Yam Pla Muk and Larb Moo

Just feel like posting some old food photos that have been sitting patiently in a folde called “blog” on my desktop for a couple years.

This is Yam Pla Muk, or Thai Squid Salad. I don’t remember exactly where we ordered this one. “Yam” is a type of Thai salad that’s spicy, sour, and kick-ass: Thai salads… These are among my favorite foods here, and we eat them all regularly.

This one is larb, which is also one of the Thai Salads mentioned in the link above. Specifically, it’s larb moo, or pork larb. Larb is also known as a meat salad (which is obviously the best type of salad). This plate of larb is from a restaurant specializing in it and other meat dishes in Sangkha, Surin. We visited there last year when Mina’s great grandmother passed. It was the first time we’d been to this restaurant, even though we’d been going to Sangkha quite often to be with relatives for new years. I’m not sure if we’ll visit there again any time soon, although some of Nam’s aunt’s are moving into her grandmother’s house.

The Reddit Tidal Bore Videos

Sit back, relax, and be amazed by the wonder of cheap smartphones:

POV 1 – Blue Life Jacket Van Damme

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POV 2 – You May Poke Your Eye Out But Still Never Stop Smiling Girl

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POV 3 – (HOLY MOLY?) Red Shirt Guy with Gyroscopic Grip

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And of course, the brilliant Reddit stitch up of all 3 clips: 1 Wave, 3 Angles

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So what are we looking at?

This is a tidal bore, a strong tide pushing up a river. This one is locally known as a bono, or, a wave of seven ghosts, because there can be seven successive layers of waves. People surf on these, yo! It seems that the location is Cape Binjai, Sumatra, on the Kampar River. By all means, please subscribe to Rina’s YouTube Channel because she has the best smile even when getting bowled over by angry waves!

Thank you for reading this post and please excuse the crappy manual formatting above (necessitated by irritating autoplay videos) – don’t worry, I’ll never get around to fixing it properly!

Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University

You should see their t-shirt!

Otherwise known as MCU, this is the oldest higher education institute for Buddhist monks in Thailand and the main campus is located on the temple grounds of Wat Mahathat Yuwaratrangsarit, one of the ten “royal temples of the highest class” in the country.

The length of the name is interesting and is compounded by the choice to leave no spaces between individual words of which the name is comprised. I had to break it down in the following way to make any sort of sense of it, otherwise it just looks like a keyboard accident:

Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya = Maha / Chulalongkorn / Raja / Vidyalaya

Maha = great

Chulalongkorn = the name of the 5th king of Siam (reign: 1868-1910)

Raja = royal

Vidyalaya = an older-style anglicization for “college”

So a rough translation might be “Chulalongkorn Royal College.” I think that sounds really cool, although “MCU” is easier to remember!

MCU has the coolest official seal:

Some bonus links:

Atlas Obscura article on MCU: Buddhist university that allows English-language speakers the opportunity to study with monks in Thailand

Dhammathai page on Wat Mahathat (temple)

Feel Good, Wink

It’s been ages since I posted Mina’s artwork since it’s mostly been going on her own website, but in the past couple of years she’s been drawing on a graphics tablet. Then a few months ago, work gave me an 8th Gen iPad, and I bought a knockoff iPencil and a Procreate license. And this is what’s grown from that:

I needed an art example for one of my presentation classes, and this is what she knocked out in (maybe) an hour while I was putting together the rest of the slideshow. Cool!

Thailand’s Happy Pizza

There is currently an explosion of CBD cafes and edible hemp products/companies all over Thailand. This is kind of the second wave of not-really-pot popularization. The first wave was semi-legal CBD oils and tinctures (although the most sought after ones were straight up black market products that claimed to cure cancer). Now we are to the point where the most popular pizza chain in Thailand, The Pizza Company (revenue over 7 billion baht in 2020 – half of the Thai pizza market), are using it in their ads… Mainstream popularization is a good thing.

My Dream Meal

A friend sent this to me. I don’t know who made it, took the photo, or ate it, but I want it.

I don’t know if I’d be more excited selling this or eating it – it’s damn near the perfect triple order of Thai Basil Stir Fry with Crispy Pork topped with Star Eggs. I spent a whole month perfecting this dish during lockdown, making the crispy pork from scratch with a different recipe each time. It was epic, and this is truly one of my top 10 favorite Thai dishes (of which basil stir fries occupy two or three spaces).