Saturday, April 28, 2012

Must learn how to smile :)

SONY DSCDear Matt,

Ok disregard the butterfly pea on your brows for the moment, you must still admit your smile needs some work, lol. Every time I said “Smile”, this is what I’d get, from a certain angle I think we could call it a smile, and again most of the time it looks like you were suffering from indigestion :)

Let see if we can improve on this over the next few days, Challenge Accepted… :)

Friday, April 27, 2012

New Eyebrows :)

SONY DSCDear M and M,

I think this must be a Thai thing, crushing up butterfly pea flowers and smearing it on your kids eyebrows so that he/she will have full eyebrows. I also never knew it was essential to have good looking brows, lol.

Your mother was out shopping and saw a juice street hawker, on their stall there were some butterfly pea flowers on display (apparently you can make a juice from it and drank it too), well you mother went up to the person and asked if she could buy some of the flowers. Well that person said ‘if it’s for making a child more beautiful, please just take it’ (roughly translated from Thai).

 

 

 





 

SONY DSCHow did I find out she had done this? It was like a Twilight Zone episode, your mother had sent to my mobile a portrait photo of Saonoi (LM) looking straight at the camera, of course I took a quick look and looked away, then I made a funny/puzzling face thinking ‘something just wasn’t right’ about what I had just seen.

Butterfly pea is purple, so when crushed up what you would get is this dark purple/blue paste thingy, when applied to the brows, it darkens the brows in a very subtle way, like a clown at a funeral :)

At first I’d thought it was just your normal brows, and perhaps it was the camera’s fault for the strange look, but after what must have been the fourth glance, I had to call your mother :) Of course after the reveal I just couldn’t wait to get home, and what did I see once I walked through the door?

Matt was at it too :) your mother had conned him into believing that he looks more handsome with the butterfly pea juice on his brows :) I almost had a heart attack from laughing :) and rushed straight to the camera to get a better file. Matt was hilarious, “Papa I like my new eyebrows, it makes me look handsome, Papa”. It was even funnier at bath time, “Papa, don’t wash my new eyebrows, Papa, I want to look handsome”, haa haa haa haa haa.

SONY DSC

Well I did consider putting it on my head, and see if the hair will grow back, lol, somehow I knew deep down it was a lost cause, lol.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Marcella’s smirk :)

Marcella SmirksDear Marcella,

You seem to glow and full of excitement every time you leave the house :) This photo was snapped using an ancient 3Gs, so the quality of the file could have been better, but the content of you looking straight at me and giving me this adorable smirk is totally priceless, well I am a bit bias here of course (being your father and all :)

Of course I was bored waiting for your mother and your brother, who was having his golf lesson, so it was just you and me wandering around, and around and around. After having taken the photo I did what it seems like most of the world’s population is doing, posting it to Facebook. I am pretty confident Facebook will still be around by the time you are old enough to read and write, make sure you add me and your mum, ok?

You are now able to roll over from your back to your tummy very well, so well that you almost gave your mother a heart attack. We had put you in the middle of our big bed but we forgot to put pillows around you. So of course in utter stealth mode, you began to roll over, and over and over and over, after the very last roll over the edge I caught you in my left palm… wow, you should have heard your mother screamed, in fact I am sure most of the population in China heard it too :)

Friday, April 20, 2012

It has only been 21 years :)

Us with Ian Lisa and Little Timmy

Dear M and M,

Earlier this month a friend of mine and his family came to visit, the last time I’d saw Ian must have been over 21 years ago, give or take a few months :)

TWENTY ONE YEARS! holy @#$% :) to point out the obvious, that is 2 decades! Of course, and honestly, he hasn’t changed one bit.

The cute little guy in the pram is ‘Timmy’, with radiant blue eyes and wonderful manners :) Of course you (Matt) was well behaved too, but that was only because we glued the iPhone to your head :)

Unfortunately due to a tight schedule we could only managed this one wonderful lunch, of course what was needed to catch up 21 years, would have been about 42 lunches, 22 afternoon teas, 15 suppers and at least a few serious pub crawl sessions. Then we have to do it all again just so that we can catch up to wonderful Lisa (Ian’s real boss) as well :)

We promised to catch up again as Ian and Lisa now live quite close by (relatively to before, haa haa haa).

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Hand in hand :)

TogetherDear M & M,

Your mother sent me a couple of photos via BB, it was taken today on your way back from visiting my parents, Matt was given a new bicycle although I must say his rational on choosing this bike was simply sensational, “because it had a flag”. Anyway, Marcella also had a fantastic time apparently she spent the whole time laughing.

The pictures were just a couple of snap shots, probably taken while the car was stuck in traffic or stopping at the traffic lights (I hope), so the quality doesn’t matter.

Apparently Marcella was being her playful self, but Matt was getting a little tired so he went back to the rear seat to play with Marcella, and not long after both felt asleep, still hold each other’s hand :) That was why your mother sent me these pictures :) (I wonder how your mother took the close up shot?)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Making me smile :)

Another-huge-smile3

Dear Marcella,

You have changed so much over your first four months, now so full of character and tang.

You are a ‘smiler’, every morning when you see me, your huge smile fills the entire room :)

Every time after your bottle of milk, is the best time to get the camera ready.

Recently we have discovered that you love boxing, of course you are the winner every time :)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Homework, just a little misunderstanding though :)

HomeworkDear Matt,

It is coming up to the end of this term, and one of the assignment you (and the rest of your year) had was to decorate (with your mother’s help) this paper cut out.

I believe the direction was to decorate it to your own nationality.

Please don’t get me wrong, but when I first saw your finished result, I thought I was looking at the leader of the Third Reich, until I realised that it was his nose, haa haa haa. Come on, with that hair and that nose… it was a simple mistake, your mother didn’t think so though.

Your mother was not happy, I mean really not happy when she heard what I had thought, it took lots and lots of grovelling to get back onto her good books.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Found a Gem :)

Story time

Dear M & M,

Now that there are two of you, I am finding myself filling up the hard disk quicker than ever, and I am not even taking raw files :)

It is always wonderful to be sitting down and going through each photo, putting a star (or a couple) on our favourite photos., sounds as exciting as collecting dried prunes doesn’t it :)

Now and then I would come across a photo which, for the life of me, can not remembered ever taking and today I’d found this one.

Panop reading to his little sister, Pasuree and she was actually (or looks like) paying attention to it, lol, totally priceless. Later, Panop was still trying ever so hard even when little Pasuree’s attention had long gone :)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Unexpected Finds

Wow

Dear M and M,

King Power is the team who runs ‘duty free’ business in Thailand, so they are huge in term of revenue and I can only assume profitability. They have built this huge store selling duty free goods right in the heart of the city, and it is one of the most popular places for Thais before travelling aboard.

The process is quite simple, once you have booked your flight ticket, you can go to this store and purchase your goods, duty free, but you have to show your ticket. However most of your purchases will have to be picked up after you’ve passed immigration at the airport, before you fly out to your destination.

Anyway, I don’t shop, ever! Well apart for cameras and food of course :) While the rest were running around ticking off the list, I was free to have a wander around. Moving away from the retail area, it is quite a beautiful building with many interesting areas.

Luckily for me, I can only assume that I had wandered into an exhibition area where several Buddha's image were on display. The style of each image depends on the time in history and the area the image was cast, so it was an amazing finds to see different style from different period on display here, today was a great day.

Paying Respect

Duty

Dear M and M,

In Chinese tradition, this time of year it’s the time to pay respect to our ancestors who had already left us.

This day was for your great grandmother, who had left us even before I was born, and this is her resting place.

The rest of your grandparents are else where, I believe your great grandparents on my mother side is now with your great uncle, and your great grandfather on my father side is also with another member of his family. Out of all of them your great grandmother was the only one who was buried.

 

Together

It is an important day for all of us, she passed away when your grandfather was very young, perhaps even too young to remember. Throwing flowers to decorate her resting place is a sign of respect, to show that she had gone but certainly not forgotten.

It is perhaps the only few times in a year that the whole family get together, don’t forget that in the past (but less so now) the size of the families were huge, and spread all over the land, so this is in a way a celebration of togetherness.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Going out and Coming back, lol.

M n M in the Car

Dear M and M,

For the past couple of weeks it was clear to us that Marcella prefers to be out of the condo which isn’t surprising. Whereas Matt was raised up in a real house, large garden and lots of open spaces with huge trees and clean air, as a baby he was in a great environment, but not very convenient, most of the families we know have to be up very, very early or have breakfast in the car while travelling so that they can get to the destination on time.

Marcella is a city girl, even at this age being stuck in confine space must be frustrating for her, so we take her out when we could, either to first floor with huge pool and garden or out of the condo altogether, but her life is full of convenient, when she goes to school there’ll be no need to wake her up before 5 am, just to get to the school on time (more than often we would be late). Like they say, you win some you loose some.

Marcella loves being outside and seeing different things, in fact she thrives on it, wide eye and full of smile :) She now follows Matt almost everywhere, to pick him up after school, to his Piano class, to his Golf class, even down to the pool for his swimming/splashing time :)

Not surprising you two have grown very close, Matt even offered to give Marcella his favourite pillow, this is a big deal for me, Matt and his small butterfly pillow is inseparable, he can not sleep without it, he even takes it into the bath room when he has his shower, but when Marcella is laying on the floor he would give his pillow to her so that she would be more comfortable :), adorable.

In return, whenever Matt is in the room Marcella eyes would follow him like a hawk and always smiling, I am truly hoping that time won’t change this loving relationship, and we’ll do our best to keep it strong :)

By the way, Matt would more than often fall asleep when we travel home after one of our excursion, I wish I have a bigger car so that he would be more comfortable, not that he cared of course :) haa haa haa, can imagine that soon you’ll be too big for me to carry you up to your bed :)

Monday, April 2, 2012

How to order Noodles in Thailand: The Foundation.

Saw a couple of tourists trying to order noodles and their faces were full of total puzzlement, I hope this helps. (Note: all the various pictures came from the web, none of them are mine).

 

Introduction

There are several types of ‘noodles based meal’ that you’ll see on the streets of Bangkok, for example, Duck noodles, Fish dumpling noodles, Beef Noodles, Goose Noodles, Pork Noodles and so on, but the ordering process is almost the same. Hopefully it will make your life a little easier when you want to order some noodles in Thailand :)

 

First Step: The Sequence

There is a sequence to the ‘order’, just like Starbucks, “Grande (Size), Decaf – Latte (Drink)”, of course it isn’t wrong to say it differently but it will help to get your message across especially when one doesn’t know the language well.

The Sequence is a simple one

#1 [‘Type of Noodles’] +
#2 [‘Dry or Wet (no soup or in soup)’] +
#3 [Additional Information, such as ‘No Beansprouts’ or ‘TomYam’ (will get into this later), and etc.] +
#4 [‘Special’ or ‘Normal’ (meaning extra or normal portion]

In short: Noodles Type + Soup? + additional info. + Special?

That is the gist of it, 4 commands in all, very simple trust me…

 

#1 Type of Noodles

Ba Mhee flat

Ba Mhee 2

Ba Mhee = Yellow thin round noodles (made with eggs)

Comes in two type, most common ones are round egg noodles, the other is just flatter.

 

 

 

Sen MheeSen Mhee = White thin round noodles

 

 

 

 


 

Sen LhekSen Lhek = White flat small size noodles (Lhek means small)

 

 

 

 


 

Sen YhaiSen Yai = White flat ‘wider’ noodles (Yai means big)

 

 

 

 


 

Woon SenWoon – Sen = Glass Noodles (transparent, made from green beans, no carb :) )

 

 

 

 


 

Sen Mama

Sen Mama, plain and simple it’s one of those instant noodles’ noodles.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

#2 Hang or Nam? (No Soup or with Soup)

Hang means ‘dry’ and Nam means ‘liquid/water’, so after choosing your type of noodles you’ll have to choose if you want your noodles without soup or with (in) soup. Of course you can also have your noodles without soup and have your soup as a separate dish (for free, although some may charge a little).

Let say I have chosen Ba Mhee (egg noodles)

Ba Mhee HangThis is Ba Mhee Hang (a direct translation is ‘Egg noodles Dry’)

 

 

 

 


 

Ba Mhee Nam

This is Ba Mhee Nam (a direct translation is ‘Egg noodles Liquid/Water’)

 

 

 

 


 

#3 Additional Information

After the noodles + soup/no soup it is time for #3 ‘Additional Information’, this is where you put in all your little quirks, to put it in ‘Starbuck’s language’ it would be like ‘low fat, one equal and etc.’.

These are some of the common ‘special order’

  1. No Beansprouts
  2. No Vegetables
  3. Only round fishball dumpling
  4. No Garlic
  5. Not too much soup
  6. Tom Yam (all the spices (hot) will be added so there is no need for you to add anything else)
  7. Etc.

If you don’t have any special demands that just skip this and go straight to #4.


 

#4 Pee-Ses or Tam-ma-dar (Special or Normal/Standard)

This final direction has to do with the portion ‘Pee-ses’ (Special) means extra portions and in general they will charge you 5 to 10 THB more, and ‘Tam-ma-da’ (Normal/Standard) means standard portion and pricing.

Moreover, you can order ‘specific’ type of extra portion, such as extra noodles, extra duck or extra fishball dumplings and so on.

There is no need to say ‘Tam-ma-da’ each time, your order will assume to be ‘standard’ unless you say ‘Pee-ses’

 

Summary and Additional information

Examples:

  • Ba Mhee + Nam + No Beansprouts
  • Sen Mhee + Hang
  • Sen Yai + Nam
  • Woon Sen + Hang + Pi Ses

Etc… enjoy :)

The above four steps #1 + #2 + #3 + #4 should get you what ever you want, just don’t go to a duck noodles place and order noodles with fishball dumplings, lol. All of the noodle shops will have their ingredients display in front of the shop, if you see a duck then it is a duck noodle shops no need to try to read the signs :)

yen ta four‘Yen-ta-four’, these are common enough for me to tell you about it, this is a ‘fish’ based noodles dish but they added red bean curd, and it comes with ‘morning glory’ vegetables and squids. So if you see red noodles dish either with or without soup it will be probably be a ‘Yen ta four’.

Not all shops sells Yen ta four, you’ll just have to look around. To order this, your first command will have to be, ‘Yen – Ta – Four’ then follow by your #1 + #2 + #3 + #4 direction, simple enough.

Of course there are more to it than it is written here, you’ll just need to be adventurous and don’t be shy, people will always wanting to help and because all of the ingredients are more than often, all out for you to see, you can just point and see what you get :)