Thursday, April 29, 2010

DINNER OUT




Thailand has sooooo many things that make me happy to say that "I'm Retired in Thailand and Loving It. I love all the smiles ,real, most of the times and the no stress ,laid back attitude of the Thai people (sometimes to a fault), and the weather and Whang Pho the place we call home, and the fact that my SS check goes a lot further here than in the good ole USA, and Ciejay and me can live a moderate lifestyle and enjoy our so called "golden years"BUTTT the thing I love the most is the great food , fresh veggies and fruit and the best part of all is that it doesn't cost us a arm and leg, take for instance tonight we went "OUT" for dinner at one of the many, small ,so called "restuarants , just down the road from our house (less that a 5 minute drive on the little Honda Wave 1oo, the fare was Cashew Chicken ( I always ask for NO skin) tempura battered veggis and large prawns a big helping of rice and Red Curry with Kong for the Love of my life .Ice water and Coke Zero all for 180 Baht or about $5.00 US dollars, I know for a fact that the meal would have cost at least 35 or 40 dollars at home in Oregon in a not so fancy restuarant, if you were to eat the same meal in one of the real fancy places it would easily cost you 75 Dollars and you would be expected to tip everyone that made your dining experience a pleasure add on another 15 dollars and you could eat OUT in Whang Pho for a month. I love it and thats just one of the reasons why I'm "Retired in Thailand and Loving It.


If you're ever up or down Whang Pho way stop in for a visit and I'll take you out to one of my favorite eating places, and at these prices "It's my treat". Malcolm

Sunday, April 25, 2010

"HE AIN'T HEAVY "HE'S MY BROTHER"

Wow thats a long and winding road
And this is where it brings me
With week-ins getting soooo busy and cooler weather on it's way which will mean more week-in trips , I thought a good Sunday post would be to bring back a post from the past . If I do say ,so I enjoy reading them again and also it keeps the little stories from getting lost in time .
I hope you enjoy a trip back in time from Retired In Thailand and Loving It. Malcolm
One year ago today I posted this story and It was brought to my mind tonight as I watched the news on tv and thought you know what "WE ARE ALL BROTHERS" When will we start to act like it . Pray for peace in Thailand .
Me and Ciejay were going to Nam Tok to do a little shopping ,when I saw this slow moving object out my truck window , there was a lot of traffic so I only got a quick glimpse of a ,I was sure very old man pushing a bicycle up a long hill very slowly.For some reason ( I had not thought of that song for years)in my mind popped the words to that song by the Hollies in 1969 and then recorded by Neil Dimond later and a big hit and still loved today . "He Ain't Heavy , He's My Brother." If you have never heard the song you can listen on you-tube.
I did not think about him anymore as we wizzed past him and off to do our shopping , But as we were coming out of the store , here he come, slowly moving up the hill in the hot sun, and here came those words again. I said to Ciejay come help me talk , so she reluctantly she came with me .I said to him "how are you ?" , he said to Ciejay ,"I'm fine a little tired , that is a long hill , and I come every day to get plastic bottles and cans to sell" . "Do you have family "? Ciejay ask , he said "NO " all my family die , I am 87 years old and I take care of myself. Ciejay said "How You Do". He said "I have small hut and little garden ,and I sell things for some little money I need , I am ok, and this keeps me from getting lonely and feeling sorry that I am the only one left in my family. I am sabi sabi". I tried to give him some money and he would not take it , so I said ," please let me take your picture and I will pay you for your time" ,he said" you can take picture, but no money please ". I took his picture ,and he got his bike and started to leave when Ciejay said "please uncle, for me take some money" and put it in his pocket, and he pushed off . I thought to myself, I hope I am still as happy and able to push a bike when I am 87.I think I had a good day, to meet a good man , and also to remind me ,that we all be brothers in this world, no matter what color , what country , what religion , young or old ,"He Ain't Heavy He's My Brother ". Malcolm


Monday, April 19, 2010

CHARCOAL MAKING-MAKING MONEY







I am always amazed that the(most) Thai's are so energetic, and they are always busy doing something , take my neighbors for instance,(especially the lady of the house ) they raise cows and pigs and chickens, also they plant a huge garden , (enough to feed the whole neighborhood) which they share . They also have lots of mango trees which they pick and sell or they will let others come in and pick them and sell them to the pickers for so much a kilo. From time to time if she (the lady of the house ) has any extra time she will cook some really delicious Thai food, and put it in to-go containers(plastic bags) and set out in front of the house on the blue plastic tables you see everywhere, with a bowl for you to leave the 10 baht , she sells all her dishes for .
Today as I was riding by their house on the way to the market, I saw smoke rising from behind the shed on the property and thought maybe something was on fire , and sure enought there was , but nothing bad , here was a strange looking cone shaped building with smoke holes all around it , I ask what this was for and she said , I'm making charcoal with the old trees we cut down to enlarge the garden area , we want to plant some pineapple to sell .

I took a few pictures and was on my merry way , riding down the road, I said to myself ," even before I retired I did not have that much engery ."
It made me tired just watching her , and I could not get home quick enough to get into my Hammock, and to not feel to guilty , I reminded myself that I'M RETIRED IN THAILAND AND LOVING IT . Malcolm





Thursday, April 15, 2010

BANANAS "THE FRUIT OF THE GODS " (I THINK)

If you look close you can see Ciejay about to cut the banana stalk (she's the expert)
Our very own stalk of bananas -enough for us and the neighbors


Another view (I'm really proud ) ha ha .We made red curry out of the flower on the end , "it was delicious.


The banana flower opening up and exposing the many hands of bananas to be matured on the stalk


A full stalk waiting for them to ripen a little before cutting

A banana flower just starting to open.Thai's cut these banana flowers if they have lots,or after the bananas have formed, and will cook then in soups and stir fry and also make a curry with them , they are delicious, and very few folks know that they are eatable.
Banana flower curry

1-Boil the banana flower pieces for 7 mins.
2-Strain the water.
3-Heat 2 tsp coconut oil in a frying pan or skillet, add mustard seeds, red chillies and curry leaves
4-Add boiled banana flower, reduce flame and cook covered for 5 mins
5-Add salt and grated coconut.
6-Mix well and serve.
7-This dish is really good served over rice
Banana flower is good for the uterus and kidney

This is another of our banana trees just putting on the flower . We'll be able to cut this stalk in about three months .

With the rainy season coming soon this one should do very well and be big and fat bananas.

Today was a special day for Ciejay and Me , (really all of them in the LOS are special) this one was extra special , because we had the excitement and pleasure of cutting our very own bananas off of one of our banana trees. After the flower, and the process of the flower turning to hands of bananas, it take a very long time for the stalk of small ,at first bananas ,to grow and mature and start to turn that wonderful yellow color right before you pick them, they will ripen after you pick them green on the counter in the kitchen or in a brown paper bag if you are in a hurry . The reason we have to pick green or just as they start to ripen ,is the same with all the fruit in our yard, if we don't get to them first the birds and squirrels wiil get to them real fast. They watch them every day to see if they are ripe , so they can steal them away from us , they beat me to the sugar apples every time.
As difficult as it might be to realize that not everyone has eaten a banana, there are people who haven't. Bananas are full of potassium and are extremely healthy. Perhaps after reading this article, everyone will at least try a banana, and enjoy .



1-Look for a banana that is yellow in color and lightly speckled with small brown or black specklesne

2-Peel the banana. Some people prefer to peel the entire thing and then eat it, while other peel as they go.
You can peel from the stalk, as you have something to hold on to.
You can also peel from the non-stalky end in the same way that monkeys peel them - this usually leads to less "banana strings" and you can use the stalk as a handle. It is easiest to just pinch this end instead of trying to pull firs

3-Throw the skin away.
If you are in a closed environment (such as in a car on a trip, or in a hotel room) either seal the peel in a closed bag or find another garbage can away from your area. Banana peels can fill a room with their scent in no time.

Banana peels make very good compost. You may want to save your leftover banana peels if you collect compost for your garden.
Alternatively, banana peels can be used in many recipes. Banana peels are a main ingredient in many east-Indian desserts and main couses.

Try any of these ways to eat a banana:

Make recipes like banana cake, banana milkshake, banana pudding, a banana split, banana bread, or chocolate banana bread!

Fry sliced bananas in butter, splash on some rum, and when the rum is hot, set fire to the fumes to impress your guests. Add a little orange juice and cook till hot again, sprinkle with dark brown sugar and serve with cream or ice cream. This dessert is so nice it is illegal in some countries.
Mash a ripe banana and mix it with natural yogurt to make a delicious breakfast or dessert.
Freeze a banana to eat as a nutritious Popsicle-like frozen treat. You can also coat in melted chocolate or insert a stick before freezing to make it easier to hold. (info from wikiHow.com)

Ciejay and Me, love bananas and we eat them just about every day some way or another , not only are they good to eat but, they are really good for your health, my Mother always told me if I had a headache to eat a banana and it would go away, and you know what " It Worked."
Growing our own bananas is just one of the many benefits that I have found ,living here in the LOS ,and thats why, "I'm Retired In Thailand and Loving It." Malcolm

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A LONG , LONG AND WINDING ROAD ( BUT IT WAS WORTH THE RIDE )






































































Yes it was a long , long and winding road, But , this is Thailand and I was a guest of our local Tessabon , and even tho I poked fun at the bus ride , I must say that I had a great trip and Ciejay was with all her neighbors and friends and was in Thai heaven. We did travel down at night and as the music was loud and the folks were having fun there was no way I was going to get any sleep , so I took advantage of all the 7 stops and ate all the snacks my heart desired and Ciejay was sooo busy having fun that she didn't seem to notice ( until we got home ).We stopped at several Tessabons on the way down the next morning and they all had food and snacks for us and we got to hear about all the things they were doing to make life for the folks there to live in harmony with each other , nature, and their surrounds , and to provide some type of economic, enterprise within their Ampore ,to provide as many jobs and income for the residents as possible . I was really impressed with all the OTOP projects that they were doing in their communities and taking advantage of the local tourist places of interest also , they were kept real clean and well maintained with folks to answer any questions you have and folks available to act as tour guides if you needed them. I was glad to see that the city leaders were doing all they could to make their (sometimes ) very small village , great places to live and raise their families .
Of course the Beaches were beautiful and I have never seen sooo many Parks in all my life, and all of them were very well maintained , even tho I did complain that the vendors at the beaches seen to occupy all the good spots and access to the beaches was limited. We stayed in a inter-city hotel and were bused to the beach , and I must say again that it was a long ride to get to the beach, and the famous walking street . We were limited on our time and we were there only during the day and just before we were to leave the beach area it came a down pour of rain and me of course having wondered off to catch a glimps of the para-sailer was caught far away from any shelter and got soaked. I would love to return , someday , not with a tour group , just Ciejay and me , at night to take a walk in the famous Walking Street , with all the lights and vendors and folks enjoying themselves.
The next night we stayed at the famous hydrolectric dam in the National Park , that was a project of our King and what a nice place the hotel was , located high up on a mountain and above the dam and along side the golf course . What a view we had from our room and the decks at the hotel. The local Tessbon treated us to dinner that night and to top it all off they even had a talent show , with each of the visting buses , each had to provide some type of entertainment for the locals and other visitors , what a blast , some great singing, and some very funny stuff to , wish you could have been there , it was a late night and a noisy bunch , all wound up from the night of fun , sooo to be on the safe side we had a police escort all the way to our hotel ,red flashing lights and all. The next morning we were again bused further up the mountain to a large convention center and office building and were treated to one of the best Thai ,Western breakfast that I've ever had, there were short speeches and hand shakes , and we were off to another Tessabon, really deep in the jungle and right on the bank of the river . This village is famous for their production of natural fish sauce, the village head and Mayor said that FISH was their very life and every thing that provided income for the locals included fish , I was very inpressed and my nose can vouch for the fish smell , I ask about the smell and they (the locals) said all they could smell was money , ha ha .
Back on the buses and headed home , we made a lot of stops at OTOP's to buy gifts to bring back with us from all the local villages we passed , and one thing I forgot to mention , I have never saw sooo many rubber trees in all my life , in some places as far as the eye could see was rubber trees.
I had a great time and took lots of pictures , hope you enjoy them . Malcolm

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