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Cruise Dining in Bangkok

From the previous post, I wrote about belated dining with friends at the rooftop bar in Bangkok. That was one day after my BD. On my BD I arranged to dine with my family on the cruise in Bangkok along Chaophraya River. First of all, I did a lot of research where I can book the journey, how much the price, what kind of food, how many types of cruise they have.

I checked on the internet, called agencies to compare prices and promotions. I decided to go with a small cruise called Wanfah with the reason that bigger cruise, more crowded but the smaller boat we have more privacy. Apologies for the photo of the ship where we boarded is not available, I was not able to take a photo of my own boat in that time. I took a picture of the big cruise where we passed instead then the blog readers will have an idea of how it looks like.

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We have to choose the menu, whether seafood or traditional Thai food once we book the table with the agency. The money we paid for the reservation is non-refundable. So make sure first if you are not going to cancel later.

We went to the pier at Bangkok River City, the boat will depart on time at 7 pm and will return at 9 pm. There was a photographer who took our photo before we were on board (we have to pay later, it’s not free 🙁 )

The entry started with spring rolls and deep-fried noodle. For Thai menu, you will have Tom Yum soup, stirred mix vegetable, Chicken red curry, steamed jasmine rice, Thai dessert and fruits.

The Seafood menu will go with Grilled salmon dish and seafood basket then Thai dessert and fruits. Drinking water is free and refillable, but soft drink and alcohol.

The boat cruised along the river, passing many significant landmarks such as the Grand Palace, Wat Arun, Wat Pho etc. The sightseeing at night makes them look mysterious beautiful.

There is a trip guide on the boat who will explain the stories of historical landmarks where we passed. The weather was good, no rain as we were afraid, just only humid in the air.

There was live Hammered dulcimer music and Thai traditional dance performance to entertain the tourist until we returned to the pier.

We returned to the pier on time at 9 pm, enjoyed and had a good time with family. I’m now thinking about what the next creative birthday celebration will be.

Copyright © 2019 All Rights Reserved. All photos on this post were taken by me unless stated otherwise.

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Rooftop Dining in Bangkok

The second home visit this year on my birthday makes it more special to spend time with my family and friends. It’s been several years that I didn’t have a chance to celebrate my birthday in Thailand.

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I spend time celebrating with my family on my birthday and a day later with my friends. We booked a table at a rooftop restaurant at a riverside hotel in Bangkok. I picked the hotel on the west coast, not in the city so we can see the river Choapraya view at night without any overshadow. 

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In that evening, the sky was totally blocked out with nimbus about 6 pm-ish the rain poured down. The electric roof shade was spreading cover us in the restaurant. I started ordering my first drink “Lady mermaid”, that looks purple and good choice!! Following up with Shushi and Tacos while waiting for my friend’s arriving.

The rain was gone an hour later, everything was back to normal. The sun has gone,  the sky was partly clouded and nightlife in Bangkok Metropolis awaken appreciating all audience from the top view. 

Once they arrived, we have our own drinks and ordered other dishes. We also have double sushi (recommended, it’s nice).

We enjoy good music and good food. Late-night those bartenders showed their throwing shaker mixing skill to customers. Good time to spend with friends talked for several hours about midnight. Time filed, we need to go home. 

On the bill, 5% service charge is included. Not too expensive and acceptable. We felt comfortable and have our privacy. Nice place for a couple as well, there is a private table facing the river view. 

See you until next time.

Copyright © 2019 All Rights Reserved. All photos on this post were taken by me unless stated otherwise.

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My Thai food diary in Doha

The summer arrives early this year. I notice the climate changed just overnight and felt the heat above 34-degree Celsius in the next morning. It’s now June the heat rises up and hit 49-degree Celsius last week. All organization have to arrange the working time for their staff who work outdoors to accommodate with the summertime regulation here. The outdoor activities seem to slow down in Summer, most people spend their plenty of time in air-conditioned indoor. Imagine the way you walk from your house to the garage and from parking to the mall which you can’t avoid the heat even driving, it’s not entertaining at all. You may like sunbath but not to burn your skin, why would you take a risk to the skin cancer?

Undoubable shopping and eating out are listed in the top hobbies at the moment. What did I do? Shopping is not my first priority then yes, eating is number one. I am Thai and I do still eat Thai food every day as I can. The price of Thai food varies from places. These weeks I tried the one very close to my place. I went there also in Ramadan period but in the evening that we are allowed to eat in the public. 

During Ramadan all restaurant closed but some are open for pick up and delivery only. They will open after sunset and we will be allowed to eat in the public once the prayer call starts in the evening. 

I’d recommend some menu which I had recently.

Started with Thai lemon tea and crispy fried tofu as an entry.

 

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Thai seafood Tom Yum noodle with red salty sauce

Thai food has a spicy signature, this tom yum noodle serves in the hot red soup added with tofu, bean sprout, fish balls, morning glory and topped with crispy fried wonton. You will taste the sour, spicy, and little sweet from the sauce and the rest ingredient makes the good combination in this bowl.

Noodle with fish curry sauce (Kanom Jeen Nam Ya): This is also a spicy noodle dish (I like noodle) but the level of the spicy is less than Tom Yum. The fish sauce has coconut milk ingredient. This is a healthy menu, they will serve with a bunch of fresh vegetables and prickle (actually in Thailand, you will get unlimited vegetables)

Grilled sweet sauce chicken that I recommend to eat with Som Tum, it’s a very good combination. From the photo above the right side is Som Tum that foreigner calls Spicy Papaya Salad, you can choose the spicy level. Actually, I also had these with sticky rice but I forgot to take a photo.

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Crispy Oyster Omelette

I think I need to describe much about the Oyster Omelette as it shows everything in the photo. This is not much spicy as you see. You can tell them not to add pepper. You will eat this with ketchup. 

The other days I had a hot pot with friends, it is very healthy food (you can see there is a lot of vegetables). As it named, they serve in an electric hot pot which heats the food all the time and various meat, vegetables and eggs that you can choose and mix in the pot yourself. The right photo is spicy shrimp salad, it’s very spicy. We expected it should be sour but only sweet we could taste, a bit disappointed.

Let’s go to the sweet.

Left: Red been with sweet sticky rice in coconut syrup.

Middle: Mock pomegranate in coconut syrup topped with ice-flake and sweet condensed milk.

Left: Caramelized crisps in coconut sauce topped with ice-flake.

Thai sweet with ice is quite good for me during this summertime. No doubt that I gain weight every summer ha ha ha.

Copyright © 2019 All Rights Reserved. All photos on this post were taken by me unless stated otherwise.

 

 

 

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My living – Chapter 3

I just gained another new experience; lately, I broke my foot; hehe 🙂 I just finished the last physio session this week, and still not allowed to walk a lot, required to wear ankle support for three more weeks. Anyway, this is not an excuse to leave the blog deserted. On the way to work, I notice the bright beautiful blue sky which is not commonly happening in Qatar. This country has a pale grey sky most of the time.

The other day the sky changed again, the tale has never been the same. Anything could happen as I am told by nature. Life is life, things come and go. What has passed called experience, unfolded upcoming circumstance called the adventure. So our life is rock and roll. The World rapidly changes. 

I spent most of my free time reading books to complete at least 10 books target this year. Recently I read about psychological and mindset relevant to how we adapt life in the social media world.

Nowadays there is a lot of free none proven information floating in social networks that can easily be acquired by a fingertip. Some are wrong, some are the truth. Most of the junk information has been forwarded million times and may be distorted from the original to the endless downstream. Some information has been misused. While liberty is wide open in the internet world, people become lost into regular communication, believing that they can vehemently comment, respond, react, and bully on any post,  media etc. Without knowing that some area is so sensitive to the aggressive response which strongly impacts and leads them to unexpected desperation.

People enjoy playing the role of anonymous which can be anyone, say anything that they can’t in the real world. And my question is how we can protect ourselves from social media abuse? My personal opinion on reporting the found social media abuse is not applicable for all the cases and just in time. 

What if we get abused on social media and what are we going to react? Shall we angry? Shall we respond rapidly with the same or more aggressive level? 

Of course, we can’t control people called external factors, but our mindset and perspective are controllable. 

I think we should adhere to positive mindset and ignorance on some troll bullies, the abusive reaction is similar to spilling gasoline on the burning fire. It wouldn’t cease.

Why would we get angry if it is true?
Just let it go and consider what only useful.

Why would we get angry if it is untrue?
Just ignore it because it is not the truth.

I smiled to myself once I heard this. Yes, it’s right. Just let oneself on, lay it down and feel more relaxing. The positive energy starts from your positive mind. Whenever you look up to the Sky, they are always beautiful as if in the different drawings.

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Copyright © 2019 All Rights Reserved. All photos on this post were taken by me unless stated otherwise.

 

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Al Wakrah Souq

In the windy Friday afternoon, I escaped from Doha to the nearby city called Al Wakrah; 21 kilometres from Doha to the South of Qatar. It took a short drive (maybe quicker than driving to my office, due to the better traffic) around 20 minutes. I had the place in mind to visit, “Al Wakrah Souq”. 

“Souq” refers to “Market” in general as I understand from their activities and the place. Doha also has “Souq Waqif” but what makes Al Wakrah Souq different is locating beside the beach!! If you keep driving south, you will reach Sealine where you can expect to see tremendous of sand dunes like in the movie, i.e. Transformers.

Beautiful weather during winter here, little warm sunny but mostly cloudy and strong wind, just right for rumbling on the beach and sitting outdoor at the coffee shop. While I walked pass by the alleys, I could see new restaurants, shops, cafes and stalls alongside. The Souq is such a labyrinth town for unique visitors, but no worries there are the signboards. To be honest, I don’t think it could help (sorry :()

Many wrecked ships set along the beach line, last time I was here there were only two. Big portable swimming pools laid on the beach for kids, the beach umbrellas and seats reserved for family only (if you are alone, not allowed).

After having a survey walked and checked for an excellent outdoor restaurant, I pick one which I can see the view of the Arabian Gulf. There is a new port on the left hand (I almost got a job there).

I couldn’t eat much as I had eaten a large breakfast from home. Mostly spending time relaxing and talking with a friend, exchanged life experience in Qatar. Later horses walked pass us, I wondered if they are for taking photos or riding.

Later the wind got wilder and caused the fault alarm to the fire detectors at the beach. I concerned about my respiratory that was just recently recovered then I shouldn’t stay for long. Due to it was Friday, people went to pray, and the market will start late in the afternoon. Some shops will open in the evening. Time to leave.

The first thing I did when I arrived home was taking a shower and wash my frizzy hair from the sand. And I didn’t forget to clean my nose. 

There are a lot of exciting places in Qatar outside Doha to visit. Especially in winter. 

Copyright © 2019 All Rights Reserved. All photos on this post were taken by me unless stated otherwise.

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My living – Chapter 2

Aftermath has been through circumstances in life, I have widened mindset and admitted the differences and changeable. I’ve been working with a global organisation contains multi-nationalities since I first had graduated. It was not easy to live oversea meanwhile adapting to new various cultures. Yes, the culture shock hit without alerting to me. It left me with an excellent lesson to learn and accept things that there are hundreds of nationalities, thousands of cultures, billions of differences.

My first living alone in oversea worried me, I felt the World was quite big. I didn’t know what and how to start to manage things.

When I lived with the family in my homeland, fed the yummy Thai food served by the excellent grandma cook, supported by the parent for everything I did. Not odd that I didn’t know how to cook especially Thai food. (I am told by all my colleagues here that I disappointed them as they expect to have some Thai dish from me). I still remember the time I made a video call to my family and asked them how to cook Thai Jasmine Rice with a rice cooker. 

There is a Thai proverb states “To survive, you need to bend like a bamboo through the wind” similar meaning to “When in Rome, do as Romans do”. 

The bamboos stand tall because they rooted long deep and know how to bend and float with the wind, although through a storm.

I come from a country where having a kind of very natural and humble modest expression. We don’t directly express our emotion or what we want. We don’t speak what our mind wants. We always are aware of other people’s feeling. When we say things, you will have to figure out what we are trying to tell you. For example, if we need to leave or cut the conversation, we will glimpse at a clock to indirectly express that we no longer want to continue. Our tone of language is like music (some said like Chinese), and sound whispering, therefore, I wasn’t used with a noisy talk like Arabic. They are not fighting, it’s a usual polite talk, but the loud due to their language tone. My first line manager here said to me that I will need to stiffen my tone; otherwise, people here will eat me. Neither shouting or yelling but just bolden my voice. 

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The difference creates various frequencies of colourful, beautiful. 

The difference makes a better understanding of living.

The difference creates the right combination of life.

The difference widens attitude.

The difference softens my arrogance.

I like a statement once I was in biological class: 

‘It is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives, but the species that survives is the one that is able best to adapt and adjust to the changing environment.’

Copyright © 2018 All Rights Reserved. All photos on this post were taken by me unless stated otherwise.

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My living – Chapter 1

I am back on duty, and while driving home one evening, the dusk scene laid above the sky, the combination of various colour spectrum shone at the horizon. Having this sky in Qatar is rare. It flashbacked my memories for the first time I came here. Something that helps me have a worthy life. 

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Last 12 years I was unhappy and unsatisfied of work welfare and life balance until one day our CFO said something to me that totally change my entire attitude. She said “It’s not others that unsatisfied you, but it’s the way you see things. If you compare yourself with others, then you won’t be satisfied, but if you compare yourself with your own desire and meet self-sufficiently, then you will find happiness.” Just only that word like a finger snapped changing my thought. 

Since that I don’t care what people have and get, I look at myself and satisfy if it meets my demand. 

But it doesn’t mean that we will stop improving or challenging to the higher hierarchy. I still set my new goals every time once the previous one was accomplished. I did as we were advised to set up the goal at the beginning of each year and try to make them real. Have you ever notice that what kind of those new tasks stand for? To fulfil your materialistic target? You may want a new car, so you get it. Then what? A new house, new job, promotion etc. Those are taking and will never fulfil the hole of self-demanding, once you achieve this goal, you will crave another one and maybe more robust and endless. 

In a competitive society nowadays, people become more selfish and aim for taking to achieve their targets. I am one in this cycle, but I discover a new goal that makes me happier and feels the value of living. It’s giving. I was bored to chase my same goals to complete. I fed up to set the new goals but never fill the hole in my mind until I discover the giving. I started with the small donation that I was able to supply such blood giving, clothes donation, being consultant and volunteer. I felt happy differently but real. If I compare myself with wealthier people, I will feel down and unsatisfied. If I look down on people is lower than me I will arrogant and never had self-improvement. But when I give from what I have, I feel more valuable and need to do it again and again. The easiest giving is forgiveness.

Giving is also good therapy for mentality sickness and psychological disorder. Now I write down at least one of my goals to do a thing for other people who lack the opportunity to have a life as I have. What is your goal?

 

Copyright © 2019 All Rights Reserved. All photos on this post were taken by me unless stated otherwise.

 

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Thankfulness

Thanks to the shortfall, to make us learn to survive.

Thanks to the rivals, to make us learn to make friends.

Thanks to the mistakes, to make us learn to improve.

Thanks to the guilt, to make us learn to forgive.

Thanks the hatred, to make us know what love is.

Thanks the emptiness, to make us know what existence is.

Thanks to the darkness, to make us see the light.

Thanks to the lies, to make us understand the truth.

Thanks to the failure, to make us learn to achieve.

Thanks to the illness, to making us know how vital health is.

Thanks the difficulty, to make us know to overcome.

Thanks the sadness, to make us know how happiness feels.

Thanks the covetousness, to make us know what satisfaction is.

Thanks the distance, to make us thinking of each other.

Thanks the calamities, to make us precautionary.

Thanks to the time, to make us patient.

Million thanks to millions of things, to make us having today.

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Copyright © 2019 All Rights Reserved. All photos on this post were taken by me unless stated otherwise.

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I learned what I see

While I was driving back home, I spotted colourful flower beds alongside the road. It’s a good thing in winter here that you will see more colourful and liveliness everywhere in Qatar unlike in the deadly summer. They decorated these panoramas with flowers, lighting and other outdoor activities. I stopped the car, off the engine at the nearest parking then walked directly to those beautiful shrubberies. Many people and cars passed negligently, but I didn’t care. I want to snap photos and enjoy the relaxing moment. Everything gives me a lesson and knowledge, I recall of those labour who planted these flowers intend to accommodate the aesthetic (I do understand as I’ve been working in the construction industry that how they work and think). They would be happy to know if someone appreciates what they have done. Their work is called Back Of House (BOH).

Most of the people are interested from what they see it’s call Front Of House (FOH). Meanwhile, BOH is kind of backstage works, but all work couldn’t be accomplished if there is no foundations and supports. Everything has their own process until becoming the final product, each process may take times and endeavour to achieve, but it wouldn’t be completed if it was abolished in between.

Don’t ignore some small people in your life, you wouldn’t know if they are supporting your back.

Don’t overlook someone’s capability, you wouldn’t know if he can change the world.

Don’t underestimate yourself, you wouldn’t know that you can do something bigger than you thought.

Be appreciated things in life whether what given, there are always a backstage people to support you.

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Copyright © 2019 All Rights Reserved. All photos on this post were taken by me unless stated otherwise.

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My tale from Qatar

Living in Qatar isn’t like what many people imagine. I can’t deny that I also used to have a wrong idea when I was informed to mobilise here.
I will share my experience from living here almost 12 years for both pros and cons.

Tax-Free:
Yes, you are not mishearing. Every penny you earned here is Tax-Free unless you have to pay the income tax to your home country, i.e. US citizen. Luckily I don’t have to pay the fee to Thailand. But recently the burden of tobacco and alcohol has implied. That’s it; the consumable products remain the same price. Most of luxuries products price here is lower than in many countries.

Very fewer burglaries:
Based on my own experience, the first year in our staff accommodation got burglarised; the DVD player and Athena receiver were taken. A year later I moved out and had my own apartment, I forgot and left my door open for 2 days once I returned home then realised that I didn’t close the door. I urged to search for the missing belonging, but none was taken. I haven’t got a steal. I lost my iPhones several times due to my forgetful habit, I always got them back.

The income rate:
The salary base is higher than in EU and the Middle East: Base on the recent analysis of Numbeo report in the year 2018. The percentage of employment is higher, and so does income. The cost of living may vary, base on the local product and manufacturing.

Currency Rate:
While many countries face with the US Dollar currency fluctuations, Qatar still remains fixed rate with 3.65 Qatar Riyal to 1 US Dollar.

Gasoline Price:
Due to Qatar posses the third most natural gas resource and the first rank in the refinery in the World. Therefore, the price rate of gasoline is cheaper than the global market.

The city growth rate is significant raises:
Qatar is now constructing infrastructures spreading overall the country. The large metro project-wide, highways spreading to all sub-urban as well as the new HIA airport leads to the expansion of the city rapidly. All infrastructures construction is the core aims to support the upcoming World Cup 2022 that Qatar will host. Hopefully, I will still here to watch the World Cup (crossed fingers).

Now I’m talking about the disadvantages.

Climate:
As we know how cruel and severe of the heat in the Summer. The high temperature hits 50°C during day time causes the dehydration and heat stroke. But no worries, we are still surviving. How? Well, we keep staying and continue our activities indoor, avoiding exposure to the sun. The summer here is from May – October.
You may have another question, what’s about the people who have to work outdoors.
Once the temperature reaches 40°C, the government will announce a notification enforces all people and organisations to follow that working outdoor during daytime is prohibited. They will have to divide into nightshift. So they are working at night. For any necessary or urgent case may request for approval to operate at daytime. Besides the heat, you must also be aware of unpredictable duststorm as well as sandstorm that occur overall the year. Once it comes, it could lift a small tree, or in the worst case that it used to happen, it lifted cars. Yes, you didn’t misread. Anyway, the weather in winter (November – April) is pretty good.

The timing during Ramadan:
Actually, it’s not a disadvantage. I’m telling a story that it’s more difficult for you to find an open restaurant during the daytime. All shops and restaurants are closed and will reopen again after sunset. The working time is 6 hours per day; so if you have something to liaise with the government entities, you must expect the delay. The supermarkets and groceries have a specific opening time that you can buy, but you can’t try or eat all the food (it’s about religious).

Nightlife:
If you are such a nightlife or party person, there are limited places that allow you to drink. Either at your home or in a pub (in a hotel) where has the permit to sell alcohol (you have to finish the drink inside, bringing out from the place are not allowed).

All the above are just what I can recall now. However, it depends on you and your lifestyle that how you can manage and adjust to being flexible, then you can live most of the places in this world. I told you in the previous post that the happiness depends on you.

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Copyright © 2019 All Rights Reserved. All photos on this post were taken by me unless stated otherwise