Friday, 20 October 2006

Well, the 'small green' was really tasty even if I had no idea what the hell it was. Moon told me that she was seeing her sister over that weekend and that she would ask what the name was in English - she came back on Monday and said something which sounded completely bizarre (Actually it sounded something like 'amberguinesssmall') and then looked at me expectantly. After about three attempts at communicating this mystifying phrase I finally worked out that she thought she was speaking English and that she expected me to understand what it was she was saying. (Sometimes in a fit of optimism, or exasperation, she says something in Thai which she thinks I may understand - that is why I didn't immediately work out that she was trying to say something in English). I want to add here that I didn't even know that what she was trying to say corresponded to the 'small green' since we had eaten them and she had nothing to point at - it wasn't till she mimed eating that I worked out that she was attempting to tell me what they were. (It was first thing on a Monday morning and I am not at my brightest and best in the morning as you know). Anyway she moved from 'amberguinesssmall' to 'eggypantsmall' which is when I worked out what they are. They are.........wait for aubergines. No, they don't look like aubergines (As you can see I found a picture) and no they don't taste like aubergines but apparently that that is what they are (Incase you are wondering 'eggypantsmall' turned out to be small eggplant which is American for aubergine - Phew!!!!)

Our stuff arrived last Tuesday (Halleluiah) we now have glasses, cups and everything. Actually there were 67 boxes and I thought poor Moon was about to have a heart attack as her lovely clean, neat kitchen turned into a bomb site. When we were unpacking I seriously thought I might have to kill her - I was putting things in cupboards and she was taking them out and putting them in other cupboards. For example ( just know I am about to rant) I put the coffee in the cupboard next to the coffee machine (one of my rare sensible moments) and she took it out and put it in a cupboard at the other end of the kitchen - miles away (Ok I might be exaggerating slightly here) from the coffee machine. I then spent ages trying to explain why having wooden spoons next to the cooker was better than having them in a drawer in the dining room and that having the spice rack on the work top is a lot easier than having it on the top shelf of a cupboard that we both need steps to reach (No I don't know why she wanted to put it there - she uses the spices as well - it is a mystery). Anyway, we got there in the end - which really means that the coffee is next to the coffee machine, the spoons are next to the cooker, the spices are on the work top and I can't find anything else in my bloody kitchen :-).

Whilst Moon and I were fighting about where things should go in the kitchen it had started to rain - and I mean rain. I was supposed to be going to a wine tasting that evening and it wasn't till I got a call from my friend that I looked out the window and discovered that what used to be the street below was now a small river (You know it's bad when even the call of wine is not enough to entice me out the apartment). I phoned Chris and warned him that our soi was flooded - the conversation went something like this 'Well, how deep is it?' 'I don't know I’m inside the apartment' (He really does ask daft questions sometimes) 'Well can you go and look’. I dutifully toddled outside to the balcony and watched a few people wade up the soi - went back in and called him. 'It looks like it's about mid calf' 'What do you mean it looks like about mid calf? Did you go down to the Soi and have a look?' ''s raining. I looked from the balcony and watched people wade along the Soi' 'Well, get your butt downstairs and look at the Soi'. I went outside.....looked at the Soi.....watched people wade up the Soi - called him back and said 'It looks like it's about mid calf'. (What did he want from me!!) He turned up about 40 minutes later with his suit trousers rolled up to his knees wearing a pair of blue plastic flip flops that were about three sizes too small for him (Moon and I supportively burst out laughing).

Then there was the power cut. I was out at (Please don't laugh) belly dancing (Yes, I do know that you now have a wobbling image of me that you never really wanted) and was on my way home when there was yet another almighty storm only this one was an all singing all dancing thunder and lightning storm (Sheet and Forked) and it looked like it was right above our apartment building. Actually it was right above our apartment building and when I got to the lift I discovered that there was no power. I had to walk up eight flights of stairs to an apartment with no air conditioning and no cold water so I was back to the attractive red and sweaty look (I'm hoping it will catch on but am not going to hold my breath). Chris was lucky that by the time he got home the power had been restored but we've had problems with our internet connection ever since (hence the reason that I have not written for a while).

We have also managed to get our maid drunk (I am sure there are probably laws against that). I decided to cook a meal for Chris's Birthday and made a lamb tangine followed by pavlova (Moon had never even seen meringue before and was convinced it was the same as ice-cream till it went into the oven) - She had said that she liked Farang food and decided that she would just have what we were having. I had got a nice bottle of wine to go with the meal so when I poured the wine I asked her if she wanted some. She had a tiny splash in the bottom of a glass (It really was a tiny splash - not even quarter of a glass) but when I went back into the kitchen to get the pavlova she was completely hammered!! She was staggering about the kitchen grinning from ear to ear whilst telling me that Farang wine was not the same as Thai wine. She was so funny - all we could hear was her giggling from the kitchen and every time I went in to make sure she was ok she gave me a big cuddle and told me that she was 'Maw maw' which is Thai for drunk. We ended up giving her two bottles of water and packing her off to bed - we could hear her giggling all the way to her room. She said to me the next day that she couldn't wait to tell her sister that she had tried 'Madam's wine' and it had made her 'Maw maw'.

Anyway, that is the latest update from sunny (well, sometimes rainy) Bangkok

Wednesday, 4 October 2006

Green Tupperware

Things are going well here - we have now had Moon for a week and a half and in typical Thai style it is a huge learning experience. She was supposed to start last Monday at 2pm but there was a slight communication breakdown and she arrived at 8.30am - i had no food in the house, no cleaning stuff....nothing.... and i was going out at 9. (I think she was a bit shocked - she kept opening cupboards in the kitchen then looking at me strangely). I managed to communicate to her that our stuff had not arrived yet and was on it's way in a boat (using a very stylish combination of miming and drawing - I am telling you ..... after living in this country i am going to be a champion at both Pictionary and Give us a Clue - You have been warned). Anyway, we went shopping when i got back and i discovered that Thais not only love Tupperware but Tupperware in numerous pastel shades and if it has cartoon characters on it that's even better (I managed to steer her away from a green set with what i can only describe as a cat drawn by someone who was either on drugs or blind!! - Can you imagine any kind of food looking appetizing in green Tupperware?? I rest my case!!)

Food shopping has been a little adventure as well. Thais don't push their shopping trolleys round the aisles and put their shopping in them - Oh No - they abandon their trolleys in the most bloody awkward places then carry the shopping in their arms back to it (No i have not worked out why they do this so don't ask me!!). I couldn't get used to it at all so when Moon wondered off i followed behind her with the trolley - the first time i did it she turned round and got a fright (She didn't expect me and the trolley to be there) after that she took it off me, left it somewhere awkward and then wondered off again. AAARRRRGGGG!!!!
She then put food in the trolley which i just looked at and thought 'what the hell is that???' It was helpfully labeled "Small Green".....Yes, i can see that it is small and green (The label was incredibly helpful at pointing this out) but a small green what exactly??? When i asked Moon she said something in Thai and then said 'You eat' so i shrugged and said OK - she is cooking with it tonight so i will keep you posted......

I'm in shape. Round is a shape!!
She has also put me on a diet - after telling me i have a beautiful face but not a beautiful body!! (I am trying not to get a complex!!). She is buying low fat everything and every time i eat fruit she pats me on the stomach and smiles. (She is lovely.....honest). We bought paint for her room last week and then on Friday the two of us painted it - i don't think i have ever been so hot in my life ( guessed it....bright red face and bad hair.....i was looking lovely) but it was worth it to see the look on her face at the end. She stood back, looked at the room, beamed from ear to ear then gave me a huge hug. (She even arrived on her day off to give me a huge basket full of flowers that she had arranged as a way of saying thank you).

Things with Chris's project are going well too - although i think he is also finding the way Thais do things a bit bizarre. Apparently in meetings they have a habit of just getting up and walking out, going off on complete tangents and talking to each other in Thai then announcing that they don't understand but without saying what it is they don't actually understand. This is a very funny country.

I have been keeping busy (Moon is teaching me Thai and I am teaching her English - she now says some words with a beautiful Scottish accent which is have to say sounds really funny :-)). I have joined the BWG (I thought i might look better just writing the initials but i suppose i have to tell you that it stands for British Women's Group - don't laugh) I am using it as a way to meet new people coming into the country. I have joined a community choir and am singing at the British Chamber of Commerce's Last night of the Proms (I have just found out that i need to sing the King's anthem in Thai) and i am doing some voluntary work for the Museum of Bangkok. I went to a lecture there about the history of Buddhism and it was delivered by a female Monk (There are only 6 in the world) apparently she used to be a lecturer on women's studies at the university and had three sons before she decided to become a Monk. She now runs her own temple just outside Bangkok and is causing a fair amount of controversy.

Anyway, i have rambled on enough