Friday, August 25, 2006

Search and help

An interesting concept: Make Isara your homepage, use the search function and Isara gets paid by advertisers and promises to donates the money to charity projects in Thailand.

One might question if buying cheap (and not safe by any standard) helmets that do not really fit is the best use one could make of the money, but the school cleaning or computer donations for schools look good.

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Sunday, August 20, 2006

Visited by a snake

I had a snake in my house yesterday. It was just staring at me when I opened the door downstairs. Quite scary. I closed the door again to get my camera. Last time I got bitten by a snake they asked me in the hospital if I brought the snake so I thought, just in case I take a photo. But the camera did not work. I tried to chase it out, but that didn't work either. So I went to my neighbors to ask them if they could have a look at it and tell me if it is poisonous or not. Guess what, when we came back, the snake was gone. It is a strange feeling now each time I am downstairs, not knowing if it left for good or is just hiding somewhere.


Monday, August 14, 2006


Did you ever wonder what the condiments are you find in many street restaurants?

Prik Nam Bpla - Fishsauce with chopped chilies, salty and a little bit spicy. It is used to add flavour to rice and noodle dishes.

Namtaan - Sugar, seems Thai people love sweet food (if combined with spicy taste).

Prik Phon - Dried chopped chilies to add more taste to otherwise non spicy rice or noodle dishes and soups. Often the powder is not really spicy. The fresh chilies from the Prik Nam Bpla add more taste.

Prik Nam Som - Copped chilies in rice vinegar; adds a sour taste to your rice or noodle dish. I prefer lime if available.

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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Snacks in all flavours

In a shop I found potato chips with 'German sausage'-flavor a few days ago. Being German I had to try it. Strange thing. It tastes like the typical Berlin curry sausage mixed with French fries. After dinner I wanted some ice cream, went to the nearest 7/11 and I saw potato chips with 'French Salad' flavor. Haven't tried that one yet.

Thai people seem to love snacks. Home made or by one of the major snack companies. The later often contain a lot of fat and / or sugar and MSG. At schools you can see children skipping lunch and eating snacks acompanied by a sweet soft drink instead. It slowly becomes a problem and Thailand starts to face a problem with obese kids.

Border crossing and paper work

In the bus crossing the Thai-Lao Friendship bridge over the Mekong on my way back from Laos I overheard a German couple. When we arrived at the Thai border post, she complaint about all the paperwork. I had to smile. She seems to have no idea how much more difficult it is for Thai people to visit Germany or any other Schengen country. It is not just filling in a form, you have to proof you have a health insurance, enough money, a ticket back to Thailand, and if you are not traveling on a tour you need someone to guarantee for you. And even then your visa application might be rejected, if they have the feeling you do not have enough reason to return to Thailand and might try to stay in Europe. What is this trouble compared to filling in a simple form, handing over your passport, getting a few stamps and smile from the immigration officer?