Monday, September 27, 2010

What We Eat

We have honestly only cooked 1 dinner while we have been here in Thailand. August 18th we made spaghetti for our anniversary. Yes we have had meals of just fruit, but other than that we go out to a restaurant or buy from the street. Why? It's cheaper and it's easier. Most nights our street dinners cost less than $3 total. Restaurants are more, but usually run us between $10-$15.

We do spend money on buying milk that we can drink. Milk here is made from water buffalo and has a funny taste. We buy milk from a special store called, Umm! Milk We usually use one container per meal, costing us a little over $1.

For a week I tried to take pictures of what we ate from the street. Here are those pictures:
Meal: Sticky rice, sweet corn, and delicious rice/pork brats. Greg doesn't care for these, but I love them. He probably had grilled chicken wings instead. Here you can see our Umm! Milk.
Dessert: We often eat yummy guava. This is a mix between an apple and a pear. YUM!
Broccoli Stir fry and steamed rice. This is Greg's meal, complete with the local Chang beer.
My meal was a veggie stir complete with a different local beer, Leo. Quite often I'll get one thing for me and one thing for Greg, that's the joy of street food.
Another night, another stir fry. This was fried pork with beans and peppers served on steamed rice. We can't get enough of the sweet corn!

Sticky rice, corn and grilled chicken make this meal complete.

So, when Greg gets home. I usually go the street. In about 15 minutes we have dinner on the table.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Jomtien Beach

A beautiful sunset
Us at the beach!
Enjoying the beach. By this point the umbrellas had been taken down and the sun was setting.
Greg reading the last of his book.
A view of Pattaya.
Yesterday we got up, made some sandwiches, cut up some pineapple, packed our beach bag and headed to the beach!

First Adventure: Getting to the Beach

We knew we wanted to get to Pattaya, Thailand and had our GPS unit to help us get there. We quickly realized that I should have looked at a map before leaving. It took us awhile to get out of Bangkok and I eventually just found a town on the GPS located by the Gulf of Thailand and guided us there. The problem with that was, it was far away from Pattaya and far from the expressway. We added an extra hour to our trip. We arrived in Pattaya about 3 hours after leaving.

2nd Adventure: Finding a good beach

We arrived to Pattaya to find it bustling and jammed packed full of people enjoying the weekend. We navigated to the road directly by the beach and saw the craziness that people had warned us about. While we believed there was beach, you couldn't see much of it because it was lined with umbrellas and chairs and vendors. The main street was jammed with cars, stores, restaurants and people. It was crazy. We took a loop north of town and then decided to head south. We ended up stopping at a look out point for some good views. From there we could see an island off the coast that we know you can take a ferry to and we decided we wanted to look that up before coming down again. After the pit stop we headed farther south and found Jomtien Beach.

This beach had umbrellas, vendors, and people, but not as many. We easily found a parking spot and navigated the beach. The weather wasn't too sunny and our PB&J's weren't holding us over, so we hopped back into the car and drove the entire stretch of beach. We spotted and then returned to a little restaurant called Cafe Le Mar. We ate with a view of the ocean and then took advantage of their chairs on the beach.

On the beach I ordered a water with ice, Greg had a beer and for a little over $3 we enjoyed the beach complete with a place to sit and beverage to drink. We stayed until sunset. Reading, swimming and just enjoying the view.

The ocean itself was actually quite dirty. There was garbage in places and the ground was sandy, so when the waves were coming it wasn't that clear. Greg did see many small crabs though and it was nice to see many locals enjoy the water as they got off work (many just jumping in with their clothes and then watching the sun go down with friends). The journey home took just about 1 Hour and 45 Minutes. It was a great day on the beach!

Our Car

This is our car. Photo taken at Jomtien Beach.

This past week, Greg took Tuesday off of work and finalized the purchase of our car here in Thailand. It's a 2003 Honda Civic. It can run on regular gasoline as well as LPG (propane) making it significantly less expensive for him to get to work everyday.

Our friend Suwat took Greg to get the car and had his friend who owns a service center come look at it as well. The friend was able to confirm through some phone calls that it has been in a few minor accidents, has had only 1 owner, and has been taken to the Honda service center for oil changes every 3000. Before the final purchase was made, he also helped Greg negotiate getting the AC recharged, fixing many lights that needed replacing, and fixing a broken visor. Many foreigners do not go through the hassle of buying a car and choose just to lease. We feel lucky to have a Thai friend to help us out, blessed to have the means to purchase a car right now, and feel lucky that we were able to do all the steps necessary (registration, insurance, and final purchase).

Now Greg will take our car to work. Soon our friend Eric will ride with him as well. Along with Eric and Melanie, we are looking into hiring a driver. More to come on that later!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Can't Wait

We just booked our first Thailand beach adventure. We are going here for a Saturday-Monday in October. The Fisherman's Resort is located in a small fishing village about 2 hours from Bangkok and along a remote piece of white sand beach. We plan to relax, swim, read, and enjoy the beach. Since we can't make it to the No Manors II (Mary's family cabin in WI) closing this year, we figure this will do!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Cooking Class Part 2: Cooking Yummy Food

This was our cooking class group. Melanie and I, a pair of girls (one from England and one from Ireland I think) and then 2 guys (one from the US embassy that spoke amazing Thai and the other a friend that travels) Ms. Pooh is in the middle.

After the market we went to the small place where the cooking takes place. There were 3 stations (we had 6 people in our group) and we all took turns making the food for ourselves. We ate what we could, then took home the rest. Our leaders, Ms. Pooh and Ms. Noy were great! We received all the recipes to take home. My favorite was the pad-thai.

First: Som Tum (spicy papaya salad)
Second: Tom Yum Goon (Spicy soup with prawns)

Third: Pad-Thai Gai (hot rice noodles with chicken)

Fourth: Sticky Rice with Mango covered in coconut milk, Rambutan, and Thai Custard. (We just cut the mango up, other wise this was prepared for us)

Cooking Class Part 1: Klong Toei Market

This morning I met my friend Melanie and we headed off to our Thai cooking class. I found out about it through the church we've been attending.

Our first stop was the Klong Toei market. It's actually within walking distance of our condo, but a little daunting to an outsider. It's a sprawling market that has everything from fresh blue crab, to flowers, to any part of a pig you want. We learned that it opens at 2am every day and usually runs to 6pm. It is here that many restaurants in Bangkok come and get their ingredients. We got a small tour of the market before we headed to our small kitchen to cook. While we didn't buy the ingredients we used (our leader's husband bought them at 5:30 this morning) they did come from this market. Here's some of the pictures I took. While some are gross, they are also kind of pretty. I want to return with Greg's good camera and we should get some beautiful pictures.
One giant fished waiting to be filleted


One was making a get away!!!!

Need a fish head? They have them here!

Lots of mushrooms!

Fried grasshoppers. Anything friend tastes good right?

My first experience eating grasshopper! It wasn't too bad!


Thai Chillies

Pink Dragon fruit (it also comes in white)


Fresh Flowers

Fresh Pig Head

Everything you need for Tom Yum Goon

Beautiful blue crab

Everything you need to make lots of yummy Thai Food

Curry paste fresh and dry

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Like Gazing into a Fire...

We find ourselves every night just looking at the city that we now live in. Here is one of Greg's latest photos.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Index Living Mall AKA My New IKEA

A wardrobe to match the other one just like it in our extra bedroom. We needed the storage, although now Greg isn't sure just exactly where is trains are going to go!

A dresser/tv stand for our room. We'll put our tv in our room for movies because here that is all we will be able to do with it!

A desk for our desk nook! This is also in our bedroom.

Two matching dressers. We have these in front of the window that goes to our bathroom.

Here is some pictures of our new furniture. It's from an IKEA like store here, but it's called Index Living Mall. I think it is better than IKEA for two reasons. 1) Free delivery 2) They set up everything for you when they come, which is also free :-)

It's starting to feel more and more like our place. Now all we need is our furniture and some pictures! Who's coming to our house warming party?!?!?!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Happy Birthday Melanie!

Friday night we helped our friend Melanie celebrate her 30th birthday. It was Eric, Melanie, Greg, our friend Suwat, and I for a night out. Suwat picked us up and since Greg now has his Thai driver's liscense, he let Greg drive us to dinner.

Greg'g great parking job after driving in heavy city traffic!

We ate a wonderful dinner at The Old German Beer House. We know we will be there again. Next we went to a bar/nightclub that featured live music. It was great fun and the music was great as well. While most of the songs were in Thai, they did sing some in English. It was funny because one guy that kinda looked like a rapper kept saying, "WEST SIDE" over and over.

Happy Birthday Melanie!

Greg and Suwat

One of the bands that played. We ended up getting a great table!

Our New Home

This is a night view from
our living room.

When (not if) you come and stay with us, this will be the view you wake up to :-)

This is our big fridge. We asked for a large one, we got a HUGE one!

Unpacking our air-shipment. You can also look at our ugly TV stand. We won't keep that, but we are keeping the TV.

It has been awhile since our last post! We are very sorry, we have been very busy in the past 2 weeks!

Here's the quick update:

1) We've moved into our condo! Please email us if you'd like our mailing address!

2) We love our new condo and have enjoyed the view, the street food, and getting settled.

3) We have received our air-shipment and will receive our sea-shipments in a few weeks time.

4) Our place now is furnished with things from our landlord. When our things arrive our landlord will move his things out. We will keep a TV for our living room and a bed for our guest room.

5) Greg has been out looking for a car with one of our Thai friends and we will be making that purchase this week.

6) We've found a church that we have been attending now for 3 weeks. The International Church of Bangkok is just what we were looking for in a church. They even say in one of their brochures, "A place not too big that you'll get lost, but big enough that you'll find a friend." We agree. We've attended their morning service, but they also have an evening service as well.

That's a quick update, I will try to post more regularly this week!