Thursday, February 28, 2008

Asian eyes

These eyes belong to Joe's Korean friend Felix. (His English name, I forgot his Korean name.)
I think they are quite lovely.

It's not unusual for Felix's dad to bring home a live octopus for dinner. Just drop the squirmy sea creature into some boiling broth, wait a few minutes, pull it out, cut an 'x' across the top of it's head, drop it back in and let the flavorful broth sink in and seep throughout it's body and tentacles.

Joseph and I listened to Felix describe the scenario, stunned.

Back to blogland!

It's winter, so a bit uneventful, as I don't venture out too much into the cold, (yes, I am cold, so it is cold all of you from Michigan) and I have been a bit busy with the nut-job 2 year old. Ira was back in the US for a week to help out with his mother who has been quite sick.

Then I started teaching English once a week and it is really a lot of fun. The money is great. I am also going to start another class soon, with a long time Japanese friend of mine, Kuniko, in exchange for Japanese cooking lessons. Then I also have been very busy selling my art online. It's hard to keep up with everything.

We were in Thailand a couple weeks ago. 4 days in Phuket, a really nice little island with warm blue seas, hot sun, incredible food. Just what we needed.

Yes, more spectacular Asian food. Steamed Red Snapper with chili-lemon garlic sauce. That meal itself had me hoping Ira might just have a look at what Sun Microsystems has going on there in Thailand. Not much. So getting over the fantasy, we all had a really great time swimming eating, and getting massages. Oh, yes, Thailand is where all the pros go to get trained. Massage *everywhere*. It is so great to be lounging by the pool, drifting in and out of red snapper land when a nice thai woman approaches and quietly asks if I'd care for a foot massage. Um, yes. I'll take an hour long for a few bucks I think. This went on for 4 days.
Unfortunately I was a bad mom and didn't put enough sunscreen on 2 of the kids, Joe had it so bad, he had oozing blisters on his face. It was really painful and I felt terrible about it.

Then off to Bangkok for 2 days. Bangkok is really not so much different from Saigon. It's full of pollution, traffic, people, dogs, street vendors, buddahs, puddles of mystery moisture.... every square inch is taken up by something. Very intense. Very interesting, but again, tough maneuvering around with the 4 kids. I think we lost each kid at least once in a shopping center. With it's reputation, Bangkok is not a place to lose track of a child.

Ira and I left the kids locked up in the hotel and went to the Chatuchak weekend market--a 10 minute train ride to the king of markets in Bangkok. 35 acres with 15,00o shops and stalls, selling everything imaginable. Antiques, books, clothes, religious artifacts, live animals, crunchy bugs, plants..on and on. It was hot, steamy, crowded, interesting. I loved it.

I like the Thai people. Even in a crazy place like Bangkok, they all seem to be so relaxed and happy. It's probably because they know they are going to have a fabulous dinner. Then another and another.

Yes the King, but can he move like Elvis?

Ira takes a dip at sunset

Ira takes a break from non-stop chatting with the pool neighbors


Street vendor salted fish

Bangkok from the hotel window

Walking to Chatuchak!

Chatuchak station! so you can buy...well, read it

market craziness

These are spirit houses. They are found all over Thailand. In a crop field, outside a gas station, in a driveway. The Thais believe that wandering spirits are around and can bring you bad luck, so these houses are here to put offerings in, of flowers, food, etc, to keep the spirits happy and amused and bring good karma.

As you can see, they can get quite elaborate

Next post:
Monks and statues and temples, oh my!