Ms Chocaholic with lots of opinions and an attitude

Monday, March 29, 2010

Bangkok....kinda 'home' yet not quite

Its hard to say Ive come home. Bangkok is the city I know best, yet Im somewhat of a stranger to my own town now. Not that much of the city has changed, perhaps some restaurants and bars have changed names, and Im no longer the expert on the most in trend places to eat at :) but in general things are pretty much the same.

More expensive certainly. Property prices has gone up by twofold in about less than 2 years. Eating out at proper restaurants easily costs as much as eating out in Sydney. The fancy places are of course still somewhat cheaper. Speaking of fancy - thanks to my favorite Italian Luca who took me back to Biscotti for a lovely Italian lunch

and while we are on the subject of food, here is what Ive gotten up to so far:
Irish pub with Martin
Thai food at Kalapapruek with the Aucky girls
Western meal (lamb steak, salmon etc) with Mom
Chinese meal with P Kai
ohhh and an Indian wedding with: lotttttttts of fresh Sashimi, Dim Sums, and a touch of Indian, and lotssssssss of desserts! (gotta love Indian weddings!!)
Vietnamese is on the agenda......

ofcourse my life is still filled with food plans. Ive been told by my farang friends that their experience of Thai people is that we are always thinking, planning and eating food :) I think they may be on to something :)

by the way...I even managed a walk on the Rajdamnoen avenue that has been closed due to the government wanting to keep protesters out of the area.....more on that when I get to proper internet access perhaps

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Random Jyoti facts

I dont like packing, but I dislike unpacking even more!
My worse domestic chore has got to be changing sheets and making my bed - especially my Bangkok bed (it has a really nice mattress, but that is sooooooooo heavy!)
[ofcourse keep in mind Ive done away with the need for ironing from my life, COMPLETELY!)
There used to be a time in my life when my fridge contents consisted of: chocolate milk, chocolate brownies, chocolate cake rolls, chocolate cakes, chocolate bars, Nutella and water, and Hagen Daaz Macademia Brittle icecream.
(Im much better now!)
I dont really cook, even after 2 years in Sydney, except perhaps a few times (maybe 3?) for a guy I was dating. We are no longer together. Lesson learnt? If a guy offers to take you out to dinner, let them :p Dont bother cooking :p
Chocolates, not rice, not pasta, not noodles, not bread, not roti, is my staple diet.
I do think before I speak or do things, but the time between my thoughts and my actions are so minimal that it appears I do spontaneous things.
I tried to learn German, no really, I tried! even thought I could master one phrase a day. Four years surrounded by Germans, you'd imagine I must be an expert at it! Alas, not to be.....I shall not point fingers of blame....but one particular person does come to mind to be held responsible. Despite that he remains one of my favorite former bosses ever......., but ofcourse he shall remain un-named :p
I thought I no longer have clothes that are appropriate for Thailand (too warm, too short, too tight, too revealing?), but then I saw some photos on facebook of people in Bangkok - by comparison my clothes are still waaaaaaaay more conservative! :p

Saturday, March 20, 2010

the 2010 Champions League quarter final draws

Im excited and of course nervous as Arsenal will be facing Barcelona. They are no doubt a tough opponent, not to mention the memory of the defeat at the finals in 2006 (still remember staying up late for that game, totally ignoring my friend who was with me - thats how nerve-wrecking it was for me. my heart skipped a split second of a beat each time the Barca players came anywhere into our half!)

Of all the pairing, it seems all the football sites are talking about the Barca vs Arsenal games the most! A few reasons for that I suppose. Arsenal and Barcelona both play what we consider 'beautiful' football (some have said that Arsenal needs to move away from beauty and start focusing on more goals and winning); the fact that the 2 teams met in the final in 2006; and also the performance both teams have had in the round preceding the quarter final - Barca beat Stuttgart 4:0 while Arsenal beat Porto 5:0 at the Emirates!

Add to that this game will bring Thierry Henry back to Arsenal's ground, attacking our goal! Then there is the rumour of the current captain Cesc Fabregas eyeing to move to Barcelona. Will certainly make for an interesting display!! Not sure where in the world I will end up being, or who I will be with, but am certainly looking forward to the game!

ohhhh, and yes there will also be other games as part of the quarter final :p (but Im sure you can understand why my focus is where it is surely!)

So this is what the draw looks like:

Barcelona face Arsenal
Olympique Lyonnais play Girondins de Bordeaux
Bayern M√ľnchen take on Manchester United
and Internazionale Milano meet PFC CSKA Moskva.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Green is my favourite colour

anyone that knows me, knows that. But for today, I do wish I didnt have to see so many dressed in green.

hard to explain....but oh well. However, I did see this woman in a really nice white dress with green lining. It looked really nice....very elegant. Wouldnt mind that dress myself....even if the shade of green might not exactly work for me. Took a pic, but was a bit dark.

More on this Green day thing later (no no the band...some kind of Irish drinking competition I think :p )

Monday, March 15, 2010

Random musings, observations and revelations

I have lost half my hair. (I had this grand idea of auctioning it for charity...but didnt find an organisation that seem to do that....locksoflove would take your hair and use it for kids that need it, but I thought Id try to get more money for it, and use it for more than one child). anyhow, now I dont think anyone would want to oay for whats left of it :(

In Sydney's Chippendale suburb there is a street called Chippen, and another called Dale.

If there is one thing I want to steal it would be people's cute puppies and dogs. I miss my Julie.
(apart from when occasionally people ask you that strange question of - how much would it have to be for you to get tempted? my answer - it would have to be a LOTTTTTT and I mean a LOTTTTTT of money and I know a 100% there is no chance of me getting caught.....probably in the hundreds of millions (dollars!) - otherwise its not even worth it)

chaos continue in Thailand. protests, grenades here and there, prime minister flying in and out of army camps on helicopters. sounds like some scene from an action movie doesnt it. read more on the BBC site.

I had a lot of other random things on my mind...but for now they seem to have slipped my mind. oh well. maybe I need some of those 'executive something pills' a friend talked about. She said they supposedly help with memories.

Speaking of pills, today I saw a guy wearing a tshirt that said: "I took the red pill." I wanted to ask if I could take a photo of his tshirt (would have cut off his head ofcourse :p) but after having been told by Anna that Im weird cos I took a photo of a rental lawnmower, I figured my request to photograph a stranger's tshirt might not go down too well.

I did photograph the jellyfish that were washed up ashore at the beach though. They looked quite disgusting yet were fascinating. And yes, maybe I am weird.

Ive always said Im not 'normal'. A few years ago there was that email going around - the one that asks you a few questions, and at the end tells you to think of some object? and supposedly 98% of those that play it answer the exact same thing? an axe or an orange axe or something bizarre like that? anyhow, whatever that object was, clearly that wasnt my answer since I cant remember it! So according to that survey, Im part of the 2% of the population who is not 'normal' (I believe they used a different word to make me feel special). The funny part though - everyone I know seems to have fallen into that 2%! Considering the 6billion population on earth, 2% of that would be ?? oh who cares. bottom line is - Im abnormal,and all my friends are too. :)

by the way - I think I can put my idea of becoming a writer away. but then again, Ive seen some silly books published and clearly people have bought them?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Oblivion to Thailand's political turmoil?

I did try to remain disinterested and oblivion - havent looked at international news, and so far there was nothing reported in the local paper..and with limited phone contact to my family I decided I had restricted my interest in what was or was not happening. However, I finally succumbed, and decided to check out the Thai newspapers online.

it seems there have been mass gatherings, some rumours of possibility of demonstrators taking over major roads - but they were simply rumours. An ultimatum has been made for the Abhisit-led government to resign - apparently the deadline is Monday - but not clear what the demonstrators plan to do if their demand is not met?

On the other hand, there appears to be some sort of 'tracking' of Thaksin's movements - reports of his son and daughters having left Thailand over the weekend, and some other political players who flew to Singapore. Mind you - some of these reported as players could simply be going on their normal weekly shopping trips to Singapore, but at a time of high political tension - a trip to the golf course by politicians would be spun as newsworthy :)

Ofcourse I have nothing of value to add - no profound insight, no indepth analysis, or informed opinion. Im merely restating the quick scan I have had of a couple of news articles. Perhaps I need to tune in to the BBC and other international media to see what if anything is being said? And perhaps, it is time for me to start taking a bit more active interest in developments in my own country again?

(well, its not that Ive lost interest....but its a bit harder to engage in discussions with people in the country, and I cant really have first hand observations while being so far away. Had i still been at home, Id have been in a dilemma as to whether to check out the size of the crowd only meters down from my place, or whether to stay away for safety reason -but in either case suffering from the inevitable traffic disruptions with no alternate route to avoid the chaos! Oh just one of the joys of my Rattanakosin Bangkok address :)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Loyalties and priorities

I absolutely cant explain what Im doing taking interest in the Six Nations rugby game between Ireland and Wales - have no access to the live game (unless I want to read about it live through some website, or livestreaming through some other net site), not to mention the fact that I still have no clue how the game works (did only have a supervised session only once - Martin has been absolutely terrible - he didnt try to indoctrinate me into rugby at all? hmmmmm)

anyhow, apparently the score at the moment is Ireland 16:3 Wales.....still early in the game. All the Irish supporters must be happy - and in a twisted way I have become one of them . The game ended with the Irish winning 27:12, a worthy goodbye to their stadium.

Now, as to the Arsenal game....hasnt started yet...and I dont think I have much more energy to stay up. Sorry guys....but looks like they manage to do better when I miss watching a game :) case in point: the game versus Porto...where Arseal scored 5 goals against them!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Why would anyone want to leave Sydney?

or any place with such glorious summer?

yet here I am....in this freezing col! dont get me wrong..having a great time ofcourse! starting with some lovely Vietnamese food when I arrived last night....a very nice relaxing day at a mineral/spring spa with two girlfriends, catching up with two more girlfriends over drinks and too much pizza!

only a day in and Ive already managed to put on weight HAHA...and not even had any dessert yet :p

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Interesting times in Thailand....arsenal theft at army camp!

and no not my Arsenal, just the army arsenal. blah...but in a way its my taxes!

war weapons stolen from army base in South Thailand. Its amazing how the country's supposed security forces cannot secure its own compounds? Especially when this is not the first time its happening. Back in Early 2004 they claimed similar thing....only this time more weapons disappeared :)

the question is how can the security at army facilities be so lax.....if it happened one time ridiculous as it may sound you can come up with some lame excuse of being unprepared, not thinking someone would dare break in to army camp. but when there has already been a precedence?

Im not proposing any theories, cos Thailand being Thailand, it could be any number of things:
someone supporting either side of the political divide decided it might be a good idea to create some headline to discredit the other side
someone decided some group of civilians/insurgents/mob need to be armed
someone needed some cash and decided to distribute the arms to one of the groups in 2 above
the weapons never existed in the first place (I love my last theory - it conforms with my favorite line from the Matric "There is NO spoon!")

by the way, the list is ofcourse not exhaustive, and in no way a scientific analysis of the situation. Just my 2am written in 2minutes take on things.

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Thursday, March 04, 2010

Shoot!

If I were the swearing cursing type...there would have been at least a couple of occasions in the past 2 weeks that I would have.

Once when I was somewhere running into someone I shouldnt be running into..... c'est la viw.... life has a way of playing not so funny jokes on you.

And today, I would have double 'shoot!' myself. After sending one email....in my typical do everything in a rush style....hit the sent button and in the same split second realised that 1) DOH!!! I should have put the group in the BCC address..... given that Im not using a database mailout, while in my 'TO' box shows the addressee as "Sydney Friends" it occurred to me that once it gets to the recipient's inbox it will show all the email addresses. So apologies to my friends for sharing your emails with some strangers .....but I think most of my friends are safe? :)
and 2) that I should in fact have gone through the group address to double check who may or may not still be included in the list, and whether any need to be removed and saved from receiving unnecessary email from me.

Too late now....in particular number 2) is a bit more of a worry.....but worse things have happened I suppose. I (and they) will just have to live with it.

I wonder if this will teach me to slow down a bit with my actions.....its not that I dont think about what I do.... I do think...but I act on it so instinctively and so quickly :) Has gotten me in a fair bit of trouble every now and then....most recently on Valentine's Day. (not that I pay Valentine's Day much attention - just an easier reference than saying 2 Sundays ago?)

Another clothing appeal from me....



Some friends are getting together to collect and ship clothing and basic necessity items to the victims of the quake in Chile. So I thought Id help spread the news a bit.

In a sadly coincidental way, it was almost exactly a year ago when I organised an appeal for the victims of Black Saturday in Victoria.

I know everyone would have done their bit to help, and must have seen so many of these appeals. Yet, from my experience with the Black Satuday collection, I know each of us will somehow always have unwanted items sitting in our closets or cabinets. So, instead of letting it sit there, or throwing them out in your spring clean, why not give them away to those that need them?

Items we are collecting:
Clothing - particularly warm clothes and blankets, towels and such
Basic toileteries
Non perishable food - no bottles please!

Yes, theres been a lot of money supposedly pouring in, and yes it may be more cost effective to send money...but the distribution of funds could be delayed due to bureaucratic procedures.

Items collected will be shipped to Chile, and delivered to an NGO working on the grounds to distribute them straight away.

If you have a lot of items, please bring them by my place in Stanmore. However, if you only have a few non heavy pieces, I can arrange to meet you somewhere in the city.

Remember, every small effort counts. Just to remind you of how much each of you helped last time....here are some photographic reminders :)

Sun Sea Sand. and ofcourse an Aussie/Thai/Scottish BBQ

Happy birthday Rory!
as I said...with all the lovely food that P Elle makes...you can have a birthday every week!

So I ventured out to enjoy the Aussie Sun Sand and Sea on the weekend. And the much needed company of Rory and P Elle. Yes, there was all that jazzy meat BBQ at Bronte...but I was more than happy to settle for the ohh so yummy spicy 'Som Tam' compliments of P Elle. Stayed there til it got dark, we decided to pack up and head home. Rory tried to tempt me with a few drinks back at theirs. P Elle mentioned the magic words of - Ill make some Thai dessert of 'Kluay Buad Shee' [bananas cooked in coconut milk and sugar] and make you some 'Khao Tom' [Chinese-Thai style rice porridge with minced pork] for breakfast in the morning!
So of course who was I to say no :)

Also met Elissa there. We got into a bit of an almost girly discussions of men - with some injection from Rory to defend the male race :) I once again got to present my wisdom theory of "Men are great. As friends. The minute you start to date them, its like they have made a secret pact to turn into complete jerks" :)

Great weekend, even if I do end up putting on some extra 2 to 3 kilos everytime Im at P Elle's :) "Thanks for all the fish!"