A three day weekend is something special, but especially so when you’re a little kid. Mommy was off at graduation practice for her uni, so the kids and I got in the Crown and cruised around lazy Sunday style, picked up some fries at Mickey D’s, and went to some shaded outdoor courts across from their school for a picnic and some basketball.
These days, Max is trying out all kinds of sports to see what he likes. He was into football only for a couple years, but has gotten into ping pong more recently. He’s expressed interested interest in starting up muay thai again, so we will start on that at Nam’s uni next week if we can. Just the past couple of days he’s been dribbling around a basketball, so today was the day to find out if he could get the ball up to the basket yet:
This was his very first unassisted basket, and there was much celebration. All in all, he got in three baskets today and wore the hell out of his arms. As I remember, this is an important growth marker for kids – playing until you’re worn out, then playing some more on top of that. So I pushed him some more for good measure.
As we were leaving, some high school girls came around to play in their green team uniforms and we watched them start practicing. Max asked if I could dunk, and I said no, but he should ask the girls if they could.
He asked why, and I told him it might be a good pick up line. He asked what a pick up line was, and when I explained, he got pretty annoyed with me and asked why I wanted him to have such an old (!) girlfriend. I told him it would make all the little girls in his class jealous, after which Max got angry and stopped talking to me for a while. But we listened to trap on the way home, and even Gucci agreed with me.
When we play catch or practice hitting balls around the vacant lots and parks around here, people stop to watch. Hmm… I’ve never seen anyone else playing baseball in Thailand, either! I’m not a big baseball fan or anything, but it’s great for kids’ hand-eye coordination.
I found the equipment for sale at a secondhand Japanese goods store in town. This was a very popular business until very recently – you could buy containers of household stuff from Japan at various Thai shipping ports for around 70,000 baht and up. A lot of people started used Japanese good shops with stuff from a single container. You couldn’t see what was in the container before you bought it, so there would be some new stores opening with tons of old clothes, others loaded with baby strollers and rice cookers (the wrong voltage for TH), and many with just worthless crap. The best containers were probably the ones loaded with wooden furniture and bicycles. Many of the products were packed in similar moving company boxes, which led to speculation as to where this stuff was coming from.
It all started out with French toast and banana milkshakes for breakfast, and continued into lunch at our friend’s nearby restaurant where the kids had noodles and fried rice, and we had various curries and braised meats.
We made oatmeal chocolate chip cookies with walnuts in the late afternoon, then I went to my Turkish pal’s house to get continued instruction on various salads, sauces, and kebab. I took a big bag of food home and the kids chowed down. Tomorrow is school for them, so the sad silence before bed has begun.
Uncle Andreas got us a bottle of malt vinegar, so we decided to make beer batter and fry up some fish. Unfortunately, the local Makro didn’t have much of a fish selection, so we settled on (ahem!) Issan cod.
Max and Mina did most of the prep, and I was on fry duty.
Today’s cooking vocabulary included: Deboning, scaling, pin bones, fins, gills, gutting, ounces, even spoonful, heaping spoonful, all purpose flour, sodium bicarbonate, sifting, dredging, frying oil, and fire extinguisher.
There’s this girl from school that likes Max. He’s chatting online with her right now in the other room; I can hear their little voices as they talk about whatever kids talk about. They’re only 10 years old. It feels… strange. Very cute but kinda funny?
Mina brought a hamburger bun stuffed with a fried duck egg over to my desk and said, “try some.” I was just waking up, so I told her I needed a minute. In that minute, the sandwich disappeared and I jokingly asked Mina why she didn’t save me any.
“Cuz it was sooo gooood.”
I fried up one of the duck eggs Nam’s sister gave us from her egg factory (she makes salted duck eggs out on her resort in the country) and threw it in a toasted burger bun with a slice of processed cheddar… UMAMI. BOMB.
It was the best, messiest, umamiest egg sandwich, ever.