, heads bouncing...ahhhh...and 6 men doing this weird dance carrying two large colourful lions. There's the catch the orange exchange, mouth to mouth, the 3 men shoulder stand, without no sling..talk about crazy...

We thought, ahh, it can't get any better than this...but it did!!!...a huge dragon carried up around a 20 m pole that burst out into fireworks all this with drums going wild...by now, alll foreigners are clapping their hands maaaad, some Chinese were dancing and Thais were savouring their 10th beer and cheering....

Monday, January 30, 2006

Doggies coming - Chinese New Year Festivities in Bangkok - chapter I

Wow! What a night that was...the Chinese surely know how to throw a party. The streets were packed with people and Ake was saying the numbers are going down cause we COULD walk. :P Hawker food which is so unbelievably popular was everywhere and all joined in. An explosion of colour, music and taste...

Chinese have these strong family ties...5 generations living in the same house is is the ultimate goal. Kinda like, the house is not alive without granny and the kiddies together. So, there it was, families moving in masses, kiddies buying all sort of sweets, rice cakes and noodles, and grandparents with candles and incense, foreigners and Thais clicking their cameras.

We've heard great Chinese drumming, temple chants, Chinese flute music. There loads of street performers. An amainzing guy, who played his saxophone all night and the crowd just loved it.

The hit of the night was the Lion and Dragon Dance...but I'm saving that as the next entry :))..
An amaizing night! Happy Dog Year!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Letters from Thailand

For some reason the past few weeks I've been reading only immigrant stories. Letters from Thailand given to me by Lois with the touch of a genius (Thanks again!). It was like I was listening to the Chinese in our family. Very insightful and lots of fun!
Later on I followed the genre with Almost French, an Australian adjusting in France. I love that sweet and sour combination in a book. Highly recommended!

So, there I am, with no book to read and a morning off (pathetic, I know...but just the am off). I woke up with excitment at 7 am and set out to Banglampoo where a chocolate croissant and fresh pineapple breakfast awaited. A quick meeting with the Romanian Backpackers to finalize some of the last details before diving into a 2 months South Asian adventure. Good luck guys!

Then off to the hidden used book stores. Some of them are real treasures in which you can get lost for hours. Eureka! A Thai Hawker food book called...r u ready? ...Thai Hawker Food for All, naturally...with pictures and everything...

The Dog Year's coming...and we'll be there reporting it all from China Town, Bangkok. :)

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Sapan Lhek - The Tool's Road of Bangkok

While I was freezing my tail in a cold pool, Ake roamed around in China town - The Tool Lane of Sapan Lhek with some business from his Dad's gold shop.
The area is probably nose to nose crazy with the weekend market, Chatuchak. It's the ant hill feeling you get a lot in Asia.

Everyone has his own little shop, street stall or kiosk....the street is boiling with noodle soup, Chinese salapao pastries and all the workers buzzing away. The paradox is...although most of the equipment is at least 10 years behind and manual work is generally higly valued, the prices are way low and place is, well, a hit with both foreigners and locals!

Close by, the greater China Town is a fabulous place to buy jewelry (amethist, opal, shells and practically everything in between gold and copper).

Ohhh, and since most of the stuff there is illegal (but you didn't hear it from me), photos are also a risk!!! Shoot and ruuun!:)

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Rod Fai Park - The Butterfly Dome

If you've been to Bangkok, then you surely know the city is screaming for fresh air and parks. Still, the few little jewels, where one can induldge in fresh air are well kept and a fantastic gateway after the traffic has harassed us for a week.

Sunday means WORK for me, darn it..but Ake managed to escape Bangkok and play around with colors and bugs. I wish I were there, but hey, I had fun with the kiddos. Enjoy!

the butterfly dome...

the flowers...

the ever present bugs...

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Being girlie

Aaaah, 5 years ago it was all about torn apart jeans, baggy shirts, green hair and rock 'n roll. I'm left with jazz nowdays and the feeling on being dressy...That would have been blasfemy in my early twenties! :-))

What the heck!!! It's fun being a girl....gipsy skirts, long indian earings (boy, if I would have the neck), Thai beady flip flops and cotton bags...I feel great!

Arghhh...what to wear...what to wear...

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Santa gave me a gun!

K. is 5 years old and has the most incredible combination of blue eyes, blond hair.

Carmen : Hi K.! What did Santa bring you at Christmas?
K: I got a gun! Santa gave me a gun!

some months earlier...

Carmen: K.! What's your favorite toy?
K: My quitar! I'm learning how to play quitar!

Our Christmas on the other hand was sprinkled with a Thai Traditional and Jungle Dancing show in a secluded restaurant. After we had the food we realized it more like "unpopular". But, if you don't forgive at Christmas when else, right! The show seemed improvised over a 15 min talk but I loved it despite all the mishaps, or I should say more so because of it. One thing is certain: few Thai women are built for belly dancing...ladyboys do pretty good!
I saw a great Thai dance show in Phuket Fantasia 4 years ago, but the one I saw on Christmas will outlive the one in Phuket in my memory. It was fun ... without intending to be...:)))

Hot air balloon wishing....Cool! A bit of wax, a paper made ballloon mounted on wire cup and a wish....it goes up, up, up till it loses itself among stars. There's a dreamer in all of us!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Granpa's Eyes

This is what I've been doing lately all evenings, talking to mom evening after evening on how we can get granpa to see again. The poor guy woke one morning, nearly blind..some light sensitivity, but that's it. His main worries are now, who's milking the cow, and most importantly, who's gonna be in charge now, that "the man of the house" can't see!!!:)

Ah, the medical opportunities nowadays are something though, and I've got great hopes that laser would do it. Now, to get actually granpa into the clinic to "see" the doctor...that's the real challenge.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Kids Day in Thailand

Parade music, trumpets and drums interrupted my sweet Saturday morning slacking nap...Ake reassures with a bored voice that it's Kids Day again!

Great! I grab my cup of green tea (I'm developing a small addiction here), my camera and run off to the ice cream stalls. Ahhh, the proud parents. I'm in a priviledged position: there's enough crowd roaming through the stalls to go unnoticed and all parents are more than willing to cooperate and promote their kids.

...future Miss Thailand...

...and they lived happily ever after...aaaah!

...could crying work for another ice cream?

Bee Bee Dee Bo Bee Dee Booo

...oh, noooo..it's too early for drama, kiddo! Wait couple of years!

But Ma'! Com'on Ma!

A penny for your thoughts!..oh, dear! what a puckered up face!?

...and the tooth pick...that would be a law suit for bad parenting in US!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Living on a prayer
Dancers wearing angel hats at giant spirit houses are said to soften up the gods for whoever is genereous to throw in a baht or two (actually couple of hundred to be exact). The deal is...they dance! you pray!

Erawan, Bangkok