Category Archives: Travels

Notes and Pix from time on the road.

Foodie Adventures in Thailand

Prompted by an article that talked about connections made while on travels, I thought I should share this little anecdote from June of 2007.

This is one of my favourite street foods in Bangkok, Thailand.

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Its braised pork served with rice, half a boiled egg and a side of stewed salted vegetables.

Whether for work or play, I try at least to learn how to say hullo and thank you in the local language. I walked thru a market, saw a stall selling this, said hullo to the owner and gestured/pointed my way thru the order. She was happy to help, gave me my plate of rice, and took my money. Even gave me change.

I plonked myself down on a nearby table beside a local guy also eating the same thing. I am usually not one to experiment with the condiments on the table, but this guy was taking what seemed to be a raw garlic from the condiment bowl, and eating that with a spoonful of rice. He then took an extremely tiny chilli from another bowl and did the same.

Hey, while in Rome right??

I took a garlic from the bowl and tried it with some of my food. It was delicious! The stall owner stood up from her stool and seemed to be having a semi-heated discussion with another neighbouring stall.

I picked up a chilli and did the same. It was good! Spicy, but extremely tasty. The stall owner ran over to me and started saying something. I looked at her blankly as she realised I couldn’t understand a word.

She made a gesture of holding a cup and drinking from it. By this time there were several vendors coming up to me, some holding canned drinks to extinguish the fire that wasn’t there.

I laughed and gestured that I didn’t need a drink. I pointed to my food, then to the condiment bowl and gave the lady the largest grin I could muster and 2 thumbs up.

As everyone dispersed relieved that a chilli wasn’t going to stop the foreigner’s heart, there were smiles all around for the rest of the time I was there.

When stood to leave, I wai‘d my thanks to the lady and received one in return together with a huge smile.

Data Roaming with Singtel

I had to attend a 3 day conference in Bali last month. So as to avoid the massive backlog of email when I got back, I had to find a way to get at my email and stuff. I didn’t want to lug my notebook, and I didn’t want to pay the hotel’s ridiculous WIFI fees.

I decided to pack the iPad2 (newly updated to iOS 5 so I could use all the new multitouch gestures), sign up on Singtel’s 3 day unlimited Bridge DataRoam service and give it a go. My iPad doesn’t have 3G, so I’ll tether the connection from my iPhone. Oh, pack the charger too.

You’ll have to read the fine print. The unlimited service is on a per operator per day basis. I flew to Bali via Kuala Lumpur, so didn’t have access to 3G while in Malaysia. Thankfully though KLIA’s WIFI service is quite good.

For 3 days (well, 1.5 days really), I did all my stuff on the iPad. Surfing, checking and replying email, referencing PDF’s. I have to say it did well as long as I didn’t have to produce any Word or Excel files. There are apps for that, but I’m too cheap. Best of all, it booted instantly so I could get at whatever I wanted whenever. Fast too.

The Bridge DataRoam 3 day Unlimited plan came in at $38. Once in to the hotel room, I locked the phone to Telkomsel and signed up for it via SMS. I got this in return.

Service was fast, and accessible even outside the hotel’s WIFI zones. Advantage of tethering via iPhone is that the phone can use 3G too for apps like Wassap.

Now almost a month later, the bill arrives!

Holy cow, that’s almost 6 grand rack-rate for 263MB of data! And at the bottom of the bill, this.

Whew!

Railway Trek

I wish I’d gone and walked the tracks earlier, but that wasn’t possible. What I got today however was a mix of what was, and a glimpse of what will be. 9km in 2 hours doesn’t sound like much, but the loose gravel and mud means I’m gonna have to pay for this tomorrow.

Some nice blog posts and more pictures here.

Update: Yeap, Bt Timah Station will be retained and reopened – Link.

Railway Line: Now defunct

One of my memories as a child was a train ride to KL in the sleeper carriage of the KTM. The bunk bed had a little round porthole and I remember being very excited as I stuck my face into the glass and took in every sight. Well, the day has come and gone. The railway station in town is closed. Trains to Malaysia now depart from Woodlands.

The tracks will be open to the public for the next 2 months. Then just as quickly, they will be torn out to make room for even more development. C’mon guys, they didn’t fight negotiate for 20 years to get the land back just to make a Green Corridor through the center-line of the island.

Sure looks like a train doesn’t it? No it isn’t, just a couple of kids on the other side of the bridge taking pictures too.

Sally Lunn’s Buns

A visit to Bath is not complete without a snack at Sally Lunn’s Buns. The oldest house in Bath and very close to the town center – complete with wonky floors and old-world-charm low ceilings. You’d think that people were larger in medieval times judging from the size of their swords. I was bumping my head and shoulders everywhere.

The buns were fresh, but what did it for me was the orange marmalade and clotted cream.