January 1-9, 2008
January's Leo Girl:
Here are some more photos of our New Year's Eve celebration.
See also: Video clip of band (1.4mb .avi)
I should have known better. To assume that a major Bangkok road would not have a hole in it ... well, that was just plain foolish of me. This will set me back two tires and at least one rim.
Yesterday the King's elder sister died. She was 84 years old.
Thank goD for Goodshit on slow days:
Every time we drive up to Ayuthaya and back I pass little roadside stalls that sell grilled rat. Today I bought one and brought it back home. As it is already grilled it needed only be heated in a microwave. Served with a spicy hot sauce it tastes and looks like the dark meat of a chicken.
OK, granted it doesn't make a great 'plate presentation' with its tail still attached. And you might want to remove the head before serving it to guests.
It goes best with beer or red wine. And you might want to down a few glasses of that before you start with the fork.
PS: A reader from Hong Kong writes:
Rats are supposed to be very nutricious here are some of my fave recipies:
Bordeaux Grilled Rats:
Skin and eviscerate rats that live in wine cellars. Brush with a thick sauce that combines olive oil and crushed shallots. Grill over a fire of broken wine barrels.
Stewed Cane Rat:
Skin and eviscerate the rat and split it lengthwise. Fry until brown in a mixture of butter and peanut oil. Cover with water, add tomatoes or tomato purée, hot red peppers, and salt. Simmer the rat until tender and serve with rice.
Skin, gut and wash some fat mice without removing their heads. Cover them in a pot with ethyl alcohol and marinate 2 hours. Dice a piece of salt pork or sowbelly and cook it slowly to extract the fat. Drain the mice, dredge them thoroughly in a mixture of flour, pepper, and salt, and fry slowly in the rendered fat for about 5 minutes. Add a cup of alcohol and 6 to 8 cloves, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Prepare a cream sauce, transfer the sautéed mice to it, and warm them in it for about 10 minutes before serving.
Don't have a problem eating rats but won't stoop to cockaroaches or dogs.
While Catholic primary and secondary schools in the West are apparently falling out of favor with their youth, Catholic schools in Bangkok are on the rise in the eyes of Thai teens. Why?
This from Stephen Cleary in The Nation:
"If you wannabe a trendy urban teenager, it's essential to get out of your cheap government school and into a groovy institution, preferably one with a saintly name."
"On applying for entry it doesn't matter whether you are as thick as a plank or a complete delinquent - what matters is daddy's donation. Once enrolled, you will be able to kit yourself out in the school's uniform with the emblem on the shirt pocket (thus differentiating yourself from all the slum kids) before being seen sipping green tea at some downtown Japanese food bar."
THOCBDC (Bangkok branch) has always been on the one side or another of Assumption School (in my main picture of the church can you identify all three THOCBDC haunts: River Garden, The Oriental and The Peninsula)? But, until today I did not realize how massive this school/church complex really is. Admittedly, it was not until 2003 that the place experienced real growth.
Let's hope that this too is just one ephemeral teen phase.
The doors to the Sheraton were blocked and the street in front of the hotel was cleared to make way for the departure of a VIP. The yellow BMW in the photograph carries the Royal Crest on its door. In Thailand days of the week are blessed with their own colors. Yellow is given to Monday; the current King was born on a Monday. But, the man in the back seat of the BMW was not the King.
Our local wat.
Next: Part II