Sunday, 30 May 2010


Clouds are not permanent residents of the sky. Some move across the sky with visible speed, others seem to crawl or even not move at all...but always the wind is driving them, all that differs is the pace. Some day they give way to blue skies and golden sunshine.

Rainy season has arrived in Thailand. My heart too seems to be heavy with clouds, dark and ripe for rain. But watching the black clouds move steadily across the evening sky the other night my heart was filled with hope.

These clouds too will pass.

Monday, 24 May 2010

A walk down my street...

Continuing my theme of transition from life in Thailand to life back at home, I thought I would take a walk down my street today and take photos of the people/things that have become part of my daily life here in Thailand and that I am thankful for/will miss!

Lets go on a virtual tour of my 'soi' (street)!

This is the Youth House, where I live and work! On the left is my/our bike, to the right is P'Nok who lives at the YH and sells food out the front!

P'Nok making yummy food!!!!

This is the shop where we buy drinking water - that's what those big white bottles are! It is also my emergency 'milk for tea' stop if I run out of fresh milk!

A little bit further down the road you will meet this great little stall where you can buy a chicken an rice meal ('khao man gai') for 20 baht. If you get it to take-away it comes wrapped up in a paper package, like the Thai equivalent of fish and chips! The man who makes/sells it is really friendly, and I call him 'Khao-man-gai Man!' (Original!)

This is the bucket I walk past every day that is always overflowing with an unknown supply of water dripping from above! I only notice it because every time i walk past it my feet get a bit wet.

A bit further down you get to 7/11 - convenience store of all convenience stores! Not only can you buy microwave meals here, they microwave them for you! Not only can you buy sandwiches...they toast them for you while you wait! Not only can you buy packets of coffee....there is even an area of the store to add hot water and make it yourself!

After a quick stop in 7/11 (known as 'seven' by the locals!) to buy a chocolate milk, we come to the section of the street that I like to call the 'buzzing wires' part! This is because (you've guessed it...) these electrical wires that hang down continually make an alarming buzzing sound, so that when I walk past them I always instinctively find myself veering to the right to avoid them in-case I should walk into them!!

This is just a whistle-stop tour of the street I live in and the things I pass as I walk/cycle down it! These things have become so familiar to me, and I will miss them!

More crazy stationary

You just can't get stationary of this quality in the UK....

Monday, 10 May 2010

Note to self (2): things to appreciate about Thailand in the next month and a half before i leave...

  • wonderful Thai friends
  • the fact that it's almost always possible to get somewhere door to door by public transport! (and cool public transport at that!)
  • 'Bum-sprays' (see HERE for a very important read about Thailand's alternative to loo roll - I'm just not sure how I'm ever going to feel clean again without one...!)
  • being able to go outside in the dark and not feel cold AT ALL!
  • the pace of life in Thailand and general laid-back-ness to everything!
  • never having to cook! In particular I am going to miss MSG restaurant.
  • being allowed to fit as many people as possible in a car (esp. pick-up trucks!)
  • geckos
  • singing in Thai
  • availability of hilarious stationary - for example here and here and this:  

    Thai Cultural Lessons #7 [Eating Out]

    In Thailand eating out is the norm - hard to imagine in western culture where you only eat out on special occasions! This is because it is (a) cheaper to eat out and (b) easier to eat out.

    I never need to cook a meal, EVER in Thailand. I could buy 3 meals a day at restaurants in my street and it would cost me in total no more than 60 baht (around 1 pound!).

    So let me introduce you to two of my very own favourite locals.

    Introducing...Sneezing Restaurant:

    Features of sneezing restaurant:
    • you are guaranteed to sneeze every time you go there, due to peppery things that are being cooked (presumably!?)
    • when you put cold drinks in the plastic cups you get what I like to call the 'phenomenon of the dry-ice smoke-cup effect' (catchy!)
    • when the restaurant is closed the tin roof folds down to become a door!

    Introducing...MSG Restaurant: 

     Features of MSG Restaurant:
    • The extreme amounts of MSG in the food make it very yummy!
    • the lady who makes the food (called 'MSG lady') is very friendly.
    • I do not have to order - I just go in and sit down, and MSG lady sees me and says 'your usual?' and starts getting it for me!
    • Me and my Chinese housemates call this our 'second home' - going there is like walking into our own home!
    • It is totally acceptable (in fact normal!) to just take your own plate over and get her to fill it up, then take it back home (just across the road) to eat! I LOVE that feature!
    When Caroline was here (OMF colleague, now in UK on Home Assignment) we would usually take it in turns to go to sneezing restaurant (her fave) and MSG restaurant (my fave!) on alternate days. Despite the unfortunate sneezing side affect, I do agree that sneezing restaurant is probably better (meaning healthier), but MSG restaurant is just so yummy and friendly! I love it. I will miss it.

      Saturday, 8 May 2010

      Note to self: remember to appreciate these things (for more than a day!) when I get back to the UK...

      • friends and family
      • being able to go through a whole day without sweating
      • being able to understand more than 70% of what people say to me
      • being able to read without the pages of the book being blown around by a fan
      • bread for sandwiches which isn't sweet!
      • church in English
      • carpets and socks
      • being able to walk places
      • recognising most of the foods that I see in the supermarket
      • baths