Life's vagaries explained through football, food, travel and canines.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Every Day Is Like Sunday: NOT

My Sunday-phobia has been well documented. I think it came about during my year in Florence. Sunday in a Catholic country when everyone goes to their relatives for a huge midday meal was too much to bear as a student. I really don't mind eating alone at all--but I really minded eating overpriced tourist food in the center of town by myself out of hunger at age 18. For one, everyone stared at you. For two, I had no money.

Sundays in Asia are different-- but still have a potential for emptiness. In New York and generally in America, it is a day to get things done: a nice big shop at the grocery store with a delicious feeling of well-stocked plenty at the end, a warm body bag full of laundry on your back from the laundromat, or perhaps the satisfaction of your gleaming bath tiles winking back at you. But basically, you just need to make it until the HBO original series comes on. And if you have managed to throw a chicken in the oven, good for you.

Well, Bangkok's not quite like that: We have maids (labor is cheap/apartments are big), eating out is actually cheaper than buying groceries (especially if you mentally think and cook like you live in Rome, like me), and the HBO here is a sad, pale channel compared to its stateside equivalent (no first run original anything except TERRIBLE movies.)

So what do we do? Well, we go out for food--a popular option is a decadent BKK hotel brunch, but this can quickly easily become a gateway drug as it may lead to more alcohol consumption and further weekend-y bad behavior when in fact, you WILL regret the free flow martinis later no matter how many pieces of foie gras you scarf. But more often than not, some Thai is the order of the day followed by the best thing ever in Thailand--massages.

The foot massage is a popular option--other body parts do get addressed and you lay back in a cool room--you can talk if you feel like it, zone out on music or podcasts and you don't have to get naked, oily or anything else that may interfere with your fragile Sunday sense of self.

Above is a picture of what it feels like: Essentially being pummeled into bliss. Tough life, I know.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Tom Yam Kuyt: Thailand v Holland

Last night N and I along with two friends went to watch one of many international friendlies around the world---in our case and neck of the woods, it was Thailand v. Holland.

For Thailand, it was a chance to toughen up in preparation for the Asian Cup against a storied world class side, though sadly one that was missing some of its marquee players--I'm looking at you--Rudie Van Horseface.... And for the Dutch, well, it was a chance to make tall people dress in orange, I guess. And to make those folks happy, because you guys from the Pays-Bas, you can play the football.

N and I missed the first half due to incredibly vexing traffic conditions. I had in my previous outings to the stadium taken a motorcycle but it's quite a difficult and dangerous journey. I recall at that time I just held out my ticket to the guy and said "BECKHAM, BECK-HAAAM" very loudly. Real had come to town, you see.

The match: The Dutch were easy, elegant and lovely and Thailand had their scrappy moments. But a trounce was inevitable with Holland winning 3-1. I caught up with my buddy NG with one eye on the pitch--we are worse than a sewing circle, he and I. And I found out that it wasn't that he was terribly busy (though I do think he is) and couldn't have lunch with me, but that lunchtime for him is around 6pm!

We then took a bus straight towards several pints of Guinness.