You know that friend you have in every city that gives you thee best advice while travelling? Well that's me. And this is my blog.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Where to Buy a Turkey in Bangkok or How I Battled this Big Ass Bird and Won

Happy Thanksgiving, Bangkok!



I'm delighted to report that it is not excessively hard to find a turkey in Bangkok for Thanksgiving, as I discovered for my Canadian Thanksgiving party feast I had in October—nor is it stupidly expensive. Thanks to the most useful Facebook group for expats in Bangkok, Desperately Seeking Bangkok, I was given great tips from da hood to host the most epic dinner party of my life with the most butterlicious bird to ever enter my mouth. If you are desperately searching for a place to pick one up either for Canadian or American Thanksgiving or Christmas try these recommendations below.

Did you know that Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving on a different date than Americans?

 If this sounds like an obvious knowledge nugget, you need to back.right.up, (hoser). To my chagrin it was obviously not obvious to most of the Europeans I had invited to my dinner (if you're Canadian I'm sure you have suffered at the repeated stings of the world's ignorance). The Canadian day is a day of munificence  to celebrate the end of the harvest season the second weekend of October. Whereas the Americans celebrate as a historic symbol of cooperation between the Native Americans and the pilgrims at the end of November. Boom. Knowledge. 



Where to find the turkey: Tops Supermarket
After searching far and wide I found my butterball baby at Tops Robinson Srinakarin at Asoke. It cost a little less than 3000 Baht. I was told that you could find turkeys at Villa Market but for Canadian Thanksgiving I checked at Villa on Sukumvit Soi 11 and I was sorely disappointed.

Warning: I'm not sure if all Tops carries turkeys. I went to Tops Central Silom and they did not have them.

Check the map here for your closest locations.

Cranberry Sauce & Turkey Cooking Supplies: Villa Market
You can find turkey basters, oven thermometers, aluminum tins for the oven and basically everything you could possibly need to cook the shit out of your turkey. I was also able to find canned cranberry sauce at Villa Market Sukumvit Soi 11 (but not gravy..).

Check the map here for Villa Market locations

The Result
This was the first time I had ever touched, let alone cooked a turkey. I enlisted the forces of my French and Canadian friend and it got ugly. We were all turkey cooking virgins but that did not stop us attacking the hell out of this bird with tubs of butter and youtube video intelligence being consulted every 2 minutes ("Oh, there is  plastic bag of guts inside its ass, wtf!"). Being a weekday vegan, this was especially gruelling.

In the end, we hosted a whopping 27 people in an epic potluck dinner of friends from around Bangkok. Being away from my family on my favourite holiday was not easy, but when you're an expat your friends become your new family and they fill those heart gaps with love, fun and food! If you're away from home this American Thanksgiving, I wish you the best of luck with your turkey fest and if you're on a budget or not uber rich, a potluck is the best way to go. You can invite as many people as you want to share in the festivities.

If you have any tips of where you bought your turkey and supplies around Bangkok please share! Happy Thanksgiving, World!


My precious. Our relationship is sweet and tender..



Then..Horror is unleashed from its pink terrible flesh!! 

A battle to the death. I'm not proud of what we had to do.. Sadly we now suffer from PTSD (post-turkey stress disorder)


The kill is well received. 27 people in an epic feast. First Thanksgiving hosting of my life is a great success (Borat accent*). Everyone cooked amazing food too from around the world with the likes of tarte au chocolat, some pasta dish from Vienna, butterfilled mashed potatoes (french touch again), homemade Indian curry and so much more. 

And what better way to dance off your butterball booty than with a night of dancing? Legendary! Happy Thanksgiving or whatever holiday it is that requires big ass birds! 


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Moving from Bangkok to Jakarta Drunk Post

In Vino Veritas Or. Blind Drunk Blogging after Uber Party. Or. Why you Should Snort Feces Rather than Move to Jakarta


Listen. This lil' momma likes to drink and recently Bangkok has offered her sweet nectar of life up for the gulping. I'm talking about Free Flow parties, baby. A launch party or two every week for a new company or resto whateva. (If you're an intern or student on exchange this city is ideal for you). Last night it was the launch of Uber Taxi in Thailand, and lemme tell you I was Moses in the Red Sea, a midget surrounded by walls of alcohol and my safe passage could only be guaranteed by my ability to drink my way through. I basically opened the flood gates with MY MOUTH. We were standing in the main bar area of Ku De Ta (a miracle, never saw it full before) and every 30 seconds a new drink would pass. I have restraint (yup) but c'mon, I was hanging with the cool kids in the internet crowd, you know, Pomelo Fashion, LINE chat, ex Rocket, and these kitties also like their fair share of bacchanal. Needless to say, mojitos were only the beginning, shots brought the chickens home to roost. Anyways, long story short. The night ended with me taking a time out, riding Rhonda home and answering THIS EMAIL BELOW. 

I forgot about it until I read it the next morning. I was shocked. But you know what, eff it. While I grimace at its crudity I decided to post it because I couldn't have been more honest with you about moving to Jakarta. I understand many people like living in Jakarta as an expat (perverts..nah my old roomie who is a normal female really likes it), but I rather snort fermented feces than ever go back to living there. (Second) long story short, DO NOT DO IT. Indonesia and Indonesians are great though, just not Jakarta. Thanks dude for the email. I understand if you want to never ask me anything again ever for a little while. This buzzfeed article might offer you more insight though :). Obviously if you disagree then go..take a walk. I mean, share your comments below. Jeez, I don't know what it is about this city that channels all of my negative energy. 


    • Hello Felicia,
      S*** here. I am just a guy who is probably going to move to Jakarta soon. I am living in Bangkok now.. yes.. I know maybe it is not a good change... but I guess that is the way it is.. anyway... 
      Are you still living there?
      I came across your blog, congrats for that. I liked it.
      I have already been in Jakarta few times, and I guess I am already aware of its general problems: crazy traffic jams, no roads to walk, etc

      However, I just would like to have a very general point of view of somebody that has been living there (expat) for a while and get to know how everyday life actually can be there.

      I am obviously not expecting Jakarta to be Bangkok... just generally wondering how it would be.

      Don't want to bother you, I know this kind of emails are not pleasant, specially when you do not know the other peson at all.

      By the way, I saw you enjoyed Kolour Sundays in Bangkok some time ago... We had a crazy one last Sunday... 

      Cheers,
      S***


    • Daily life differences:
      1) Cannot walk. your life will be the culmination of of one a/c bubble to another.

    • 2) The general air around you stinks. That may not be a big deal to you, but as a canadian, i love fresh(ish) air. In jakarta, get used to asphyxiating always.

    • 3) the people don't get the 'sabai sabai' mentality. There is an air of stress and depression as omnipotent as the stink 

    • 4) live by night. day time in jakarta involves only living through work and traffic jams. The only stress free zones come through partying (which, i love..but after one week it gets old)

    • 5) club indo girls (ayam) are easy and western chicks are desperate. No girls get d*ck there or casual sex unless they act completely wanton. the result? women are easy pickings.

      The summary: you will hate your life by day. You will spend most of your time plotting your bali escape and you will have insane party nights. If you are an ugly desperate dude this place will be the best thing ever. (if youre a woman I have coined the term Vagina Graveyard, bc any sensible woman would not hook up with the scum that collects there, thereby starving their lady parts to moribund.

      Anyways, don't ask me for jakarta advice if you are looking for a positive reinforcement for your decision to move there.

If you find yourself here then at least have a good time with these tips on where to drink without prositutes, eat locally and shop vintage in Jakarta, bros. 

Let the good times roll

My Indie Music Reco of the Week ! Cute but too simple 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Indie Guide Bangkok Nightlife: Thong Lor & Ekkamai


Finding Toronto in Bangkok in Thong Lor
Two years in Asia and I wouldn't be lying if I said I could not find anywhere that channeled Toronto vibes. You know what I'm talking about? Remember my stint in Ossington, with the ol' amour?  The street art, the small dive bars, the smell of interesting people doing interesting things ( not the stench of carefully cultivated authenticity that Jakarta struggles to hide)..



Praise da lord! Bangkok has an alley with awesomeness too! 2bhonest, I was shocked to find such a culture enclave in a city known for lady boys and red bull buckets in the street (you literally drink alcohol out of a bucket). Yes, yes, I too sold my soul deep into the depths of soi 11 pail drinking and trashy partying long ago,  resigning  my boy Coran's Kolour Sunday event as the sole reprieve from the sloppy college like goodtimes that Levels and RCA provided.

But now my eyes have been opened wider than your mama's booty. 



Where to go
I absolutely recommend Sukumvit 51 in Thong Lor and Ekkamai for this Toronto secret goodness. It's no secret to my friends living here but I am certain it is not the first place people go when they grow their kahunas big enough to venture off Khao San Road. The standard spot seems to be the club called levels on Soi 11, which is fun but definitely not the apotheosis of cool. 

Here are two bars I discovered this weekend:

Tuba Design Store and Restaurant (Ekkamai): Filled with antique furniture, funky nude paintings, super heroes  and no two chairs that are alike. This funky joint is a sit down bar to enjoy with a big group or even as a couple. The music is not obnoxious, the vibe is as comfortable as your living room on a Sunday night with cigars ( oh yea there is indoor smoking). I don't do bars that much, preferring house parties or clubs to shamelessly shake tail, but this place sedates my inner wild child into humble pleasure.



WTF (Thong Lor): small, dim mood lighting, a glowing heart hanging outside (not a cute heart, like a human heart), and a massive Buddah in street art made its way dep into my soul and gave me a pang of Toronto missing. For my friend John visiting from jakarta, he said while we hung outside for a block party (!!) that Bangkok is the coolest city in Asia. I mean when you come from Jakarta it's not a hard standard to beat, but I totally got it. The city is the perfect mix of Jakarta's roughness with Singapore's development. 

Location: thong lor BTS, sukumvit soi 51



Not finished yet
Anyways I'm doing my first blog post through mobile, so please excuse the poor everything. Like why am I even writing at 4am? Update on the work side is that my job and company is damn cool. If you are following on instagram or twitter you saw I got to go to Singapore to do this! He is one of my  favourite street artists from indonesia. Despite doing awesome shiz, I  am feeling more and more like an adult (I equate this to becoming boring? Which is why I am blogging less?) I dunno, I'll just stop whining now and call the waah-mbulence!

My office in Singapore. Coolest start-up ever letting me brand them with art !


Now that I've woken from my drunken stupor I am excited to help you discover more awesomeness! I met a Japanese artist tonight, he told me there are openings every week (with free food and drinks, for all you interns out there!). Bangkok, you rock the c..lock!




Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Koh Samet: Weekend Bangkok Escape and Political Turmoil

Cheapest and Quickest Way to Get to the Beach and out of the Political Shitstorm of Bangkok!!


Too much sexy to handle in Koh Samet. Look out Tinder!

Need a quick weekend escape from a city that is in the midst of a potential political coup and its upcoming illegitimate elections that could turn violent? Yea, well even though things have been largely peaceful here in Bangkok, I felt a small tickle of an unfamiliar feeling called concern...Concern that the geographical divide that keeps the Yellow and Red shirts from rampant violence would close as conflicting factions came to a head at the polls. How much would it suck to die from some stray bullet not even meant for you?


I live in one of the biggest protest sites at Asok and (lucky me) I work at the other in Lumpini (above, this is next to the entrance of my office, woo). I ride Red Rhonda (bicycle) every day through barricades that have gotten bigger and sturdier each day. My friend James joked that the size of the barricades is a pretty good indicator of how worried we should be (which had largely been..not at all). Maybe he wasn't wrong. At first in early December the barricades were just a couple tires tall, now they are 6 levels high reinforced with sacks of rice and netting (to catch grenades?!). I've taken up jogging in Lumpini Park and I can't help but marvel at the fact that I am running with my short pink booty shorts and iPhone like I have not a care in the world while maybe 1000s of people have camped into the park refugee styles in non-relinquishing protest to a government they believe is corrupt (and may well be). Proof truly that people have the capacity to normalize any damn situation. These people are preparing for war yet we smile each other in the park while my fat arse struggles to do squats.

Anyways, did I think it was a good idea to take a weekend trip from Bangkok during the protests? Yes. I've taken to hanging out with a gaggle of French girls and so myself and ten Frenchmen headed to Koh Samet, an island 4 hours from Bangkok. I swear, if you want to learn French go to Thailand over Paris anyday. I speak more here than I ever did in 3 years of dating the ex Parisian amour.

Koh Samet is the closest island to Bangkok and thus serves as a simple and cheap weekend trip for expats. While, Koh Chang remains my favourite, Koh Samet is just slightly more accessible. We left comfortably on Saturday morning at 8:30, whereas for Koh Chang you have to leave at like 4 am and end up just exhausted during the day while there. If you have only the weekend do Koh Samet. Long weekend Koh Chang is my first recommendation. AND NEVER PATTAYA.

Here's our plan if it helps you with yours!

How to Get to Koh Samet from Bangkok Saturday 8:30 am - 1 pm, 400 Baht
Buses leave every half hour and they take you to the pier.
Meet at Ekkamai Bus station: 8:30am
Depart in Mini Van: 9:00am | Cost: 200 Baht
Speedboat: 200 Baht

Koh Samet to Bangkok Sunday 4:30pm - 9pm, 450 baht
Speed boat (11 people): 4:30 pm | Cost: 200 Baht/pax
Minivan (10 people, private): 250 Baht


Where to Stay on Koh Samet
Beach: Tubtim
It is beautiful, has a volleyball net and not super busy. Granted, there tend to be mostly plumpy old tourists, but it's where the group of French alway stay.

Lodging 
Tubtim: 700 baht/pax in 3 bed a/c room with towels, shampoo and delicious breakfast. It's not the cheapest spot but the rooms are very clean and the service is nice. As a young profesh' I can afford this preference.

Phudsa: 350 baht/pax for 2 bed fan room. Cheaper option but service is not great and they constantly try to change the price. They don't know how to appreciate repeat customers from what I understand, and I have no patience for that. It's where the other half of our group stayed and where they usually do.

The group totally hungover hanging out at Phudsa. 

Where to Eat the Best and Cheapest Seafood Dinner Everrrr
Tubtim beachside restaurant. This is not an exaggeration, the barbecue fish I had was the best I had ever tried. They bring it in a dish with a fire under it so it slowly cooks in all the flavours even more. We ordered fish, squid, chicken, crab fried rice, corn, potatoes and beers and it came up to 300 baht/pax (and we had food to spare)!!! Super impressed.

Where to Party
There are a couple big beachside bars but the gay bar is infinitely more fun. And not fun in a purely straight girl in a gay bar fun, but overall the music is better and the crowd. Our French gang clashed with another massive French gang. While they eyed each other wearily we all ultimately globbed into an island of straight people dancing. Great night that ended in a very modest late night swim!


French boys / mega nerds on the dance floor. 

Conclusion
Last time I was in Koh Samet it was 2009 and it kind of sucked. It was dirty with bottles and plastic on the beach and the people there were not as lively and fun as Koh Chang. But I must say it has come a long way. The clubs are super developed and the clean-up is much better. For a weekend trip from Bangkok when on a budget I recommend this like whoah!

Please share your thoughts if there is anything I'm missing!

Let the good times roll


Musical Moment of the Week
French Guy Singing German Minimal Folk Mix. So good!!


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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Indie Guide Bangkok Nightlife: Kolour Sundays Sunset Party

3 reasons you should ignore your hangover and party at Kolour Sundays aka the best party in Bangkok

Yo World Broskis, after enough fist-pumping with lady boys and/or dancing with sexies to shitty David Guetta the past month, I think I've finally found the raddest party in Bangkok. Think of the ETE D'AMOUR electro parties in Paris along the quai + Singapore's Tanjong Beach Club (minus the Jersey Shoreness) and you can cop a feel of the vibe that Kolour Sundays rocked out.

The concept, created by bkk alt-music pillar Coran Maloney and event organizer Vina Charay (also does French Tuesdays), started out in Coran's old crib where he would throw Sunday parties for his home slices. United in a love for good times and frustrated with the Bangkok status quo, the two decided to get their salt and pepper shakers shakin' and create something delicious for the city to enjoy. The result was a Sunday sunset party that takes place 4-6 times a year in an undisclosed location. In my humble opinion, they got everything right, a rare feat in Southeast Asia. Here's why.





1. The crowd is the best of the Bangkok expat and local scene

This is word of mouth marketing at its strongest. Kolour Sundays attracts cool people doing cool things in the city, and filters the worst-- mud-in-their-toenails backpackers from Khao San road or saggy ball pervs from Soi 11.  As my eye-ball survey can confirm the party was filled with young professionals (a demographic I'm discovering actually may be the best..imagine having the energy of a student with the money of an adult? I couldn't have imagined when i was a graduate. Whoahiwow) to second and third-jobbers. Undoubtedly, this also has something to do with tickets being more than a long island ice tea bucket, going for 500 baht. It even miraculously lacked douchey bro types. I thought it was impossible to escape those, as we know from the super hype, yet douche bag infiltrated Dim Sum Dance Parties in Toronto.

People were casual, laid back yet extremely stylish. A mighty big difference from Jakarta or Singapore where an attempt to do the same would just stink of Eeau de T'ry too Hard. People, particularly women, could rock their jeans and flats at Kolour and look perfect, not needing to teeter around on useless heels for some dress code, enforced for the sake of its own enforcement. (Sidebar: One might say that Lucy in the Sky is the Jakartan answer to the prevailing laughable style code, but I assure you it is not yet there. While it's the best Jakarta has got, there's the scent lingering of attempted pretentiousness that just feels desperate, read more here).


Oh heyy. I was a bit hungover so excuse my simple style attempt! I just went with a comfy summer city look. I rocked my vintage boots from Toronto's Good Will (8 bucks), blue patterned dress from Chatuchak Market (10 bucks), vintage Ray Bans and my pink purse from H&M for my beloved colour splash. 

The only discernible dresscode was sunglasses and that was enforced by the SUN. God, I love Southeast Asia. 


This shirt needs to be in my life. 


Dutch guys being tall.

2. Daytime drinking along the river while the sun sets is unbeatable

I arrived at Viva Aviv, an open air bar along the river, at about 4pm and faster than a snake's tongue my main man Coran Maloney was liquoring me up with vodka shots wielded expertly from his secret stash behind the dj booth. Hair of da dawg! My 7 am finish the night before lost relevancy and my body operating systems resumed full service. I became ready to dance for 12 hours straight (which indeed happened).  As a Canadian, I admit being absolutely partial to drinking in the great outdoors.

And you better love the sun on your face and drink in your veins. At Kolour Sundays you start early (1pm -10pm) and then it continues at the afterparty, which was at Glow this time. It's perfect though, because if you want you can enjoy the whole party and still be in bed by midnight..if turning into a pumpkin when the clock strikes 12 is your main concern, I guess?

Awesome photo by John Lafond Wright from Facebook. 


3. Disco Funk, Minimal, Electro..A riverside reprieve from the mainstream bologne

The subtle confidence that Kolour exudes stems from what makes the difference between a 'meh' party and the sort of party that builds fan loyalty for life, and that's the dedication to the music. I've known Coran since '09 and even though we met at RCA (the human factory of clubbing) when I was an intern for the IOM, we just clicked and have been friends since, rockin' out Bangkok, temples and Full Moon Parties. Now 5 years later, I've moved back to Bangkok and I'm seriously impressed. He has gone on to create one of the best parties in Bangkok! The passage of time is awesome when you see how far your friends have come.


It's no surprise though, this guy has always been dedicated to discovering the most cutting edge sounds. He just needed to get the formula right between music and venue. Boom.

"Bangkok had loads of events and clubs but there was always one or two elements missing. For example they would have underground music but at dark and dirty venues. Or they would have great clubs but the music would be tailored to the mainstream," Coran told me.

And that's what makes the difference with Kolours and try-hard bullshoi (most Jakarta joints except Treehouse) or soulless romping grounds for drunk assholes (Levels in Bangkok). Kolours has AMAZING DJs. Everyone had something different to offer, but my two fav's were Coran and Sunju, who really knew how to get the beautiful people moving. Coran was perfect for setting the summer vibe with disco funk, minimal, electro pop and poolside house early on, while Sunju played you house that made you stop what you were doing and just dance.





Some guy was crowdsurfing? What the hanus? 

Six hours of party later. Then onto the afterparty. 

Conclusion

Kolour Sundays is the rare kind of party that when you're inside it, nothing else matters. Everyone you possibly want to know or talk to is there, the location is perfect and the music makes you lust for nothing else. The holy trinity of party is fulfilled! Whether you've just moved to Bangkok and looking for a different nightlife scene or are just visiting and want to see the heart of the city at its best, come out. Great news if you missed this one. The next one is on January 26th! Thanks so much Coran and Kolour Crew for a wicked as night. Follow along for more updates and photos from the party!


Let the good times roll


Music: Young, Summer Sounds from 18 Year Old Belgian DJ, Henri Pfr

!!! This kid has a great ear. Listen to this mix to feel the summer on your toes. Need to bring this guy for Kolour Sundays. He just gets it especially at 10:30. Shit. It's 4:30 am, I have work in a couple hours but hell, this makes me ready for another dance party. What do you think? 




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