I’m sitting in a calve massage chair in front of gate D35 at the Changi Airport now. My flight to Bangkok is in about 20 minutes, and I’ve been in this chair for half an hour. Actually though, this calve massager is magical and the best thing I’ve ever seen- I want one for my dorm room this fall.
Anyways, I’m going to Bangkok this weekend to visit my family. I don’t see them often, and they’ve been asking me to come for a weekend so here I am. I’ve been to Bangkok more times than I care to remember, yet there’s a certain charm that the city has that I can never get tired of. I know that Baltimore (where my school is) is nicknamed Charm City, yet I think that Bangkok also deserves the name.
It’s a bustling city- it’s grimy and dirty, but also charming and lively. We live in Dao Khanong, a neighborhood of Bangkok. Every morning at 6:30am, my grandma takes a tuk tuk or kapok (open back truck with seats) to the wet market, where she would haggle for fresh veggies and meat. Afterwards, she takes her daily haul from the market about a kilometer back home so that she can get started on breakfast for my grandpa and cousins.
The pollution in Dao Khanong is everywhere, but life still thrives on the streets. Where you walk, you need to watch your steps for dog poop. Every building is a shophouse, with a store on the first level and housing for the family above. Everyone is selling their wares, whether it be noodle soup, yellow temple candles, or printing services, to the people on the street.
When I’m there, my grandma also picks up extra goodies from the market such as pork on a stick with sticky rice (khao neo moo ping) or rice congee (jok), since she knows that those are my favorites. The breakfasts that she and the maids make change daily, depending on what’s in season and what is sold at the market. Fragrant jasmine rice is always served. The rotation dishes include clear soup with pork, shrimp and Chinese broccoli, fried fish (pla salit), or more.
My grandparents own a snack company in Thailand, and in their neighborhood they own a townhouse as well as a office building. Office hours are Monday to Saturday, 8am to 5pm. When I’m in Bangkok, I spend much of my time at the office (free wifi!!) because my grandparents work there almost every day. My cousin (technically second cousin but whatever) also works in the office. Since she’s related to the company owner, she has a bit more freedom with her time in the office, so she can take me to places in Bangkok. I usually go shopping, or eat somewhere, or a combination of both (that Singaporean lifestyle though). I’ve been to Bangkok enough times that I don’t care to go to the touristy places anymore- I’ve visited the Jade Palace at least five times and the famous Siam Paragon and Central World at least ten times…each.
The above picture is some shameless plugging for Pu Thai, the snack my family makes. If you see this in your local Asian grocery, try it! It’s delicious and I’m totally not biased at all (lol jk I’m biased but actually though it’s really good).
What would this post be if I didn’t talk about food at some point? My entire life, I grew up eating Thai food. My favorites include pad see ew (the better noodle dish- sorry pad Thai but you aren’t as good), larb gai, satay, tom kha, pad kha pao gai, khao pad, meung kum- these dishes were a part of my home life as well as typical American food like BBQ ribs, grilled salmon, and hot dogs. I could go on and on about Thai food (hence this entire blog) but I’ll just leave it as this- if you’ve never had Thai food before, try it! You can’t go wrong with typical Thai food like the ones I listed above as well as the most popular dishes like popiah, pad Thai, tom yum, and Masaman curry. My favorite Thai dessert is mango sticky rice. I also love blueberry cream cheese pie from the Thai café chain S&P, but that pie isn’t truly Thai, but a Western pie with a Thai taste. You’ve gotta try it to understand.
I’ve gotta get out of this chair before I miss my flight, so bye! I’ll update more when I get back from Thailand.