Random Photo bomb

Anyone who reads this blog immediately notices the delicate artistry and precision of my photographs – I’m sure it’s obvious that photography is a real passion of mine.

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Just kidding. I can’t even type that with a straight face. In truth, I despise taking photographs. The very act of hauling out my camera (uh…phone) to capture a moment almost ruins the moment for me. However, I also think that photos, even low quality ones, make a blog much more interesting, and so I soldier on. Which is why it pains me so deeply when I flip through old photos, and notice how many I have forgotten to post. Which is a long-winded way of saying that today you’re getting a random photo bomb of pics that I can’t bear to waste. Here goes!

1. Pregnancy Dreams

Hormones have triggered some particularly vivid dreams for me lately, and the photo below represents one of the best: I dreamt that I was chewing a marshmallow. It was extremely chewy, and I think I almost dislocated my jaw in an effort to fully masticate it. When I eventually woke up, I found the following item next to my pillow:

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Nope, not a baby carrot.

One of my ear plugs, looking like a chipmunk had mauled it. It was also much cleaner than it had been before the marshmallow dream. Oops.

Todd has also had some fun dreams during pregnancy, although he can’t use the hormone excuse. Recently, in the middle of the night, he turned on all the lights and started trying to roll his pregnant wife off the bed. He was convinced that a giant lizard was about to eat me, and shoving me off the bed would save my life. I was in such a stupor that I simply stumbled to the washroom with the vague idea that Todd was trying to tell me to wash the drool off my face. I really couldn’t blame him.

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Todd and his friends Theo and Zach forgetting that their wives are the ones carrying the spawn…

2. Carnival

We had the rare privilege of having a traveling carnival park itself at the night market near our house for a few weeks. Todd stopped by on his way home one day, and won this gem (which is now making our bedroom look even more stylish/coordinated than before):

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He was extremely taken with his new friend, and started trying to convince me to visit the carnival with him. After many, many evenings of listening to the discombobulated voice of a huckster yelling “binGOOOOOOOOO!” as we were trying to fall asleep (hence the earplugs), I finally caved in.

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The carnival was sparsely attended, which was strange when you consider how many opportunities there were to win bottles of liquor/household cleaning supplies/high-quality stuffed toys simply by popping balloons or winning a game of binGOOOOOOO.

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Only a math teacher can keep track of FIVE bingo boards at once

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Stakes this high require a handshake.

 Even though he loves playing carnival games, Todd generously urged me to spend the majority of our spare change. Or at least I thought he was being generous, until I realized that the entertainment value of watching my wildly aimed shots was giving Todd far more delight than any cheap prize could.

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The number of balloons that I popped is classified information.

We finished the night with Todd urging me to try the “ferris wheel” with him. Normally, I would be the one instigating such a boneheaded move, but this time, the prego hormones were creating images of my baby daddy burning up in a fiery cataclysm of “ferris wheel” parts, and I begged him to abstain. Instead, we indulged in another round of beer cap bingo.

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But it’s sooooo safe!

3. Ten Ten Day

Many of the students at our school are Taiwanese, so 10/10 (October 10th – Taiwan’s birthday) is a big deal. This year, the ambassador from Taiwan visited our school to commemorate the celebration. I was subbing for high schoolers that day, and the students treated the morning away from class with all the maturity and respect that one would anticipate from this age group.

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The only thing this photo doesn’t capture is how much their mouths were moving.

I just love a good dose of patriotism – the country doesn’t really matter – and I made sure that I got my hands on a high-quality plastic flag. The lyrics of K’naan’s “Wavin’ Flag” were running through my head, and I had to fight the urge to stage a moving interpretive dance.

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4. Classical music

I love classical music, and I haven’t been to any concerts since we moved to Thailand. One of my goals before Bannock arrives was to finally attend a concert, so when another participant in my Thai Culture Course invited me to her singing recital, I was all over it. The concert took place in a venue called Sala Sudasiri Sobha, and all the proceeds went to fund the charity that the venue runs. The music was wonderful, but I think Todd was most excited by the fact that there were Pringles at the reception, and he got to transfer them to his plate using silver tongs. Comfort AND style.

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Todd’s dream come true.

5. Thai wildlife

What would Thailand be without a few random dogs’n’bugs?

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I love how graphic this sign is. Just in case anyone was confused about what dog poop looks like…

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Every time I visit Koh Samet, this fella is encased in sand. I think it’s like swaddling a baby – he seems to find it very comforting.

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This landed on my neck when I was waiting for a bus. For some reason, I thought Todd had thrown a snowball at me, until I remembered that we live in Thailand.

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I don’t know where this was taken (thanks, Kim, for sending it), but a stuffed crocodile “wai-ing” is pretty great.

Ahh. That was profoundly cathartic. I am feeling a deep sense of peace now that I know that these high quality photos have not been wasted. I hope viewing them enriched your life as much as hauling my phone out of my bag and taking them enriched mine.

Thailand’s growing population

It seems that EVERYONE in Thailand is procreating these days:

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A friendly neighbourhood dog and a few of her septuplets. Her eyes just scream: “All I want is a good night’s sleep, and a chance for my teats to breathe.”

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Our friendly neighbourhood crocodile farm. I have no idea who produced whom.

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Not sure if these two are parents yet or not, but I think they would make a good go of it. 

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Ugh. But no one can say she didn’t give it the ol’ college try. (http://www.boredmd.com/science/unique-spider-pictures)

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“What is it?”

With all these procreating friends, we had to hop on the bandwagon: Baby Facetious Farang coming in November 2013. Just doing our bit to ensure the continued viability of Thailand’s farang population.

Foodie Friday: The Miraculous Mangosteen

(Hmmm. When it comes to ‘Foodie Friday’ posts, I often seem to find myself stuck in Superlative Land. You’ll have to bear with me once more, though, because it is impossible to describe mangosteens without using superlatives.)

The “Queen of Fruits” is so miraculously perfect that it deserves its own post.* It is only when I moved to Thailand that I met this fruit ‘vis-a-vis’ as the French say, but it has been nothing but pure love since then.  I was originally sceptical of this fabled perfection, however, because:

A) The Durian is called the “King of Fruits,” and I have never smelled anything so revolting – think onions mixed with teenage-boy B.O. (Making me actually taste it would require a force-feeding adventure). Royalty designations just don’t do it for me.

B) Todd was really excited to eat mangosteen again. Todd, however, gets excited by mixed congee, mysterious lumps from the market, and low-quality carbohydrates. His culinary instincts are sporadic at best.

Plus, they look like strange lumps – not exactly flaunting their perfection.

As soon as I tasted one, though, I knew I that all the stories were true. It is the perfect fruit. There aren’t really adequate words to describe its flavour, but I will try: imagine the most beautiful flower you can think of, then imagine that beauty in the form of a flavour. Voila, the mangosteen.

They look pretty unassuming on the outside:

Giving you a fuller picture of the “strange lump” spectrum

Who cares about the outside, though? I never judge a book by its cover. All I’m into is innards.

And these innards are worth gettin’ into.

The fruit itself is arranged in a flower formation, and each section has a big seed in the middle. The sections are sort of like skinny-fat people: they’re mostly bone, but the flesh they do have is soft and flabby.

Never has flabby been so tasty

Getting to those innards can be tough. Todd once slit open his hand in his anxiety to hit mangosteen paydirt. I am forever indebted to fellow Bangkokian blogger mishvo for alerting me to the fact that mangosteens can actually be peeled. Who knew? I believe that this knowledge has already saved T-bone’s life several times over.

Although plastic bags may yet claim him

Sometimes, mangosteens go bad. It is tragic when perfection is corrupted.

The mangosteen on the right is sporting some mould, while the one on the left has a few mushy neon blemishes.

Pulpy, woody, rotting, stinking, tragicness.

But because of the amazingness of the good fruit, we keep tearing into them, rotten or not.

Awkward self portrait. Dang it, T-Bone! Why are you always working when I need a photographer?!

And a more successful portrait of someone enjoying mangosteen.

Sadly, mangosteen season is drawing to a close. Leave me a comment if you have suggestions on how to fill the void that it is leaving in my culinary life.

* Also, I was too lazy to scout out more new and bizarre fruit.