Daily Archives: September 29, 2005

Thailand Life

In mid 2005, I began my life as a blogger. To date, after some numerous postings online at Thai-Blogs and my own personal blog, I am still contemplating what it means exactly to be a blogger. Of course, I am still selective in what I write online and there is still the fine thin line that separates reality and the world of blogsphere.

My favourite inspiration for blogging has been Panrit “Gor” Daoruang’s of Thailand Life. For me, it is still hard to call Gor as Panrit, as I have always remembered him as Nattawud. His website used to generate more than 3,500 visitors daily and for almost a year, he was a columnist (Gor’s World) for Bangkok Post.

Thailand Life began in 1997 when Gor was only 12 years old. Then, he was a student at Sriwittaya Paknam, one of the most prestigious schools in Samut Prakan, which is about 30km from Krungthep. Today, seven years later, he seldom updates his website. Sigh……..

Gor may not the best English blogger online, but each of his posting tells a wonderful story of what it means to be a Thai living in a suburb of Bangkok. It can be simple everyday stories such as what he has in his pocket, or his challenges in life, such as his drug addiction or even his life as a butterfly boy. Of course, all this is told with lots of emotions, and at times with brutal honesty.

Of course, if you are a drug-addict, you would not tell the world, but Gor did exactly that. I salute him for his braveness! Thankfully, Gor had one of the best teachers, Acharn Richard of Sriwittaya Paknam. Somehow, Acharn Richard is also an inspiration for me to start blogging, especially at this community website.

Then, Gor was lucky. With Acharn Richard, he was able to finally stopped his drug habit and return to normalcy. But, Gor’s life is not at all about being plain or normal. Would you believe it, he is at least a decade younger than me, but he has more experience than I can ever have in my whole lifetime?

I was happy when Gor wrote about his girlfriends from school. It was so lovey-dovey when teenagers fall in love. Geez, I would have like that for myself, but coming from a very strict Chinese family, it was impossible.

Without doubt, Gor’s life makes an interesting blog — and he indeed has an extra-ordinary life to write about. I recalled reading his blog on how he slipped into his girlfriend Tai’s house at night. All that night-time adventures make juicy blog postings, but I was totally shocked when his girlfriend, Tai got pregnant. That truth was a little hard to swallow.

Imagine being a father only in your teens? That sounds almost nightmarish. Being Buddhists, abortion is totally out of the question, as it meant taking the life of an innocent person.

Eventually Gor and Tai got married in November 2003 when both were in their teens. And later he did blogged about his challenges of falling in love with Tai, and how Grace (the baby) came to the world…. It was simply euphoric….. Grace is now growing up to be a very cute girl!

Gor’s blog made a very strong impact in my life. Every time, I am in Bangkok, I would think of making the trip to Samut Prakan. It is not that far away from Bangkok, but the traffic jam along the Sukhumwit-Bangna Highway can be really bad and it may take hours just to reach Paknam.

Yet, earlier this year, I did make the trip to Samut Prakan. I visited Gor’s most photographed theme park, Muang Boran or Ancient City. Without doubt, it was the most beautiful park I have seen in my whole life.

I was there almost the whole day, admiring the beauty of Thai architecture, and the various architecture differences of Thailand. It was like a Mini Malaysia, but it was really huge, you need to cycle to get from one place to another.

Besides Muang Boran, I also visited the Phra Erawan Shrine near Paknam, but it was already too late to enter. All did was to offer my prayers to Phra Erawan, and perhaps in my next trip to Bangkok, I would perhaps visit Samut Prakan once more.

It has been a long time since Gor updated his happenings in his life. I wonder what’s new with him? I hope and pray that Gor is doing well in his life. Maybe, my next trip to Samut Prakan would be a chat over drinks with Gor, and perhaps even with Acharn Richard.

Sticky Rice with Bananas

Khao tom mud

The other day, when I was with Steve and Jit, I watched some villagers making a large batch of khao tom mat ( ข้าวต้มมัด ).  This is basically sticky rice, bananas and black beans wrapped in banana leaves. This is then steamed though it could also be grilled. You may remember me talking about khanom thian before which is quite similar. Though that one uses sticky rice flour instead.

Cooked in a steamer

To make khao tom mat you first dissolve some sugar and salt in a pan of coconut milk. You then add the sticky rice and stir slowly over a low heat until the liquid has dissolved. Next you need to tear up some banana leaves into lengths of about 8 inches long. Spread some of the sticky rice mixture in the middle and then place a halved banana on top. Complete the sandwich with another layer of sticky rice and press in a few black beans. Tie up the banana leaves with a long strip of bamboo. You then place it in a steamer, like the one above, and steam for about an hour or so. The results will look like below. Delicious.

Khao tom mat