Contest Winners!!

I have to admit that I never thought this day would come. The contest that I announced 2 weeks ago has reached a definitive conclusion. A quick recap for those who may have missed the contest post: it posed the following question: “Which will happen first: Will I start substitute teaching? Will our apartment’s pool finally be ‘swimmable,’ or will Christmas come?” I wouldn’t generally call myself a pessimist, but life in Thailand thus far has made me lean towards the Christmas option. In the end, though, to mix a metaphor, my empty-glass was half-filled when this happened:

Note the pleasant concrete structures that the apartment owners built around the neighbours that refused to sell their property.

That’s right. The pool is finally drained and filled!!

Ahhh. We’ve come so far.

I think the school/apartment management finally clued in to the simmering rage that was threatening to blow the top off this apartment building. Turns out that residents don’t particularly appreciate being forced to sign leases for overpriced units that don’t contain the amenities they were promised. In order to placate us, fixing the pool was a smart move. Enough ranting, though. The pool is fixed, and we are rejoicing.

Rejoicing with Jacqueline and Keeley, two of my favourite southern belles.

In terms of contest winners, the situation is a little more interesting. While I do appreciate all the supportive thoughts about my job prospects, these votes did not win you the amazing prize package of chocolate/Chang/cheese/undying respect. In fact, only 2 people picked the right answer, and both attached modifications to those answers. One of the winners is blog reader/admiral in training seahorne, who managed to simultaneously guess correctly and insult Todd in the process. The second winner is none other than my soul/room-mate T-bone, who also predicted that the pool would break again before either Christmas or subbing occurred. There is still time for your dreams/predictions to come true, Todd.

We salute the winners.

Seahorne, you have my undying blog-world respect. Well done. Todd, you may buy yourself a Chang on your way home. Just make sure that you use your own allowance.

Congratulations, and thanks to everyone who voted!!


The Facetious Farang is hosting its (my?) first contest!

The Background:

Overall, life in Bangkok is good, but there are a few things that have been gettin’ me down a bit lately. The main downer is that I  have not yet begun subbing, and it looks like I am still at least a few weeks away from officially walking the hallowed halls of T-bone’s school. I won’t go into details, but the process/communication has been painful in the extreme for The Trailing Spouses Club. The secondary downer is that a few key features of our apartment building are not yet functional. Perhaps the most visible of these is our non-functional pool. So, I figured I’d cheer myself up by running an on-line bet. Here it is:

Which do you think will happen first?

A) I will begin substitute teaching

Gettin’ paperwork in Cambodia

B) Our pool will be swimmable

(Ok, this photo is old, but too good not to use. The pool is looking better, but it still ain’t swimmable).


C) Christmas will come!





Since neither my mother nor the government of Thailand approve of gambling, I will not give monetary odds. However, if you live in Bangkok and you guess correctly, I will reward you with chocolate/cheese/Chang (your choice). If you live farther afield, you will have to content yourself with my undying online r-e-s-p-e-c-t.

In order to vote, please leave a comment below.

Results will be announced as soon as they come in! Please vote!

Foodie Friday: Backpacker Grub

The time has come. I would be remiss in my blogging duties if I did not dedicate a Foodie Friday post to backpacker grub. Thailand is a magnet for backpackers, and if there’s one thing that all backpackers need, it’s food to fuel their intense lifestyle of sleeping in, wandering around buying stuff, drinking beer on patios, and wearing loose cotton clothing. When a friend from Calgary told me that her roommate was backpacking through Thailand, I knew I’d found the perfect chance to sample the gastronomic delights of the backpacker’s ghetto. I met up with the delightful Intrepid Italian Christiana, and we waddled, bellies first, to Khao San Road, the global Pad Thai epicentre.

Christiana intrepidly avoided the allure of the KFC lurking in the background

Generally, when people tell you that they just l-o-v-e Thai food, they are referring to one of the following items: red curry, green curry, yellow curry, tom yum soup, mango sticky rice, banana pancakes, iced coffee and last but definitely not least, Pad Thai.* These, when diluted with a Chang beer, form the nutritional pyramid of the Backpacker Diet. The Intrepid Italian and I only had an afternoon, but we plunged in with abandon. We take research seriously around these parts. She started with a bowl of green curry:

Green Curry (Gaeng Kiaw Wan) – not my photo, in case you didn’t already guess that from the good lightning and tasteful presentation

After a hefty dose of coconut-cream-laden curry, we needed a little iced coffee to cleanse the pallet. Thai coffee is going to receive its own post at some point, but for now, let’s just call it health in a disposable cup. It is a combination of Nescafe or espresso (if you’re lucky), evaporated milk, coffee whitener, a heaping helping of sugar and a goodly dollop of sweetened condensed milk, all mixed together and poured over ice.

And I also managed to miss taking a photo of our iced coffees, so you will have to make do with one of T-bone buying his daily dose.

We later moved on to Pad Thai. I go through phases with Pad Thai – sometimes it tastes like ambrosia from heaven, sometimes I get a little get sick of it. But in the end, I am forced to admit that the combination of noodles, chicken, egg, chili, lime, peanuts, and a gallon of hot grease is the ultimate comfort food. Like the proverbial dog to its vomit, I always return.

One of the approximately ten billion Pad Thai vendors on Khao San Road

We bring tidings of comfort and joy

It was necessary to wash this deliciousness down with a cold Chang Singha (they are basically the same brew). I cannot call this beer good, but it is adequate. Enough said.

It was cold and moist, so we choked it down

It was my dearest wish all day to find a plate of mango sticky rice, but the elusive vendor evaded me. I comforted myself with a banana pancake liberally doused in Nutella.

Like all good comfort food, these start and end with hot fat

It was a long journey back to my home in the suburbs, and on the way, I somehow felt the need to purchase and consume an entire pineapple to cut the grease in my gullet.

Calling my name…

It may not be the finest cuisine that Thailand has to offer, but there is a certain je ne se quoi about backpacker grub.

* Credit where credit is due: Thank-you Amara for the list idea and for sending your room mate to me