Getting married to a Thai national (or any foreign national, for that matter) in Belgium isn’t a straight-forward process. Official sources contradict each other in tiny (but crucial) details, different cities (or even contacts) interpret requirements differently and some government officials can’t be bothered to assist properly. My goal is to write our experiences down, to help others maneuver these murky waters. Part 1 will teach you how to successfully jump the first hurdle: the wedding registration at City Hall in Belgium.
Whenever I return to Europe after a longer period in the Land of Smiles, I always take a selection of products with me. Let’s skip the ones that are to be expected and let me tell you about the more unlikely apparel, cosmetics and seasoning.
A few weeks ago Bangkok expats burst into spontaneous cries of joy on social media: Sriracha spicy sauce would be available in Thailand, finally. The story got picked up be several online media, explaining that Sriracha isn’t originally Thai and interviewing locals who where just as surprised as myself. While I have come to know several extremely pleasant Bangkok residents with foreign roots, some of them have picked up a few peculiarities while living in the BKK Bubble. Nothing major, just little quirks like their yearning for British Indian food, or the American Chinese kitchen. Early on, I’ve learned not to question them and just keep them unaddressed. But wasn’t the Sriracha sauce invented in the city of Si Racha in Thailand’s Chonburi province and isn’t it still in production in that very same province? My mind kept wondering and I decided to check. Both the labels of my spicy red sauce bottles (pictures below) and Wikipedia confirm my suspicion. The truth of the matter: internationally, the biggest producer of Sriracha (Huy Fong, with the famous red rooster logo) is based in California, just started exporting to Thailand and seems to have an excellent PR department.
Central World in Bangkok upheld its yearly tradition of putting on a holiday light show in the plaza in front of the mall. This year’s theme is Winter White, the Garden of Happiness. Completed by a Christmas market, one almost feels the temperature drop below freezing while walking around the attractions. If you’re into the festive season, it is worth the visit. Some smartphone snapshots are available in this gallery. Sadly, once again I left the DSLR home. I guess we know what my New Year’s resolution is. Happy Holidays everyone! Hope you can spend them with your loved ones.
The Erawan shrine has fully recovered from the 2015 bombing and looks amazing in Bangkok’s nightly lights. Please excuse the blurry smartphone picture. The first chance I get, I will return, better equipped.
Next to the popular genres of Luuk Thung and Mor Lam, Thailand also has a very large pop music scene. Even though primarily consisting of melancholic acoustic songs, it is more diverse than it initially appears. This playlist illustrates that point, along with the fact that Thai music videos are very well-produced. Full tracklisting if you continue reading.