So it seems I missed out on one of the great new inventions to hit the market after I left Japan – refills for Cup Noodle.
I must point out that this new product is hardly an original idea by its manufacturer, Nissin. In college, we routinely used empty Cup Noodle cups as bowls (mostly for regularly-packaged instant ramen crushed to fit), ashtrays, pen holders, a container for my cut-in-half-with-tin-snips 1-yen coin collection, and in a pinch, even as beer cups (curry flavor cups were best for this purpose).
But wait! I titled this post before I read what’s actually being sold – it seems that the actual product isn’t just noodle refills, they also include a non-disposable bowl! Now is that defeating the entire purpose of a Cup Noodle, or what? (from a business standpoint, isn’t this blurring the product lines?)
Since a bowl and a clump of freeze dried noodles isn’t really new, perhaps this isn’t such a hot idea after all… and it sure as hell doesn’t qualify as kaedama. The title above stays, though. I like kaedama, even just in print.
I have only one class on Fridays, in the morning. Today they were supposed to do presentations, but only a small fraction of the class showed up. When I asked where the absent students were, I was told they are participating in a parade for the military and local politicians this morning. I had to cancel.
This has only served to confirm my extreme dislike for all three – parades, the military, and local politicians (but not necessarily in that order).
You know you are in for one fine shindig when you wake up at 5:30 AM to speaker stacks from hell:
A few weeks ago, we took off for our friend’s wedding in Ratchaburi (short: Ratburi), located a couple hours southeast of Bangkok and famous mostly for its floating market. We boarded the Friday night VIP bus in Sarakham and arrived at Mo Chit station on Bangkok at 3:30 AM, and proceeded directly to Nam’s aunt’s house in Lad Prao via taxi.
We spent the next day shopping for the new house and swimming in Bangkok smog, which is quite exhausting. (Note: We managed to satisfy some Mexican food cravings at Sunrise Tacos, finally – scroll to the last comment in this post for a short review)
Sunday afternoon we rented a gutless Toyota Altis and my sister-in-law, Nok, drove us out to Nutty’s house, charming and pastoral as hell, but as such, way out in the sticks. Asking locals for directions eventually got us to her house. Nutty and her relatives were in Pre-wedding Day Overdrive, so we helped out where we could. For me, where I could was in a plastic lawn chair, sipping on cold beer Chang, and getting eaten alive by monster mosquitoes, but I was just happy to see Nutty again after so long… I went through photo albums that she had put together in Japan, and saw all of the old gang hanging out at Tenri dam, at the beach in Wakayama, making the fake humpy humpy with deer at Nara Koen. It was hard to believe it was so long ago, and I started to feel really old, so I crashed out on the beautiful wooden floor.
A few hours later, the speaker stacks from hell started blaring molam and Thai golden oldies loud enough to hear at least a few miles away. I mean, it was so loud that it made the fish in the river next to the speaker stacks jump every time the speakers popped or crackled. I had to get up at 5 to move the rental car, which we had locked in the yard in front of the house the night before. By 6 AM, things were in full swing and much bridal preparation was afoot. I have long since stopped trying to make sense of the actions or reasoning behind soon-to-be-wed females, and just tried to stay out of the way. I didn’t have my Nikon, but I tried to take a few photos before, during, and after the wedding with Nam’s digicam.
All in all, it was a great day and a wonderful wedding – here’s to the new couple!
I just found out one of the top hitmen in Thailand (no shit!) is studying English in my weekend English class. Details to follow as soon as I survive grading in a few months.
One thing I will reveal is that this type of information is common knowledge to Thais. The reason why is something I cannot yet reveal.
In my previous post, I spoke of “fake brand name knockoffs that are loosely based on a famous item but a little too ironically so, giving you the impression that the person who designed it did so as an inside joke or something…” This is more precisely what I meant:
These crappy and frankly, dangerous (look at the insane bulging on the rightmost one – they came this way!) Chinese knockoffs were bundled with a couple of LCD flashlights I took camping a few weeks ago.
The term “mutant knockoffs” has been coined for products like these.
LINKAGE: Fake Products: Mutant Knock-offs on flickr
Somebody painted my ass on a sign!
We’ve actually spotted Justin Jeans apparel – mostly t-shirts and sweatshirts – at cheap night markets, but not the actual jeans. The clothes we saw were of the extremely cheap variety, made of the thinnest cotton poly blend, designed so badly as to be unappealing anywhere but the poorest corners of the third world. Kind of like those fake brand name knockoffs that are loosely based on a famous item but a little too ironically so, giving you the impression that the person who designed it did so as an inside joke or something… Anyway, this got me to thinking and I half-assedly searched for the brand name of origin since I had never heard of Justin Jeans back in the states. I found this:
South Beach, a division of Sweat Shirt USA, Inc., will design, manufacture, market and sell the Justin Jeans line. The collection will debut for fall/winter 1993 and is described by Justin as a “contemporary line of American sportswear with a Western flair.”
1993? I assume from the lack of obvious search hits that Justin Jeans is defunct in the states… What if Justin Jeans live on only as tragically poor knockoffs in SE Asia? That’s like the coolest thing I’ve ever heard.
I also like the fact that my ass is famous now. Does that qualify me as a sex symbol? Justin Timberlake has nothing on me… I’m the Big Papa of Asian Americans teaching English in SE Asia, bioootches!
… words heard from not a single student today.
I think I’ve actually seen a real live turkey here in Mahasarakham, up in the forest near the fish sanctuary, but I’m too lazy to be bothered with the killin’ and pluckin’ and dressin’ and stuffin’ and roastin’ – Thanksgiving to me is more of a “Thanksgetting.” Getting stuffed and drowsy off the tryptophan (I choose to believe in the sleepy turkey effect. Even if it’s a placebo, it still makes me feel nice, you haters.) kicks ass. Candied yams and gravy kick ass. Even cranberry sauce tends to kick some ass, in moderation. Maybe what I miss most, though, is pumpkin pie. I swear I haven’t had a decent slice of pumpkin pie with freshly whipped cream for five or six years. “So,” you ask, “how does one cope with the lack of proper pilgrim food on Turkey Day?”
If living in Japan for twelve years taught me anything, it was coping skills.
If living in Japan for twelve years taught me anything, it was three letters: K F C
That’s right, Nam and I just came back from the only place in town to get mashed potatoes, cheesy fries, and New! Bite-sized! Spicy! Fish Bits.
HAPPY TURKEY DAY!
Don’t you just hate that?
By effectively limiting entry size, Twitter makes you choose your words, which is a good thing… Sometimes too good, I think, because I end up using up all my (limited) wit over there. My blog is jealous, and rightly so. Now to the heart of this post:
There were two sea kayaks and sets of life jackets on the floor of the men’s room at school this morning. I
briefly resisted the brief urge to test their precipitation resistance.
(as in, DJ Q-bert)
That’s the first thing I asked myself…
On the YouTube page, it says the girl (Sara) is 8 and her brother (Ryusei) is 5. Mad!
(this post was created when Big Ho came looking for this vid here when he actually saw it here, where I promptly visited and saw the first version of the video, which led me to the second version, shown above. the end.)
The Ultimate Bootleg Experience
… and I will let you know all about them when I get a minute to write a real post. In the meantime, let me show you what happens when someone suggests I design my own window bars (security bars made of wrought iron/stainless steel):
It just occurred to me that showing a pregnant woman the video for Massive Attack’s Teardrop might not be the best idea in the world.
If you attended our wedding or followed our progress here on this blog, you may remember who
caught intercepted the bouquet at the wedding toss – yep, our good friend Nutty is getting married this Sunday in Ratchaburi. We are catching the VIP bus down to Bangkok tonight (arrives @ Mo Chit @ 3 AM). We’ll spend tomorrow catching up on Mexican grubbage if possible, and will drive out to “Ratburi” on Sunday to join the celebration, be merry, antagonize other guests with my perfected snoring patterns, and come back the next day.
I have no idea what kind of snake this is but it’s obviously different from the one in the more widespread snake eating kangaroo photo set.