Mystery LONDON Building

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When driving around Khon Kaen with Tong, we spotted what looks very much like a Japanese-style love hotel near Khon Kaen university. It’s kind of in the middle of nowhere, just like a Japanese love hotel. I need to ask someone who lives in KK.

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UPDATE 12/23/2012: A coworker from KK has told me this is a karaoke joint.

Max’s Drawings – Robot Series 2012

I realize there’s the odd turtle and dinosaur in there, but they were in the Robot pile, so what can I say? Most of these are pretty old in development terms – Max has already moved onto his Angry Bird phase. Not sure when we’ll have time to scan all of those!

MMTJ – Oh my Ravi

MMTJ is:
Mina-chanbo on the blues harp.
Maximum Overdrive spazzing out.
Taro on the genu-wine Nepalese sitar.
J not playing the djembe.

Maeng Da – Giant Water Bug (Lethocerus indicus)

This big guy was attracted to the lights we leave on at night in our pavilion. I found him in a weakened state under our Japanese-style table in the morning. This is an extremely important food source in many Asian countries because of its strong odor, which it uses to attract mates and is used as a potent flavoring in various dipping sauces. This insect is also eaten whole in Thailand, usually deep fried and then stripped of legs and carapace.

Because of the perceived sexual behavior of this bug (just sitting around attracting females with its scent), the term maeng da has been adapted in Thai slang to mean something like a pimp or useless man who mooches off of women.

No, I did not eat it.

Fish references for Thailand

Fish and Fish Dishes of Laos is my go-to book on any freshwater creatures I see/catch/cook/eat here in SE Asia. It was written by famed British diplomat and historian, Alan Davidson, who included recipes used by the royal cook for the king of Laos. I only have a reprint of this book, which suits me just fine, since I’d feel guilty carrying around an original in the trunk of my car with a short bush pole and a battered old tackle box. I will find the original someday in a used book store in downtown Vientiane, I can just feel it.

I recently found a link to a related e-book (free) that might turn out to be interesting: The Fresh-Water Fishes of Siam, or Thailand. It was published posthumously by Hugh M. Smith, an American ichthyologist and powerful administrator in the Bureau of Fisheries, who spent time in Thailand as adviser to the Thailand fishery service from 1923-1935. I’ve only read a few random pages so far, and it’s pretty interesting.

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There are a couple more items I wanted to write about here, but my daughter is insisting that giving her my full attention is more important than going full fish nerd here at this particular time… Ah, well, it is her birthday, after all.