Monthly Archives: July 2012

When in Cancer Hospital – Week 2

We didn’t have much time to think about the intensity of the situation once her cancer was diagnosed as explained in When in Cancer Hospital – Week 1. The doctors wanted to get the operation done the next day. She was already admitted in the hospital since past 5-6 days so all other routine check up before the surgery had already been done.

The most difficult part of the whole process was that my mom didn’t actually know what was going on with her. We were too scared to tell her what had actually happened to her. It was partly because we were hoping that her biopsy would somehow be negative and the operation wouldn’t have to be a major one. But her cancer had been confirmed now and there was only 10 or 12 hours left before my mom went in the surgery room. I cannot even explain in words the kind of emotions I was feeling.

Mom would instead tell us not to worry much and she’d be fine after the surgery. She could see the expression on our faces and even at that point, she was worrying more about us and asking us to calm down and she’d be fine. Bua couldn’t stay in the same room as mom that day. He was too emotional and I remember we would take turns to go out of mom’s room and cry in turns. We didn’t want to be weak in front of her. Everything was so uncertain at that time but we trusted in two things:

1. My mom’s strength and
2. Our Doctors

TIP: From our experience, what I feel is inner strength is a great healer. Even if the disease is incurable, being strong will always help you face the situation in a positive note.
FACT: Hope can do wonders, you can endure any pain when there is hope of life.

Looking back and thinking of the situation now, I remember both Bua and me being adamant about getting mom treated. We wanted to give her the best treatment available. And mom never showed any sign of fear(she must’ve been very scared at that time). My mom is a believer. She never stopped believing in her “God” and the power of meditation(she had been meditating since last 6-7 years). So, every night I would read her “Chandi Patth” (versus of prayers of Goddess Durga, it signifies strength and bravery) and “Hanuman Chalisa” (versus of prayers of God Hanuman, it signifies being fearless) while we were at the hospital. I remember she kept on repeating to herself and us that she’d be fine, she really did believe the situation would get better and it was only temporary.

TIP: Pray during times of difficulty and help your closed one connect to God.
FACT: It is only natural for people to turn to the divine power when there seems to be no explanation about the things that are happening. At this point, a source of belief and faith can do wonders. It can help you understand and accept your situation instead of fretting as being positive is always better than giving in to the illness.

On the day of the surgery, mom changed into surgical gown early in the morning. The doctor who was doing the surgery visited us and told us about the kind of surgery she was getting. The doctors had planned for “Sub-total gastrectomy”. To read more, you can start by visiting wikipedia.

The surgery took much longer than expected, mom was taken in for surgery at 8 am and she was in the post surgery ward at 4pm!! After the surgery, we talked to the surgeon and he informed us that they had to perform “Total-Gastrectomy”(total removal of stomach) since the size of the tumor was big that they didn’t want to take any chances. He also informed us that the surgery was successful and he would refer us to a medical oncologist for further treatment guidelines.

TIP: Ask about the procedure in detail so that you will be well informed about the condition of your loved ones.
FACT: Surgery can result in change in lifestyle and diet of the patient, be well informed so that you can communicate with your loved ones with compassion and help them understand and accept the changes.

In the evening when we were allowed to visit mom in post operative ward, she was not aware that such kind of surgery would mean complete rest for weeks and a drastic change in diet. She was not so happy with us for not informing her about what would happen after the surgery. But the fact is, even we didn’t know what exactly would happen after the surgery.

So, let me list down the facts about what to expect after going through a “Total Gastrectomy”

  1. You will need to spend around 6 days in post operative ward.
  2. You will not be able to eat normally until a test is done to confirm that there are no leaks in your gastric track after the surgery.
  3. You will get nutrition through Intravenous Feeding for the first week.
  4. You will need be in complete rest for 5-6 days, usually taking pain killers to reduce the pain caused due the incision made during surgery.
  5. A feeding tube, which will deliver food directly to stomach will be required for the first few weeks until the patient is able to eat normally by swallowing. In mom’s case, she was feed through the tube for around 15 days.
  6. Patient may experience nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
  7. The food portion will significantly decrease after this type of surgery. 5 to 6 smaller meals throughout the day would be recommended.

At the end of our second week in cancer hospital, my mom’s cancer was confirmed and her surgery was successfully performed.

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When in Cancer Hospital-Week 1

In this post I will talk about our first week in cancer hospital after my mum was diagnosed with stomach cancer. You can find the previous post here.

When we reached Delhi, we already had living arrangements so it was a little easier for us. I will use the name Cancer Hospital for Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Hospital and Research Center as I do not intend to advertise any non-charity organization in particular. I am sure there are other hospitals in India and elsewhere as good as the one where we treated my mum.

We took mom to the hospital on the second day of our arrival in Delhi.

TIP:Usually, if we take a morning flight from Kathmandu and go directly to the hospital, we can get an appointment with the doctor on the same day as well.
FACT:It will reduce the cost and save time as early appointment means early access to treatment.

Since there are many patients from different geographical locations getting treatment at the Cancer Hospital, your accommodation can either be arranged by the hospital(if the Hospital accommodation is still available), if not you can always talk with the family of fellow patients getting treatment at the hospital, they will give you phone numbers of the local agencies that arrange for accommodations around the hospital area.

On the first day we visited the doctor at Cancer Hospital, we showed him the old reports from Kathmandu. As soon as he saw the reports, he recommended some tests and advised us that a surgery would be the best treatment option to begin with in my mom’s case. But the doctor would not perform surgery unless the biopsy results confirm that its definitely cancerous tumor/lesion as seen in the endoscopy report. In some cases, the biopsy results are negative several times but this does not necessarily mean that the tumor in not cancerous. There are hundreds of cancerous tumors that have been identified in the world and the biological structure of cancer cells are diverse and unique, due to this reason, the ink used in the biopsy test may sometimes not trace the cancer cells. So, in case the biopsy tests shows negative for cancer, do not hesitate to ask for repeated biopsy tests so that you can be 100% sure that the tumor is not malignant(cancerous).

On our first visit, we asked the doctor many questions and we were very impatient and worried. But we have to understand that being diagnosed with cancer is not the end of the world and it does not mean there is no treatment available. With proper treatment and care, one can outlive the prognosis and in some cases can even be cured! So being patient is the first lesson we learned, but it does not mean that we stop looking out for the treatment. It is always better to be well informed about the condition of our loved ones and explore every available opportunity for getting the right treatment. The doctor asked us to get our mom admitted the next day and asked us to arrange for accommodation around the hospital as we would have to spend some time at the hospital. At this point we had no clue for how long we would be at Delhi.

TIP: Book an open ticket from kathmandu rather than a two way ticket since the actual number of days required to stay in the hospital can be uncertain.
FACT: SpiceJet is the cheapest option for KTM-DEL-KTM, besides SpiceJet, RA can be another economical choice.

The next day, my mum went through another round of endoscopy, as we did not bring the slides from Kathmandu.

TIP: Always take the slides of your tests when you plan to change the hospital.
FACT:This will reduce the cost of new tests as well and also will spare the patient from going through the painful tests(my mom hated, still hates endoscopy test).

We had to wait for one more day before we got the endoscopy reports, in the meantime, our doctor arranged for surgery as there was definitive appearance of tumor in my mum’s city scan reports. The next day, biopsy report was out and it showed negative(suggesting there was no cancer). But the doctor was not convinced, so he asked for another endoscopy. Again in the second endoscopy also the results were negative. This only gave us hope that may be she didn’t have cancer, may be she would be ok soon and may be the treatment wouldn’t be so harsh, but rather than clinging to false hope, we encouraged the doctor to recommend as many tests as required. Then, the doctor asked us to go to the more advanced laboratory in Delhi and to get samples for biopsy from a more experienced surgeon. Only after this third test in a more advanced lab, my mom’s cancer was diagnosed. It was a vigorous kind of cancer cells called Signet Ring Cell Adenocarcinoma, diffuse type.
You can learn more about stomach cancer here, here and Mayo Clinic.

TIP: Regularly visit the website for Mayo’s clinic to keep yourself up to date about all the available treatments.
FACT: Visit Mayo Clinic website to cross check the course of treatment recommended by the doctor, drugs being used in Chemotherapy and so on to avoid any false method of treatments to be discovered in future.

I will try to write more about our other experiences in the posts to follow.

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Being Vegetarian(for a day!)

Early this month, I decided to be vegetarian for every Tuesday of July and eat only fruits, vegetables and dairy on Tuesdays. This was to eat more veggies and avoid non-veg items once a week. Although I love the idea of being vegetarian everyday of my life, but eating meat is something that is very hard for me to give up. For us Nepalese, eating meat is some kind of reward and signifies festivities. In Nepal, we have  15 days of the month of October dedicated just for eating all kinds of meat and merry making.

While in Nepal, we eat almost everyday at home. The concept of eating out is very new and mostly it is a luxury. Unlike in Thailand, most people eat outside and seldom cook due to easy availability of everyday food in reasonable prices. So, working in Thailand, my lunch is always at the office canteen. For dinner, some days I cook and other days we eat instant noodles or “Kao Mann Kai” or order pizza. I love food and I am very close to Nepali food. I enjoy trying out different cuisines as well. I have tried and loved Japanese, Korean, Italian, Thai, Indian, Vietnamese food to name a few. But, I cannot eat foreign food for 7 days a week. This is why I make it a point to cook 2-3 times a week. In Nepal, we usually eat vegetable curries with rice and lentil soup for lunch. For dinner, we eat “Roti” (flat rolled whole wheat bread) with curried vegetables. Our everyday food does not have much meat but since my family is a big fan of eating meat, we have 3-4 days of non-veg meals in a week. But, Thailand is different, here almost all the meals contains some kind of meat. So, whether its lunch or dinner or in betweens, there is meat. So, to avoid eating one or other kind of meat for every meal, I decided to have at least one day in a week dedicated to fruits and vegetables only.

This post will be about my Tuesday experience. Yesterday was Tuesday, I started my day with a cup of plain yoghurt and an apple. A had warned me to eat good breakfast in advance so that I wouldn’t be bugging him with “I’m hungry A, I feel like eating fried Chicken” comments the whole day. The day was going fine and normal as usual. Specifically on my veggie day, I feel hungry a little earlier than usual. I don’t know if this is because of the psychological effect or its actually because of the vegetables and fruits only diet. So, I asked A to go for lunch at 11.30 am instead of going at noon. My options for lunch were fruits, fruits and fruits :). So I had already imagined the fruits I was going to eat for lunch, I love Guava and it is more tasty here in Thailand, the pineapples are juicy and sweet, papaya is sweeter than anywhere I’ve been and all the variety of exotic tropical fruits are just yummmm… as I walked towards the fruit stall, I noticed that it was more crowded than other days. As I reached there, I saw there was no Guava today :(, pineapple was not ripe 😦 and there was no papaya :(, but thankfully there was water melon, but water melon was not going to be enough for lunch. I bought a slice of water melon and some rose apples.

Then A went to his new favorite food stall and ordered “Fried rice with crispy Chicken”, at this point I was so tempted by his order that I almost gave up my vegetarianism, but I reminded myself “R, there is something called self control!!”. So, I breathed in and breathed out reminding myself the fruits are way tastier and heather than normal fried rice with chicken, but in my mind I knew what I was going to eat for lunch tomorrow :P. So, as I munched my rose apples and water melons, A ate his fried rice savoring each spoonful of rice and chicken, which didn’t make me jealous at all and for God’s sake I was not drooling (if thats what you are imagining :P) it just made me wish for tomorrow to come sooner :). After A finished his lunch, I asked him to go to the store with me to buy some milk and organic brown rice crackers(its as good as veggies) and we went to the store and bought some flavored milk and crackers and to my delight, the lunch time was over. So, I started doing my daily chores at office but those snacks didn’t stop staring at me. It kept on distracting me. It felt as if it were holding a big imaginary board saying “EAT ME”. I totally ignored their desperate plea(or was it mine?) to eat them until 3pm when I couldn’t say no to them anymore and opened the bag of crackers :), it was yummier than usual. As the clock was nearing 5 pm, I was contemplating my dinner plans but the only option I had in mind was a plate of green salad with a cup of yoghurt as a dressing. I love to munch on green salad and I simply love yoghurt, I couldn’t help thinking why am I acting weird towards food, at that time I felt like a small kid looking forward to treats. Yesterday, I reached home at around 5.30, A had gone to play tennis and since it was my veggie day, he said he’ll eat out with friends. So, I was alone for the evening with my plate of salad and my cup of yoghurt. I had nothing but them for the evening so I wanted to plan my meal wisely. As I reached home, I took a long hot bath, after which I drank a lot of water. Then talked to my mom over Skype. Unlike other days, she was commenting that I don’t look like I have gained weight at all (the other day, I had mentioned that I gained  3 kgs). So she kept repeating, you don’t need to diet hai chori(daughter), you look good already. I was annoyed by her comments but I assured her I wasn’t dieting and I really was not dieting, I just wanted to eat fruits and veggies on Tuesdays!! After an hour long talk with her, I felt hungry and went to the kitchen to get my plate of salad, with yoghurt of course. As I finished my last meal for the day, I felt satisfied. It was only about 8 pm, I could not help thinking how women can fast for once or twice a week throughout their lives. I have seen my mom fasting on Fridays when I was little. I remember she went to temple in the morning, she looked more beautiful on her fasting days than usual, may be this is because of the red attire she puts on that day. But one thing we all knew that was never to nag her or annoy her during her fast! as she used to be a little more sensitive than usual (now she tells me it was because of hunger, she felt angry faster on the days she was fasting). Then I thought about fasting during “Teej”, how women do not drink even a glass of water the whole day. I would go crazy, if I were to do that. Yesterday, I thought of those women with more respect than usual. As I kept thinking about fasting and things related to it, I started feeling hungry :(. My meal quota was finished for the day but I still felt hungry, then my mom’s voice started echoing in my ears, “Chori, dieting nagara hai”(Daughter, do not diet), “Chori, dieting nagara hai….”, “Chori, dieting nagara hai……” :(. As I was surprising myself with unexplained, random and slightly crazy imaginations, A knocked on the door. As, he came in, my first question was “What did you eat for dinner?”. He ignored my query (sensing my restlessness) and replied, nothing special, we just went to the motorway and had something there. So, I didn’t ask him any further and told him I was hungry (my eyes were watering now). At this point he said, “Hare, bichara”(poor girl) and prepared a cup of instant vegetable soup for me. As as I drank it, he reminded me I wanted this vegetarian day for a good reason and I should continue it, however you don’t have to limit your intake to only 3 meals a day. You can eat as much of veggies and fruits as you want. He successfully convinced me and we watched a TV show as I drank my soup :).

I went through a day filled with drama yesterday, hehe. It shows how impatient and restless I am, *sigh*.

Anyway, I dedicate this post to all the women(and men), who fast. Especially to those women who fast during auspicious occasions for the betterment of their family and for the long and healthy life of their husband. They are truly amazing and I respect them more now :).

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Why did I think I could write?

Today, like most of the days, I am in a dreamy imaginative deep thinking avatar!! It usually happens when I have nothing interesting to do at work and the work that I have does not interest me. It forces me to think, how did I end up being where I am and why am I doing what I do?

Now these two questions have knocked at my brain quite often and I have opened the doors to my ever resting intellectual chambers to take off few minutes off of the heavy tiring job of resting and get to work to answer these two questions that haunt my soul now and then. First of all, my brain didn’t know that I would need passion in the everyday work I do in order to satisfy the life in me. Had it known this simple fact of life, it would have taken me somewhere else or it could be that my brain has never been smart enough to actually know what I would be happy doing. May be it could never decipher what I truly wanted. So, this explains my relationship with my brain, its not a great relationship, but we are working on it, communicating more often to come in terms and find harmony among each other so that we could work towards the betterment of each other. Not to mention that I could be ignoring what my brain wants me to do and just cruising along with what “me” wants to do!! I would need a brain anyway to find the difference but nevertheless we will not disappoint each other do what we think is best for each other.

Now lets get back to the title and lets talk about what made me think I could write. My earliest experience of writing outside of the academic curriculum is a reply to a love letter sent to my best friend. I was in grade 8 at that time. She got an elaborative love letter from a guy she had known and she wanted to reject him with style!! So there I was, borrowed by my friend to write a rejection letter with the then fashionable words of deep understanding and compassion towards his feelings. I do not remember the exact words I used (it would be funny to find that letter now :)), but i remember borrowing phrases and words from famous love songs of that time, how corky of me!! I know I used “I will never be able to love you Truly Madly Deeply!!”…i know its pathetic…so please indulge and laugh your brains out on it and I wouldn’t mind :).

So, thats the first memory I have of writing something out of academics. After that, at grade 9, I remember rambling about life, its existence, our existence, the world and stuff like that in Nepali. It was all as a result of a fight with my best friend (the same friend for whom I wrote the letter). That fight with her, left me abandoned and alone in class, so I wondered about pain, suffering, loneliness and wrote down my rampant feelings on paper hoping that she would discover it one day and we’d be friends again. So, that year I started writing on my dairy on a daily basis, but it was not about the daily activities at school, rather it was about the extreme emotions I felt, nature, life and all its mysteries and miseries. Then the next year, when I was in my 10th, things worked out and we went back to being good friends again. And the writings slowed down as well. So my guess is, writing was my medium of venting out emotions. May be I found a loyal friend in a pen and a paper. When I graduated from school and went to another school( for +2), we had interesting course books on English literature. I was introduced to Anton Chekov, poems like “Lamentations of the old Prisoner” and some other literary pieces that I don’t exactly remember. Our English teacher was from India, Assam but he was a Nepali. He was very expressive and took his classes seriously. He encouraged us to be be creative and it was the only class I enjoyed in my +2 days. I never paid any attention to Physics, Mathematics and Chemistry that I studied (what a waste of time and money!!).

So he gave us assignments that required us to be creative. One day, he called me in private and told me, “I reviewed your assignment and found that your writing is very simple yet creative, you should write more often and polish your skill”. I was pleasantly surprised that day, I don’t know what his intentions were or if he did actually find my writings fascinating but for me, it opened a door to an unknown world. I was in bliss to discover something I enjoyed doing was worthy enough to be encouraged to pursue it further. After that, we had long conservations about books, styles of writings and general day to day emotions. We became friends and he shared some of his writings with me, I was fascinated by the way he wrote, the way he talked about emotions and sentiments in his writings. I still draw inspiration from the early essays that my teacher shared with me. Then one day, he invited us for a cup of coffee(me and another friend of mine) and told us a story. I will never forget how he narrated the story that day, it was amazing, it was full of expression, feelings and emotions. At the beginning, I thought it was funny but I got engrossed in this story. At the end of that story telling session, he told me that, “I want you to write this story down!!”. I will never ever forget that moment. I felt so honored and special that day, like I had something in me and I was chosen by my teacher to write a story that was so special and dear to him. This made me think that may be I could write. May be there is something special in me. I would like to thank my teacher for showing me the way, believing in me and encouraging me. Then, my +2 days were over but I had it at the back of my mind that I would write this story down. After that, I joined Engineering and was busy with my studies but never fascinated by what I studied at school. I thought it was my duty to study and get descent grades but it never occurred to me that passion was essential to pursue it every single for the rest of my life!!

When I was in second year, I wrote down that story. I had already forgotten the details, I was a fool to not write it down the evening he narrated that story to me. I was too ignorant to know that such an experience would be worth preserving. After I finished writing it, I typed it and emailed it to my teacher. And being the teacher that he was, he reviewed it, made some corrections, mentioned some suggestions and told me it was not as good as he expected it to be. But for me, I knew, the journey had began. I knew I would write, whether it would be worth reading or worth sharing, I knew I would be writing. The same year, I submitted it to one of the online magazines operated by Nepalese living abroad, so my story was up somewhere for people to read. After six months, I submitted it to “The Himalayan Times” and it got published in the Midway section. It was the first time I saw my name in print and it was such a warm feeling. I informed my teacher about my publication, he congratulated me and told me it could have been better.

From then on, I have written now and then. I did not submit any of my other writings to the newspaper again, may be I was scared of being disappointed, scared of knowing and it was a one time thing. Writing makes me feel good, I feel at peace when I write something down. I like to express myself through words. I know I don’t have that fire burning as bright as it used to, it has faded with time, I should have taken it more seriously. But nevertheless, its never too late to do something that you love doing and my love for writing has brought me here, to this space in clouds, at meromusings.wordpress.com and I intend to be loyal to it and write, as writing is my first love and I will always be loyal to writing and love it unconditionally.

Forever yours <3.

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Thai Food for Lunch- Friday

On Friday, I had one of the yummiest and most popular Thai food, “Pad Thai Kung”. Pad Thai Kung is fried flat broad rice noodles with shrimp, “Kung” stands for shrimp. Everyone who visits Thailand must try Pad Thai. Pad Thai is sweet, a little bit sour and a little bit spicy. Like most of other Thai food, preparation time for Pad Thai is not long but getting the ingredients right is the challenge when it comes to making Pad Thai at home. Although mostly broad rice noodles are used to make Pad Thai, it can also be made with regular thin rice noodles. In our canteen, there are two shops that sell Pad Thai, one shop usually doesn’t have the broad rice noodles, so she makes it with the thin ones, which is equally delicious.

In Thailand, like many other places in Asia, rice is the dominant meal. Thai food consists of three main types of curries green curry, yellow curry and the red curry. All these curries are served with rice. Green curry is made with coconut milk and the green curry paste which consists of lemon grass, shallot, coriander, ginger,basil, cumin and pepper ground together and blended with coconut milk to make a paste. Yellow curry paste consists of fresh turmeric, curry powder, onions, ginger and garlic ground together. The red curry paste is the most spicy of all, it consists of lemon grass stock, small red chillies, dried hot red chillies, ginger and garlic ground together. Among the three kinds of curries, yellow curry is my favorite since it is mildly spiced and has the flavor of curry powder and it the most familiar one for me :).

After rice, the second most widely served dish in Thailand is noodles. There are many kind of noodles available in Thailand. Thai noodle soups are one of the best and resembles Vietnamese “Pho”. They use simple ingredients and yet they are full of flavor and tastes very good. Besides noodle soups, a variety of fried noodles are also served in Thailand and Pad Thai is the most authentic one.

The ingredients for Pad Thai are:

1. Broad Thai noodles

2.One egg and 5-8 shrimps

3. Pad Thai paste

4. Bean sprouts

5. One clove of chopped garlic Fish sauce

6. Roasted and slightly ground peanuts(pebbled peanuts?)

7. Finely chopped shallots

8. Ground dried red chillies

9. One table spoon oil

10. Fish sauce and sugar to taste

11. Fried Tofu

12. Pad Thai paste

13. Tamarind juice concentrate-1 tablespoon

Method:

Soak the noodles in hot boiling water for 2 minutes until soft and cooked. In a frying pan heat the oil and fry the garlic and shrimp until done and then break the egg and stir. Add the noodles, pad thai paste, fried tofu, tamarind juice, fish sauce, sugar and stir for sometime until all the ingredients are mixed well. Then add the bean sprouts and chopped shallots and its done!! To serve, place it in a plate and add the ground peanuts and dried chillies on top. Serve hot and enjoy the most delicious Thai food!!

The method and ingredients are according to what is used in my canteen. Our canteen has open kitchen, so we can go and watch while our food is being prepared, how great is that!!

It looked like this:

Pad Thai Kung 🙂

Thai food has a lot of variety. The five day recipes I have included in this blog is just the beginning of my experience with Thai food. I will try to write more about other Thai food that I enjoy as well. Other dishes that we order in our office canteen are “Tom Yum Kung(spicy soup with Shrimp )”, “Kai curry/Kung Curry(Chicken/Shrimp with yellow curry paste)”, “Kai Kathiyam(Chicken Garlic)”, “Sunlek Yai(noodle soup)”, “Som Tam(spicy papaya salad)”, “Yam Pla(fish salad)” to name a few.

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Thai Food for Lunch- Thursday

Thai Food for Lunch- Thursday

One of the most common lunch time dish in Thailand is “Krapao Kai”. It is a saying here, when you don’t know what to eat, you order Krapao Kai. Krapao Kai is stir fried chicken with basil leaves. It is a little bit spicy and super easy to prepare. It is also known as farmers food in Thailand.

So my lunch for Thursday was “Krapao Kai with Khai Jeaw”, stir fried spicy chicken with fried egg and of course rice. Almost all the food stalls in our canteen takes order for Krapao Kai, but my favorite is stall number 13. She remembers how I like my Krapao Kai, so when I order Krapao Kai, she puts more onions and less chillies by default. I am always amazed by how things are managed so well here. It is not chaotic at all. I try to imagine how it would be like in Nepal to run around 13 to 15 food stalls in one area with over 300 people ordering during lunch hours. Ofcourse our canteen looks crowded and the air is filled with the aroma of all kinds of Thai spices, but it is not chaotic, its like an organized chaos. People are much more disciplined and relaxed here. The process is same, we go to the canteen, look around stalls and place our order. Usually there is a note placed in front of each stall, people write down their order, find a table and patiently wait for their food to be prepared. And since we cannot write down our order in Thai, we place our order and go back to waiting. After around 10 minutes, we go and check for our order, if its ready we pick it up, pay and return back to the table. If not, ask the vender how much longer is it going to take, come back and wait.

When I first started working here, I was awed by all kinds of Thai food stalls, the variety or food available, the simplicity of ordering food and the price. One order never exceeds 40 Thai Baht, unless you order an entire grilled fish(which will cost you 45-60 Thai Baht) or one half of grilled chicken.

Krapao Kai( Stir fried chicken with Basil leaves)

Ingredients:

1. Minced chicken breast
2. Basil Leaves
3. Red chillies, finely chopped
4. Onions(optional)
5. Garlic (one clove, crushed)
6. Oyster Sauce(one tablespoon)
7. Fish Sauce(as per taste-in place of salt)
8. Oil(one table spoon)

Method:
Heat the oil in a pan, fry the red chillies, garlic and minced chicken breast and cook until done. Next put oyster sauce, fish sauce and basil leaves and stir for about a minute. And your spicy chicken with basil leaves is done!! Serve with steamed rice and fried egg.

It looked like this:

Spicy Krapao Kai!!

Happy Lunching, and I promise Friday will not be chicken :).

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Great Post, applies to all of us who want change 🙂

Alex Shye

I recently read an article by Steven Pressfield titled “The most important writing lesson I ever learned”.  In short, the lesson is this: no one wants to read your shit.  I’ve just begun writing, but hopefully over time people won’t mind reading my shit. In any case, here’s some more shit.

This got me thinking more broadly about the most important lesson I ever learned. The lesson is quite simple, and may sound familiar:

Just do it.

Simple right? I would like to think so too, but it took me 23 years to properly apply it outside of just having fun.

The backstory.

I’ve never been good at doing what I’m “supposed” to do.

I was never the model Asian child. I talked back to my parents. I listened to 2pac during class at Chinese school. I cut summer school classes to bike around and explore. This exploring…

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