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Showing posts with label Sightseeing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sightseeing. Show all posts

05 December 2014

Those charming moments

Skywatch: city is far behind and I'm loving it!

Reflections: serenade

I buy books just because....

My not-so-old hat from the antiques section of a weekend market

 A little yummy error

Maybe I had more of those charming moments this week than the other weeks. I'm thankful.

Swiss sheep farm. Anything that takes me out of sight of urbanization, rising concrete (condos) and drab parking spaces - I'm in. What a treat for the country girl in me!

Somewhere out there beneath the pale moonlight.... It's not everyday you get serenaded. I appreciated it. A lot.

The Heart Garden, Eating People is Wrong, etc: my loot from Neilson Hays book sale. Knockoff prices, old plus beautiful library architecture - just my kind of awesome.

Antiques therapy. My apartment is bursting I could hardly navigate the floor without my feet touching things so I didn't buy a truckload this week. Just the one hat. Thanks to the shining sun I had an excuse. But looking at those old, pre-loved treasures made me happy.

At a Vietnamese cafe I decided to not mind being 'lost in translation' so much. I'm a foodie; it helped. I just ate both dishes. Miscommunication is solved.   

Friday's Fave Five & Willy Nilly 5

21 November 2014

Stops along the way

Sally's Blues: fishing boats by the talipapa

Reflections: Big Ben in the Venice of the East (Huahin)

Skywatch: by the river

I was stuck with colleagues in a river jungle. Nice place, lots of cheery chatter, we were well fed, but work was work. It felt good when the remote controls, powerpoints and microphones were put away and we were on our way home. That's when the fun began - so much of it I forgot I had to pull off twelve hours the next day. But glad I am to be chatting about them:

Talipapa or temporary fish market was our first stop. A breeze cooling through the parked fishing boats and to our hall of work, AC-coated faces says how great it was for lungs to function in such a morning.  

Blue crabs - our main purpose of stopping by the talipapa. 350 baht a kilo (11 USD). Wait, is it just me or do blue crabs turn pink anyway when they are steamed?

To the beach we go! You could guess where we took our loot. 

Foodie fun. The vendor prepared everything and provided sauce to go with the other seafood that we bought. As the flavors slid down our alimentary canal, I thought the taste lived up to its reputation as part of a cuisine that's ranked 8th in the world by CNNGo.

The Baguette, our final stop. It's a cafe in Huahin (Thailand's summer capital) that gives off a lovely hint of Europe. I miss those breakfast baguettes in England, but back to Thailand first: the office secretary turned a new age that day. As we sang her a happy birthday, the white patrons in the other tables sang too. It was cute of them.

Linking with Fave FiveWilly Nilly 5 

07 November 2014

Sweet November

Reflections: celebratory tea

Skywatch: a bougainvillea roof

And then it's time to acknowledge the good of the week. Here are my high fives:

1. Progressive, transition lenses. After two years of neglecting, avoiding and hesitating, I finally set foot in an optical clinic and came to terms with a 'perk' of aging. My traditional books, here I come! Back.

2. BBC modern adaptation of Cinderella. That bit on university research was very appealing. It's fun when a fairy tale sounds intelligent and not just all charm and romance.

3. Free expert knowledge. Last week when I mentioned my Mom successfully battling pneumonia and enlargement of aorta, I meant she was already breathing on her own. But she's not totally out of the woods yet as she's having difficulty swallowing food. A friend in the medical profession shared keywords of possible causes. That helped me form my own questions to ask the physicians.  It's comforting when you have at least an idea of what's going on and what to do next. 

4. Cousin time. As an only child and now as an adult I realize how daunting it can be to make pivotal decisions alone when an elderly parent is sick. I appreciate this cousin's availability to talk things out with me. 

5. Celebratory tea. Hope is a good thing. Optimism helps. Celebrating them lifts the spirit.


03 November 2014

The Red Temple

Sri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir

Popularly known as Lal Mandir or Red Temple, and originally built in 1656, it is the 'oldest and best-known Jain temple in Delhi, India.'

Too hot that day, I only stayed a few minutes to take a couple of photos and ran back to the car. But then I did not need too long to be impressed by such structure. I loved the moment I took in the sight.


Sharing with - Rubbish Tuesday / Our World / Ruby Tuesday 

17 June 2014

King's parkton


For some reason whenever I dig into my archives and see this photo, I always associate it with a scene from The Hobbit or the filming location, Hobbiton in New Zealand.  This is a spot on King Rama IX Park, and on the opposite side is one of the ponds.



Thanks to our host: Water World * Our World Tuesday

08 April 2014

Exam season

 
Reflected on the table is an idea of where this place is (in case I forget)
 
 Skywatch: clouds above canal lane trying to postpone the sunset

Pines on the glass window 

It's time for uni people to breathe easily. While students plow their heads through Strategic Management, Cost Accounting and Business Law, those exempted from taking the finals (read: instructors invigilating) get to have theirs charmed. Mine wandered around Chocolate Ville. I just love perks of exam season week. Work is light; the highlights fun:

girlfriend time after working 9-hour days for awhile, we went al fresco in a seafood restaurant where the

fried sea bass and mango salad was such delight on the palate enhancing travel plans for 2015.  We then proceeded to

a saxophone jazz and blues bar. Blimey, what a place! It was like being in the cellar of a 16th century castle. The only reminder I was in 21st century Bangkok were the strains produced by

a girl saxophonist whose rendition of Careless Whisper dazzled glasses and bottles and sent me

texting the Lovey Dove oceans away stuck in an Arabian palace, poor thing. The reply was "enjoy yourself" and enjoy I did. Isn't it inspiring to be reminded that life is filled with beautiful people and that one of them is in love with you? 

02 April 2014

More antidote

A hot hot moisturizing hallo from the chili patches! The week here has been highlighted with attempts to combat the heat; joys and faves are on:

Antiques! When I discovered that there's a big section for exactly those in Nawamin Market, I freaked out. If only I lived in Thailand permanently....


Culture exhibit. I didn't notice the woman was holding a drink until she, and I, opposite her, took a photo of the fish and I discovered that her reflection shows a straw in a disposable glass. I was probably also reflected in her shot. We snapped at the same time. It was fun.


We are booked! I'm cruising with friends in Vietnam. Halong Bay in a few weeks.


Blooms and a lake. My family trooped to Suan Luang for some healthy relief from the angry Thai sun.


Icy dessert. Pineapple and strawberry. Sugar and milk. Crunch, crunch, one alimentary canal is happy.

Visit: Reflections * Fave Five * Picture Clusters * SkywatchShare the Joy * Water World

11 February 2014

See you later, alligator!

There's something about going up in the air. Some kind of high. I may have felt homesick watching the buildings grow smaller as the plane zoomed into space, but it's cool joy to welcome the normality of getting back to work.


Thursday my passport was sorted. Suddenly I didn't want to think of Bangkok. I packed wondering when I can come back home. But then it's wonderful to see the end of this stress so of course this one tops my faves for the week. There was one final thing I did before dealing with airports and immigration.


I went to see my old man.

Back in 2005 I defied sorrow that only death could pull off by glaring at it in my mind dry-eyed throughout the burial ceremony. How dare you snatch my father, you massive coronary! 

Fast forward to 2014. Holy Garden Matutum Memorial Park was breezy when we walked in. The kiddo insisted that his Tigger relaxed beside my anthuriums. It gets easier each year. Time does heal.  


Less than thirty-six hours later I flew back to life in the fast lane. And didn't I just love the legroom around my 1A seat!


It will be a year or two before I can have these delicacies again. I want to hold on to this memory one more time before facing cafe meals eaten hurriedly beside computers:  At church potluck Pastor Mandreza got busy pairing off widows and widowers. For the first time ever I didn't mind the banter over the possibility that my mother could marry again. Better yet, I didn't know what made me full: these coconut sport dessert and fern salad or the laughter galore.


28 January 2014

Life in the slow lane

As if the delay of my passport release was not enough, the office of Academic Affairs emailed to remind me that my work license was expiring. So much for being happily stuck at home, sweet home. I should probably start pleading for a miracle. There had to be something to make up for this black cloud over my holidaying head. I tried looking around and it's wonderful to find joys and faves despite all this trouble.

Ever tried going around looking for something you fancy eating in a downpour? Life in the slow lane. You can afford time to do what you want the way you want it. It was like stepping back into a world where deadlines don't exist. No alarm clocks. No meetings. Just friendly vendors selling fruits under trees in front of their houses.


Tuesday I sorted out a couple of beneficiary issues on my health insurance. If you are familiar with how paperwork is done in the Philippines, you would consider yourself lucky if you got things done in one go. This time I did and to celebrate I took Ma and Cj to Barrio Otso (Village 8) to spend a lovely afternoon eating a yummy dessert.


A friend said that my passport issue could be a sign that I should not go back to Bangkok, at least not just yet. Political unrest is happening there right now anyway. I thought it could be. I'm falling fast for the mountains around. They give the country girl in me a rather better view of the world out there.


Then Wednesday I rang DFA and was told my passport was on its way to Gensan from Manila. Things are looking up. My heart leapt to my throat. I am thankful and excited.

So this is what I fancied eating. Through the rain. Wish granted.

27 January 2014

Camp Mariano

Camp Mariano is a summer camp along the Pan-Philippine Highway to Koronadal in South Cotabato.


Next to the camp entrance is where locals or visitors to the province spend lovely afternoons -


enjoying a dessert called buko salad


Buko is a Filipino word for young coconut. There are variations among ingredients. This one includes ube ice cream and jam, sweet banana and leche flan.


Around Camp Mariano are little huts selling coconut vinegar and salted fish; root crops like camote (sweet potato) and turnip.


The sign on the tree house says "Live Christ, Share Christ." Having lived in a Buddhist country for 16 years now, I felt a bit strange but cheerful reading that. And then I knew something: I was reconnecting with Christian culture. I was home.

21 January 2014

More laughter than tears

It has been raining a lot in my part of the world. There have been storm signals again. We are crossing our fingers. I take a walk around the neighborhood.

i. Everything smells fresh
 
ii. Sunshine bathes the plants


iii. In the afternoon, grey skies appear again. But as a pluviophile I have fun thinking, "ta-ta it looks like rain..."


The next day I sort out a little problem with my passport. Having it replaced takes time. I re-book my return flight to Bangkok twice. This 'glitch' is causing issues at my job though I choose to be optimistic. Whatever happens I hope I am ready.

iv. So here comes Mr. Helpful of the Department of Foreign Affairs. He appeals my case in the Manila office and apologizes profusely for the delay although it's not his fault. That is enough for me. I am grateful for the positive attitude, and I celebrate that with a choco harmony treat.

(Aunt Ludi, Robinson Gensan)

v. I'd like to share these words, and a picture that my inner world relates with.

"As I stumble through this life,
help me to create more laughter than tears.


Never let me become so indifferent,
that I will fail to see the wonder in the eyes of a child.


Never let me forget that my total effort is to cheer people,
make them forget, at least momentarily, the unpleasantness in their lives, 

and in my final moment, may I hear You whisper:

"'When you made My people smile, you made Me smile.'" ~ Unknown


14 January 2013

Ambling along Asiatique

Perhaps the easiest, fastest and most cost-effective way to reach Asiatique is to take the BTS (sky train) to Saphan Taksin and then the free shuttle boat. This was my first visit and as I observed the surrounding sights I took this shot smiling to myself, 'Bangkok has a London Eye.'


When I was little I always wanted a ferris wheel ride, but the overprotective parents insisted a merry-go-round should be enough fun. Yesterday I thought, 'hmn... this time no parents watching like a hawk. What if I'd try? I kept moving toward it but changed my mind upon seeing too many kids queuing at the base.


Ah well... finding a fountain while ambling along isn't so bad


and the shop mascots are cute.


The temperature went down with the sun so I was happy watching business going on. It is what I love about night markets.


Asiatique is part attraction, part shopping. It has many restaurants, several alfresco dining, lots of international cuisine, and the Thai Calypso cabaret show


Goods are more expensive than those in say, Jatujak or MBK. But fine by me. I didn't buy anything except dinner :)

Asiatique business hours: 17:00 - midnight
Address: 2194 Charoenkrung Road 72-74, Wat Phraya Krai, Bangkolaem

Richard Barrow, one of Thailand's most influential bloggers has concise historical description of Asiatique on his Thailand Photo Map site.

Bangkok Post, one of (two) Thailand's major English newspapers, featured an article regarding Asiatique's pricing issues - something foreigners who are visiting for the first time may want to be aware of.    

31 December 2012

Yule celebrations expat style, then and now

By yule, I mean the 'period extending from December 24th to January 6th.' Or January 2nd for me as I'm back to reality, a.k.a. work before all the hang-over is over.  This is the first yule in five years that I stayed put in Bangkok. No crazy wrestling of crowds at airports, no time-limited tours around exotic places in neighboring countries, just good old apartment with films, little hearty meals, music, a few international dials to communicate with family beyond the South China Sea
 
and well, one shopping that got a bit out of control. But things happen and there's always a first so while I was at one I thought I'd just forgive myself, and go feel the joys of the season. Before I tried putting up a book Christmas tree after seeing the idea from Book Riot on Facebook, yule began with routine visa and work permit renewals at Government House -

which was accomplished smoothly last year, but a bit complicated this year with a tiny irregularity spotted on a document- something between the Thai government and my employer and was quickly sorted which meant I could get on with the holidays without worrying whatever was happening to my immigration status. I kicked off celebrations with a trip to this 11000-seating capacity arena


for a night of memories induced by Candle in the Wind among many others, and sweet longing to give the kiddo a tight hug when his fave Lion King emanated from the grand

How time expands many things. And how I wish it spared the waistline

Horror of horrors: expansion is ongoing. I tried to temper that by welcoming the nephew's turn to be grounded on the piano, and coming, albeit late, to his recital. The niece, a guest performer, pleasantly shocked me with her weed-like growth. I probably should see them more often.

Meanwhile at work, there were finals to invigilate. We make do with this view from the 5th floor window - beginning stages of an offshore company party


and then to the heart of the celebrations

Disclaimer: good girls stay sober throughout yule. Countdown 2013 was as clear as these carolers resemble those in Frances May's Tuscan Christmas

The star of Siam shines on


HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!


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