Bangkok By the Numbers: Family Visit 2008, Early Numerical Status Report

My mom and step-dad arrived in Bangkok yesterday for a visit from the US. Here’s how their visit has shaped up, numbers-wise, so far:

Thai Foot Massages

  • Hour-long Thai foot massages enjoyed in the last 24 hours: 2
  • Combined hours of full-body massages planned for them for tomorrow: 4

    Thai Cuisine Consumed

  • Approximate number of individual Thai dishes we have consumed since they arrived: 13

    Kimchi Consumption Requests Made By Me

  • Times I asked my mom to try the particularly pungent kimchi during dinner at a Korean restaurant tonight: 7
  • Number of times she obliged: 0
  • Plates on our table at one point during said dinner: 19

    Bowls of Lot Chong Devoured

  • Bowls of lot chong (green “worms” made of sticky rice flour in coconut milk) scarfed down at lunch today: 1

    Shopping Achievements

  • Mobile phones purchased at MBK: 1
  • SIM cards purchased from same vendor: 1
  • Value, in Baht, of pre-paid phone card minutes purchased: 200
  • Pairs of eye glasses purchased today: 4
  • Items of clothing currently being constructed for my mom and step-dad by my favorite tailor: 13

    Songkran Soakings

  • Number of times I have been soaked to the skin by Songkran revelers since my mom and step-dad arrived: 1
  • Number of times I was soaked to the skin by Songkran revelers before they arrived: 5
  • Number of times my mom and step dad have been soaked to the skin by Songkran revelers since they arrived: 0
  • Waffle-Coated Hot Dog: Consumed in Kanchanaburi, Thailand

    Remember the french fry-coated hot dog that I photographed in Seoul a while back? I mean, seriously, given the international acclaim that followed, how could you forget?


    Well, in my ongoing quest to identify and consume hot dogs encrusted in all manner of incongruous snack foods, I bring you the waffle-coated hot dog.

    The Waffle-Coated Hot Dog

    In a feat of observation that would make Austin proud, I recently spotted — and subsequently scarfed down, lest I fail in my mission — this remarkably-executed example of Euro/American-Thai culinary fusion at a night market in Kanchanaburi, Thailand.

    The Waffle-Coated Hot Dog

    Waffle-Coated Hot Dogs

    Waffle-Coated Hot Dog: the Chefs in Action

    Per the vendor’s recommendation, I applied ketchup. The result was a flavor profile not commonly encountered in the west: The dish was doughy and sweet from the waffle, meaty and nitrate-infused due to the hot dog, and acidic from the ketchup.

    After finishing my snack, I thanked the vendor — the man in the photo above — and asked him what this particular treat was called. He looked at me blankly, turned to his companions, and then took a deep breath. “Waffle…hot dog,” he said.

    There you have it. The international language of snack foods, my friends.

    LINK LOVE UPDATE, Dec. 16: The Thai waffle-coated hot dog, I’m happy to say, has struck a chord with lovers of silly foodstuffs the world over. It’s been featured on the following fine blogs: Coudal.com’s Fresh Signals, The Food Section, SuperSizedMeals.com, and Blog on a Toothpick.

    Passers-by Purloin Protest Papayas

    Bangkok Post:

    Greenpeace’s protest against the lifting of a ban on open-field trials of genetically-modified (GM) papaya yesterday was met with an unexpected reaction from a crowd of onlookers.

    Passers-by took matters, and tonnes of papayas dumped by Greenpeace, into their own hands, and ran off.

    The environmental group dumped the papayas in front of the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry yesterday to make its objection to the lifting of the ban loud and clear to the government.

    It was the second protest about the controversial issue in five days after reports the ministry will today seek cabinet approval for the lifting of the ban on open-field trials of transgenic crops.

    But this time, after the dumping, people flocked to load up on the free papayas, ignoring the environmental organisation’s campaign against the dangers of GM fruit — a message Greenpeace has been trying to get through to the government and the public for years.

    Many passers-by, who mostly knew nothing about transgenic fruit, said they did not care about any health risks.

    They were just thinking about how hungry they were.

    ”I don’t care if they’re dangerous,” said papaya salad seller Gig Krueyat, 70. ”I don’t know what the threat is … nothing serious, I think …”

    Mrs Gig helped herself to three sacks of the fruit in minutes. Others, including some ministry officials and Rasi Salai dam protesters from Sri Sa Ket province who were camped near the ministry, also did not let the opportunity slip by.

    A man waiting in traffic for the lights to go green near the ministry, leapt out of his car and joined the feast.

    ”I’m not scared of GM papayas. Rather, I’m scared I won’t have any to eat,” said Ubon Ratchathani villager Ampon Tantima, 31, before rushing back to his car with the free fruit….

    Restaurant Mascot Autocannibalism

    The Suicide Food blog:

    What is Suicide Food? Suicide Food is any depiction of animals that act as though they wish to be consumed. Suicide Food actively participates in or celebrates its own demise. Suicide Food identifies with the oppressor. Suicide Food is a bellwether of our decadent society. Suicide Food says, “Hey! Come on! Eating meat is without any ethical ramifications! See, Mr. Greenjeans? The animals aren’t complaining! So what’s your problem?” Suicide Food is not funny.

    (Via.)

    Nalgene Lantern Gadget


    The Firefly:

    The Firefly, Invented by Eric Goldfarb is a unique design which turns your bottle into a lantern. The Firefly’s unique design allows it to be used right side up, upside down, or hanging from the nearest handy branch.

    Related:

    Message in a Bottle

    H2Oh No! (Don’t miss the comments.)

    Nalgene Bottles Inscribed with Foreign Language Cheat Sheets

    Jalapeno pepper hands: how to cure the burn

    [NOTE: this post, describing an accident involving jalapeno peppers, has attracted a huge number of comments. See below. And please add your own thoughts as we seek a cure for this strange affliction!]

    jalapeno

    I received the following email from a good friend who I’ll call CD. He lives in the Washington, DC area. He sends along this cautionary tale about a cooking experience gone horribly wrong. His story is by turns frightening and hilarious. Enjoy.

    Dude, I got a great story for you that I’ll try to relay in this message. Friday night S and I went over to J and C’s. I was going to help C prepare for a catering gig he had on Saturday. So we get there and start boozing and hanging out. We eat dinner and then begin the process of prepping for the catering gig.

    Well, one step in the catering cooking process was to roast a 5-pound bag of jalapeno peppers on the grill and then remove the skins and de-seed them. Like what you’d do with a roasted red pepper. Well, at about 10:30pm I belly up to the table outside with all the peppers and start going to town. An hour later, I had peeled all 5 pounds worth….the catch is that I did it with no gloves.

    At about mid-night S and I leave and I start complaining that my hands are burning. Not terribly, but a bit of fire. An hour later, we are back at S’s and it really sets in. Pain like I have never felt. Unbelievable, extreme, terrible, super harsh burning pain in both hands and even a little ways up both arms. It was like I had burnt both hands in a fire.

    Now, I have to set the time frame so you can get the full affect of how long this pain lasted….it was at about 1am Saturday morning when I really began to realize i was in some trouble. At about 2:30am I woke S up and said I needed help (she had been asleep for about an hour). She got on the Internet and looked up how to stop jalapeno burn. She called two emergency rooms and even a number of “ask the nurse” hotlines. Nothing. At about 3:30am I was in so much pain i was rolling around on the floor almost yelling. By that time I had dipped both hands in milk, olive oil, vegetable oil, yogurt, oatmeal, water with baking soda, a bleach water mix, aloe and even mineral oil. Nothing helped.

    At one point, I had both hands covered in aloe, a wet wash cloth on each and my hands in two huge bags that were filled with ice and water. That did not even help. at about 5am S calls my doctor at his emergency number. He says to get in the car and go to the emergency rooms at GW. So, we get in the car and I ride with my hands out the window to let the wind somewhat cool them down.

    I check in with the front desk and am taken back to some ER room at about 6am. Now, realize that I am SO embarrassed at this point. Everyone in there is looking at me like I am a freak. They even wrote on the ER board where they identify what is ailing a patient “CD, jalapeno hands.” It was funny as hell.

    Once I am in my little holding room they give me a shot a morphine, which by the way does nothing to ease the pain. Damn good high, but nothing for the pain. After the morphine they give me a shot of something stronger which also does nothing for the pain. I even got a shot of straight benedryl because they thought I might be having an allergic reaction. Needless to say, nothing works for the pain. They debated admitting me at one point. They also talked about putting me on some IV of pain killers.

    Finally, after being there for about 3 hours, they tell me to go home and basically just wait out the pain. They did give me a prescription for some really strong pain killers.

    Well, to get to the end….the pain finally lessoned to where I could take it on Saturday night at about 6pm. I was basically in a living hell for like 18 hours. Even today (Monday morning) I still feel a burning in both hands. If I scratch any part of my body, it immediately starts to burn. I can just bump into something and even that little bit of contact sets off a slight burn. And get this, my feet have this low grade burn from walking on them. That’s how much of the jalapeno oil got into my body.