Sunday, June 28, 2009

THAILAND!!

We made it to Thailand!! Aashini did great on the flights! We got the bulkhead for them, so Aashini slept on the floor in front of us (her preferred place) :)
I've gotten a couple foot massages since being here - it's been great!!! Much needed!! (this picture makes me laugh :) The ladies beside us had some sort of silly putty stuff on their faces!!)
Aashini is loving the public transportation and having blast!!
She's loving her class too - she's exausted every day after a day of playing ;) I'll post more pictures soon :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Hot Enough to Fry an Egg??

It's pretty hot right now.... but although it's hot, it's much cooler than it is normally this time a year, so for that I'm very greatful :) This time last year it was about 125 - yikes!!! Well, today it was 117, so we thought we would try to fry an egg on our balcony :)
Well, it didn't really work... I was sad - I thought for sure it would work :) Oh well... it did look pretty funky though... not sure if I would count some of that as cooked or not :) haha! It sure does look funny :)
We leave for Thailand tomorrow (Thursday) - we're sooo excited! It will be a chance to see friends & cool off a little :) The city we're going to first (Chaing Mai) had a high of 86 today! YEAH!!!! We're going on vacation too, so we'll have plenty of pool & beach time :) whoo hoo!!! Plenty of pictures to come!!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Fun & Food!

First off... some fun! We hadn't played Settlers of Catan in a while (you can't play with 2 people and Aashini keeps us quite busy) - so we invited some folks over to play the other day! It was very fun! (We missed you Carie & Keith!)
OK, so I was requested to post a video of how to cut a mango :) We're not claiming to be professionals or anything, but here's how we do it! If you do it another cool way, let me know! :)

Here's Adam eating off the pit. It hink it's kinda gross (but it does taste good!) :)
Here's Aashini eating her mango! She usually goes through at least a huge mango every day!! She begs for them! I don't know what we're going to do when mango season is over!
We now have a Hard Rock Cafe in our city! We went to it the other day and had a lot of fun :) They have a lot of things on the menu that we can't get here - like Pecans (on a salad)... I guess they import them or something - pretty cool!
Today I got to eat a Raj Katori!! This is my VERY favorite snack to eat here! YUM!
That's it for this episode of Food & Fun!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Toes & Thumbs

Hrithik Roshan is one of Bollywood's most popular actors. He's a little different than most famous Bollywood actors... he has 6 fingers on one hand. It's actually an extra thumb. This happens sometimes in America but it's almost always "fixed" right away. In South Asia, it is considered lucky if you have an extra finger. Some people here get them removed. Hrithik was teased a lot in school, but decided to keep his thumb to be natural... We saw this guy's feet the other day... it made me laugh :) I feel like I would stub my toe a lot with those toe-nails :)

You never know what you're going to see here :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

YUM!

We have to make pretty much everything from scratch here (b/c that's pretty much our only option). It is hard to find good "from scratch" recipes that are super quick and easy to make. I like to cook, but not every day and I don't like to spend a long time in the kitchen this time a year (it's 100 degrees in our kitchen right now). So anyway, I made this the other night and it was yummy and super easy so I thought I'd pass it along :)
Black Bean & Corn Taco Salad!
- Cook up some black beans (if you have canned black beans then just drain and rinse them - if you are in the Capital I can tell you where to get them, or you can just get them in Thailand). If you don't have black beans you could probably use the little red beans or black-eyed peas - it would taste different but would probably be good :)
- Cook some corn (or un-freeze it or de-can it and rinse and drain)
- Cut up onions - depending on your taste - I love onions so I usually put a lot!
- Put the Black Beans, Corn & Onions in a pot together and heat them up. Mix in taco seasoning and a little salt.
- If you don't have Taco Seasoning then you can make it! I have TONS of recipes for it - here's one of them (lemme know if you want a different one):
1 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
- OK... now get a big bowl (for each person eating - you could do plates too)!!
- Put some lettuce in the bottom (if you don't have lettuce, cabbage might work - you could even steam it and cool it in the fridge and it might be really good).
- Put the black bean, corn & onion mixture on top.
- Then add all the toppings you want! I added green/red peppers, tomatoes, jalapenos & cheese.
- Top it off with some pain yogurt (or sour cream if you have it - but the yogurt is yummy!) and some salsa if you have it or want to make it :)
- Then add some Senior Pepitos Tortilla chips to the top! I crunched them up and it was good!
That's it!

It's yummy!!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Campa Cola & Exploring :)


Today we had some things to do in the Central part of our city, so while we were there, we decided to take on some adventures :) Adventure #1 - the underground market. This market is pretty crazy. It's actually underground and has electronics & clothes mostly. They sell things pretty cheap, so it's an interesting place to go. Today we got an 64 Gig flash drive/pen drive for about $5. Crazy hunh? Here's Adam and Aashini in one of the stores. They're all REALLY small stores - about 10x10 feet I would guess (but I'm really bad at guessing that sort of stuff :)) We go here a lot to get things, so I guess it's not a new adventure, but an adventure nonetheless.
Before the next part of our adventure (the real part of our adventure) we stopped for lunch. Aashini will always eat at McDonalds, so that's where we went :) They just started selling chicken nuggets here at McDonalds, so it's super easy to get her to eat there :) This McDonald's had high chairs which made it really nice!

Here we are at McDonald's when the power went out :) It's funny because when the power goes out in stores or restaurants, I don't even flinch anymore. When we first moved overseas it was always so surprising when the power went out in a store or something, but now it's completely normal :) Most places have generator back-ups, so it's not really a big deal anyway... just takes a minute or so for it to kick in :) It was HOT today, and Aashini was sweating quite a bit - it made her hair cute and curly :)

So, on to the main part of our adventure :)

I'm reading a new book about our city. The author, over a few years, pretty much walked around the entire Capital City. He has a lot of adventures along the way, and finds some interesting things. One interesting thing he found was right around the area we were going to be today, so I wanted to check it out.

OK, so back in the 1970's, our country's rulers decided that they were on the path to self-sufficiency and didn't need a lot of foreign products and stuff. That included Coca-Cola & Pepsi and things like that. So, during that time, a company called Campa Cola became prominent. In the 1990's there was economic liberalization here and Pepsi & Coke were allowed to enter and Campa Cola went spiraling downwards. By 2000, the Campa Cola house was pretty much closed. They opened up again here and there in the years, but never permanently. So, this is the old Campa Cola building we were TRYING to find (found the pic online)...

We wanted to find it because it seemed so interesting. The Campa Cola House is closed. There is no water or electricity in the building BUT dozens of employees still go to work there each day. They don't actually work though. They sit in the ground floor rooms and smoke, play cards, eat, etc... From what I read, the "employees" are in a court case against their former Campa Cola employers and are demanding years of back pay. So, for very confusing legal reasons, they don't want to miss a day of "work" (maybe they won't get their back-pay if this happens). I was really interested in seeing that. I've also heard that you can actually buy and taste the Campa Cola outside of the Campa Cola house... so i wanted to try it :)

Well, we never actually found the Campa Cola House. We drove all around, got lost, asked for directions and ended up (on the other side of town) at the old Campa Cola Factory...

It was interesting to see, and the people around us thought we were really weird for wanting to look at it and take pictures :) There was a barbed wire fence & guards around it, so we couldn't get very close to it.

So, that was today's adventure :) Pretty interesting :) I still want to find the other place... maybe next time :)