22 March 2009

Cough, cough, hack!

A day after having a 2 hour massage and my favorite Thai lunch (consisting of Chiang Mai sausage with sticky rice, fresh mangoes and a glass of rose) my internal clock is now fast forwarding by about 12 hours to Chiang Mai time without a fight.

Now, I only need to adjust to walking in the blistering heat while being able to actually "see" the air I'm breathing. You see, in Chiang Mai, March and April are the hottest time of the year. It's also when the farmers in the surrounding countryside partake in a post harvest ritual called "slash and burning". The skies are filled with the haze from all the fires. And of course, it seems like all winds blow towards the city while I'm here. Time to hit the pharmacy for bronchitis meds considering everyone around me sounds like the are trying to cough up a lung.

Anyway, here is a pic of where I am staying. It's beautifully decorated Elliebum on Ratchamaka inside the old city center. The woman in the picture is Gade, the owner.

19 March 2009


March 18. 09

March 18th 2009

I finally decided to keep a log of my travels. Partly because friends kept asking why I didn't. But mostly so I can keep track of the foods and drinks I've had. So, here it starts.

No offense, but Bangkok is not my type of city. It's congested and aesthetically stale, outside of everything built prior to the "earl grey" invasion. But the kicker is its citizens. They exude the same feelings of aggressive, repressive frustration found in all major international cities. Think Paris or New York. When have you ever seen anyone on the RER or subway showing signs of...happiness; scratch that how about just contentment with life. Even better, didn't look homicidal or suicidal. So with that said....

I'll start at my arrival at the main train depot on my way out....to Chiang Mai.
At the Hualamphong Station, the oldest train station in Thailand, a favorite treat awaited me.
The Waffle ou Le Waffle. A heavenly dense disk shaped waffle that is a trifecta of taste. Sweet, salty and a bit tangy. The aroma is a cross between vanilla and maple syrup. Intoxicating!!!

It's simply junk/comfort food perfection.
The "original" has a light coating of course rock sugar which melts slightly on contact then hardens as the waffle cools. The result is a delicate crunch. There are many other variations to choose from. Coated with sesame, almonds, sea salt. Or filled with chocolate, taro (like a purple potato but more starchy) and other creams. All yours for 15-20 baht each, unless you're at the airport, then its double.

The Waffle is a big franchise. You can find the stands everywhere in Bangkok. the BKK airport, at most sky train stops and last but not least all the gigantic malls. But one at the main train depot is my favorite because it was my first, yeah, I'm that sentimental.

If you're ever there, grab 2 or 6 and head upstairs for something to drink. Nothing goes better with those little waffles then good coffee....But forget that.

Thailand is not known for their coffee for a reason. Pathetic. This is the only country in which having a Starbucks is a saving grace. With that said, go to the bar on the other side, next to the big TV.

Yeah its overpriced but Singha and Chang is on tap. No better place to people watch while waiting for your train. Grab a table on the inside terrace overlooking the whole station.

Of course if you're not into sweets, there is a great soup place just outside the the doors leading to the taxi and bus stands. The coconut fishball soup is good. Not great. But what can you expect at a train station..........