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T is familiar with specific areas in Thailand and is able to converse with locals with his basic Thai but he is not of tour guide quality. Which is evident when he misdirected each and everyone of us (including himself) to Level 5 for breakfast buffet when it should be Level 4. But it turns out that we were not the only ones who made the mistake.

The buffet breakfast lacks variety. Garden Terrace lacks planning in terms of the placement of cutlery and signposts informing guests that particular area is out-of-bounds. Taste-wise, roadside hawker fare wins the comparison hands down.

Pratunam market is just next to the hotel. Uncle K & T went to seek for tailors while the quartet walked and shopped around. Almost all stalls are of wholesale nature, meaning that in order to bargain for the best offer, simply buy more. 🙂 There is not much repetition in terms of the goods offered. Even better is the fact that shifts exist. The stalls changed whenever time is up. Only if I knew the timing and types of stalls, then I could have a shopping strategy.

Despite understanding how it works, only Dad managed to get his hands on casual pants. No matter how cheap it is, I could not bring myself to buy it. Is this a kind of disorder? 😦

Before half an hour lapsed, grandmother start to show signs of weakness. Dad escorted her back to the hotel before coming back. He could not resist the temptation posed by offers and delights such as mangoes.

To think that Mom and I actually run into Uncle K and T, whom brought us to a particular stall to have the (according-to-them) tok-kong Chicken Rice. Fancy the best of both worlds? Order the Mixed version which comprises of both roasted and white chicken. Though T said it’s not up to standard as it has cooled, Mom & I reckon it to be better than our very own Singapore chicken rice. The texture is similar to those glutinous rice of Lo-Mai-Kai 糯米鸡 which goes well with the local chilli sauce. Serving is half of what is found in Singapore and of course, at less than half the price.

The four of us continue to hang around and search for the $5 blouse which Uncle K’s wife asked for based on the image which was in his iPhone. In the process of looking for it, a pushcart selling fried carrot cake passed by us. T bought it for us to try. My guess was wrong, it is somewhat similar to fried oyster omelette. Plenty of oysters. Yummy.

Our hard work paid off when the blouse was finally located. Uncle K bought two pieces of it. T finished a few bottles of beverages along the way and as a shopaholic who dotes on his daughter R, he bought so much, watch, slippers, panties (to mention a few) and all are in pink.

From there, it was time to rest till late afternoon, to visit Chinatown. Other than tea time, when Dad asked me to bring him to the chicken rice stall for takeaway. In short, for grandmother to enjoy local street delight in the comfort of an air-conditioned room. By then, the stall has already closed for the day. Dad settled for a packet of fried rice and one fried egg with rice set. Both of us gasped at the amount of sugar added in by the female cook.

Yet, the lunch was insufficient for a glutton like T to last till dinnertime. So, all of us, excluding Dad and granny who had their lunch at teatime, went downstairs for Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC).  The two buddies who knew each other back in NS days ordered 3 sets – 1x nuggets and 2x 2 pieces chicken meal.

KFC’s barbeque sauce packaging in Thailand.

Shortly after, the six of us boarded two tuk-tuks. At first, grandmother told Mom that she did not feel like going out in the night. One may ask, then what’s the purpose of travelling overseas? Hers is simply to have fun taking the flights and staying within the hotel room to enjoy the air-condition and laze on bed watching television. Dad came up with an idea, a SPECIAL itinerary. Tuk-tuk is part of the plan.

To think that our plan of visiting the Four Face Buddha would come to a naught. All thanks to the tuk-tuk drivers who agreed to give us discounts if we toured a building that houses the all-in-one gems center and it was never realized. Such places are meant to rip tourists of their money as they overpriced their goods which could be bought at a lower price outside.

They went back on their promise when we came out empty-handed. No commission for them meant no discount for us. They urged us to visit another factory of similar nature but we rejected the offer. Ridiculous and time-consuming. Their reluctance to send us to the doors of the temple meant that we have to abandon that part of the itinerary since grandmother can’t tahan the distance. Straight to Chinatown.

!st stop: Medical Hall. To buy Siang Pure Oil, as requested by aunt.

2nd stop: Ha Kee Lim Jing Hieng Co.,Ltd 合记林真香. 肉丝卷 & 酥脆鱼皮 as gift and for personal consumption

Dinner! Seafood!

Our table was full of dishes. Crabs, prawns, shellfish. Mom almost cried when she sees  a plate of vegetables that consists of 50%-chilli-50%-veggie.

Overcooked flesh tasted rubbery.

The original plan was to head back to the hotel, leave our stuff there and prep/dress ourselves for the MAMBO show later on. But on the way back to hotel, we were held up by stagnant traffic. The cause of it led us to call it a day and stay in the hotel. 19 May 2013 marks “the third anniversary of a bloody crackdown on anti-government protests which exposed Thailand’s deep divisions”. The peaceful rally resembles more of a carnival, with loud chants and the crowd donning red t-shirts. They simply parked their cars on the road, making the street a possible scene in any zombie flicks. It’s a pity that I didn’t managed to capture the scene with my phone.

red-shirt-supporters-shout-slogans-during-a-rally-in-bangkok-on-may-19-2013-2

Photo taken from “Asia Pacific – Thousands of Thai Red Shirts mark deadly crackdown”, Channel News Asia 19 May 2013.

Memorable.

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