Monday, September 26, 2016

Street Food Junkie

Once in the souks of Aleppo, Syria a shop owner tried to woo us foreign girls into his humble shop by declaring, "I have cheap and nasty!" We didn't stick around long enough to discover if this was a ploy or if he really did have the cheap and nasty. The phrase stuck with us ever since.

For sure, without looking too hard, you can find cheap and nasty on the streets of downtown Bangkok. What I'm after, however is one letter off the nasty. I'm going for Cheap and TASTY!

Yep, I love me some street food!  

I am somewhat limited in my quest for delicious and incredibly cheap street food by my vegetarianism and inconvenient allergy to shellfish, but with a few limited Thai words and some ridiculous pantomime (visualize my free form interpretation of shrimp, eating, choking, and a violent death) I have managed without getting sick (yet). 

I might add that I consider the produce stand around the corner from me as street food, although technically, it is directly off the street food. I can pick up my salad in a bag, a dozen eggs, and some mangosteens without getting off my scooter, so I count it. 

It's my blog. I can do that.   

Now I am going to sit back, have a beer-I did have to get off my scooter to buy that-and enjoy my salad in a bag that I just bought for 30 bhat. AND tasty! I'm hooked. 
Introducing Jen to my new addiction on her first visit to Thailand.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

What's in a Name?

One new and interesting aspect of the Thai cultures is nicknames. My class of students is no exception. One of the most fun parts of my transition was getting my class list and seeing all the names.

I've had many "Mariams" all with different spellings. I've had a couple of Alexes, two Dereks, and some Brians. I've had some amazing multicultural names like Lowaliya, Lars, Aave, Felipe, but never have I had such a fun group of names.

We have the theme names that imply wealth and prosperity-Porsche, Diamond, Bank. A number of kids whose parents went with a Western name like Jack, Mac, Lisa, Nikki. A few daring parents braved the no nickname idea all together. Four out of 21! A couple of girls have diminutive names like Minnie and Noi (small), and Axe is as cool as his name implies. My favorite name, however, is Party! Not only is his name Party, but we have two Partys in the grade. Instead of the usually First Name Last Initial routine, we differentiate by gender. Yes ladies and gentlemen, I have...

Party Boy. 

I think that name will do him quite well in any university he goes to!

Here is a fun article about Thai students picking suitable names in college.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Chapter 3 Thailand

I started a blog when I first moved to Syria-Chapter 1 in the expat Book of Chagnes-but it fell by the wayside when I moved to Abu Dhabi. At the time I felt like there was nothing to blog about in the U.A.E. There weren't motorcycles carrying goats and household furniture, no men with A-K 47s on my walk to school, no life-threatening road trips to ancient civilizations, no dusty souk trips filled with tasty croissants and falafel. But, during my final days in my adopted home I realized that so much had happened to me there. I had had many adventures. Maybe they didn't involve holy sites and zany interactions with locals, but I missed seven years of capturing the small moments that involved great memories and even great friends.

Now that I've moved from Chapter Two, The Abu Dhabi Years, I am ready to get back up on the blogging horse and share my new adventures in Thailand. I've been here two months, and I already feel like I have a lot of catching up to do! Let's begin. Chapter 3 Thailand...