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Monday, November 29, 2010

Same Same, but different.

I feel like I took a trip to America this weekend - Siam Paragon Mall in Bangkok - it hosts many major American retailers and all of the world's top luxury brands.  After a lot of traveling and teaching and Thai food over the past 2 months, this weekend I treated myself to some things I've really been missing - goldfish crackers! Mexican food! pretzels! bagels! Starbucks Peppermint Mocha!  It was expensive by Thai standards - but a great shot of home on Thanksgiving weekend as well as a good dose of Holiday cheer since I was able to enjoy Bangkok's Christmas lights, trees, and Santa decorations.  I even got to meet a famous Thai singer in the process - I have no idea what his name is, but everyone else was playing paparazzi so I figured, why not?
Celebrity Sighting: His hair is a work of art. 
I also hit up Chatuchak Market - one of the world's largest outdoor markets (over 10,000 stalls!) and quite possibly the most overwhelming place I've ever been.  It takes Christmas shopping to a whole new level - if I can figure out how to ship a box to Switzerland the Rall fam's Weihnachten in der Schweiz could have some Thai flavor in my place.

For anyone looking to impress the staff at their local Thai joint - see below for a few of my fave phrases in Thai - there are days when I feel like my Thai is really coming along, and then I listen to a Thai conversation and find that I understand maybe 1 in every 80 words...yikes.

Hue how/Im leau = I'm hungry/I'm full.  Thais like to eat, and, why shouldn't they - their food is aroi mak (very delicious) aside from being jing-jing prik (very spicy).  I've noticed that there's no bad time to eat - the vendors seem to always be open - and anytime you want gai or moo (chicken or pork) on a stick, you barely have to walk 5 feet to indulge, of course over-indulgence (and maybe it's the excess amount of khao (rice) as well) lead me to alternate between being either very hungry or very full.

Bai nai? = Where are you going? I get this all the time when I'm walking around, especially in The Soup.  Tuk-tuk drivers and moped taxis along with shop-owners and random people - everyone seems very interested in my destination.  People also like to yell out random English phrases - I admit it will be a rough transition when I go back to the States and don't hear people yell out "beautifulllll" as I walk down the streets.  I've already perfected the Miss America wave and I'm loving every minute of my current fame, 555 (hahaha)!

Nee arai? = What is this?  I find myself asking this a lot, mainly with food, but especially when I see a version of the Thai dessert.  Thais are really into jelly in all its forms, sweetened condensed milk is used in excess, they love to mix flavors, and rarely does a dessert taste like it looks - let's just say I really miss brownies.

Meuan ghan = Same Same  - one of my favorite Thai phrases. Thais say this, both in Thai and in English, all the time.  This weekend in Bangkok I saw shirts that read "same same, but different" - this pretty accurately depicts the true meaning of the Thai saying - they always say same same, but they really mean, not at all.  This bus will get you to Bangkok just like the minivan, same same - but different, because you'll stop and pick up every other person standing on the road for the 100 km drive and it will take 3x as long, mai pen rai!

Christmas Decorations in Bangkok!
635 Baht for a box of Cheerios...yep, that's more than $20!

A very happy gal with my Starbucks PepMocha!


  1. you are so fun, thanks for stopping by! Richest blessings and HAPPY TAVELS, doll! :)

  2. you can definitely figure out how to send a box. just do it. :)

  3. You look like Kathleen in your last photo...I think she is becoming my favorite Rall girl...whoops!

  4. you're glowing in this pic with the Starbucks. Trust me, the thai stuff's way more fun. Someday we'll have to learn who your mystery celeb is.


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