Magnums, Purple People & Sweat Towels.

20 Apr

“The happiest of people don’t have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything” – Unknown

Post Songkran and the Purple People

Although we had a great time drenching ourselves (and others) during Songkran – I was quite happy to see the celebrations come to an end. From Thursday until Tuesday, the majority of the (limited) street food vendors and restaurants were closed in our area – which resulted in two grumpy individuals who wanted nothing more than to enjoy a steak on the braai, a Webered chicken, creamy potato bake and some fresh veggies.

There are only two (controllable) situations I am placed where I struggle to maintain my sense of humour… When I’m hungry and when I’m tired. Combining the two has never been too pleasant for the company I am surrounded, but being hungry myself and having a starving boyfriend, did not lead to the happiest of looking couples. When we first moved in, we were introduced to this street food vendor which earned the nickname “The Purple People”. The waitresses all wear purple aprons and because the vendors generally have no formal name (well, at least not in English), naming them ourselves has been the way to go! Anyway, the Purple People make the most divine “Western meals” – you can order a chicken breast with fries, salad, pork chop or chicken nuggets for the equivalent of R15! But, sadly, not paying rent or being bound to any formal lease agreement means that the street vendors come and go as they please… Our favourite little dinner spot has been MIA for the last 2 weeks! Nonetheless, we still walk down every evening to check if they are back in action. So, lets hold thumbs…

The Magnum Cafe

For my friends and family, it is no secret that I have a raging sweet tooth. I’m not really a sweets or chips-kinda-girl, but chocolate… Oh wow. Until the end of May (apparently and sadly) a Magnum pop up store has been set up on the ground floor of the Siam Shopping Center. This delicious outing included some great fun, excitement and a taste bud frenzy! In my marketing course last year, we discussed pop up stores at length, but never before had I actually witnessed or experienced such creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. Once you arrive at the store, you are welcomed with a list of options – starting with your choice between milk or dark chocolate, then you choose 3 toppings from a list of 30 and finally the type of chocolate you would like to drizzle over your concoction. The toppings ranged from corn flakes, to red velvet, to chocolate brownie to sea salt and caused a vast amount of confusion amongst our indecisive counter parts (Kyle)…

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The store was immaculately decorated, with each and every piece of furniture, music and decor having been clearly thought of so as to enhance your Magnum experience! I’m actually not sure what I was more impressed by – the Magnum itself, or the marketing team who developed the concept? If you are heading to Bangkok anytime soon (diet or no diet), you MUST go and have a look at this prime piece of creativity and experience a piece of taste bud heaven! :)


Same Same, but Different

A widely used saying in Thailand is “Same same but different”. The phrase can be seen printed on numerous t-shirts and is a quick response to bargaining tourists who are trying to windle their way to lower prices – “Same Same!” Although I do believe that a vast amount of similarities exist across nations, there are a few things I have noticed in Thailand which I just did not think I would ever come across. For starters, we noticed that many of the Thai men have long baby finger nails. At first we thought maybe it had some religious or spiritual meaning, until we asked someone who has been living here for 5 years… He informed us that it was in actual fact a nose picking aid. Need I say more?

A second phenomena which I have not quite grasped, is the notion of utilizing a communal sweat towel at gym. We have a really nice, really basic gym in our apartment block but one thing I cannot fathom is how fitness enthusiasts share two towels which are neatly folded at the entrance to the gym. Now, you must understand, the heat in Bangkok is sweltering and often the aircon is switched off. Such a combination leads to intense sweat workouts – so sharing a sweat towel is just another thing I just have not quite gotten used to!

We start training in just over a week and I am really excited to get into a routine, start learning and finally get a pay check! We are still sleeping in our camping sheets which we brought over for traveling, as linen is a luxury we have not yet been able to afford! Having so much time and very little money to do fun things has been quite a challenge as neither of us are the type of person to sit indoors all day. But, we have tried to make it work as best we can. Getting out and doing something fun every now and then has been great and we just have to remember that, soon, we will have money to go out and enjoy ourselves, go shopping and buy a bottle of wine! :)

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In the past week, we have met up with two stunning South African couples which has really made us feel SO much better! Hearing from other people about their experiences, traveling and budgeting together has been both comforting and hilarious at times! When you are at home, in your comfort zone, you tend to take for granted the friends, family and company you are surrounded by. When you move to a new country, you realise that if you are going to make things work, you have to go out, meet new people and make new friends. The best advice I can give to anyone leaving home on a new adventure is to accept offers to go out and meet new people whenever you can – it is through others that you learn about places to see, things to do – what you should definitely do and what you should definitely avoid. The one thing we have learnt and gathered from others who are in the same/similar situation to ours, is that things do work out! Most of the time, you have to hit rock bottom, contemplate packing your bags to go home and shed a few tears in the shower before (and almost suddenly), things fall into place…

Happy weekend to you all! :)

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6 Responses to “Magnums, Purple People & Sweat Towels.”

  1. Anonymous April 21, 2013 at 1:22 pm #

    Kate, always an interesting and well written read. Keep it up and all the best for your training! Very exciting :)

    • Alexander McClarty April 21, 2013 at 1:23 pm #

      Sorry didn’t know I needed to ID myself :)

      • katekingsley89 April 21, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

        Thanks so much Alex! :) Hope you are well and not missing the travels too much! x

  2. Penny April 22, 2013 at 9:46 pm #

    Way to go Kate, enjoy all that is Thai and more. Good luck with the training. Don’t you just love the ellies in the city and loo rolls on tables at street cafes?

    • katekingsley89 April 23, 2013 at 10:09 am #

      Hi Penny. I love the loo rolls! After 2 and a half months here – I still find them so amusing!!:) Thank you for the comment and for reading my blog! :)

  3. plhuyoung April 24, 2013 at 12:31 am #

    Hi Kate! Have enjoyed reading your blog :) Congrats on starting a job soon and having some income! And communal sweat towel? I know the gym at my college had a communal “wipe the sweat off your machines” towel for every few machines, but is this like a towel everyone wipes the sweat off their bodies with? That’s…interesting.

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