RoW: Links for 11th September, 2019

  1. “Bangkok has 9.7 million automobiles and motorbikes, a number the government says is eight times more than can be properly accommodated on existing roads”
    ..
    ..
    As an Indian, this is a somewhat reassuring read, in the sense that misery loves company!
    ..
    ..
  2. A little vague, but I got to learn what sanuk means.
    ..
    ..
  3. “The rapid expansion of the middle class among India’s 1.3 billion people has prompted Thai authorities to upgrade their estimates of Indian visitors. At least 10 million are now expected to arrive in 2028, a more than five-fold increase on 2018 visits. That sort of growth trajectory would mimic the rise of Chinese tourists, who jumped from 800,000 in 2008 to more than 10 million last year.”
    ..
    ..
    I can account for three out of those 2 million.
    ..
    ..
  4. “Obesity has reached alarming levels in Thailand, which ranks as the second-heaviest nation in Asia, after Malaysia. One in three Thai men are obese, while more than 40 percent of women are significantly overweight, according to Thailand’s national health examination survey.”
    ..
    ..
    This was, to me, rather surprising.
    ..
    ..
  5. “A couple of generations ago, Thais were rural folk who ate at home and took pride in offering food to the monks, but as they have moved to the cities they are likely to grab a polythene bag of curry on the way home to reheat. There is almost a stigma attached to cooking for yourself. “There is an embarrassment about spending time in the kitchen, it is seen as old-fashioned and a sign that you haven’t made it.”
    ..
    ..
    On why Thai street food in Bangkok is so delicious. The article is about much more than that, but this was my main takeaway.
Advertisements

ROW: Links for 7th August, 2019

We’re off to Thailand this year for our holiday (can’t hardly wait!), and am therefore reading up a fair bit about that country. And that’s why today’s links are about Thailand! Thai culture, today – and for me, that mostly means my particular interest area: food.

  1. “For weeks leading up to the coronation, officials collected water from more than 100 sources across the country between 11:52 and 12:38 – deemed an auspicious time in Thai astrology.”
    ..
    ..
    Thailand has a new king, and his coronation took place recently. That much I knew – but the ceremony itself had some interesting details.
    ..
    ..
  2. “The forty-seven stanzas of the poem are divided into three sections: savory dishes (khrueang kao), fruit (phonlamai), and sweets (khrueang wan). It provides reference to fourteen types of savory dishes, fourteen kinds of fruits, and sixteen kinds of sweets. Moreover, despite its theme of love and longing of a man for a woman, in the genre of a poetic boat song (kap heruea) used for pacing oarsmen in the procession of royal barges, the detailed description of food provides not only their name, but also the ingredients as well as the cooking techniques. Reading the poem today, its vivid description appears still very relevant to the repertoire of dishes in Thai cuisine.”
    ..
    ..
    A very (very!) long read on the origins of Thai cuisine, with digressions into trade, war, geopolitics, literature and etymology. There’s a Thai love poem that has not just 47 different dishes, for example, but also their recipes. Bookmark and savor at leisure.
    ..
    ..
  3. Just the Goodreads page on the best book that I have read (so far) about Thai food.”
    ..
    ..
  4. “Thoresen Thai’s CEO Chalermchai Mahagitsiri said that Taco Bell Thailand should do well in the territory as “the strong flavours meet the palate of Asian people.”
    ..
    ..
    Taco Bell itself might not be the best ambassador, but Mexican food being paired with Thai food is… interesting.
    ..
    ..
  5. The 36 hours in… series has always proven its worth, and hopefully Bangkok will be no exception!