Thursday, July 26, 2007

Thai Spicy Frog

I now know why Orientals have a fancy for frogs -- because it tastes that damn good! And the Thai cooks have a brilliant method of adding spice to this dish, which other people would cringe at the thought of savoring. Picture this -- the frog gets diced into small pieces and gets fried in chillies and other herbs to create a fiery flavor; the chef then steps out on to the road and sets up his stove and pan; his assistant stands in attendance on the other side of the road. The chef then stirs up a delightful mix of herbs on the roadside and when done, in one elegant swish, tosses the herbs across to the assistant who completes a catch Jonty Rhodes would be proud of! Wow! That's enough to make anyones mouth water...


So yes, we did have the Thai spicy frog preparation yesterday and also cut our way through a splendid Thai snapper and Amrita waded through squids and steamed rice.

As the evening wore on, we finally mustered courage to walk into one of the Go-Go bars and witness a couple of Muay Thai matches. The sport is quite physical though it does seem to me as if the fights are fixed. If you're short of cash, try being as invisible as you can; for all you know, the winner of the match may just come asking you for a token of appreciation ($$$). The bars arent so bad after all. You can always take your family and walk in. No one will bother you. Yes the girls are quite vocal in inviting foreigners and that is quite a turn off for many families. But trust me, this is one of the best and cheapest forms of local entertainment. A must do, if in Pattaya; especially if you're single...

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Shopping and Food

Finally some solace for my wife! We were able to locate a spot where we could find a few decent bargains, though I aint sure if this is the best price Thailand can offer. Having said that, my wife's at least been able to open her shopping account.

Sightseeing just keeps getting more expensive in this country. We travelled to the local zoo and while the experience was fun, a trip to the zoo for 450 Baht seems to be such a luxury. However I'm carrying back some nice memories one of which is almost getting killed by an elephant who seemed to have a fancy for stepping on me (in the wrong place).

The food adventure is on in full swing though and ducks, oyster, squids, chicken balls and shrimps have been the latest casualties on my plate. I'm all geared up to savor the delight of a spicy frog curry, which my wife absolutely detests the thought of! I cant resist the temptation though... its the opportunity to savor something that'd be unheard of back in India. :-)

Monday, July 23, 2007

A diverse food chain

Pattaya just doesnt seem to stop amazing me. While I am yet to recover from the shock and disappointment of missing the night market at Theprasit, I am also bewildered at how smart the Thai folks are, in conning every foreigner that comes here. Fortunately I aint white-skinned, but not being an oriental does put me in the wrong spot sometimes. The girls here are just so smart! Picture this -- Joe Nobody walks into a "Go-Go bar" and orders a few drinks while watching a Thai boxing match. Before he realises it, half a dozen Thai chicks, provocatively dressed, descend on him and pat his bulging midriff and shower him with praises he hasnt heard since the time of Adam! Joe Nobody finally becomes a somebody. He invites one of the girls for a drink with him. Obviously, this is exactly what he came for!
A few drinks later, its time for negotiations. The girl quotes a price; the man stays put at 1000 Baht! Obviously after so many drinks it'd be a shame for both to let each other go. Its a deal! They head to the hotel room and there starts a saga of love and deceit. God forbid the "farang" falls in love with the girl and starts to unknowingly become the sole provider of her family, the other people will jump on the bandwagon to claim their share of the pie. TEFL companies to teach the would be "bride" English; visa agents to help the brides get a visa; they're all in it together. It might be disgusting for the propah "ladies and gentlemen" but come to think of it, its a fascinating way to make money in such a diverse food chain. Hats off to all the Thai chicks for the way they support the economy! As a logo on one of the Internet cafe reads -- "Thai chicks rock!"
I've been on my journey as a gastronomic Indiana Jones, savoring some of the most brilliant food that this country serves. Yesterday's adventure was full of Noodles, shrimp, squid, octopus and crabmeat! Long live Thailand for its exquisite cooking.
Shopping? Well, apart from he hammock me wife picked up, I havent had luck finding bargains that really interest me as yet. I've gotta find something that compares to Fashion street or Bangalore street prices to get really excited.
la gon!! (goodbye in Thai!)

Thailand!

Welcome to Thailand, the land of cheap liquor, spicy food, illicit trade and illegal yet rampant prostitution. My first two days in Thailand have been quite eventful and in many ways an eye opener. While its evident that the cost of living in Thailand is not very high, tourism is quite a rip-off in this place and is targetted at the crowd that comes here from Europe and America. With the dollar depreciating against the Thai Baht, obviously an Indian gets very little bang for his buck. A trip to the Coral Island in a boat, with a 2-minute parasailing ride and a 30 minute walk under-water, with a measly lunch thrown in, is 2000 THB! A ticket to the zoo costs you 650 THB; a drag queen show costs you 600 THB and is supposedly the star attraction of Pattaya; a visit to Ripley's museum for a little believe it or what! and your pocket is 1000 THB lighter.
In two days at Thailand, we've realised a few things. Pick your sights carefully, cuz you might just end up many Baht poorer. Eat well, cuz Thailand has some of the most amazing food that mankind has ever sampled. Take for example the Stewed Duck (Thailand's very own version of the Chinese - Peking Duck) or the Tom Yum or the Pad Thai or the lip smacking grilled chicken that you get in the most non-descrepit places -- dont be deceived because this can put the Indian Tandoori to shame. Dont bother what it is in Thailand -- just eat because you'd definitely get your money's worth! Shop wisely, and if possible at the Thai night markets because that's where the natives shop. Getting a good deal is not difficult if you go to the right places and pick the right stuff.
Last but definitely not the least, if there is one lesson I think is very important, then I think it is that you should always rent your own transport. If there is anything worse than the rip-off sight seeing, it has to be the local transport! Rent a bike for about 150-170 Baht a day and you've got yourself freedom to travel where you wish to...
Well, I hope I aint complaining too much now that I understand how things work here, but yes, I am a lot wiser and I know now, how important it is to plan a trip well in advance.
Until the next time, cheerio!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Whatever...

When things aint perfect usually everyone has a piece of advice... As it turns out people (including me) are so gung ho about what they feel is the right idea that they never wish to play the devil's advocate and look at the possible chances of failure or the risks attached.

Often all our grand plans come to nought... and we're left wondering where we went wrong!! Play the devil's advocate mate!!!! Thats all I have to say about that!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Our miseries

Filmstars can have so much fun... I wish I have that kind of a life... Work out... look smart... be on diets... eat when you want to... give interviews ... pose for cameras... crack jokes that everyone should laugh at....

They do have all the fun... while men like me slog our pathetic butts off....

Saturday, July 07, 2007

The Chef


Life can sometimes trudge along with very little purpose. Who am I? Why am I walking the earth? What difference do I make? These are all questions I ask myself every now and then. Am I a man who wants to be called the "chef" of the house simply because he wants to call his wife the "cook". Am I an enigma who could have been a brilliant techie? Am I a linguist? Am I a manager? Who am I? The "follow your heart" trick may have worked; it may not have. I wouldnt know.



Sometimes work makes me feel if I am in the right place, doing the right thing. I am quite confused... That word's truly representative of my mind-set at the present moment.
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