(‘Well, it’s starting to look like it wasn’t just a nasty rumour after all – according to reports pop star Lydia really is former prime minister Thaksin’s ‘kik’ after all”)
Geez almighty, as a foreigner in Thailand, just how many times have you heard the locals talking about their so-called ‘kiks’? Things you can have, regardless to whether or not you are already in a proper relationship. Ask a few Thai buddies about the actual meaning of this new trendy word and you are more than likely to listen to two completely different meanings. Well, that’s simply because there is no established definition of the thing.
For many, ‘their’ definition of ‘kik’ (pronounced ‘gik’) is simply someone who is ‘more than a friend’, a person you can go alone to have a nice meal with, watch a movie with or gossip whole-heartedly about your lover with. For Westerners this person is nothing more than a good pal, something that is generally socially accepted. Culturally however, since ‘friends’ of the opposite sex do not do such things together with in Thailand (at least not alone) the urbanites have invented, only very recently, their own word for it. And I use the word urbanites, as folk in rural villages, couldn’t get away with having a ‘kik’, for as you will know what is your business is also that of the whole village’s. Believe it or not, but historically, a present day ‘kik’, in this sense of the matter, would be the equivalent of the person you were planning on marrying – you could call it a fianc้e.
For others though, it is nothing of the kind, a ‘kik’ is someone you are having a casual fling with – a once a fortnight naughty scenario at some flimsy short-time motel. Differing in meaning to the word ‘choo’ (someone you are having an affair with) as a ‘kik’ is not to be taken seriously, and of course it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are cheating someone. But like a ‘choo’ it is free, and doesn’t cost 10,000 baht a month, unlike a ‘mia noi’ (mistress) or even a ‘pua noi’ (male equivalent of a mistress).
So, there you have it – there are chances you have a ‘kik’ or two of your own (hopefully in regards to the first meaning!) and you didn’t even know it!
Fried Fish in Chili Paste
My favourite dish on the Friday Lunch Menu today is this one, the “pla tod rad prik gaeng”. Basically fish fried in chili paste. Very simple but also very tasty. The chili paste includes shallots, garlic, lemon grass, minced galangal, shrimp paste and red curry paste. This was only 20 baht. Really a side dish though.
Bamboo Shoot boiled with pork bones
I guess this is then the main dish. I like bamboo shoots with red curry. However, this dish was very bland and unexciting. There was a lot of this left over so we only bought it for you to see. Luckily we had a couple of repeat dishes of stir-fried vegetables and pork and an omelette which interestingly had a little bit of coconut milk. The bamboo shoot dish was 30 baht.
Rice Noodles in Coconut Milk Sauce
Despite the colour, this dish was actually interesting. It is called “mee kati” which literally means “coconut noodles”. This was a vegetarian version that had bean curd, egg and bean sprouts. But you can also have chicken or pork. Everything is basically cooked in coconut milk. This includes shallots, fermented soybeans, sugar, tamarind juice, bean curd and dried chilies. Half of this is then removed and the thin rice noodles is cooked in the remainder. The leftover sauce is then used as a dip. I did enjoy this but I think it would have been better if it wasn’t so pink. This was only 20 baht.
Glossy Sticky Rice
You cannot really go wrong with any Thai dessert that uses sticky rice. The green colour comes from our old friend the pandanus leaves. This is mixed together with sugar and coconut cream. Then it is boiled until it becomes a thick mixture. The sticky rice is then mixed in. Very tasty and only 2 baht each.
Duck Red Curry (kaeng pet bpet)
One of my favourite Thai dishes is the red curry with duck. It is also sometimes served with pineapple. This dish is quit expensive in the restaurants. This is a street food version which we bought for 25 baht. It tastes good, but as far as meat goes, you get what you pay for! I usually add my own meat to help it go further. The red curry is often served with cherry tomatoes and also eggplants. These are like oversized peas and are rather hard.
Khee Lek Curry
This is a strange curry dish. I have had eaten it on several occasions but I will never buy for myself. The main ingredient are the leaves of the “khee lek” tree. As you can see, it has been liquidized in a food blender! Other than that, it has red curry paste, coconut milk and is seasoned with fish sauce and palm sugar. It was supposed to have beef as well. But, basically, what you can see at the top of this dish is all we got! Again, what do you expect for 25 baht. Actually, we were the winner of a lucky dip. I found a shrimp in this dish too! Not sure where that came from unless there were two versions. A warning to people who might be vegetarians. I have actually seen food vendors pick out the meat from a cooked dish to serve to a vegetarian customer!
Stir-fried Cauliflower with Shrimp
You cannot really go wrong with a stir-fried vegetable dish. I always order at least one for all meals. This one is basically cauliflower and shrimp. I usually season my stir-fried vegetable dishes with oyster sauce. But this one had fish sauce instead. As Thai people are sweet toothed, they always add some sugar to most dishes. This was 25 baht.
Mung Beans in sugar Syrup
I am not really that keen on any beans – in particular mung beans. But, I guess you can make anything delicious if you add a sugar syrup to it! A few spoonfuls was enough for me. If you want to cook yourself, just soak the mung beans in water overnight and then cook on a medium heat until tender. Then just add lots of sugar! This was only 8 baht.
Sorry for the lack of blogs recently from myself. We have been very busy moving and upgrading websites and servers. I haven’t done any travel blogs for a while as I have been working hard every weekend. Hopefully I will be back blogging again next month.
Mike Myer’s new movie The Love Guru is set to hit theater this weekend in the U.S. We are being inundated by the ads, snippets, and preview of the movie.
On the radio this morning, I caught a bit of the ad.
Vern Troyer’s character: “What’s the capital of Thailand?”
The Love Guru: “Bangkok?”
The Love Guru: “Ooooooohhhhhhh!”
The last time I heard this one was in college. But with this movie coming out right now–and the fact that it’ll probably do bangin’ business this weekend too (no pun intended…okay, a little bit)–this is going to haunt all of us Thais in the U.S. for a while.
Noodles on the Boat
Boat Noodles is probably one of the most famous noodle dishes. Despite its name, it is not always served on the canals, however you will often see that land based noodle stores still have a boat on display. This dish can be either pork or beef. The most popular noodle is probably sen lek. This version you see here has beef with morning glory. There are no noodles which are optional. The soup can vary quite a bit though it is never that simple like other noodle soups as it has spices. Another notable ingredient is quite often pigs blood. The dish is often served in small bowls for less than 20 baht.
Tom Yum Fried Rice
This next dish is a bit of a strange hybrid. It is cross-between fried rice and the popular tum yum soup. Though this version doesn’t have the soup. The basic ingredients are all the same. Like lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, red shallots, straw mushrooms and even my favourite, chili jam (nam prik pao). Unlike normal tom yum, all the ingredients are chopped up fine so that you eat all. It was good but I felt it was a little dry. My other favourite tom yum hybrid is egg noodle tom yum. This fried rice with seafood was 25 baht.
Stir-fried Prawns and Sponge Gourd
This is a simple side dish which is easy to make. You need to peel and wash the gourd and then cut up into bite size pieces. Fry some garlic in a wok and when it is golden brown add the gourd. Season with fish sauce, soy sauce, oyster sauce and stock. Add the shrimp and keep stirring. This was only 25 baht.
Black Beans and Tapioca Balls
Our dessert today was “tua dum saku biak” or Black Beans and Tapioca Balls. As in many Thai desserts, it had thick coconut milk and plenty of sugar. I am afraid I wasn’t too keen on this dessert. But, at least I tried. This was only 10 baht. The next time you are walking the streets in Thailand don’t be shy to try something new. Thai street food is not that expensive and is worth experimenting.