Congratulations. You did it!

A few days ago a student of mine discovered that she passed the Aeronautical Radio of Thailand written exam.  Sounds of happiness and excitement echoed in the air.  The results came unexpectedly early and that made it all that much more exciting.  At that moment, I couldn’t be any prouder.  I too, was happy and extremely proud of my student.  My heart beamed and smiled as if it were the moon were smiling down upon earth.  To see a student’s progress is indeed one of the most rewarding factors one gets from teaching.

I am proud because she had pursued her dream.

I am proud because only a few months ago, I remember talking to her about this Aeronautical Radio exam and how it was completely in English.  It sounded like a distant dream for she feared anything with English and doing an entire exam in English seemed far from reality.

Congratulations my dear student. 🙂  You can accomplish whatever you set your heart on. 🙂

Advertisements

Japanese Sweets: Maple Snaffles from Hokkaido

Image

I wake up in the wee hours of the morning (4.30am) for no apparent reason today with the thought of Maple Snaffes in my head.  The thought of it won’t go away, my brain wants to have some, but helas we don’t have any and so I will just have to write about it instead.  Continuing from my previous posts on Snaffles from Hokkaido, where I talked about the original cheesecake flavor and chocolate favor, I have to say that my new favorite one is the Maple Snaffes Cheesecake.

The Maple Snaffles cheesecake have the same soft and feathery texture of the original cheesecake flavor but it has an added tinge of maple syrup.  The great thing is that you can taste and smell the maple syrup but yet it does not overwhelm the cheesecake.  It makes the cheesecake aromatic (I like the smell of maple syrup, don’t you? )  Too much of the maple syrup would make it too sweet, too little would not be enough to make it aromatic.  The Maple Snaffles, have the amount just right.

If you’ve never tried the Maple Snaffles, I think you should try it.  The chocolate cheesecake one is for chocolate lovers and if you don’t like the smell of maple syrup, then the original cheesecake one is good for you.

I suddenly have a craving for some rich maple syrup now writing about this.  Maybe today I shall go buy some and make some pancakes!

Have a good weekend everyone! 🙂

Google Doctor: Guilty

It’s been too long since my last post. I missed writing. I missed my blog. I missed my readers. The voices inside me missed being punched onto the screen. With this change in weather and not having enough “me” time of late, I’ve been literally voiceless from a bad flu and I have to say it hasn’t been one of my best weeks. I never had such a good stomach workout(or pain) from a cough before. (They say laughter is good for toning your stomach muscles, but I think coughs must rank somewhere closeby.) Nevertheless, one must be be positive! I think my stomach will be fit and toned by the time the coughing has subsided. Wonderful. I’ve even lost a kg that was excess since the New Years. As having a cold seems to be “in” at the moment with a change in weather and all, I thought today I’d write about why one should NOT be a google doc.

I am guilty of being a google doc. Whenever I come down with something I like to google it up the symptoms, read about it voraciously and quench my thirst for medicinal knowledge. At first I had a cough and an itch. I googled it up and wow, I find it could be a symptom of Lymphoma. What really? Maybe those fat lumps on my bodies were symptoms? (or maybe just cellulite) Upon being hit by the head by Alex who says I think too much, (which he is correct), I realise I do indeed think too much. My itch probably comes from my crackling dry skin exposed to sun and aircondition. After a few hours, I forgot about it and the itch was gone. No Lymphoma. Thank goodness.

Then as the cough became more severe, I started wondering if it could be pneumonia. (Well, I had been coughing up non-stop and the fits were sometimes painful without my being able to stop it.) I took antibiotics but it was slowly recovering. Not fast enough for my liking. I got impatient. I have many many things I need to get done at the moment. Sleepless weekend nights due to coughing had me sitting in the dark in front of my tab googling away. I am now more knowledgeable about flu, colds and pneumonias.

It’s a waste of time really.

A waste of brain power I could have spent doing something else more effective.

Going to the doctor for the third time, he verified that my lungs indeed sounded nice and clear. I just needed to get rid of the phlegm and coughs which are usually the last symptoms to disappear. I do not have pneumonia.

I just had a bad cold. That’s it.

So all my google doc efforts were in vain. I just had a cold. The lesson learnt from this episode is really just go to the doctor if you are ill. Don’t be a google doc like me and waste time googling all sorts of things. Let’s spend the time doing something else more creative or enjoyable. Spend time reading a good book or watching a good movie. Life is short enough.

Do you google doc? What do you do?

Bangkok Dining: Sendai Ramen Mokkori Silom @ Narathiwat Soi 1

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I love it when friends take me to off the beaten track eateries.  Little treasures that just make you wonder what other secrets lay hidden waiting to be discovered.   This latest discovery came quite unexpected for it was a chance meeting and we took the opportunity to go grab a bite to eat.  In search of somewhere not too far from Silom, Narathiwat and the Rama IV area my friend navigated me to this little japanese eatery called “Sendai Ramen Mokkori Silom.”

Don’t ask me what the name means. I only know “Ramen” and “Silom”(road name.)   It’s one of those eateries you find in the least expected places.  It’s at the base of an old-fashioned condominium at Narathiwat Soi 1.  It seems to have been around for quite some time and probably well-known to those who go to that area, but for me it was an area I hardly go to and a street I’ve never driven into.

What’s surprising is that walking out of the condominium parking (you can get your parking ticket validated at the eatery) you do not see the eatery right away.  I saw another Japanese place and almost went there, but lo and behold suddenly this one appears.  It’s surrounded by a lot of things, and it the daylight it’s not easy to spot, but when the lights come on, you see it clearly with the red lanterns and the lights shining from inside.

It’s small and simple inside.  A wall full of photographs of the owner with celebrities and well-known people decorate the shop and japanese writings also adorn the walls.  I always wonder if they have something unique that’s not on the menu.

The menu is dizzying.  The large B5 sized menu is filled with pictures of many types of ramen, rice dishes and other japanese favorites.  Too many makes it hard for me to choose and so I go with my favorite Mabo tofu with ramen. (It’s ramen with tofu sauce) and of course the tonkatsu (fried breaded pork) with japanese curry.    The portions are HUGE.  Not somewhere to go if you are on a diet, but a great place to go if you want to just eat and enjoy.

I liked the fact that the atmosphere took us out of the typical restaurant vibe we get in downtown Siam.  It’s less hectic and probably because it was a lazy Sunday evening one could just chill and relax without feeling pressured to give up our table to the waiting customer.   (I don’t know what it’s like on weekdays since it’s near to the business district)

The food was good and delicious for its price even though the ramen noodles were not made in-house. It wasn’t the best ramen I’ve ever had, but I think it is not too far off from the authentic ramen noodles I’ve had in Japan.  (The owner is japanese and appears on the menu cover and on the photos on the wall) The tonkatsu was crispy and lean. However if you ask me to compare the tonkatsu to that at Saboten (another japanese eatery), I have to say Saboten still wins.  The thing is, food at this eatery is roughly half the price of Saboten.

Dishes were around 140-250thb each which is a pretty good deal compared to other japanese restaurants downtown where a medium pork loin at Saboten can cost you around 290thb.  The portions are large, the flavor authentic and the atmosphere unique. I could be somewhere in Soho.

Would I go back again? Yes I will.   It’s one of those places that isn’t pretentious, the food good and a nice hideaway from the crowds of Bangkok city.  Itadakimasu.

Japanese Sweets: Snaffles from Hokkaido

I love to eat. I think many like me also like to eat but our likes and dislikes change over time. I think our tastes also change the older we get. When I was young, I hated mushrooms. Now I devour them as if they were the most delicious thing on earth. Anything with mushrooms are good. Tonight I want to share with you one of my all time favorite sweets, not sweets but (as if you can’t tell from the post title) Snaffles.

In Japan, apparently each city/region has their own specialty when it comes to sweets. You can only get the triangular mojis from Kyoto, Tokyo Bananas from Tokyo, Castella cakes from Nakasaki, and Snaffles from Hokkaido (correct me if I am wrong here). My first experience with Snaffles was early last year when we had a Japanese friend come visit. With him came along a box of Snaffles which has since become one of my all time favorites amongst cheesecakes and japanese sweets.

I usually don’t like cheesecakes too much because they are heavy and creamy. Not my thing.

Snaffles’s cheesecakes, however, are light as a feather. As my spoon scoops up a piece I feel as if I am take a spoon through a souffle. Despite it’s lightness, it is rich in flavour and with the plain cheese one, you can taste the cheese. Not overwhelming. Just delicate and light. Snaffles also comes in chocolate and I have to admit I like chocolate purely for my love of chocolate. The chocolate is chocolate and the texture is light (though not as light as the cheese flavored one.)

Another detail I like about Snaffles is that they come in small little rounds. Each little piece is around two bite sizes and perfect for those who want a taste, but don’t want to over eat. It also lets you have a bit of each flavour without feeling overly guilty. Yes, I used that excuse. Tonight I had one cheese and one chocolate. Tomorrow I go running.

They also have different flavours that I have yet to try. Waiting for me is another box of Maple Snaffles. That will have to wait it’s turn, but I will let you know how it is. My guess is that it is light and tastes like aromatic maple syrup.

Oh, if you get a box of Snaffles be sure to open it right away and eat it. They have a very short lifespan and need to be refrigerated. www.snaffles.co.jp

Words & Power

This year has started out in a storm for many people I know. Even the weather gods are thinking that too with thunderstorms roaring across Bangkok when usually it is dry, sunny and cool. Nevertheless, let us not keep us from enjoying the wonderful year ahead of us. 🙂 Today I want to write about something that sometimes we forget. We use it everyday, we use it all time and yet we forget to think about them. (I do forget often times) What am I talking about? Words. Yes, words like the ones you are reading now.

Words to me are powerful and should be used with care. Words spoken or written have enormous influence and have resulted in either love or wars amongst men. It is with words, that people communicate and it is with words that others sometimes feel love, compassion, sympathy and understanding. Used otherwise, they cause others to feel anger, resentment or even sadness. Words can sometimes be therapeutic and healing, yet words of angerness, bitterness, judgement can also invoke within others pain and destruction. The words you hear, you say, you read affect and influence the person you become. Sometimes decades later, you hear people talking about words that were said. It can be that powerful.

For example think of children being bullied in school. Words from bullies can break down children’s confidence, wreak them emotionally and years after some may continue to remember those painful words. Yet at the same time, words of tenderness and love may keep many going on and on for years. (I’m thinking of those movies where the girl waits for her man at war.)

Words are powerful, so use your words with care this year. Becareful of what words you use. Remember to be aware of your words when you speak for that is when we often slip. Positive words generate positive energy whilst negative words generate negative energy. The world is stressful enough. Why not make it a little more pleasant by watching what we say for words form who we are and form those around us. 🙂 If you want it to be positive, use postive words! Kill those negatives!

Socks

It’s almost the end of January, I have a zillion things to do yet right now all I am thinking about are socks. Yes, you read it right. Socks. Those soft cushy things you put on your feet to keep warm and wear with shoes. What? Are you serious? Yes, I am. I am very serious. I have to confess, I have actually been thinking about socks for a few days now so it’s about time I wrote about it.

It all started when I resumed my running schedule after a few weeks of rest. Most days, running is a bore and I do it just so that I can eat and have that delicant piece of sinful chocolate that melts in your mouth. However, one day a week or so again, I ran and ran and for the first time in a long time, I felt that running was enjoyable.

It was fun, relaxing and I enjoyed feeling my feet pacing up and down on the treadmill. I felt bouncy and my feet were happy. I could run more than I had for awhile.

I wondered if it was runner’s high, but it wasn’t. I thought that maybe it was because I had slept a lot the night before, but it wasn’t or maybe it was because I had eaten lots of carbs. It’s true these things help running, but on that day the only deviation from the norm I could think of was the socks I was wearing.

I had just rediscovered my Thorlo running socks that I had bought in the US and hardly use. I have to tell you, they are in a league of their own from the normal sports socks I usually buy. I mean, socks, you put them on your feet and stuff them in your shoe. Why spend lots on them? Now I know why. They make the exeperience that much better. There was soft cushioning on the base and the material with which it was made keeps your feet dry and cool. Awesome. Now I’m fascinated by socks and am no longer going back to those skimpy running socks I used to buy.

My sock world has now changed. I am going to splurge for happy feet. (I guess it will make me enjoy running more too) What about you? Do you have any running socks you like in particular? Please share.

In case you want to try out some cool socks, I found a review on socks on runner’s world (http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-240-320–13925-1-1X2-3,00.html) Have fun!