Saturday, October 30, 2010

Umong Wine House Warming

Back home I really enjoy a glass of red wine (probably a little too much at times ;). In Asia, imported wine is obviously on the expensive side when compared to local products, particularly if you're on a local budget. Mike's review on Mao Berry Wine gave me hope, so I thought I'd do a bit of sampling myself. Why not!  A a house warming celebratory drink. We moved from a hotel room into an apartment today.

While wandering around Central Airport Plaza, I purchased a small bottle (70 Baht) of Umong Wine, rather than blow 250 Baht on what might be an inferior product.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Why So Blue?

I came across this today. I didn't taste it, because, just looked unnatural to me. After Googling 'blue rice' I discovered that apparently it's coloured with the flower Morning Glory. Even if I knew that it wasn't riddled with blue dye, I still wasn't sure what to do with it next. The rice platter was surrounded by bowls of toppings/ I guess you just flavour it to your own liking?

Snap's other blog Chiang Mai Thai

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Random bits and pieces

After a trip to Warorot Markets to buy a 'polite' shirt (collar and sleeves) for my official student photo, today I enrolled in my Thai Language course! Now I wait for my application to be approved by the Ministry of Education (MOE).
Not a good photo of Warorot Markets
Mum...I'd like one of these for Christmas for my lounge room please ;)

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Garden

The Garden was one of our favourite places to eat, drink and duck out of the hustle and bustle of central Chiang Mai last year, so we went back for a visit. Unfortunately for us, good for them, it's situated smack bang near the intersection of the Sunday night Walking Street Markets.

I don't remember the walking being as slow or as crowded as it was yesterday evening. We stopped for a juice and sat out of the way for about 20 minutes and to escape the stifling heat generated by  bodies and hundreds of stall lights.

Anyway, we got there in the end and were lucky there were still a few vacant seats.

Stray's meal: pad see ew, excellent! My meal: Squid with basil and  of course steamed rice. Also excellent, however, I forgot to say 'nit naawy phrik kha!'. HOLD THE BLOODY CHILLI. Even after plucking the little blighters out, it was incredibly hot. My eyes started watering and the fire in my mouth intensified. I do alright on the chillidometer, but will never reach Thai standards.

I finish my meal. I ask the waiter for a little bit of milk.  He looks at me strangely and questions my request. I guess he couldn't figure out how the milk worked in with the squid dish and Chang beer. 'Yes please', I say. By the time he returned with my milk, delivered in a small jug :) the inferno was dying down...but I drank it anyway for good measure.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Yesterday - Half of today was spent getting some much needed supplies: phone charger, universal power board, locks etc. But on the top of our list were pillows. Because ours.... well, I reckon somewhere around town two foundation stones are missing.

The mattress isn’t far behind in the comfort department, but we’ll deal with that another day.

Robinsons at Airport Central Plaza, which is on par with Myer or David Jones, was a little over our price range. In fact the prices were similar to those back in Australia. We walked about a kilometre or so down to Tesco Lotus and bought our 199 Baht pillows, including covers.

I’m looking forward to tonight’s sleep, but I’m sure our new purchases will only highlight just how bad the mattress is.

Friday, October 22, 2010

First post from CM

If I was a superstitious person I may have cancelled my trip to Chiang Mai. The omens or warning signs leading up to our departure may have been enough to deter some: increased Red Shirt activity, explosive devices going off willy nilly, the cancellation of my course = loss of Ed visa = possible/probable loss of my deposit, headlines of  'Thailand - expecting worst floods in 50 years', an Aussie bank losing all of my certified documentation to sell my shares just prior to leaving, waking up to find a dead rat size mouse at the foot of the mattress on our last morning at home (a farewell gift from our cat) ...but, no, not me...I'm here!

We arrived late last night, extremely tired, but happy we got it all over and done with in one day. On exiting the airport Stray saw his old taxi driver mate, Mr A, so it was nice to see a familiar face straight away.

The hotel is pleasant, quiet, clean and quite large, situated in the outskirts of Chiang Mai and shadowed by Doi Suthep. Theoretically I'll be able to find my way back, should I get lost, using the mountain as a landmark.

The recorded female elevator attendant in hotel is a bit of a worry. She had a slight spac attack this morning and advised that we were shooting up past the mezzanine floor and penthouses (like there are any) at great knots, and that there was an earthquake and we should get out.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I've buried the cat, Chiang Mai, here we come!

Stray and I are taking the scenic route to Chiang Mai this time, from the Gold Coast, to Kuala Lumur, to Bangkok, to Chiang Mai. Three flights and two airlines in one day, a tad painful, but very economical. AU$369.00 one way. Let me tell you, we were absolutely buggered by the time we boarded the plane (I can say that even two days prior to leaving, while I'm writing this post). We didn't achieve all we set out to do, but at some stage you have to say 'that's enough, it'll be waiting for us when we get back'.

Emotions - for me, running somewhere between, hysteria, relief, excitement, name it, I've got it.

Last week I had my head in the oven (noooo, I was cleaning it, although it was such a chore, turning the gas on did cross my mind) and I thought back to our return flight from Kuala  Lumpur earlier this year (To get anywhere with Air Asia, we have to go via KL). I was sandwiched between Stray (happy about that) and some older, short, vocal, stumpy Aussie guy.

Me and my big mouth. If I'd shut up and not asked to sit next to Stray, who was across the aisle, we would have ended up with three seats to share.

This ain't us!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Videos - Bangkok, Ayutthaya and Kanchanaburi...sort of. 2009

....still uploading old videos, finished now, I promise! 

On the last leg of our Thailand holiday we went out to Ayutthaya. 'I' could have spent days out there if it weren't for the heat, I love old architecture, especially if its crumbling. We arrived by mini bus at which time our tour guide diligently dispensed round stickers to our we knew who we were! Stray offered to afix mine and proceeded to adhere it to my..well, not in an appropriate place. I could have and should have smacked him up side the head, but there were witnesses.

After visiting a Wat (one that was rebuilt after the Burmese burnt it down)...I cant remember the names and feel a little ashamed, but one can get a bit Watted out  after a while, we headed to one of the large ruin sites right next door. Wat Phra Si Sanphet?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Dragon Fruit Tree

This post should really be called 'Dragon Fruit Plant on a Tree'. Two posts ago I replied to a comment and mentioned our Dragon Fruit plant (Pitaya) and how the only fruit we ever see are small and pathetic, and on the ground, along with ginormous dead flowers. I first tasted the white fleshed variety in China, without it's skin and cut up, so didn't recognise it at the time. Twenty or more years ago I planted a small piece of the Pitaya cactus at the base of a gum tree.

This is the way a fruit bearing DF plant should look, neat, trimmed and well maintained.