Thursday, May 28, 2009

Plaa Tapean

One of my favorite decorations in Thailand are fish woven from palm leaves. Sometimes they're painted with glossy enamel paint and other times they're left unpainted.  The plain ones have a natural simplicity about them, but on the other hand, the ones with painted designs are nice, too.  Apparently, they're supposed to be tapean fish. Besides the palm leaf variety, the real "plaa" are pretty tasty when they're prepared Thai-style with a spicy and tangy sauce.     

Saturday, May 23, 2009


There's nothing quite as ethereal as the image of Buddha reflected in the windshield of a taxi.  Rather than displaying statuettes or other religious objects on the dashboard, the cabby had created a mirror image in the window using a photocopied picture of a Buddha amulet. The effect was modest, minimal, and otherworldly.   

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Jalopy Taxi

I have to admit I normally look for newer taxis when hailing a cab in Bangkok because I've have some bad experiences in dilapidated taxis here, including one time when a beat-up taxi broke down half way to my destination. But today I ended up taking an older cab because all the newer ones were already hired. As we drove along, the car made loud squeaky and screechy noises. Inside the taxi were piles of old papers, books, magazines, half full water bottles, and several amulets in plastic bags. The driver was quite a character, too. He could barely see over his leopard print steering wheel and he was laughing maniacally to himself during most of the drive. I was happy when I finally arrived back home in one piece without the taxi breaking down or losing a wheel or something. But the driver should really get that squeak (and maybe himself) checked out.   

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Visakha Bucha Day

This past Friday was Visakha Bucha, the day which marks the birth, the enlightenment, and the passing of Buddha. Devout Buddhists observe the day by walking around a temple three times, carrying a lighted candle, incense sticks, and lotus flowers. Those who don't go to the temple walk around the mall or the beach until they get tired.   

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Lucky Ganesh?

I wonder what it would feel like to be Ganesh, the elephant-headed deity. Apparently the job involves reclining on a chaise lounge and being shrouded in gold. Not a bad life, with the exception of having to hang out with a rat and potentially spending eternity stuck in a taxi.  

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Dessert and Main Course

I don't care much for Thai jelly desserts, but the other day I was hungry in the taxi and the green gelatinous-looking jade Buddha in the silver dish made me think about how tasty one of those desserts would be.  Later on, I stopped at a local market and bought a few traditional Thai sweets along with a few things for dinner.  For the main course:  grilled pork neck.