Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Thailand's Celebration of Chinese New Year

We were in Thailand during  the celebration of the commencement of  Chinese New Year( Year of the Metal tiger)  last Feb. 14.  Of course we also celebrated the V day :)  The hubby bought me the beautiful red necklace I am wearing (below) and fancy rings - not one but four :))

We went to Chinatown in Bangkok, across the river where we stayed.   We rode in a tuktuk, then on a boat to Chinatown.  As expected the place was jammed - tourists and locals equal in number.  Music was blasting from the Cotton Club Bar with Thailand's version of Jazz.  The songs played were mostly in  English but the Besa Me Mucho was played over and over.  I am not complaining, I like the song, but after a while, for those who are not into jazzed up songs, it gets into your nerves.  Look at the boy below, lol.  Okay, I think he's actually afraid of going deaf from the firecrackers. 
We wanted the see the dragon dance. We have seen some, at the side of the Cotton Club bar, but we thought we'd be able to see more dancers.  I think most of the people do too. Everyone anticipated  to see moreactivities other than the vendors' wares sold at the side of the streets.  I guess we came to early or too late.  Everyone was having feasts from eating street food, out of boredom I guess (speaking for myself, hahaha), and the food looked colorful and delicious too.  And yes, like Paris, there are tables on the side of the streets.  We ordered a pitcher of beer and we got adventurous too - we ordered spicy Thai Salad.  The waitress was a little incredulous when we ordered it. "Are you sure, it's spicy", she asked.   We laughed, "we'll try it".  Here it is:
It came with this 'side dish':
Yes, this is raw cabbage and string beans.  Raw cabbage, I have eaten,  but raw string beans?  It was actually not that bad, especially after a spoonful of spicy Thai salad. But you  have to drink beer too or your tongue and esophagus and stomach would burn from the HOT spices!  Here's a recipe for the Spicy Thai Squid Salad:
Thailand recipe: Thai Squid salad – Yum pla myk
200 g squid
1 tomato
1/2 onion
one hand full of celery leaves
1-2 spring onion
4-5 Thai chilies prik kee noo
juice from 3 limes
1 teaspoon golden syrup (sugar syrup)
1 1/2 tablespoons fishsauce
1/2 teaspon Umami MSG Monosodiumglutamat

Cut the tomato into small pieces,
cut Thai chilies, spring onion and onion in fine rings
and add together with celery leaves to a bowl.
Clean, wash and cut the squid into small pieces
and cook the squid pieces in boiling water for about 2 min,
then put them into the bowl.
Add lime juice, fishsauce, golden syrup and Umami MSG
and mix well. Garnish on a plate and serve the Thai salad while still warm.

Here are also some general forecasts in this year of the Metal tiger (http://www.onlinechineseastrology.com/horoscope-2010-Year-Of-The-Tiger.aspx):

Hot passion meets cold steel with the arrival of the year of the Metal Tiger. This combined sign signifies both the energy to begin activity and the determination to follow it through to the end. Forget about last year’s slow plodding. Events set in motion now will pick up speed and continue until either the objective is attained or the whole endeavor crashes and burns.

Bold, cold Metal rules in contrast to last year’s pragmatic, calculating Earth. This difference will be all the more dramatic as 2010 is a dynamic, Yang year. Metal’s Yang aspect is extremely aggressive and does not tolerate opposition.

Unfortunately Metal has a destructive relationship with the Tiger’s fixed element, Wood. In fact this is the fifth in a run of six years governed by an unlucky conflict of elements. This should come as no surprise given the recent history of US and world financial markets, massive numbers of foreclosures in the housing sector, and the terrible tragedy that is Iraq today.

The combination of Metal and Tiger is not, however, a totally negative one. Together they represent the kind of force necessary to accomplish the most difficult tasks. The impossible just might be possible during this exciting time.

Things that have needed to get done but were not due to some blockage will be done or at least see significant progress being made. On the other hand, some that probably should never even have been attempted will also go to completion. This is because the Metal Tiger is associated with a lemming mentality. The Norwegian story goes that, once a group of them starts moving across the fields, they will charge ahead and unthinkingly run straight off a cliff to their doom.

The point is now is the time to attack the most difficult issues you face. You have one of your best chances of achieving a breakthrough. On the other hand, if you still run into stiff opposition, you would do well to consider postponing your attempt to another time. You see, the same force that propels you forward is also with those opposing your efforts. Thinkers can prosper, but lemmings could experience serious setbacks.

Since this is a Metal year, those people born in an Earth one will generally fare better than others of their animal sign, while those born in a Wood one are likely to do worse. It’s also slightly negative for those born in a Fire year and mildly positive for Water sign people. Finally, those born in a Metal year will be in their element and do well if their animal sign is compatible with the Tiger but could run into lots of confrontations if not.

The only thing we can say for sure is the year 2010 will be a tumultuous one. This is true for individuals, societies and the human race in general. It’s perhaps a better time for knocking down walls than building them. People who thirst for adventure and can reign in their emotions could experience a thrilling and rewarding year. Those who seek peace and harmony might find themselves running for cover more than a few times.


  1. Wish I could write my experiences in Bangkok, Thailand but I didn't have this much to say and no pictures to share either. Our Asian Development Bank mission team just passed by on our way to Myanmar (formerly Burma) and on our way back to the Philippines, in November 1982. I do not remember what dishes were served to us; but one thing for sure-they were very spicy. I would love to go back and enjoy other cities in Thailand. I'll enjoy it more if I could travel with the author, Malou Silverman, and her husband, Dave.

  2. Thanks, Yol, and thanks for following. Will visit your site too. I learn a lots from your sites.

    It would be nice to go together in these places, Yol.

    I soo love Thai food, will never get tired of eating them :))


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