Sunday, 27 January 2013

Sunday morning

So today is Sunday, and today is family day.  Looking forward to all my chickens coming home to roost, if only just for the day.

Over the last couple of weeks I have entered into many debates about what one should be doing on a Sunday.  As it is in life one has one's own opinion of what is right and what is wrong, especially when it comes to going to church.  This one is very clear in my mind and in my personal opinion.  I often wonder why people go to church, and why they choose to sit in a man made building, listening to one man's opinion of the bible passage he has just read to the congregation.  And may I add, a man written bible.  When I wake up on a Sunday morning, which is the day before all the stresses and strains of a working week brings, the first thing I want to do is go outside, smell the fresh air, look around at what nature has to offer and then share all of this with my loved one's, friends and family, oh and did I mention, all of these things God's offerings to me?????  I also, often spend time playing the sport I love, bowls.  The beauty of one's surroundings on the bowling green, also once again, birds singing, the chatter of friendship and seeing my family come to support me, mmmmmmm and who supplied me with all of that???

So now the decision this Sunday morning???  The wind is blowing a bit, the birds are in the bird bath splashing and singing, the sun is shining brightly above me and my children will be with me shortly.  Do I want to go and sit in a building listening to a monotone voice droning out what you should be doing and how you should be living your life....... I think not...... I want to live my life in the God-given world according to the commandments He has given us..... I want to celebrate the life He has given me and in this way spread the joy of living, with a smile, hugs and kisses in the church God supplied us....... nature!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, 25 January 2013

123 days to go.............

And so on to the next leg of our Journey - Bangkok

 Just under 14 degrees north of the Equator, Bangkok is a tropical metropolis that is also one of the most traveller-friendly cities in Asia. A furious assault on the senses, visitors are immediately confronted by the heat, the pollution and the irrepressible smile that accompanies many Thais. Despite the sensationalised international news reports and first impressions, the city is surprisingly safe (except from some petty crimes) and more organised than it initially appears, and full of hidden gems waiting to be discovered. The high relative humidity and warm temperature favour the growth of tropical plants — you'll find exotic orchids and delicious fruit everywhere. Bougainvillea and frangipani bloom practically all over the city. Thai cuisine is justifiably famous, varied, and affordable. Bangkok for many represents the quintessential Asian capital. Saffron-robed monks, garish neon signs, graceful Thai architecture, spicy dishes, colourful markets, traffic jams and the tropical climate come together in a happy coincidence. It is difficult to leave with lukewarm impressions of the city.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

A little late....

So I almost didn't make the countdown for day 126.  Been on the go and working so hard this evening that I nearly slipped up.  But not to be, here I am, ready for my next little story.

Yesterday I reported we would be flying Emirates Airlines.  Emirates will take us from Cape Town to Dubai for a layover of a couple of hours.  I was thinking to myself, what would we be doing while we are there so decided to Google the airport in Dubai..... I was a kinda blown away by what I saw -

I don't think I need to say anymore tonight, wow, I can do a couple of hours in this place......

Monday, 21 January 2013

Flying Emirates

127 days to go.... then we will be stepping on the plane heading for Dubai.... pitstop....

So this will be the first time we are flying Emirates  

Did you know - Emirates flies to more than 120 destinations over six continents.

Emirates Airlines is owned solely by the Dubai government. The airline deliberately developed in stature and scale by competing successfully against its aviation counterparts. Dubai has an open sky policy and the numbers of global carriers who are taking advantage of this policy are steadily increasing. Emirates Airlines consider this policy to be an essential ingredient in maintaining their competitiveness and their identity. 

So what can we expect on board - 

Enjoy award-winning meals created by internationally renowned chefs. Whether it's lunch or dinner, our meals include a number of courses that are designed to stimulate and satisfy your appetite. Choose from regionally inspired dishes with locally sourced ingredients, like Lamb Brochette with Arabic Spices or Grilled Chicken Breast with Caramelised Plums. You can also relax with a complete range of complimentary drinks in-flight, including wines and cocktails. 

Enjoy up to 1,400 channels of programming plus SMS, telephone and email. We designed our cabins in our Economy Class to create more space and comfort. Personal seat back monitors provide up to 1,400 channels of news and entertainment. And to ensure that you're able to stay in touch while in transit, we offer SMS, telephone and email service at every seat.

Looks like our holiday is going to start off very well. These facts were taken from the official website: 

Sunday, 20 January 2013

128 Days.....

The formal presentation of food is another important aspect of Thai culture. Developed primarily in the palace to please the King of Siam, Thai food presentation is among the most exquisite in the world. Serving platters are decorated with all variety of carved vegetables and fruits into flowers and other pieces of beauty (see my Thai chili flower pictured above). Palace-style stir-fries include elegantly carved vegetables within the dish itself. For such artwork, Thai chefs use a simple paring knife and ice water (the ice water prevents discoloration of the vegetables as they cut them).

Most people outside of Thailand only know a few Thai dishes, usually the ones available back at home like pad Thai, spring rolls and a few curry dishes. Visitors here are often surprised to learn that Thai cuisine is much more complex and varied than what you’ll find in the typical Thai restaurant abroad. Here are five delicious Thai dishes you might not have heard of but should try if you get the chance.

1. Khao Soi

This popular northern Thai dish is a thin, coconut milk-based curry soup served with wide wheat noodles, meat and a sprinkling of fried noodles on top. The curry is more fragrant than spicy and is typically made with star anise, cinnamon and cardamom. Khao Soi is found all over the Chiang Mai area but is tougher to find in other parts of the country.

3. Thai Sausage
2. Roti

These thin, layered pancakes most likely originated in India but have become a staple food in southern Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. Roti can be served to accompany a savory curry dish, stuffed with meat and rice, or filled with fruit or other sweet stuff for dessert. A favorite street snack all over Thailand is roti covered in sweetened condensed milk.

There are two popular types of Thai sausage, Isan sausage made with fermented pork and rice, and northern Thai sausage flavored with Thai herbs and spices such as lemon grass, Kaffir lime and cilantro. The idea of fermented pork may be off-putting to some, but don't let it dissuade you from giving Isan sausage a taste. The flavors are subtle and very satisfying.

4. Khao Yum

Khao Yum is a fresh rice salad from southern Thailand flavored with toasted coconut, fragrant herbs and fish paste. It’s typically served unmixed, with the herbs, vegetables and fish surrounding the rice. There isn’t a healthier or more interestingly flavored dish in Thailand!

5. Nam Prik

Nam Prik is the generic name for a dozen or so different dips served with crackers or cut vegetables. The exact translation is “chili water” but though some nam priks resemble spicy curries in texture and flavor, others are milder fish or shrimp-based dips and are served warm with rice crackers.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

129 days.....

Next stop on our journey is Amari Palm Reef Resort Koh Samui.

Here we will spend 4 nights.  This resort is located on the quiet northern end of Chaweng Beach.  This resort has a casual Italian dining concept. Specializing in pizza & pasta, the restaurant has an open kitchen, enabling guests to not only taste the delicious cuisine but watch and smell it cooking as well. 

This is very interesting from my side as one would expect a more exotic cuisine in Thailand.  Reading about the cuisine this is what I have come up with - 

In Thailand, there is no such thing as a starter; neither is there any dish that belongs only to one person. As a general rule, Thai diners order the same number of dishes as people present; however, all dishes are shared and enjoyed together. For this reason, it is better to have many guests at the table rather than just one or two. In fact, many Thais believe that eating alone is bad luck.

A typical Thai meal includes four main seasonings: salty, sweet, sour, and spicy. Indeed, most Thai dishes are not considered satisfying unless they combine all four tastes. When eating out, a group of Thai diners would order a variety of meat and/or fish dishes, plus vegetables, a noodle dish, and possibly also soup. Dessert may consist simply of fresh fruit, such as pineapple, or something more exotic, such as colourful rice cakes, depending on the region.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Let the countdown begin..

130 days to go till we leave for Thailand.  It seems such a long way away but I guess in a blink of an eye the 28th May will be upon us and we will depart on an 18 day holiday.  Thanks to my very resourceful daughter we have an awesome itinerary.  Phuket, Bangkok and then on to Dubai for a couple of days.

First stop is Phuket and Seaview Patong hotel:

For us this will be a totally new experience.  The first time we will be out of our little comfort zone and trying new and exotic foods and cultures.  We have listened to loads of friends and acquaintances tell their stories about holidaying in Thailand.  This has made us more confident that our holiday destination for our 30th Anniversary was a great choice.

So, my countdown to our holiday will begin today with interesting facts and findings about our holiday destination.

Made up of 33 islands, Phuket covers an area of 570 square kilometers (354 square miles) and has a population of about 322,000 residents. 

 Phuket Island, the largest, is linked to the mainland by a bridge. 

The country's main source of income is tourism, though agriculture also plays a key role. 

The island is divided into three districts: Talang in the north, Kathu in the west, and Muang in the south. 

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Today is my birthday....

Today is my 49th birthday.  This is my year - 2013 is the year I stand up and take control of my life again.  New contracts to earn a salary, new look for my outer peace and new outlook for my inner peace.

                                      Sporting my new look at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.

                                          UHM, ok no, those are my toes!!!!!!!!!!!!!