The Best Braised Pork Leg in Issan

Google review of Panom Rung Restaurant by Justin Yoshida

https://goo.gl/maps/cShnNWMJMcu

Staring locals. Scary truckers in the dark, broken parking lot… Raw chili and garlic in a dirty center bowl. Unapologetically fatty pork. Best of all, it’s sandwiched between a second rank gas station restroom and minimart. Need I say more?

It’s an epic hole in the wall.

Jet lag, Brain lag, everywhere a lag lag

We just got back from an epic trip back home to the states where I officiated my baby sister’s wedding, reunited with whole gaggle of relatives (some of whom I hadn’t seen for decades), and took the kids to Disneyland for their first time (thanks dad and Vangie!) the day before we left. It was basically a day and a half by planes and a bus (including a 1.5 hour stopover in Incheon and a brief respite in the Lad Prao area of Bangkok at our relatives’ place), and jet lag/exhaustion has hit all of us hard. I nearly went out of my mind for the past couple hours by accidentally enabling this setting on my phone:

Settings -> Developer Options -> Force RTL Layout direction

It will be fun to prank someone with this in the future; it’s incredibly irritating and nearly impossible to Google an answer. It basically reverses the order of everything in the Android taskbar (clock on the left, status notifications on the right) and justifies all text on screen to the right (and with that description, this page may now become the first hit for people who accidentally enable this setting).

Do you need to show your credit card at check in?

As an anti-fraud measure, many airlines have adopted a policy of asking to see the credit card your tickets were purchased with at check in. This concerned me after buying tickets with my dad’s credit card for my family (wife and kids) to visit home later this year. We are flying Korean Air, so this information is pertinent only to them.

The Korean Air website clearly states that the credit card used to buy the tickets online needs to be shown at check in:

Documents Required

  • Passport
  • Visa (if required by country visiting)
  • e-Ticket itinerary/Receipt
  • Credit card used for online transaction (if booked online)

Reading online flying forums for confirmation only served to confuse the situation, as it appears that some airlines (even Korean Air in some situations) actually ask for the owner of the credit card to also be present at time of check in.

To clarify, we called Korean Air on both continents we would be flying from and they gave us the same reply: Although their website seems to say otherwise, the only time you need to show a credit card at check in is if both of the following two items are true:

  1. You bought the ticket on the Korean Air website
  2. You did not encounter a Verified by Visa or MasterCard SecureCode screen at time of purchase

verisecur

In Thai, we were told “not to worry about it,” which is just about the most worrying thing you can be told in Thai when you want a straight answer, so I called KAL customer service in the states and was told the exact same thing. Since we bought the tickets from a 3rd party (discount travel site), it seems we will not be asked to produce the card at check in.

A night outside

Last night, we planned to go camping in our front yard. Max came down with a cold and Mina does nothing without him, so the kids ended up staying in the house. Nam worried about the kids waking up in the middle of the night and not finding her, so she also slept in the house. I had already put tents up, so I decided to sleep on the lawn alone.

Woke up with a sore back and lit some charcoal because camping is not camping without fire. Grilled some yakitori and khao chi rice balls in a wonderful fusion of classic Japanese and Isan flavor profiles. Then I went to my Sunday masters class and thought about when I would have time to write my thesis. I seriously need a day to chill every week, but that’s not going to happen for a while.

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