Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thanksgiving in Thailand

Though Thanksgiving is not traditionally celebrated in Thailand, Grapevine (a Christian club run by Americans) hosted a Thanksgiving dinner last Wednesday evening on campus. 

There were about 60 guests from all around the world including Germany, Vietnam, Korea, China, and America (and, err, Thailand, of course). 

The food was great - there was salad, yeast rolls, biscuits, greens, smoked chicken, stuffing, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, and apple cake. 

P'Un did the majority of the work for the yeast rolls lol

We even had homemade roasted pumpkin seeds - including two flavors: savory

And sweet

Everything was made from scratch since Grapevine runs on a tight budget. I arrived a few hours early to help cook the food but there were enough hands in the kitchen already. 

The tablecloths were, of course, homemade and decorated by various students :) They think it's weird all the way we eat carrots!

We taught the Thai students how we trace our hands and cut and decorate until the cutout somewhat resembles a turkey. I' not so sure they're convinced ;)

I think they may have thought we Americans are a little strange

I would, of course, prefer to be at home in Nashville for the holidays, but it is not economical nor practical to fly home and come back to Bangkok a couple days later. Also, I just started my second semester and there are no breaks for Thanksgiving or Christmas. There is, however, a three-day weekend coming up in honor of the King's birthday :)

Time to eat!

Of course, no Thanksgiving is complete without dessert!

Altogether it was a great Thanksgiving. We talked, ate, and played games for nearly five hours!

This time of year isn't entirely without local holidays, however, as this weekend marks the beginning of the three-day Loy Kratong Festival celebrated all throughout Thailand.

During this festival, Thais make (or buy) a small floating object made of banana leaves topped with burning incense and small amounts of money, called a Krathong (pronounced kra-tong), then float it out into the river, praying that their troubles will be taken away along with the raft. This festival is, of course, accompanied by copious amounts of food, games, and milling about. 

It rather resembles a state fair, only much better food and significantly more perilous rides. This festival is also a bit more sacred. 

Luckily, there is a celebration of this festival on campus so I did not have to go far to attend one of the most anticipated Thai traditions of the year! 

Seven or eight of my friends and I spent quite a few hours both Friday and Saturday night at Loy Krathong eating delicious food, playing games, and lighting sparklers. It was great!

But I wouldn't trust the structural integrity of the ferris wheel lol

Buying donuts (donuts are extremely popular in Thailand)

Jub and View

Making Kai Jeow, a quail egg rolled into grilled batter
The finished product

Fresh coconuts for coconut smoothies!

Grilled Squid, anyone?

Yes, they do indeed eat horeshoe crabs. Both grilled and boiled.
Sparklers are quite common at this festival, so we took some photos for our friends that left last week - Lucas and Megan

We had a great time at the festival - and tonight we will probably go again for the grand finale and closing ceremonies.

On another note, today was the fourth time in the past six months that I've electrocuted myself! I guess you could say I've felt a little more energized lately ;) Three, including today, were from wall outlets, and one requires a story to convey fully. 

I was in my bathroom, which was conveniently located on my balcony at the time, when I spotted the largest cockroach in the history of mankind. The nearest thing within reach was a glass jar, so I threw it at the roach and glass shattered everywhere. He escaped so I ran into my room through a sliding-glass door. Now - I happened to be cooking curry on my balcony at the time and had an extension cord running out onto the balcony from my room. Of course, when I slammed the door, it severed the extension cord and electricity temporarily coursed through the metal part of the door and into my hand. I blew the power out in my dormitory. 

The cockroach survived.

On a related note, the tribe of water buffalo living on campus has taken to the hills. They are no longer available to moo at me as I walk to class. Sad day :(

I think after having lived in Thailand for a few months now, I can accurately summarize my favorite vegetarian dishes. I've been meaning to take a picture of each one but I almost always forget to bring my camera to dinner. Therefore you will have to wait for the next blog so I can show you pictures!

1) Basil tofu with rice

2) Curry fried rice

3) Stir-fried vegetables with rice

4) Egg fried rice

5) Green curry over rice

Here are a few pictures of the foods I have tried recently - spicy fried tofu, chili fried rice, and I have no idea what to call the last dish (it was Goi's food, not mine!), but it had eggs, vegetables and rice.

Hope you enjoyed this post!

No comments:

Post a Comment