Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Unlike the United States, Thailand does not separate religion from any thing, it sneaks into business life quite often. For example, when we first started building the plant one year ago, they had a Stone Laying ceremony. Another ceremony that most business in Thailand have is the Spirit House ceremony.
For those of you that don't know, almost every building in Thailand, from large hotels to a small homes have a spirit house .This is where is where the spirits of the building live and offerings of food, flowers and incense are made to appease the spirits and to bring favor to the home or business. They are highly respected and most employees wai to them as they walk by.
When our plant's spirit house was assembled, there was a big ceremony associated with it. All the employees went outside and listened or prayed with a monk, then about 16 people lifted the main house part on top of the pedestal. Most of the people were managers, but I happened to get selected because I was close by, and because I am known world wide for my feats of strength. So I helped lift the house! Yay! And during the lifting and moving process I almost fell into a drainage ditch. Which could have been rather embarrassing and probably bad luck. Luckily I looked where I was walking and was able to avoid the fall.
Fast forward to February. The next ceremony we had was our Grand Opening. This is when all the "Big Bosses" fly to Thailand and meet local influential Thai people, like the Governor, customs officers, lawyers, police officials, US embassy people, well, you get the idea. For this ceremony there were also dancers and baby elephants. Oh, and MCing the whole thing was a famous news anchor lady. There were a lot of speeches, some dancing, watching elephants and more speeches.
After the speeches and dancing were all done, I had to be part of a mini plant tour. We each stood by a window that looked into our manufacturing bay and briefly explained our process and how awesome we are. If you know me very well, you know that I am quite shy around people I don't know. (but once I know you, I don't shut up) So it was stressful for me to talk to all these big wigs, no one laughed at me and said "you suck!" so I'll take that as a victory!
Thursday, March 17, 2011
In January I joined a craft-a-long on a website called Iron Craft. Each week we are given a new secret ingredient and we have a week to create something using that ingredient. This was the first week that I actually had enough time and materials to create something.
In honor of St. Patrick's Day, this week's secret ingredient was the color green. After pondering this for a few minutes, I decided that this was the perfect opportunity to spin up some fiber I've had in my stash for a while and create some thing useful- a Thai sized beer bottle cozy.
|Wool roving I bought eons ago|
|Singles on a bobbin|
|Finished 3 ply yarn (Navajo plyed)|
|Finished cozy on a GIANT BOTTLE OF BEER!|
Sunday, March 13, 2011
While we chose to travel to Singapore because of their beer selection, we were able to drag ourselves away from our riverside table at Brewerkz in order to see some of Singapore's great sights and eat some amazing food.
|Fort Canning Park|
|What are those called again... Oh yeah, hills.|
|Former police station turned Ministry of Art and Communications|
|Very convincing "Keep Out" signs|
Our next stop was to Singapore's Chinatown. There we wandered through a market that sold everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to women's clothing.
|Entrance/Exit for the MRT subway in Chinatown|
|mmmm... fresh fruit|
|Waiting to exit the loading area|
|A unique view of Singapore|
|Shipping containers galore!|
|Monks in their beautiful orange robes fit right in this garden|
|Merlion- half lion, half mermaid|
|Luckily they don't smell like durian|
|Double helix bridge leading to the Marina Sands|
Da Dong Restaurant in Chinatown. This was the first time that Eric and I had tried dim sum. It was always something that I've wanted to try, but for some reason never had. I think I am hooked now- I mean steamed buns filled with meat, what could be any better??
|Sooo much dim sum...|
Glutton's Bay near the Esplanade. This is a collection of great hawker street food vendors, and we had a hard time choosing our dinner. In the end we decided on the satay and the roti john. Washed down with an ice cold Tiger beer of course.
|Satay and beer- they were meant for each other.|
|Messy but delicious.|
I think the weirdest place that we found though was at Clarke Quay. Located across the river from our hotel was an entertainment area filled with interesting bars and restaurants.
|When the outside looks like this, I can't resist checking it out|
Inside this entertainment area, we found a bar called "The Clinic". The first time we walked by the bar, we had to stop and do a double take. We then shook our heads and kept walking down the sidewalk. About 15 minutes later, our curiosity got the better of us, and we had to go back and try it out.
In this outdoor bar you sit in chairs that look like these:
|Yes, that is a gold wheel chair.|
And you drink your drinks out of this:
|I.V. mixed drinks|
|The business end replaces a needle with a straw.|
We had a great time, sitting in our wheel chairs, drinking IV mixed drinks and basking in the confused stares of other pedestrians. It was definitely a unique experience!
Sunday, March 6, 2011
As promised, here is the thrilling conclusion to our epic search for IPA beer in Bangkok.
And the thrilling conclusion is this: IPA beer CANNOT be found in Bangkok- it just does not exsist in any bar, grocery store or back alley market. Sorry for those who read my first post in the hopes of finding a super secret source of IPA beer in Bangkok.
Our first taste of IPA beer in Bangkok was actually provided by our awesome friend Jamie, who brought us some bottles of Samuel Adams IPA on her recent visit to the Land of Smiles. This was a suprise for Eric, who almost broke down into tears of joy when presented with the bottles. Seriously, I have never seen someone so happy about two bottles of beer!
|This is the face of a very happy man|
Since we couldn't find IPA in Bangkok, we had to resort to drastic measures to get our hop fix. We decided that the only solution was to plan a vacation getaway to a location nearby that had IPA beer. We decided on Singapore because it not only has IPA beer in bottles, it is also home to Brewerkz, a microbrewery that brews 13 different beers, including TWO types of IPA. We planned our entire vacation around this brewery, even picking a hotel that was within walking distance. Some may say we are crazy to plan an entire vacation around beer, but those people have obviously never had an IPA before.
|It is a thing of beauty|
|I was really impressed with the selection of beer|
|Sign on the floor to direct you to the bathroom|