Saturday, February 16, 2013

Sabai Sabai

My sister's street.  There are usually a lot more dogs loping around.  They make their presence heard at night.

My sister's mentor, another English teacher at the school, lives down the street with her siblings in a complex of very pretty houses. 
This is an example of a traditional Thai house and garden - very charming right?  It is quite dark and cool, which is very important when the weather in Thailand is hot, hotter, and hottest.
On my second morning in Ubon, my sister and I shared some gyu jap noodles and khao tom for breakfast:

Before we went to do some shopping!  We hit up a flea market where rows upon rows of secondhand sneakers, tshirts, skirts, jackets, pants lined the racks under a tarp.  I didn't see anything more expensive than 130 baht, or about $4.

We then hit up Big C, which is a discount superstore like Tesco, that is everywhere in Thailand.  It's like their K-mart or Target.  Why oh why doesn't Hong Kong have these??  At Big C, I picked up a pack of tom yum flavored ramen soup.  I am a huge fan of the sour, spicy, tangy flavor of tom yum.
At this point, it was time for -- you guessed it -- more food.  We went to a floating restaurant that serves up very fresh catches of the day:

As we gorged on sticky rice, fried fish, huge boiled shrimp and broiled sweet sour spicy snakehead fish, and as I lay on some plastic mats and pillows, feeling my belly expanding with delicious food, the light breeze blow over me and the heat of the sun reflecting off of the calm lake, I began to really understand the meaning of "Sabai sabai."  This term is bandied around by my sister and her friends and coworkers in Ubon all the time.  "Sabai" means that things are well.  "Sabai sabai" means that things are relaxed and as they should be.  I think it's also a phrase thrown around if things don't go according to plan, kind of like the Thai woman's "c'est la vie".

As if the food the restaurant serves isn't enough, there are also boats that glide between the floating huts, selling all kinds of snacks and Thai delicacies.

Of course we had to get some, although I politely declined the ant eggs and all of the fried insects, as well as the jumping live shrimp.  For some things I am still not sufficiently sabai sabai.
clockwise from top: jelly coconut, green mango, yellow mango, boiled quail eggs, mini fried crabs
Happiness is...
After lunch, we relaxed at home for a bit, checked out a handmade organic cotton store, and then each got a two hour traditional Thai massage.  It was very relaxing, but the masseuses were a little less experienced than we would have liked- they each had only been in training for 2-3 years.

Finally, as if that weren't enough eating in one day, we hit up the food stalls for some dinner and dessert.  We finally rolled home in a pleasantly air conditioned taxi, a little exhausted, but very content, with our day.

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