Thursday, October 21, 2010


Dateline Bangkok, Tuesday, October 19th:

Nut and I went to her brother's for what turned out to be a big family gathering on Sunday. I had thought it would be just Nut and me and Moo's family but as it was Wan-yut, a Thai holiday, so the whole clan was there, or much of it anyway. Her brother is in the orchid business and orchid farms surround his home in the suburb of Bang Phai to the west of Bangkok. There is a huge covered workspace filled with tables that are used when packaging orchids for shipment to various places in the world -- this is where we hung out and ate the meal.

After arriving at Moo's and the introductions made, we immediately piled into Moo's van to drive to a seafood market where the best, freshest fish and crabs were to be had. Of course Thais never go far without needing something to eat along the way. It was a longish drive to this particular market and after about 15 minutes or so the general clamor for food was acknowledged and Moo pulled the van into a roadside market for snacks. Here are a couple of shots of the family chowing down as we drove along. In the photo clockwise from bottom left are, Nut's mom, sister Aou, daughter Dui-dui, cousin Pim (her father, Nut's brother, died years ago), Nut, Aou's son Ice, and brother Muk, a clamorous and very friendly group.

Moo's house is situated on a klong, or canal. These are peaceful waterways where boats, both powered long-tails and paddled flat-bottomed "canoes" I'll call them, pass by constantly on their way to a neighbor's perhaps or a nearby market. They're very common in Bangkok and this one was particularly attractive in this rural setting. It was very quiet, a relief from Bangkok's noise and traffic, and before long exotic birdsong filled the quiet evening air. All the klongs seem to be loaded with fish that are constantly seen in great numbers when they hit the surface to feed. Her brother tells me some of them weigh in excess of 15 lb -- considering the water quality I don't think I would dare to eat one but many locals fish the klongs and of course, of necessity I imagine, eat what they catch. Nut and I took a short ride in one of the boats used for traveling on these waterways. It was a flat bottomed affair with no keel I could detect that I found very difficult to keep headed in a straight line even as I tried to apply what I could remember of the J-stroke from my canoeing days.

Above is their klong-side picnic area which is surrounded with beautiful trees and shrubs. One tree caught my eye because the blossoms were spectacular and colorful. Nut told me it was a rose-apple. I've eaten the fruit before and can say it's delicious.

Just before we were ready to sit down and feast, a lady showed up paddling her boat along the klong selling fruits and vegetables. Nut's brother Moo is in the photo; he's buying some eggs and ginger root for the cooks at work in the kitchen.

Below are some shots of the folks preparing the food for the feast. In the first one Nut's sister Aou and brother Muk are cleaning fish and prawns. Below that are her mom with brother Moo and his wife Uh in the kitchen. In the last one is Dui-dui, Nut's daughter, frying some fish in a huge wok:

I might as well admit that I've pretty much fallen for Nut. And she seems, for some strange reason, to feel the same way about me. She is smart, fiery, lovable and sexy. I caught her in this great candid photo as she was collecting coconut meat for the tom yum Aou was making.

I wish I had caught more of the dinner on film but I was busy eating and drinking with the brothers. The women worked all during the meal presenting plate after plate of great chow: fried fish, steamed fish, curried chicken and fish, mussels, crab, tom yum, assorted vegetables, platters of huge grilled prawns, watermelon, pineapple. And of course many beers and glasses of 100 Pipers, a Thai brand of scotch whiskey, with soda added to the scene. Neighbors and an Aussie expat with is Thai wife dropped in to join in the fun. I ate and drank quite a bit but managed to remain sober what with all the food I was putting away along with the beer.

Thursday, October 21, Bangkok:

In the interim since beginning this entry we made a visit to Chinatown and had a memorable dinner there which I'll cover in another post. Tomorrow morning we will travel by 1st class bus (recliner seats and cold aircon) to Chiang Mai for a week or so before heading to Udon to meet up with my friends from Homer for another motorcycle tour.

Then, around the 2nd or 3rd of November Nut and I will ride to Udon. It will be interesting to see if we can load the bike with all of our stuff for the two day trip to Udon. I'll rent a Phantom again, or maybe a bigger bike, for the ride. Albie and DC will arrive Nov 4th and 5th, and Big Al arrives Bangkok on the 25th. He'll head to Udon also to meet up with the rest of the gang. Another friend from Homer, Sean, will join us on the ride this year. We four, the same crew as last spring along with Andy from Canada, and Sean, will tour together this season.