Posts Tagged With: Thai food

Bouncing Thai Meat

I am going to write about that thing that happened in Bangkok a week ago, oh no wait I can’t because there is no free speech… so instead I am going to write about something equally as consequential: bouncing meat.  Why do Thai people like bouncing, processed meat?  This is probably a question that has been asked by few, but I have dared to ask it.  I noticed that in all of the advertising for canned/processed/other grossly prepared meats, the meat always bounces.  Like someone drops a pile of hot dogs from the heavens onto a plate and they all bounce in slo-mo followed by someone saying how delicious and fresh they are.

Bouncing Hot Dogs

Bouncing Hot Dogs

Maybe the bounciness of the meat indicates freshness?  Stuff all the parts of a pig and some chemicals into an intestinal casing, and if it bounces, people will believe it’s fresh and healthy?  Well, this meatatarian is convinced.

Bouncing Nuggets

Bouncing Nuggets

Don’t worry chicken nuggets, we don’t want to leave you out, if you are fresh enough, you can also bounce to affirm your breaded deliciousness.

Bouncing Burger Bun

Bouncing Burger Bun

Not to be outdone by a bird, if you drop a bun on this fresh beef (?), the bun will bounce a solid 2 inches.  2 inches!  The QA/QC department ensured that this beef (?) is bouncy enough for human consumption.  That’s right, this beef (?) is so bouncy and fresh, it causes other naturally unbouncy foods, like buns, to bounce.  How could I NOT devour this burger (?)?

Last but not least, and the winner of the bouncing meat Olympics, pepperoni.  It’s true meat source is so mysterious, which is what makes it so sexy; pork? beef? chicken? dog? borax?  Maybe all 5?  No, not maybe, probably…. plus some “natural flavorings”.  The pepperoni in this Italian food commercial bounced an incredible 3 inches when dropped from a standard meat dropping height.  AND THEN, they rolled, while those lazy, disgusting, unhealthy tomatoes just sat there, not bouncing.  Well done pepperoni, based on your slow motion bounce, I can say with confidence that you are the freshest, healthiest, most delicious meat in Thailand.

Bouncing Pepperoni

The Gold Medalists

Who’s hungry?  Or should I say, hee-ou mai?

 

Categories: Thailand, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Krabi

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Despite getting scratched on the boob by a hungry, wild monkey, daily rain storms and a day trip on a marginally seaworthy boat that had me convinced I would be meeting Gilligan, Krabi is still my favorite area in Thailand.  A friend of a friend bought a package trip at the Thai vacation expo and she couldn’t go, but it aligned perfectly with one of my 10 weeks of vacation, so I got the last spot.  I’ll preface this story by saying, that the package price was what they would charge a foreigner for 3 nights, 2 days and a boat trip, but there is no way in hell that a foreigner would put up with the quality of the services rendered.  Everything was fine, but it was like the leftovers that they don’t give to foreigners anymore, not even the hippie budget tourist foreigners.  Everything included on the trip had seen it’s prime about 15 years ago.  I admit, it felt kind of good to see that the Thai tour agencies also screw their own people, not just me.

Thai style fish

Thai style fish

My first day was fairly uneventful.  The hotel was a series of standalone rooms scattered on a property with lots of trees and grass.  Bangkok has like 1 tree so it is always nice when I get to see nature.  In keeping with the theme I stated earlier, the hotel was probably really nice 15 years ago, but the electricity didn’t work, there was no shower curtain and the paint was peeling off the walls from the humidity.  I didn’t care, but some snooty tourist who flew from across the world for a 2 night paradise vacation would be understandably unhappy.  It was rainy and wet all day but to be fair, I did go during rainy season so this wasn’t unexpected.  I ate some delicious fish at a shack on the beach that had been destroyed by the Tsunami 10 years ago and rebuilt.  They had some interesting photos on the wall that showed the devastation.  They also had 2 very sweet women working there that had some kind of dwarfism that made them about the size of a 2 year old, maybe even smaller.  I wandered around the beach town, Ao Nang, got a foot massage, watched the sunset, ate dinner and called it a night.  PS, I mostly wrote this paragraph about my boring day so that I can remember what happened in 5 years, not because I believe it was a particularly interesting day.

Sunset on Ao Nang

Sunset on Ao Nang

Such a majestic yacht

Such a majestic yacht

Boat trip day.  I woke up to pounding rain, exactly what you want to hear when you’re about to spend the whole day riding around on a boat.  We got to the pier, still in the rain, and boarded the SS It Floats, Promise.  It was all Thai people, and me, which was clue number two that they only sell this package tour to Thai people.  It was raining, but there was only enough indoor space for about 12 of the 40 people.  We got some of those spaces, and when I say indoor, I don’t mean dry, I just mean not outside under a sunshade.  Whelp, off we went.  The rain started to clear up by about 10:00 and then it was absolutely beautiful.

Safety First!

Safety First!

Our first stop was an island that has a small sand spit that connects it to another island when it’s low tide.  They put all of us into a longtail boat and shuttled us to shore.  Of course, we had to wear lifejackets on the shuttle boat.  Most Thai people can’t swim, and when I tried to explain that I can swim and that I used to teach swimming and that this oversize life jacket with broken straps and minimal, UV damaged flotation would actually hinder my ability to swim safely, the deck hands didn’t understand… weird.  You must always follow the rules, especially if you are ignorant of the facts, because someone else said those are the rules, and that’s that.  My American brain couldn’t handle this, but I wore it anyway, and since no one could understand my squawking, I just said whatever I wanted and it actually made me feel better.  As did my ceremoniously throwing my life jacket like a boomerang onto the beach when I got off the boat.  Wait, why do these people get annoyed by foreigners?  It would have been safer if I had just swum from the big boat to land, at least then I wouldn’t have people clinging to my life jacket and drowning me when the shuttle boat capsized from being overloaded.

Good thing I had my life jacket to protect me in these raging seas

Good thing I had my life jacket to protect me in these raging seas

All the islands around Krabi are beautiful.  There is amazing Karst topography (yep I’m a geologist now) as far as the eye can see.  We were fortunate enough to have a beautiful day so it made the colors of the sea against the islands really vibrant.  One of the advantages of the all Thai boat was that no one wanted to be in the sun, so I got the best spot right on the bow.  Helllllllo skin cancer, and awesome photos and a tan I could brag about.

Squawk Squawk!!

Squawk Squawk!!

Next photo op, Chicken Island (Koh Gai).  I’ve found that a lot of land formations in Thailand are named after animals.  This is one of the only ones that I understand because it actually looks like a chicken head.

Our main squid fishing competition

Our main squid fishing competition

Sqiudworth

Sqiudworth

After the standard boxed fried rice and watermelon lunch, it was time for some snorkeling.  Screw that 30 minute rule, we can cramp all we want because we have “life jackets”!!!  Needless to say, I jumped in with that thing and it wasn’t even fully wet before I took it off and clipped it to Bom’s life jacket and swam away.  Freedom.  There wasn’t much to see since, unfortunately, Thailand has destroyed most of their reefs, only about 25% of the reefs in Krabi are in good condition.  After our post lunch dip, we went squid fishing.  This involved a plastic bottle with a lure and some fishing line.  I was happy to see a plastic bottle being recycled in order to damage another part of the ecosystem.  We did throw the squid back though… I think… or maybe they were lunch for the next day’s group.  I don’t know, I wasn’t paying attention because I was too busy being childish about the fact that I didn’t catch one.

Me in the penis cave

Me in the penis cave

Our next stop was the beautiful Railay Bay which is famous for it’s beach side caves, one of which is filled with penises.  Yes, penises.  The local fishermen bring them as offerings to an apparently very horny sea goddess to bring them good luck on the water.  There are also TONS of rude monkeys.  They have been tamed since there are lots of tourists here, which was cool because we got to see them up close, but not cool because the earth is being destroyed and that is sad.  When I first got there, I was thirsty so I got a coconut and after they hacked the top off with a butcher knife (this is normal), I gave the top to a monkey so he could eat coconut instead of potato chips and a bottle of Coke like this monkey:

Anyone who says humans and monkeys don't have a common ancestor needs to be culled from the herd

He must be an emotional eater

Thank god this was captured on film

Thank god this was captured on film

On the way back to the boat, I got some peanuts, which must be a favorite of the monkeys.  There were two trees on either side of the path: one with tan monkeys, and one with black monkeys.  It appeared that there was some tension between the two groups.  I threw a couple peanuts to the nearby monkeys and one of the tan monkeys got greedy after a black monkey grabbed a peanut before he could get to it.  Tan monkey wanted more peanuts.  I admit, what ensued was my own fault because I got them riled up to begin with.  It all happened pretty fast but before I knew it, I had a monkey climbing up my leg, swatting at the peanut bag trying to steal it.  As the larger ape form, I resisted and tried to shake the little monster off of me, but he was persistent and scrambled further up and grabbed me right between my boobs, and gave me a monkey scratch.  He also had big monkey teeth so I relented and gave him the rest of my peanuts.  Anyone who says apes and humans don’t have a common link is an idiot and needs to be culled from the herd.

That was pretty much the end of boat day.  I looked on Dr. Internet when I got back to the hotel since I am a hypochondriac and thought I had some kind of monkey disease, but I was fine.

Road Trip!

Road Trip!

One of the things that is really cool about Krabi, and why it’s my favorite place is because you can get the jungle and beach in the same place.  The next day we rented motos and drove to the Tiger Temple.  There used to be tigers here, but they have gone the way of much of the other wildlife.  There are monks here who live the ascetic lifestyle and guard the caves because they hold a lot of spiritual significance.  Luckily, there were hardly any people here so we had our own monk cave guide.  We walked through part of the jungle and found the little settlement next to a giant Buddha and a cool cave system.  The monk told us the legends of the caves, which were then translated to me.  Basically the monk talked for 3-4 minutes and then I got: “a spirit lives behind that rock”, so I am not really sure what the full story is.

Spe-monk-ing....

Spe-monk-ing….

Climbing out of the cave

Climbing out of the cave

We got to crawl around the the dirt and mud and see some cool stuff.  It was nice though because it was so hot and humid in the jungle that the caves provided a nice respite.  I think that people come to see these caves, but they definitely are not in any guidebook or group tour itinerary, which was great for us.  After the caves we walked along a jungle path and saw some cool stuff.  When a tree is really old in Thailand, they wrap it with these colored cloths.  There were a lot of really old trees in this jungle area, which was nice to see.

Grandpa tree

Grandpa tree

Let's go legs

Let’s go legs

Next was the hike to the temple on the top of the mountain via the ultimate stair master.  1237 steps to the top.  Which is about 120 flights of stairs.  Ok, not too bad if you are on the stair stepper, at the gym, in air conditioning, it’s a good workout but it’s not gonna kill you.  Try doing that same work out on stairs made from concrete that are all different heights, most are knee high, some have only enough room for you to step on them with the ball of your foot and it’s 100 degrees with 90% humidity.

One of many breaks

One of many breaks

We finally made it to the top after about 45 minutes.  And the view was totally worth it.  The temple was fairly standard, but being on top of one of the humps and seeing the view from above made it all worth it.  I also had plans to go to a cooking class that night, so the work out justified the impeding pig out.  My calves were so sore for 3 days that I could barely walk.

Victory!!  And a LOT of sweat

Victory!! And a LOT of sweat

After we walked 1237 steps down the mountain, which was not as hard as going up, but I am convinced was the cause of my calf soreness, we went into the “tiger’s cave/meeting hall”.  Literally, that’s what the sign says.  If I ever own my own business….

Food glorious food

Food glorious food

That night, I cooked up a storm at Thai Charm Cooking School.  I would highly reccommend it.  The guy speaks great English and the recipes were delicious.  He runs the school with his wife out of his house so it was a really great experience.  I cooked and ate 5 or 6 different things including mango sticky rice for dessert.  It’s a total bitch to make your own curry paste, but the flavor is so much better and there’s no MSG!  Food coma….

It's more of an aqua color

It’s more of an aqua color

On the last day, we had a flight in the afternoon so we got up early to go to the Emerald Pool.  We drove a little over an hour on a moto which was fairly painful, plus I was the navigator and I accidentally took us down a dirt road, whoopsy.  There is a beautiful green pool in the middle of the jungle that was created by mineral deposits from some of the hot spring activity in the area, I’m a geologist, I know this now.  Of course, since I am white, I had to pay an entrance fee; I can’t even get started on this because it pisses me off so badly, but I don’t make the rules, so whatever.  Once again, I was the only foreigner here, which also means that I was the only one swimming in a bikini.  All the Thai women were swimming in jeans and t-shirts.  As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, Thailand is not sexy time fun land, it’s actually pretty conservative.

After that, it was time to go home.  We were in an airport shuttle full of Thai people and on the way we stopped at a totally unauthentic “souvenir shop” and the Thai people were all about it.  Everyone bought something.  Apparently this is something Thai people do.  Does not compute.  We still made it to the airport on time, and it was back to the concrete jungle.  But don’t worry monkeys, when I come back, I’ll be ready for you…

Don't try to hide behind Buddha

Vigilant monkey

Categories: Beach, Krabi, Paradise, Snorkeling, Thai Jungle, Thailand, Thailand Beaches | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

It’s Poo-ket, Not Fuck-it

Phuket

Phuket

Brag Alert: When I have a long weekend, I can go to Phuket for the cost of two 30 racks of beer.  And yes, that was the best price analogy I could come up with.  Phuket, often mispronounced as Foo-ket, or Fuck-It, is a big tourist destination in the south of Thailand.  It was also made famous after the 2004 Tsunami devastated some of the most highly populated areas.

Shipwrecked

Shipwrecked

I met up with some Thai friends while I was there so I got to see some of the real Phuket rather than the perfectly manicured resorts.  Unfortunately this paradise has fallen victim to out of control tourism development (like much of Thailand) so being there with Thai people made a huge difference in my ability to visit an area that wasn’t swarming with sunburned Russians and sex-pats.  We went to a really beautiful, quiet beach that still had forest along the shoreline rather than massage parlors and McDonald’s.

After lunch, I got all American and went swimming and walked around on the beach for 2 hours with no sunscreen while the Thai girls sat in the shade with their skin covered.  When I’m a wrinkly old hag, they are gonna look like they’re 20.

Patong - 9 years post Tsunami

Patong Beach – 9 years post Tsunami

Just in case

Just in case

The next day, I wanted to go see what the area that got hit by the Tsunami looks like now.  In 2004 the Tsunami hit this beach, Patong, and several thousand people, Thai and foreign, died.  It’s pretty amazing, it’s almost impossible to tell that it ever happened, everything has been rebuilt.  But the evacuation route signs all along the beach are a reminder.

Heeeeerrrrre fishy fishy

Heeeeerrrrre fishy fishy

After checking out that scene, we went to a local fishing village.  The people who live/work there are actually a kind of tribal people who are treated much like the tribes in the north.  There were so many different kinds of fish, shellfish, lobsters and crabs.  I admit that while the market was cool, I couldn’t help but think that a lot of these fish are probably highly endangered and were yanked from the already dying coral reefs.  I’ve always been pretty sensitive about fish; this makes logical sense though because the Ouija board also told me that I was an octopus in my past life.  I’ve never really liked eating fish, but when in Rome…

Tiger Prawns

Tiger Prawns

We bought tiger prawns and squid, and nothing that looked like it could be Ariel’s best friend.  We walked across the street and the restaurant just cooked them up for us.  Well, not the squid, we ate that raw in a salad; I don’t much care for that consistency, it reminds me of a bouncy ball, but the squid doesn’t really taste like anything.  The tiger prawns were so delicious.  Eating fresh meat of any kind, and I mean like within 30 minutes of slaughter, has a totally different taste and it’s almost impossible to find in the developed world.  The best meat I’ve ever eaten was in Africa actually.  I understand why vampires drink blood, eating fresh meat is like eating life rather than eating death.

Unlike most of my other travels, nothing went wrong, I didn’t do anything stupid and miraculously, I came home injury free.  So, The End.

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A typical Sunday

Categories: Thailand, Thailand Beaches | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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