What else? Still in My Tho
[My Tho, Vietnam
Gozilla outside the post office.
The hotel where we're staying, the biggest hotel in this small town, situated right on the riverside, well... quite a change for Pazu.
Another view of the Mekong River, contrary to what you may want to think, only the less rich people (I mean the "poor") wanted to stay there.
This post was written by Joey
[My Tho, Vietnam
Joey wrote, "Just chillin' with Kong junior."
Joey wrote, "This is the stairway to heaven, hence why I am at the bottom of it!"
"Look we both had a few drinks and things just went toooo far."
"I already pumbled Pazu... this guy is next" (Pazu gave a further explanation, "Oh yes I heard that Joey pumbled me in his dream. We're staying at the same room.")
"This looks like a classy place, I wonder why they let me in."
"Kong junior avenges Pazu."
Breakfast in My Tho
[My Tho, Vietnam
This is the My Tho Catholic Church, located at Hung Vuong Street. Pazu never got a chance to go in because first he wasn't really interested to go in, secondly it's always closed except Sunday's morning, and Pazu had to sleep.
We went for breakfast at Cafe Domino, they use coffee powder from Bao Minh only, not as famous as the symbolic Trung Nguyen, but delicious all the same.
Joey and Pazu had only one set of breakfast, while Pazu's sister got two because she was starving.
They serve very good breakfast too. Three people with A LOT OF food and coffee costed 71000 dong (US$4.46 or 172 baht) only.
Some more photos of My Tho
[My Tho, Vietnam
ถายที่โรงแรม Phước Lộc Thọ Toàn เป็นคำศำท์มาจากภาษาจัน หมายถึงว่า 福祿壽全 (โอ็ตเข้าใจไม่ ๕๕๕)
เราไปกินอาหารเช้า นี้เป็นอาหารเอียดนามด้วย คนเอียดนามก็กินขนมปังบ่อยๆ
นี้เป็นวัดของศาสนา"กาวได" - เป็นศาสนาแปลกๆ เริ่มที่ประเทศเอียดนาม
ดอนนี้ปีใหม่ แต่ก็มีคนตายแน่ๆ วันนี้ที่วัด"กาวได"มีงานศพ
ที่เมือง My Tho มีทะเลสาบเล็กๆ เป็นซึ่งประดิษฐ์ขึน(artificial) ไม่ไช่มาจากธรรมชาติ
New year day
[My Tho, Vietnam
เวลา11:55 ก้องไปรับครอบครัวที่สนามบินวันนี้ วันนี้เป็นปีใหม่จีนแล้ว หลังจากนั้นเราไปกินอาหารเกาหลีที่ถนนTran Hung Dao และก็ไปหาปู่ นั่งรถไปประมาณ๑ชั่วโมง๓๐นาที (รูป-จากด้านซ้าย) -- ลุงหมิน - ก้อง - ก้องจุนเนียร์ - ลูกน้อนโจอี - แม่ - บอบอ (จับแมวน้ำ) - พี่ชาย - พี่สาว
ขนมที่แม่ซื้อมาจากฮ่องกง เป็นขนมญี่ปุ่น ทำไมไม่ไช่ของจีน???
เราก็มีขนมจีนจริงๆ ขนมที่สำหรับปีใหม่ แต่ก้องคิดว่าไม่คอยอร่อย
ลูกน้อนโจอีมี่น้องสาวคนหนึ่ง เกิดที่ประเทศแคนาดาด้วย เค้าไม่รู้ภาษาจีนและไม่รู้ชื้อของเค้าภาษาจีน เค้าอยากขอชึ้อภาษาจีนจากปู่ เพระว่าเค้าอยากทำนี้เป็นรอยสัก แต่ปู่แก่มากๆ เขีอยไม่ได้แล้ว
New Year's Eve
[My Tho, Vietnam
วันนี้เป็น๑วันก่อนจากปีใหม่จีน ที่บ้านปู่มีอาหารพิเศษ มีไก่ด้วย ไม่มีใครกลัวไข้หวัดนกเลย และก็มีกุงกันอาหารไม่น้อย ถ้าคุณโอ็ตก็มาด้วย คิดว่าดีจังและ เพราะว่าเค้ามีท้องใหญ่มากๆๆๆ วันนี้กินขาวแล้ว คนทำงานจะกลับบ้านอยู่กับครอบครัว๗วัน ประเพณีของจีนกับเอียดนามก็คลายๆกัน ปีใหม่เป็นเวลาที่สำคัญที่สุกในปี
ปู่เกิดที่จีน มาประเทศเอียดนาม๖๐ปีแล้ว บ้านปู่ขายชา มีคนงาน๑๕คน คนที่ทำงานนานที่สุกก็ทำประมาญ๔๐ปีแล้ว (ทำงานนานก่าวนี้ก็มี แต่พวกเขาตายแล้วเพราะอายุมาก) บ้านนี้ก็เก่ามาก ๙๒ปีแล้ว
หมาชื่อ"อา-ก้วย" หมายถึงว่านิสัยดี เป็นภาษาTeochiu.
In My Tho
[My Tho, Vietnam
We saw a strange pineapple in the market.
Another close-up. รูปถ่ายไกล้ๆของสับปะรดแปลกๆ
Tiger prawn, one of the many delicacies in My Tho. We bought four today which was nearly a kilogram, 170,000 dong (650 baht) for a kilo, it's probably the high season (maybe?).
กุ้งใหญ่มากๆ เป็นอาหารที่มีชื่อเสียงที่นี้ เราชื้อ ๔ ตัววันนี้ ๑กกละ ๖๕๐บาท ทำไมแพงก่าวประเทศไทย?? อาจจะเพราะว่าปีใหม่เอียดนาม (เวลาเหมือนกันปีใหม่จีน) อาจจะเพราะว่าคนขายกุ้งโก๖ ครังหน้ากินปู่ดีก่าว อาอาอา ไม่ไช่กินปู่ กินปูนะครับ
The private doctor of grandpa.
Motorcyclists in Vietnam never give you way.
รถจักรยานยนที่ประเทศเอียดนามไม่รู้ "ให้ทาง" เป็นอะไร
There was a very big flower market outside our hotel, it will be closed after the new year's eve.
ด้านหน้าโรงแรมที่เราพักมีตลาดพิเศษสำหรับปีใหม่ ขายดอกไม้หมอดเลย จะปิด๑วันก่อนจากปีใหม่ หลังจากนั้น ทูกคนก็กลับบ้านกินขาวกับญาติ
Joey, cousin from Canada
[My Tho, Vietnam
This is Joey, Pazu's tangdi
(堂弟), which means the father's brother's son, Chinese has a better way to describe family relation than English. Joey was born and raised in Canada and it was the second time that he came to Vietnam to see grandpa. Grandpa wasn't very happy that Joey couldn't speak any dialects of Chinese (grandpa can speak Teochiu, Cantonese and Mandarin Chinese).
เค้าเป็นJoey, ลูกของก้อง... ไม่ไม่ไม่... เป็นลูกน้องของก้อง ๕๕๕ (ลูกของน้องชายของพ่อของก้อง) เกิดที่ประเทศแคนาดา มาเอียดนามหาปู่กับปูเป็นครั้งที่ ๒ แต่เค้าพูดภาษาจีนไม่ได้เลย ปู่บอกว่า "เถอเป็นลูกของลูกของปู่ ทำไม่พูดไม่ได้?" Joeyตอบ "อาจจะเรียนภาษาจีน ถ้ามีเวลา..."
But language isn't the only way to communicate, there's always more than this. e.g. Kungfu...
แต่พูดไม่ได้ ก็เล่นได้ ก็เหมืงกันโอ็ตกับก้อง ก้องไม่เข้าใจโอ็ตพูดเสมอ แต่พวกเขาก็เป็นเพี่อน๔
Grandpa tried to bite Joey's finger.
Arrived in Vietnam, at last!
[Ho Chi Minh City to My Tho, Vietnam
We took the flight VN852 from Bangkok to Ho Chi Minh City and arrived at 19:30. Because of the delay, Uncle Dan had already waited too long and left the airport. Pazu had no Vietnamese money but luckily, there was a small exchange booth at the airport so Pazu got some small change for calling homes.
ก้องนั่งครืองบินVN852จากกรุงเทพไปเมืองหอจีมีน มาถึงก็เวลา19โมง30นาที เพระว่ามาช้ามากๆ ลุงหมีนก็ออกจากสนามบินแล้ว ก้องไม่มีเงินของเอียดนาม แต่โชดดีมากที่สนามบินมีธนาคารเล็กๆ แลกเงินได้ ก้องแล็ก๑เหรียญเท่านั้น และโทรไปหาน้า(น้องสาวของพ่อ)
He called Uncle Dan and he was on the way back to My Tho and had to come to the airport again, sorry for all the trouble!!
น้าให้เบอโทรศัพท์ของลุงหมีนกับก้อง ลุงยังมาสนามบินอีก ซอ-ริ ซอ-ริ
While Pazu was waiting at the airport, he took some pictures of the kids who were killing time by pushing trolleys.
ก้องอยู่สนามบินประมาญ ๔๐นาที ไม่มีอะไรทำ ก้องถายรูปกับเดกๆ๓คน พวกเขากำลังเล่นรถราง พ่อแม่ก็ไม่ว่าอะไรเละ
And it must be very boring to wait for the arrival or departure at the Vietnam airport, everybody sat wherever they could, pretty much disorganized, first taste of Vietnam (for others, not Pazu)...
Jordy, the Hong Kong traveller that we met in Pakistan and Bangkok, came to Vietnam so Pazu invited him to stay together for a few days in My Tho. Jordy had also waited for quite a long time for Pazu at Lotteria Fast Food, Pham Ngu Lao District, he said, "Oh it's okay, luckily the internet is only 4000 dong (10 baht)." And Jordy stayed with Pazu until 27 Jan, he then went to Ho Chi Minh City to catch a bus to Nha Trang for swimming. Jordy didn't want Pazu to put up his photos here, he threatened Pazu, "NO don't put my photos up there, I will do you a revenge by putting your photos on my website too!" But so far he has none! Haha, so here it is, one photo of Jordy.
Missed a flight!
Pazu had to go back to Vietnam to celebrate the Chinese new year with his family, by flight but not by bike. He tried to take a bus with Oat, it was probably quite funny to wait for the bus and took some more stupid photos, and we forgot the time.
Pazu bought a cheap ticket from Lufthansa Air a few days ago, departure time was 15:15, quite stupidly he arrived at the airport at 14:42, just 33 minutes before the plane flew, the staff closed the counter already and refused to let Pazu to check in.
The travel agent that Pazu bought the ticket from had agreed to refund (partly) and so he bought another ticket from Vietnam Airline, about 3000 baht more expensive. But it's okay, at least we managed to re-arrange everything and we could still go back to Vietnam today.
We weren't in a big hurry after all the trouble so we walked around with Oat, and first we met Fah Pah, a german exchanged student who studied in Nakhon Phanom, we met him last May, he was there to send a friend back to Argentina.
Then at the train station we met yet another friend, it was Zeine!
His bike was full of bags, he was to fly back to Australia tonight. Seemed like everybody was rushing to the airport today and it was so nice to see them again at this very last minutes.
Oishi Japanese buffet
Oat's birthday was already a month ago (19 Dec, same as Pazu's sister) and Pazu finally managed some time to have a belated celebration dinner for him. We had a Japanese buffet dinner at Oishi Restaurant (Sukhumvit soi 55), for around 600 baht per person, we achieved another record by eating 30 oysters, 1kg of salmon sashimi, a shabushabu hotpot, a lot of vegetables, 4 big bowls of ice-cream and 6 to 7 pieces of cakes and tarts. Well, I hope Oat and Pazu would still be welcomed next time. Happy Birthday!
We wanted to take a few more pictures but the waitor said photography was prohibited, so we couldn't do some more free promotions for them.
Lots of buddhas
We also went to Neung's home today, which was also in Nonthaburi Province and about five km away from Oat's home. Surrounding Neung's home was a lot of empty houses, looks a bit haunting, the dirty wall outside just fortified this feeling.
Oat said,"These were built during the economic bombs a few years ago, the landlord lost a lot of money."
Inside Neung's room is an exhibition of Buddha statues, he said his father collected that. I don't know what it feels to sleep with so much buddhas, probably it would feel safer amid all these empty spirit houses.
Oat's mom wasn't drunk
Oat's mom wasn't drunk so Oat let her to cut his hair. About a year ago Pazu's ears were almost cut by Oat's mom... so Pazu had better go to a barber house this time.
A new friend
We forgot to tell you we now have a new friend. Oat got this little bear on the Children's Day last week, his manager bought quite a bulk as giveaway for children but Oat took two anyway. Pazu stole one in turn and mounted it on the back of his bicycle. We still haven't named it yet, do you have any good idea?
Happy Birthday to...
It was the birthday of a secondary school friend. Pazu tried to call his mobile, his home, ad none could be reached. He wasn't on ICQ either, which was absolutely unusual for him. But happy birthday anyway, if you are reading this blog.
We went with Oat to the buffet dinner next to BTS: Ratchathewi again. There must be something special that everybody wanted to take photos.
] We went to a steakhouse near Panthip, and this was what they served us. A chicken steak in Japanese style (30 baht only), plus a rice shaped like Kong junior, I mean a bear, not dog.
You have to be a little cruel to eat this rice, cut the right leg first.
Then the three remaining limbs.
Cut the bear into half like David Copperfield, but unfortunately it's not magic!
Ah Chin's new camera
] Ah Chin bought a new camera at Panthip (the biggest computer mall in Bangkok) because she always envied the good photos of Pazu.
Haha! She bought a Panasonic FX-9 with Leica lens, for 13900 baht (and a 7% tax refund), very good price. This is the very first photo taken by the camera, at a shop named Dinosaur (pronouced as "dai-nou-sao"), 2nd floor.
National Children's Day
] It was the National Children's Day of Thailand on 14 January, with many government offices opened to public. On the same day the Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra (the "ra" is silent
) proposed the National Youth Council's representatives to set up student committees to monitor their teachers' conduct, seemingly a way to revenge the recent protests of the teachers.
It must be a busy day for the PM too, because he was to host another grand reception at the Government House for scores of kids, another anti-government group (led by media tycoon Sondhi Limtrongkul) broke into the House, nothing was damaged, but the bad-tempered PM angrily responded, "Many kids were looking forward to comming here to see the premier's office, it's a dream for them, but some old man did some crazy things just before that!!!" (Quoted from the Nation, 2005-01-15)
The picture on the right was taken in the parliament house.
It was the same building, Pazu asked Oat to pose this way, Oat didn't have any objection, this time.
Also inside the parliament house, the portrait above the screen was HM King Rama IX.
Pazu saw the ink on the forehead of this boy, he thought it was some kind of white or black magic so he took a pic and asked Oat. Oat said, "Oh no, it's just the ink stamp to show that the boy has bought the ticket." But why was it on the forehead? "It's just a joke."
There were three helicopters on show, it was one of them.
It was hot.
Another shot of Oat and the helicopter.
] Oat's mom was already discharged from the hospital and of course her foot was still intact, quite a relief for us. As promised, Oat took his mom (and Pazu too) to the Vimanmek Mansion for a pleasure trip. It was the palace of H. M. King Rama V (1969-1910), one of the most beloved kings in Thai history. Thai pays 75 baht to get in, foreigner 150 baht (sure Oat helped Pazu to pay the Thai rate). The building behind was the Vimanmek's main building, claimed to be the largest golden teakwood mansion in the world. It seemed to be a very popular Chinese tourist destination and we met at least 9 groups in a very short moment. To Pazu's embarrassment, they talked so loud that made even the Thai tour guide shook her head quietly.
Photo was prohibited inside the building, but the ground was okay, it was also a popular photo background for fresh graduates.
An exhibition of a purple tuk-tuk
, reserved for the princess only.
Another group of night riders
] Bangkok seems to have quite a big community of people who can't hear and speak, but are very active in the society. Pii-Oil, our friend, is one of them. Today we met another group in the gasoline station at Lan Luang Street. The group leader Pii-Dtiang (photo: middle) said they gathered at Sanam Luang before, but it was too dirty there, no place to pee, no place to drink (he expressed these ideas with some simple sign language for common people), so they changed their rendezvous and gathered here every Monday and Saturday. And we have a common interest too, we love riding bikes.
Pii-Dtiang and his friends were extremely
curious at our bicycles, Oat's bike was equipped with a pair of speakers and lots of LEDs (like a siren). The guy in the yellow shirt used a coin to hit the bike frame of Pazu, it made a funny sound or feeling that he immediately announced, "Bao!" (Light-weighted!).
This is the sign language table for Thai alphabets.
Oat's mom's foot
] Oat's mom called Oat before the new year, she said, "Oh son, I may have to get my foot cut." Oat took it as a joke and said to Pazu, "Hey you know what my mom said today? She said she's going to get her foot cut! Oh you monk help
, she's lying!" Oat made it sounded like a joke, and Pazu took it as it was. But on the second day of January, Oat went to his mom's home, door was locked and he found a message, "I am in the hospital now, come to see me!" Oat said, "Oh I have to go to the hospital as soon as possible, I'm worried about my mom and I can't reach her by phone! (Her phone was out of battery.)"
It turned out that Oat's mom was sent to the hospital because she got a wound on her leg a week ago, she cared it without much care and was infected with some kind of virus in a local market. The foot was swelled, mom couldn't feel anything at all. The doctor said they may have to amputate the foot if the situation got worse. But luckily, this is probably not the case. Oat's mom would be discharged from the hospital next week and Oat said he would take his mom to travel in a palace next Thursday. (He had been saying this for a few weeks already.)
On the way to Oat's mom's hospital we saw an accident outside the gasoline station, the female driver wanted to turn left by cutting a line, hoping others would stop for her, unfortunately a truck couldn't brake so here was the accident. Definitely it was the fault of the lady, call me a sexist Pazu would be more careful whenever he saw any female driver.
Oat's rescue team came very quickly, they rushed to the site with a first-aid kit, Oat kept shouting to them (then talked to them by his walkie-talkie), "Nobody was hurt, nobody was hurt!"
Oat's mom sitting on the bed, she said she was feeling better. Oat said annoyingly, "Hey do you know taking photos is prohibited in the hospital!" But Pazu said, "Oh then why did you ask me to take so many pictures when YOU were in the hospital?" Oat then said nothing.
There was a buddhist shrine outside the hospital, with a lot of wooden zebras. Why? Oat didn't know.
Ah ha, and we found a seafood buffet near the hospital so we had dinner there, Oat paid. For a lot of shrimps, fish, clams you pay 139baht only.
The buffet restaurant is near the main post office of Nonthaburi Province. I don't mean to recommend you to go there because public transport from Bangkok to Nonthaburi was really bad (except boat and taxi, boat service ended at sunset time). It's only a reference for us, we're going back there next week, by bicycle.
Happy New Year
)] Pazu had celebrated the new year twice in Bangkok but this was the first time that he saw any celebration. Last year all fests were cancelled because of the tsunami. The number right next to Kong junior is 2549 BE, the Buddhist Era (counted from the nirvana of Lord Buddha), Thai people used this system of year calculation than the Common Era. It is 2006~~
And we went out with Oat to Sizzler (7/F MBK Shopping Center) for a new year buffet, it's only 110Baht and you can have unlimited salad bar, soup and pasta. Very good for value.
Count down clock at Siam Paragon. They said they had spent 8 million baht for this blue Xmas tree, no wonder they don't take it down after Xmas.
Phloen Chit Road outside World Trade Center, there was a concert organized by TV3, we could nevet get any closer so we took a pic of the crowd instead. Just this.
The debut of the new Tourist Police, this handsome police was like an ambassordor, posted for photos. We asked, "Pii
(elder brother), where did they make this electric vehicle?" He had no idea... "Made in Thailand?" Oh no, from other country... "How much does it cost?" Probably more than million baht... "Which part of Bangkok are you going to patrol?" ... he had no idea at all. Anyway, it's run by electricity, with GPS and a Fujitsu touchscreen notebook inside, A4 Tech webcam.
10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0! Fireworks here, never seen a fireworks so near us, so near to the concert stage, so close to the electric wires!
Instead of going out for countdown, it may be a nice idea to make merits in temples too.
New year cards are popular in Thailand, they have a lucky number and here's the lucky draw at National Stadium, PM Thaksin went there for the countdown too but we didn't see him. We saw him on TV only.
Thais don't litter, usually they don't, except for the New Year, but these could be recycled, echoing the King's idea of self-sufficient economy