Crushed Ice, Sugar and Plastic Bags

Today is the last day of mourning for the Princess, sister of the King of Thailand.

It was a grand 10 months mourning, everywhere I turned, there were temples and shrine set up magnificently, white drapes falling from the pagoda with a square photo frame viewable from miles away of a serene face, clearly in her 50's. Outside the entrance, miles and miles of citizens were queuing silently and patiently for their chance to pay the last respect to her royalty.

As I sat on the motor-taxi that took me on a swirly drive havoc around and inside out the heavy traffic Bangkok streets, I rode along this endless line of queue that's drenched in black. An apparent contrast to the white as the white snow on a winter's day that's of the drapes. Well, except for this lady in pearly white dress that seemed to have come from dinner straight, she stood out among the crowd like a flamingo.

The motor-taxi turned a corner and so did the queue, and on and on it went before finally, the line of people thinned and I finally saw the ending of what's going to be days of wait where two more ladies in black hurriedly twirled around and joined the queue like the rest of the people.

That's the thing I noticed about Thai people. They love their kings, and they respect their king and kins from the heart. It's a rare occasion, a sad one, but a rare one nonetheless. The last time something similar happened was 13 years ago when the princess' mother passed away.

Bless them. Bless the king. Bless the princess. May she rest in peace.

One thing I did realise was that I am getting accustomed to some of the culture here which I was really peeved about when I first arrived in Thailand, in fact, I was peeved about it every time I arrived in Thailand when I used to travel extensively here.

Yes Thai food is cheap. But Thais are not dumb either. Simple things like ice, unlike Malaysia, the Thais much prefer crushed ice, I mean, I do love crushed ice, they are nicer than the normal cube ice back home. Who doesn't like crushed ice? They cool your drinks faster and they look more appealing from the boring old cubes.

But the thing about Thai drinks. When you go to any stall, shop, drink outlet (except starbucks), they love to fill their crushed ice up to the top. Basically it's like shoving the cup into the ice box and out come a snow cone of ice, piling like an igloo on top of the full cup, then they will remove the "extra" by shoving a hand horizontally across the top of the glass. So now you have 100% glass full of ice instead of 130%.


And THEN, they'll pour your drink inside. Thai milk tea, coffee, chocolate drink, whatever. Like WTF man? I know 18 baht is bloody cheap for a glass of milk tea, but bloody hell, remove all the ice, I would probably get like a quarter of my actual drink.

The other thing you'll notice about Thailand is when you actually take a sip of that drink.

If you think Malays in Malaysia drink sugar with water instead of water with sugar, then you have yet to try Thai drinks. Any drink, at all. I can bet my 50 baht that they mix their drinks with 1 tablespoon of sugar to 1 teaspoon of milk and tea in ratio!!

On top of that~! When they finished pouring the drink into the glass of ice, they will top the drink with their multi-purpose sweetened evaporated milk! Like seriously man, they add sweetened evaporated milk on everything!

They add to you coffee, your chocolate drink, your already damn sweet Thai milk tea, mango and sticky rice, all sorts of Thai desserts (either stir it inside or pour on top), etc.

Just yesterday, I walked past this ice cream vendor who was selling homemade coconut ice creams in mini-scoops in cups to school children, and when he was done scooping this particular cup of ice cream, before handing the delightful dessert to the eager waiting little girl, he swiftly took a can of condensed milk from the side and drizzled some over the ice cream.

Jesus Christ man! It's ice cream. It's already sweet! You want your kids to have diabetes?

Which comes to my question: why are all Thais so beautifully skinny when they drink so sweetly! They must be the highest risk of diabetes country (apart from Middle East) in the whole wide world!

And Nestle must be staking in billions each month just by selling sweetened evaporated milk to the Thais.

The last thing, and I simply CANNOT stand, is that in Thailand, they adore plastic bags. Go to 7-11, buy a 10 baht sweet, and they will put it in a plastic for you!

Go to a store, or JJ market (Chaktukchak), buy an item, say.. 25 baht worth of dog cookies (for my dog, yea I went to JJ today, it was awesome, will post some uber cute finds in my coming entries), and they will pack the 100 gram cookies in a tight plastic bag, and before I know it, they take out a soft flimsy plastic bag (which you will usually get in 7-11) and attempt to put that plastic bag in the flimsy plastic bag!

I don't need 2 plastic bags! It was only 100 gram to start with! Imagine the trees I'll kill (well, not directly, but it's hurting the environment)! I'd take out the flimsy layer of plastic bag and return to them with a smile, something I have been doing for the past 2 months! Consistently.

Even when I go to buy my usual pork chop at the pork chop store at Section 22 Soi 4/2 (haha, I am so good in moving in JJ now I can remember most of my fav shops' addresses), they slice my pork cutlet accordingly and place them, again, in a tight plastic bag, and then placing them in another plastic bag! OMG. And because I split my pork in two portions so I could bring one back for dinner later, they put those two in two separate plastic bag for me! OMG! That means for ONE pork chop, I received FOUR plastic bags! *faint*

I wonder just how much garbage they produce each year and where does this wastage go to (dump into some sea near some third world country no doubt)?

On the up side, I have some decent finds today!

jelly and choki choki

The lost culture of Choki Choki and Jelly (in Thai, what are they called again? Koko jelly?)!


Don't you just love lost culture! :D Brings back memory.

p/s: Despite all complaints, I *heart* Thailand. I found two coolest shops in two consecutive days that sold exactly what I was looking for and I can't stop smiling till now! ^^


9 kissed Nicole

  1. Koko Jelly FTW!

  2. Cool, girl, that is what I called living in Thailand. But no junk food, they r really bad for u.

  3. the jellies are called "pepo" (pronounced pee-po)

    they're like the grand-daddy of all modern jellies in thailand ;)

    and choki choki is just..addictive..

    me and my mates' dorms used to be stacked with choki chokis all the time while we were doing our class work ;)

  4. EEeeee choki choki....=P...xD...i want some...plsss....

  5. I think they were using evaporated milk...

    Condense milk is kinda thick to actually drizzle over stuff.

  6. Hey Nicole,

    You finally write something about Thailand. I still waiting to know what you think about Pad Thai... :)

    Anything else you have not tried here.

    Pongsak T.

  7. Yes its evaporated milk, which they add to just about coffee, tea, Milo etc.

    Thais generally have sweet tooth. But remember, their fare must always have 4 elements of taste in sweet, sour, spicy and salty.

    Ever notice a Thai when marinating their noodles? Always always always adding sugar without fail.

  8. Bring a reusable bag or eco bag next time with you.

  9. Thai people love their king for his generous effort.

    I love crushed ice as well. Thai people are sweet because of sugar :D

    About the plactic bag, it's actually because Thailand is the best service country in the world, well.. not all the time. but mostly

    I love JJ, it's my shopping paradise for interiors etc.