Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Eating insects in Phuket with my Isaan girlfriend.

เห็นช้างขี้ ขี้ตามช้าง

hen chang kee, kee dam chang.
Literally translated it means: Don't try to shit as much as an elephant.
An equivalent English idiom would be: Don't try to keep up with the Jones.


I think Thai and Chinese proverbs are great. Many Thai proverbs are based on elephants, tigers, crocodiles and buffalo - everyday things here in tropical Thailand. This one's my favourite!

Today, a student asked to go to the toilet so I said this to them in Thai and the whole class was laughing. The laughing soon receded as I moved on to graphing sine wave functions with phase shifts in measured radians!

Toon NUFC 6 - 0 Villa? What's going on? And who is this Andy Carroll character? Wow?

Massage

Lek and her shy daughter. Lek often gives me an oil massage on Sundays. The daughter helped me buy bedding at Sapan Hin market for my new room.


Do you fancy a coffee at the Orgy Cafe? There are so many silly names out here in Asia that I don't register them anymore. You can have your haircut at the Piss salon. Or how about a visit to the Tittyporn law firm? There are many crazy names out here. China is worse.

Motorbike

I've learned some interesting things this week regarding motorbike paperwork. I've been driving for 2 months without tax and 11 months without insurance. I also learned the bike is 5 years old on the 7th June. So it was first used on 7th June 2005! I thought it was only 3 years old?????

I headed to the transport office to sort this mess. It took ages to find - no English signs. A lady explained that to renew the tax I need to first have the bike inspected (safety, emissions etc) because its five years old - like an MOT in the UK. The test centre was nearby and took about 5 mins and cost 60baht (1.20gbp).

Now armed with the test certificate, I headed back to the transport office. I was then informed I need a Por Ror Bor. This is the insurance you need along with the inspection certificate in order to get your new tax sticker. These are the Por Ror Bor ladies - costs 640baht (13gbp) for a year.

Armed with Inspecshan and Por Ror Bor papers, I am ready to proceed to the tax counter. Check out the flooding in the car park below! This is normal during monsoon season.

Just outside the transport office is a banana fan tree. I love to see these - highly symmetrical.

The new tax sticker. It cost 100baht (2gbp). Now I have a road worthy motorbike, insurance and tax. All for 800baht (16gbp). In Thailand the year is 2553. That is because dates begin from when Buddha died, 543 years before Jesus was born! So my tax will expire in Mitunayon 2554 (or June 2011).


Oy

Oi joined me in Phuket Town for some Moo Ga Taa last week. This is a eat-all-you-can buffet - similar to shaboo shaboo in Taiwan.We were absolutely stuffed. We had to sit at the table and wait for half an hour for the pain to subside.

English Camp

The school is determined to not allow the kids a full week of tuition this term. Last week we missed Thursday and Friday since we had to go to an English Camp based in a posh hotel at Karon Beach on the West coast of Phuket.


'Art' in M2. His English is great. He can type faster than anyone I've ever seen! I think this kid is going places.


A replica of the serene faces of Angkor Thom in Cambodia. However, here you can take a beer at the bar underneath.







Look how nice the hotel grounds are. You can see the room rates etc on their website here.


This is Canadian Thomas, Nicky and myself enjoying the fact we are being paid to be here when it's costing everyone else a fortune!

We even got to sit at a VIP table!











The grand entrance.


And there's the bike right outside! Today some daft female teacher drove her car into my bike smashing the left wing mirror and clutch. Pain in the arse.



Fancy art all over this hotel.

Look at this incredible ship carved from ivory! I wonder how much it costs?







This is the view from the balcony. I had to share the room with American Brian. He wears a bow tie to school.

At dusk on the first night I sneaked out to watch a Karon beach sunset. Pretty nice.



















The kids have to burst their friend's balloons (tied to their ankles) while protecting their own.









Another sneak out. This time to walk around Nai Harn lake with Oi and Bor.

Aaaahhh. Dinner time at the VIP table. My five fingers represent the 5 stars of the hotel! The food was great here - and all paid for too!



The final skits. Look at this young lad doing a brilliant Michael Jackson. His moonwalk was class.

SomTam

Reluctantly, I left the Hotel at 1100 Saturday morning and headed to Rawai to eat some Som Tam with Oi and Bor in an Issan roadside shack. There are no words in the English language to describe how spicy this shit is.

When Oi was a baby, her Mother used to suck the spiciness from the papaya. This is exactly what Oi had to do for me. The pink plate contains evil-ten-chilli-som-tam.

After this we went for a crazy drinking binge.

Work

Today I was back at school happy to see this young lady in the office. She was selling electronic body massagers. They felt great, However, at 4000 baht she'll have to wait until next month.









Visa

On Tuesday 24/8/10 my visa was extended until 31/3/11. The 24th August was the very same day that my initial visa expired so there was no room for error. Now, I have a job, visa and work permit for the next 7 months (until March 2011) which is good.

The immigration office was a modern building full of Westerners. There was even a Western volunteer policeman (from Middlesbrough) to help bewildered Falangs. I was grinning as I compared this with Trang's antiquated provincial immigration situation. In Kantang (a small town in Trang province) there's a small wooden shack with a fat old woman slouched in a chair. A young lad will stamp your passport and you're probably the only 'customer' they'll see that day. The chances of seeing a Westerner there are slim.

Chinese festival

There was another festival in Phuket Town last month. Brett and Mick went for a butcher's while I supped beer in the Tricycle bar. Mick came back with a big stuffed panda bear. I now use it as a pillow.

Talking of beds, my current rack is rock hard. It's like sleeping on a tiled floor. I'm slowly getting used to it again as my complaints to the apartment staff seem to fall on deaf ears. Even Oi finds it uncomfortable and she's Thai (meaning she can sleep on anything, anytime, anywhere)!

Another walk

On a frequant dusk stroll around Phuket Town I snapped the following pics.

This large golden dragon marks the entrance to a small park near my room.

This is the clock in the center of the park. Can you see the Thai numbers?



Everywhere in Thailand, sunset seems to be an excuse for middle aged women to dress in unflattering clothes and do aerobics to a backdrop of hard core dance music.







Toon and creepy crawlies

Joey Barton receiving a yellow during Wolves 1-1 Toon. I watched it with Oi on a big screen in a bar in Chalong. Even though Chelsea were on the small TV and more people were watching it, they let NUFC remain on the big screen since I was the only guy actually from the same place as my team!


Oy, understandably, got a little bored with Carroll, Nolan and Co. so headed off for some snacks. She came back five minutes later with a bag full of Maleng. I laughed as she wolfed down a packet of insects like it was a bag of crisps.


Here's the bag..........mmmmmmmmmm.

I only ate the small ones. Ever seen that movie Starship Troopers?







Spicy Duck Restaurant

Oi screwing up her face eating molten Tom Yam Kung. This is the Spicy Duck Restaurant just north of Patong. Oi likes the spicy minced duck here.

The entrance to the restaurant with a rip-off tuk-tuk heading to Kamala.


The Guru

After the spicy duck we headed to this guru's house near Tesco Lawtaat. Oi got tattooed here before. This time she avoided tats and went for the 'getting-splashed-with-coconut-oil-and-having-strips-of-golden-foil-applied'.

Here the heavily tattooed tattooist is given a fat lad a tattoo (How many times can you fit the word tattoo in a sentence?). I'm not sure what this is about but Oi tells me it brings good luck?

Three bar girls in the background dropping in for their weekly dose of 'good luck'. It's 100bt per dose. Asians and their superstitions!


Now it's Oi's turn for 5 minutes with the heavily tattooed good-luck-guru. He was chanting which lent the occasion a air of authenticity. Look at his paraphernalia.

Oi revealing her golden foil. Since this ceremony I have won the UK lottery 12 times (according to email). I also have the chance to claim a fortune from the orphan of a former Rawandan president (once I've send a $500 'admin fee').



Khao Rang

On the top of Rang Hill in Phuket Town is a restaurant called Tung Ka named after a small stream that runs through the town. Affordable food with stunning views.

After this I went to O'Malley's for a Sunday night beer and ended up boozing until 6am. Needless to say I missed the next day at work and received a warning. On the upside, I won 100bt in a game of killer!

Sapan Hin

I went for a walk around Sapan Hin looking for the Olympic sized swimming pool. I found it but on the way I stumbled into a game of Parisian boules.

They also practice Muay Thai here.





Skit

Last Friday I headed to Karon beach again to watch my teaching buddies perform a skit with other English camp. They pretended to misbehave like the kids - very funny.







Computer

Last Sunday I bought a new computer in BIG C' shopping center. An Acer Aspire One D255. It has an Intel Atom 1.66GHz processor, 1GB RAM, 250GB HDD, 10.1" screen, WIFI, Windows 7 + Office 2007.

It cost 9600bt with a free mouse. That's £192. Not too bad. I'm writing this with it now.

It took 3hrs for the software to be installed.

On Monday at school I spent all day downloading 100GB of movies and TV shows from Mick's external HDD. I watched Avatar last night and seven episodes of South Park the night before. I have enough stuff on here to last months.



Markets

This is a fresh market (Talad Sot) near Chalong. Oi and I bought Pad Thai (fried noodles) and Isaan sausages for 100bt. I love buying food from these places.









Lingo
Oi has started teaching me the Isaan dialect of Thai. It is somewhat different to regular Thai. Oi has a Laos dialect. The following is regular Thai.
Maleng - Insect
Saduoc sabai - convenient
Talad Sot - fresh market
Mokkara - Jan
Gumpa - Feb
Meena - Mar
Maesa - April
Putsapa - May
Mituna - June
Garackada - July
Singha - Aug
Ganya - Sept
Doo La - Oct
PiJiGa - Nov
Tanwa - Dec
If the month has 30 days add yon, if 31 days add kom. Feb add pan.

2 comments:

  1. See you still have your lucky Karaoke shirt!

    ReplyDelete
  2. The immigration office was a modern building full of Westerners. There was even a Western volunteer policeman (from Middlesborough) - hope you not teach English !!! - MIDDLESBROUGH - from the immigration office LOL

    ReplyDelete

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