Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Loy Krathong Festival in Thailand

This morning I couldn't help smiling when I logged in my Facebook page. I saw a lot of pictures of my family and friends, dressing up their children in Thai costumes, and bringing them to "Loy Krathong". My little nephew looked so smart in his traditional costume. What is Loy Krathong??? The words don't give any hints, eh?

Loy Krathong is a festival celebrated annually throughout Thailand in the evening of the full moon of the 12th month in the Thai lunar calendar. It usually takes place in November in the western calendar. The word "Loy" means "to float" and "Krathong" refers to a lotus-shaped floating container, usually made of the trunk and the leaves of banana trees. A candle, 3 incenses and some flowers are inserted inside this container. They also produce krathong in styrofoam but people are invited to perfer the biodegradable ones. I'm thinking back in the old time when I and classmates created krathong in the class and we brought our krathong to float in a river with family in the evening. The atmosphere was always beautiful and enjoyable. Many locations or villages give out prizes for the most beautiful Kragthong and/or organise Beauty Contests too.

The picture above shows the stunning atmosphere of various beautiful Krathong in the Chao-phraya river, in front of the most important temple of Bangkok: "Wat Pra Kaew".


Why we float the krathong? It has been told to be an ancient ritual to pay respect to the river spirits and to thank the Goddess of water (as water is essential to our life). People also claimed that floating the krathong symbolizes letting go of all one's hatred and anger. Some of them cut the fingernails or hair and place the clippings on the krathong as a symbol of letting go of negative thoughts.


Thai ladies in traditional costumes are floating their krathong in a canal. Fireworks are used in many cities to make a spectacular celebration too. Go visit Thailand in the month of November and you will be able to enjoy this experience ;)

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

A mochi made my day

I really really missed the Japanese mochi a lot, so when I found it for sale I immediately grabbed a pack! Some of you may not know what I'm talking about. Mochi is a Japanese rice cake, commonly consumed during the New Year, made of glutinous rice pounded and molded into round shape. There're various assortments, I love all of them but this time I fuond the green tea flavoured ones. I'm going to show you a picture of the preparation of traditional mochi below.

Japanese mochi is well-known and eaten in Thailand too. Italian people might not like these kinds of dessert much, seeing from my family, they don't like any kinds of our sweet made of glutinous rice.

And above are the green tea mochi I've enjoyed a lot ^^ They were very tender and delicate, just as I was looking for! Now see how I rendered them more perfect ^^

Nothing would have been more genius than accompanying them by a cup of hot green tea (never add sugar in the green tea!!!). They really made my day 。◕‿◕。

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

A world of Chocolate ♥

Last Saturday, a wonderful event took place in a town near our living zone. Actually they organised it once a year. Chocolate lovers absolutely cannot miss this appointment because I'm talking about "Chocolandia", a huge market where you can find so many fabulous forms of sweets made of chocolate! The vendors come from different places in Italy and they offer you particular home-made sweets.

I, hubby and our son arrived there in late afternoon, the busiest time perhaps, and we slipped into the crowd. I'm sorry that I wasn't able to take more pictures because I didn't want to obstruct the path. Below are some pictures of those delights.

The highlight of the event was the 215-metre long "Salame di Cioccolato", the special recipe of chocolate in salame shape to be sliced, produced by the local community. I didn't know how to capture the lenght and the clear image of the salame at the same time, also because it was well covered for the hygiene. What I got is just below.

And what you're going to see is the favorite one of my son. "Frittella" with nutella: a kind of hot and fried pastry, covered with white sugar and stuffed with nutella! What more would he want?

Not only it was the best chance to try numerous styles of chocolate and to see rare sweets and items , it was also the best occasion to buy beautiful, creative and yummy Christmas presents for your friends and family ◕‿◕

Friday, 16 November 2012

European attitude towards sanitary masks (what a title!)

This post might sound weird to you, but I really have had some discussions on this argument with Thai and Italian friends all these years. The temperature at the moment is changing a lot in few days and it means that we've more chances to catch a cold.

I think all of you have a picture of Asian (especially Japanese) people wearing sanitary masks on the street, in the subway train or any other public locations, even in the manga! Many many years back, when I was a child, we didn't have this habit in Thailand yet. But slowly Thai people, especially in an over-crowded city like Bangkok, have adopted this method from the Japaneses. Some are wearing the mask just to protect themselves from the air pollution. But the point is that it has become a kind of sensibleness wearing it in a public location when you have a cold and/or a cough. I admit that I don't know how much this action can prevent from spreading the viruses in the air, but I believe it can reduce at least up to 50%.

Why am I talking about this?? Well, it repeats each year that students in a classroom get sick one by one, and many times this circle goes on and on. I just mentioned with my son that it would help a lot if the sick mates wore sanitary masks...and as I imagined, he cried out loud "Oh, no! You'll be laughed at for sure if you do it!" I knew no one wears a sanitary mask for this reason in Italy, so I wasn't serious saying that. Even my husband, my in-laws or myself would do that! People will watch you in a very negative way as if you're a disgusting person and you'll want to disappear immediately! However, this's a bit sad in my opinion.

I once asked my Thai friend, who has been living here for more than 20 years, what she thought about this. She laughed and said "You already know, dear. Should we dare wearing a mask and go out? No, people will only think that you're terribly sick and they'll be afraid to stay near you but they don't recognise that it's better for themselves if a sick one wears a mask." I do agree with her.

As if this's the problem of the moment of the Asians in Europe, I noticed one friend who lives in Germany posting his status on Facebook about this argument. Another friend in Spain commented on his status...we're all thinking the same thing. Incredible!

I've an evident example of an Italian guy who got panicked by the sanitary mask....I'm talking about a person who is very very close to me. When I, my hubby and my son visited Bangkok, we always went out to enjoy life the most. We always saw some people here and there wearing the sanitary masks, such as in a huge shopping mall, in a park, in any spacious buildings and open-air, my hubby never had any reaction....until once when we stepped into the Sky Train, the door closed and in front of us we found two young ladies with the mask on their faces. I suddenly got a sensation that something was wrong with my hubby. After 2 stations, we got off the train and my poor hubby began to show panic on his face. I knew well what he thought, so I told him not to be that dramatic, and that he instead had to thank the girls because they use the mask. Although I understood his reaction, I just couldn't help making him changing the idea. I hope he won't get frightened any more the next time we go to Bangkok! He'll still see people with the masks anywhere.

After this, I don't expect Italian people to wear sanitary mask or to change their idea. I just wanted to emphasize how Asian and European people see things so differently. It's all normal, I'm against no one however!

Monday, 12 November 2012

Some suggestions for a good read!

Picture taken from

The October writing contest I participated (see the last post) was over and the result is here.

"Congratulations!" to the winners.

Their essays are really great. However I'm enjoying reading one by one.

I feel like sharing them with you. Every article is superb. You'll have a lot of fun and useful details.

Here is the list of all entries.

I hope they're going to organise other writing contests. Although it's hard for me as English isn't my mother tongue, I enjoyed it and it's great to get to know other expats.

Monday, 5 November 2012

I'm keeping my fingers crossed...

I somehow got involved in the initiatives of the Expats Blog, a blog that gathers numerous bloggers living or working abroad. I'm glad to get to know the blog as its staff is organising many interesting challenges. We, expat bloggers world-wide, are sharing our funny and emotional experience. I enjoy reading their posts a lot because I can learn many new things at second hand.

When I was invited to participate the writing contest, I didn't hesitate to join it as I love writing and this offers me a chance to make experience. I'm not expecting much just because English isn't my mother tongue, and I don't think I'm that good at writing neither. The thing that counts is that I love writing! However, I'm keeping my fingers crossed... ◕‿◕

I'd like to invite you to read my article. The contest just began and the winner will be announced on 10th Saturday. If you like it, please leave me a comment ♥

Find my article here.

From Thailand to Italy

With love,

Sunday, 4 November 2012

How I amend a dry chicken breast

I don't know if this problem occurs in every house, but when I buy a grilled chicken, no one picks up the breast part! I don't ofen buy one but when I don't have time to cook or when I run out of ideas for dinner, I end up buying a grilled chicken!!! (Obviously not for my husband who's vegetarian!) Well, the poor and pale meat of chicken breast is always there...but I'm not that desparate because I've a very juicy dressing for it, and here we go...

Yes, I'm going to introduce you some of my other top ingredients (you can see my top ingredients in previous posts): mint leaves, coriander leaves and shallot. Italian people say that the coriander leaves smell like a bug but my husband don't say so. He loves its scent (maybe he has to!!!)

This's a very Thai way to dress meat. All you need is a handful of mint leaves, another handful of coriander ones, half (or as much as you like) shallot, 1-2 red chillies, a piece of lime or lemon, 1 table spoon of fish sauce (or a little bit of salt) and 1 tea spoon of sugar.

Slice the dry and tasteless grilled meat that no one wants to eat and place it on a dish. Chop the shallot, mint and coriander leaves and chillies and put them in a small bowl. Add the fish sauce, sugar and lime juice in the bowl and mix them well. Now the hot, spicy, colourful and aromatic dressing is ready! Pour it on top of the sliced chicken breast and here you are....

The result is: a new dish of juicy and tasty chicken you will love 。◕‿◕。