Crashing in Thailand

When I decided to move to Thailand, learning how to drive a motorbike was my biggest worry. Luckily, it was a piece of cake and it only took me less than a week to feel 100% comfortable driving all around the crazy streets of Surat. As comfortable as I’ve felt these past 6 months driving, I always knew a crash was possible no matter how safe of a driver I was. I always thought my crash would be caused by a crazy tuk tuk zooming past me, or another bike cutting out in front of me, but turns out I would just have a windy road and some gravel to blame.

It was one long month ago that I went flying off my bike but I am finally fully healed. I had 8 painful wounds from head to toe to deal with, but fortunately not literally my head thanks to my helmet! It wasn’t an easy month, especially when teaching a bunch of curious kiddos who always want to touch you, but I survived!

Here are 3 things I learned from my crash:

1. Thai people are very helpful:
3 motorbikes and 2 cars stopped to help me when they saw me on the side of the road. I was in shock so I was trying to lift my bike and get back on it, even though I was barefoot and covered in blood. Somebody called me an ambulance but, once again still in shock, I refused to get in it and told them that I was okay. One man ended up driving me home on the back of his bike, another man drove my bike home, and then another car followed us just to make sure we made it. I don’t know what I would have done without their help!

2. Go to the hospital:
When I first got home, my friends tried to clean me up but it wasn’t very successful. Luckily we remembered that I have insurance that came with the bank card I got for my Super English salary. I’m scared of hospitals but am so happy I went because they did a really thorough job of cleaning all of my wounds and bandaging them up for me. I had to go back every day for about 2 weeks, but luckily my bank card covers up to 5,000 baht so I only went over that a little bit. I ended up saving money by going to the hospital because I didn’t have to buy my own bandages and cream. All of my wounds probably would’ve gotten infected if I hadn’t kept going back to my doctor.

3. You will get better:
crashThere were times after my crash where I felt really frustrated because I couldn’t do anything independently. I had to get rides to school and to get food and missed being able to drive myself around wherever and whenever I wanted. It was also a pain to try and shower without getting all of my bandages wet. Going to the hospital every day knowing how painful it would be to have them scrub at my cuts wasn’t very fun either. It seemed so horrible at the time, but now that I am better I will do everything I can to make sure it never happens again!

 

 

Tom Yam (Spicy soup with chicken or shrimp)

 

This is one heck of a dish! Tom Yam harvests some of the best Thai flavors. In one bowl your mouth manages to conquer serval sensations ranging from sour, sweet, salty and spicy! Rumor has it that this dish was ranked top 10 best foods across the world in 2011! Although it hasn’t surfaced on any recent lists, I can assure you its not an outdated meal!

 

Ingredients

30g shrimp or sliced chicken

½ cup Sliced onions

½ cup Sliced mushrooms

½ cup Sliced tomatos

1-3pcs. Fresh galangal

1-3pcs. Chili pepper

1 tbsp. Lemongrass

1 tbsp. Kaffier lime leaf

1 tbsp. Seasoning powder

1 tbsp. Soy sauce

2 tbsp. Lime juice

¼ cup Water

1 tbsp Thai chili paste

2 tbsp. Coriander

3-4 tbsp Milk (optional)

 

Preparation

  1. Boil water over high heat.
  2. Add lemongrass, galangal, kaffier lime leaf, seasoning powder, soy sauce, chili pepper, Thai chili paste.
  3. Add seafood/chicken and cook until well done.
  4. Add onion, mushrooms and lime juice.
  5. Let cook for roughly 5 minutes. Add tomato, spring onion and coriander.
  6. Add milk if you want a creamier taste or to reduce spice.

Pad see eew gai (stir fry noodles with chicken)

This is a classic go-to dish for most foreigners. It is a perfect combination of delicious, nutritious and it is NOT spicy- at all! I personally love to top my Pad See Eew with tons of chili flakes, but for a person whole loves Thai food, but can’t handle the heat, this is the perfect dish! At most places around Surat this dish ranges from 36-60 baht and tends to be a massive portion!

 Ingredients

30 g Sliced chicken

30g Big noodles

2 tbsp. Cooking oil

½-1 tbsp. Chopped garlic

½ cup kale

1 tbsp. Oyster sauce

1 tbs. Soy sauce

1 tsp. Sugar

1pc Egg.

 

Preparation

  1. Add cooking oil into a pan, add garlic and stir over medium heat.
  2. Add the chicken and cook until well done.
  3. Next, add the egg, noodles and a little water (if needed). Season with oyster sauce, soy sauce, and sugar. Cook for ½-1 minute.
  4. Add kale and cook for additional  two minutes.
  5. Enjoy!

Pad Kaprow Kai ( Spicy chicken with Thai basil)

 

Pad Kaprow Kai is one of my all time favorite dishes here in Thailand! I love it because its cheap and easy to make. Pad Kaprow is delicious when made with both chicken or pork! This dish is the perfect balance of protein and veggies- leaving me full and happy! When I order this meal around town I tend to ask for extra spice and for it to be topped with a fried egg (kai dow)!

Ingredients

30 g Sliced chicken

2 tbsp. Cooking oil

¼ cup sliced green onions

½ tbsp. Chopped garlic

5 pcs Sliced red chili (optional)

¼ Thai basil

1-2 tbsp. Oyster sauce

1 tsp. Sugar

1 tbs. Soy sauce

Preparation

  1. Grind the chili, and garlic.
  2. Heat the oil over medium heat and add grinded ingredients to the pan. After a few moments add the chicken and stir.
  3. Add a little water if needed.
  4. Once chicken is thoroughly cooked then add seasonings! Stir for ½ a minute before adding onion, peppers, and Thai basil!
  5. Serve over steamed rice! Enjoy!

Pictionary

game2This semester, I’ve been in charge of running Art Club every Monday. It’s a nice way to mix up a normal day and it gives the students a chance to let their creativity flow. Every Monday morning when I walk into class, my kids shout, “TEACHER ART CLUB TODAY!!!” because they’re so excited. So far we’ve made handprint turkeys for Thanksgiving, decorated cards for Christmas, and even created some funky looking monsters! I decided to teach my kids how to play Pictionary to switch things up this week. Each student came up with a word such as “Yoda,” “Basketball,” and “Zombie,” wrote it on a piece of paper, folded it up, and put it in my bag. I then split the class up into game4two teams and one student from each team would take turns coming up to the board and picking a word to draw. The two students drawing were the only ones who could see the word, and the rest had to try to guess what they were trying to draw. Some of the guesses they were shouting were hilarious, such as “BROCCOLI” when it was supposed to be a tree or “CAT” when it was supposed to be Darth Vader. The students had a blast trying to get their friends to guess correctly, while I had a blast listening to their strange guesses.

game1Here is Whale shouting, “CAT!” when the answer is actually “Darth Vader”

Using the ‘Let’s Go’ Flashcards

One new idea I’ve been implementing during my English periods have been different activities with the card-sized flashcards that come with the Let’s Go sets.  Each of the vocabulary words/phrases comes in a small sized flashcard and usually there are three different sets for each unit.  Typically, they come in a set of eight and two sets of six.

To wrap up our Unit 7 activities, my class played a 1-Line Bingo game.  I made an A4 copy of each of the flashcards, so eight were on one page.  Then I cut out each individual one so each pair in class would have a set.  I had the students line them up in a row on their desks, working from the outside in.  I would ask a key question, i.e. “Where’e he/she going to go?”  The students had to pick the card either on the outside left or right of their row and yell the answer back to me.  If I selected their answer, they turned that card over and the game continued.  Ultimately, the pair that turns their cards over the fastest was the winner.  Of course, watch out for cheating, as they kids were to not flip over a card if it was on the inner side of their row.  My class had a tough time avoiding that temptation.

The second game we played today was a Class Mash type of game.  Again, I gave each of the pairs a set of the new vocabulary words (a stomachache, a fever, a cough, etc.).  They then divided those cards in half.  Our key question for this activity was “What’s wrong?”  I had the kids walk around the room and rock, scissors, paper.  The loser had to ask the winner the key question.  The winner then tried to guess one of the loser’s cards with the key sentence, “I have a(n) ________.”  If the loser had that card, that student gave the winner it.  If not, they went on their way asking new students.  I let the kids play for about ten minutes and the top two students had seventeen and fourteen cards, respectfully!

I hoped in the game as well and it was a great chance to check their pronunciation, especially dealing with the troublesome ‘ache’ endings sounding like ‘ake.’  It also allowed me to keep an eye on some of the rowdier students as well!  Definitely looking forward to cooking up more activities like this next year!

 

Vegetarian Meal of the Month

mangoThis month’s featured veggie meal is my best find in Surat so far: the “Spicy Mango Salad on Fried Tofu” from Good Health. This wonderful dish is exactly what its name suggests… chopped up green mango mixed with cashews and served on a bed of fried tofu. I ordered it my first time at Good Health for dinner, and I order it again every time I go back. I wasn’t a big tofu fan before I moved to Thailand, but now I’ve fallen in love and there’s no going back. I normally order this meal with less spice by saying “pet nit noi” because I couldn’t handle the full spiciness the first time I ordered it. This delicious meal is definitely worth the 80 baht! You’re welcome :)