Sleep, Eat & Golf Haberski Style~Today’s Feature: Thailand

“TELL ME WHAT YOU EAT,
AND I’LL TELL YOU WHAT YOU ARE.”
–Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

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Street view

Wat Chai market in Pattaya, Thailand

I first met Chris through his blog “SleepEatGolf.”  The blog title is fun, and I find it intriguing he travels so often throughout the world, and has a special affinity for many of the countries he talks about in his blog.

In this particular article, he walks us through one of Thailand’s wet markets (Wat Chai Market, in Pattaya, Thailand). He immerses himself in the culture, takes videos showing the nuances of the country of Thailand, and his sincere attitude make him a great Internet friend and writer. (Note: Unfortunately, he recently had an injury that prevents him from some of the “golf” activities, but if you have any golf questions, please send them his way~He virtually grew up on the golf course!)

Please enjoy this post, watch the video, and send a “hello” to Chris from your neck of the woods!

All the best, Deb 

SLEEP, EAT & GOLF HABERSKI STYLE
TODAY’S FEATURE: THAILAND
By Author Chris Haberski

Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin became well-known to non-foodies with the popularity of the Japanese import TV show Iron Chef. The above quote is featured in the opening credits and I think it’s a very good representation of the role food choices play in a country’s culture.

In my travels and living in Southeast Asia over the past seven years I find this quote to be an extremely accurate indicator that gives tremendous insight into the people of a country.

Recently, I flew into Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, and then went to Level 1, Gate 8 to catch a bus to visit Pattaya, Thailand. It was an interesting trip, and one of my friends operates a stall in one of the wet markets there, so I thought it would be an interesting topic to write about.

market_04 - fish and meats with vendor

Fresh chicken, seafood and meat stands
Wat Chai market, Pattaya, Thailand

It’s one thing to visit a country and sample some of the local food and cuisines, but as a tourist you’re likely seeing only a small piece of the bigger picture. You’re also probably eating at restaurants and cafes that cater to the tourists tastes, not what the locals would typically eat.

One thing that I always like to do when visiting places like the Philippines, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Taiwan or Thailand is to seek out and visit the local wet market. If you really want to know the people of these lands, visiting where they get their food source should be on your list of places to visit along with all the other tourist spots.

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Wet Markets of Southeast Asia

A wet market in Southeast Asia is unlike anything any Westerner has ever seen before. Most people who are used to shopping in supermarkets for their foods would be shocked and awestruck to see the food butchering, preparation and storage standards that would cause Western health department workers to write endless reports of violations for food safety.

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Wet markets typically start early in the morning and those who want the freshest and best choices arrive as early as 3a.m. Open air stalls are lined up next to each other and there is little to no refrigeration. Fish and seafood are on ice, but chicken, pork, beef and other meats are typically simply hung on hooks or put on unrefrigerated display.

To give you a better feel for shopping a wet market, here’s a video of “live” footage from Wat Chai Market in PattayaThailand:

CLICK HERE

The floors of a wet market raw meat area are typically awash with bloody water and runoff from the stalls and drains are mostly uncovered. While most Westerners would consider this very unhygienic and a breeding ground for food-borne pathogens, I’ve never become sick from food from these markets.

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Fresh produce, Wet Market, Thailand

Usually areas are quarantined with one section being all pork, another all seafood and another all chicken, but this is not always the case and due to the nature of the setup at some point there’s likely to be a vegetable stand very near a chicken vendor who is next to a pork vendor.

Another sight to behold is the odd and strange things you can buy. Frogs, dried fish, squids of various sizes, eels, turtles and an entire pig’s head were just a few of the strange items I came across on a stroll through the meats section of Wat Chai market in Pattaya, Thailand:

market_07 - pork heads

Meat section, Wat Chai market, Pattaya, Thailand

The produce section had whole sugar cane, banana hearts, large yellow mangoes, various seaweeds, kelp, papayas and other unknown herbs and greens along with multi-colored glutinous rice sweets and snacks.  The fruit and vegetable areas are colorful displays of familiar and unfamiliar produce. You often see fruits like durians, mangosteens, jackfruits and rambutans that are native only to this part of the world. The produce is fresh, seasonal and mostly local as trucking items from hundreds of miles away is unheard of and not cost effective.

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Various fruits for sale at wet market, Thailand
 Wet market pic # 1 from front

Typical wet market, Thailand

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Fresh seafood, Thailand

The hustle and bustle is a site to behold at a wet market. Some, like the one I visited in Thailand, have prices per kilogram clearly listed in the local currency while others require slick bartering skills with the vendor to come to an agreed-upon price. Items are weighed on non-digital scales and I’ve even seen counterbalance scales in use. Your food choices are placed in a plastic bag, you pay and you’re off to the next vendor.

market_12 - lunch or takeout

Takeout, anyone?
Wet market, Thailand

Workers in the market often have several jobs at their respective stalls. Each stall is individually owned and operated and sometimes the person butchering your meat is also taking your money and giving you change. Latex rubber gloves are virtually unheard of and most wet markets also have a nearby area of cooked foods, other local delicacies, general house supplies, trinkets, clothes and even pirated DVDs and CDs (see video, above).

The flower areas are brilliant colorful displays of exotic floral arrangements:

market_11 - flower market possible cover

Visiting a wet market should be a top tourist attraction for you when you travel to Asia.

While most tourists visit and congregate in night markets, taking an early morning walk through the wet market will give you an entirely new perspective and feel for the country you are visiting.

It’s a rewarding, adventurous, often skipped experience that will give you a deeper bond and understanding of the people and land you are visiting.

Have a nice day, Chris 

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AUTHOR
Chris Haberski
CEO and Founder of SleepEatGolf

Hi there! Thanks for stopping by. My name is Chris, and I’m the CEO and Founder of SleepEatGolf. I’m a self-described world traveler, foodie and golf enthusiast, and I combine all three in my blog.  CLICK HERE for my full bio.

I’m from the United States, but college provided me with my first opportunity to travel overseas.

I was hooked!

One year, I took a trip to Asia to visit a cousin who’d moved to this region. After spending two weeks there, I was already planning my next trip!

I found Asia exciting and very affordable. Many hotel and food prices are much lower there than the United States.  So, I’m currently based in the Philippines and travel every 59 days for Visa requirements.

 For the past five years I’ve traveled from the Philippines to a new Asian country several times a year!

This offers me an interesting life view–new hotels, different food, fascinating people–but most of all, wonderful adventures.

Please stop by my site anytime, and offer thoughts, comments and suggestions.

I’d love to hear from you!

In the meantime, I’m packing my bags for my next trip…to sleep, eat and golf!

All the best, Chris

John Wayne’s Wings of Eagles

“COURAGE IS BEING SCARED TO DEATH,
BUT SADDLING UP ANYWAY.” –John Wayne

John Wayne Autograph Frank Hardy copyright

“Tomorrow hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday. ”
–John Wayne

Photo: Pensacola Airport, 1950s
By: Frank Hardy Photo
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Nothing says “American icon” more than actor, director, and producer John Wayne. His personal style, rugged bravado, and quiet strength made him loved by millions of people across the world.

Today’s article is by Frank Hardy.
Frank’s the author of the website: FrankHardyMadeMyPhotographsTwo.

 This is a tribute to John Wayne, along with some interesting history surrounding his fellow actors in the movie “The Wings of Eagles,” Dan Dailey and Maureen O’Hara, famous in their own right.

Enjoy! Deb

JOHN WAYNE’S WINGS OF EAGLES
By Author and Photographer Frank Hardy

Back in the 1950s, John Wayne filmed a movie at the Pensacola Naval Air Station (also called “NAS Pensacola”) called “The Wings of Eagles.”  Only the first 10 or 15 minutes of the movie were actually filmed at NAS, but it was an opportunity for my father to get some photos of John Wayne and his fellow actors. Unfortunately, the movie itself didn’t do too well at the box office, but the history surrounding the film, along with the richness of character of the actors, was something my father found fascinating.

Dailey and OHara Frank Hardy Copyright

Dan Dailey and Maureen O’Hara
Co-stars with Wayne in “Wings of Eagles”
Flying Southern Airways, Pensacola, 1950s
Photo: Frank Hardy Photo

Many of you might be too young to know Dan Dailey and Maureen O’Hara, so here’s a brief history of their captivating lives:

Dan Dailey:

  • Served in the United States Army during World War II as an Army officer
  • A frequent and favorite co-star of Betty Grable
  • Recorded four songs with the famous Andrews Sisters
  • Portrayed “Jughead” Carson in the movie Wings of Eagles with John Wayne
  • He was the first person to receive a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Television Musical or Comedy for his performance as the Governor in the TV sitcom “The Governor and J.J.” (1970s)
  • His sister was actress Irene Dailey, who starred in Another World

Maureen O’Hara:

  • Initially enrolled in business school to become a proficient bookkeeper and typist, which skills transferred into becoming John Ford‘s transcriber. (John Ford was a good friend of John Wayne.)
  • With her red hair and Irish roots, she was a bit of a spitfire, and spoke her truth, commenting once after a wild makeover for a movie set “If this is the movies, I want nothing to do with them!”
  • Her first major film was Jamaica Inn (1939) directed by Alfred Hitchcock
  • She had a wonderful soprano voice, and did guest appearances with Perry Como, Andy Williams, Betty Grable, and Tennessee Ernie Ford.
  • Her third husband, Charles F. Blair, Jr. was a pioneer of transatlantic aviation, a former Brigadier General of the U.S. Air Force, and a former Chief Pilot at Pan Am.
  • When asked about John Wayne, she said:I was tough. I was tall. I was strong. I didn’t take any nonsense from anybody. He was tough, he was tall, he was strong and he didn’t take any nonsense from anybody. As a man and a human being, I adored him.”

John Wayne leaving plane Frank Hardy Copyright

“I won’t be wronged, I won’t be insulted,
and I won’t be laid a hand on.
I don’t do these things to other people,
and I require the same from them.”
– John Wayne quote from The Shootist (1976)

Photo: Frank Hardy Photo, Pensacola Airport, 1950s

Sometimes, the story behind the story of a movie, film, or work of art is actually more interesting than the production itself. My father thought so, and he always tried to capture the element of humanity that we, as non-celebrities, may forget about.

We’re all human, we all deserve to be treated with respect.

John Wayne was the epitome of a man who portrayed that type of individual.

All the best, Frank Hardy

Frank Hardy Behind Camera _ 5x5 _ RTP _BW _ SFW

ABOUT FRANK HARDY:

Frank’s a second generation professional photographer living in Milton, Florida (across the bay from Pensacola).  He attended the University of West Florida and graduated on March 17, 1977–moving immediately into professional photography on March 18, 1977.

A quote: “I thought I would give it five years or so and then move onto something else, but 37 years later I’m still working in the business of photography…I went digital in 2002,  and I’ve really enjoyed working with the transition of the entire digital process.  I consider myself a portrait photographer (since I feel I’m a people person), but I’ve photographed anything and everything.”

Drop him a note at his website: CLICK HERE!

He’d love to hear from you.

[NOTE: All photos and text written in this post are the intellectual property of Frank Hardy. Please contact him for further information by clicking HERE.]

Luggage Tag: You’re It!

“The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.”
–Mark Twain

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Every airport traveler has to have a sense of humor. *

Here’s one way to lighten the load of airport travel from my friends at Flight001–witty luggage tags:

flight001-rubber-luggage-tag-obscenity-man

He didn’t get the
“Don’t worry, be happy” memo.
 

baggage-hrAnd some of us love retro!

FLI00913-F1-get-lost-tag-HR1~ I always love a good pun ~

flyindrunk1
When others need to be warned…

 youarehere1

                    Wherever you go, there you are  

FLI23183-F1-rubber-luggage-tag-go-away-HRIt’s always better to be alone or with someone

camera-luggage-tag-1

For that shutterbug in your life

 

For a complete page of Flight001‘s luggage tags, CLICK HERE.

They also have great ideas for (CLICK ON YOUR DESIRED LINK AS FOLLOWS):
gifts for her, gifts for him, gifts under $25, and a great post on “How to Properly Pack Your Suitcase.”

HAPPY FLYING!

Contact:

FLIGHT 001, INC.
221 WEST 17TH STREET 4FL
NEW YORK, NY 10011               

T: 212.691.1001
F: 212.691.8660

* All photos in this post have been used with permission from FLIGHT001.

What Does Christmas Mean to You?

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When the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays approach, everyone views this time from different windows.

Some are angry, some sad, some happy, some joyous, some frazzled, some are mean to others, and some just want it to all be over so “real life” can carry on.

There are in-laws, outlaws, family dynamics that are complicated, some families not so complicated, and some just are.

There are precious children waiting with bated breath for Christmas morning and all the fun and excitement and presents that Santa (dad/mom/family) will bring.

There are children whose only wish is food. Or shoes. Or a loving family that will care for them and love them.

There are people living through the happiest days of their lives, there are folks in transition, and some have just experienced a great tragedy or are fighting for someone or something, and Christmas, while on their mind, isn’t about material possessions and the trappings of a holiday commercial…it’s about the real meaning of Christmas.

So. What IS the real meaning of Christmas?

If you asked 100 people, you would get 100 different answers. The child inside of each of us would agree those 100 different answers probably mean the same thing.

Here’s What Christmas Means to Me:

  • The Christ Child’s Greatest Gift
  • Life’s Big Picture
  • Happy children’s faces
  • Beautiful music
  • Love
  • Magic
  • Fun
  • Time
  • Hope
  • Prayer
  • The smile on your pet
  • Kindness
  • Divine miracles
  • Remembering those who need help
  • And so much more.

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For those who’ve made certain choices in life and reside in a prison or correctional facility, Christmas may be a time of reflection, regret, and isolation.

Unless we personally know someone in this situation during the holidays, we don’t see those faces staring at us through the glass on a phone or sitting across from us at a table for a brief period of time.

They have the stark reminder that Christmas is about sharing your life with others and having community and fellowship with those you love.

They have brief moments of hope they cling to so they can get through another day, and focus on reentering society someday – a society they know may or may not welcome them.

For this reason, the organization called Puppies Behind Bars was founded:

An inmate applies to raise a Service Dog. If approved, they are with the dog 24/7. They train them, care for them, feed them, sleep with them, and teach their Service Dogs to help those on the outside to have better lives–typically our military service members, the elderly, the handicapped, and children who suffer from permanent and sometimes fatal diseases.

Once the dog is fully trained, the inmate must release the dog to its (new) owner. Imagine the heartbreak of that inmate who’s embraced a dog for a year or more of its life, only to know there will be a day they will have to say say goodbye.

These profound people contribute to our society in a quiet way, yet they also are taught the lesson of unconditional love–something many of them have never, ever felt in their lives. Ever. They then have the pride in knowing they’ve helped another human being have a great life – – no matter what they have done in their own lives.

It’s a powerful concept. One we should embrace. To learn more, please go to their website at http://www.PuppiesBehindBars.com and watch their videos and learn more about them.

What’s the true meaning of Christmas?

I can’t think of a better example than this:

Selflessness.

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

I wish you health, happiness, and joy in 2015.

Deb

Airline Ticket Taxes: Where’s Your Money Going?

Cash, 2014
Above picture credit: Photo taken at home of author.
I’m proud to be paying taxes in the United States.
The only thing is—I could be just as proud for half the money.
–Arthur Godfrey
 
When you buy an airline ticket, you pay surcharges (for fuel, etc…), fees (baggage fees, extra bag and heavy weighted bag fees, even ticket fees), but not much is said about the taxes you pay. 
Maybe we’re just used to it? 
In the United States, the published selling price and the actual selling price of an airline ticket are two very different things (The published selling price is the base fare + taxes = actual selling price.).
This is nothing new, but do you know where your money is going?

Airline ticket taxes passed along to you:

U.S. Transportation Taxes: At the time of this posting, this tax is a certain percentage of the base fares within the United States – typically about 7.5%. In 2014, the tax under § 4261(b)(1) on the amount paid for each domestic segment of taxable air transportation is $4.00, and the tax under § 4261(c)(1) on any amount paid (whether within or without the United States) for any international air transportation.

If the transportation begins or ends in the United States, generally it’s $17.50. Under § 4261(c)(3), however, a lower amount applies under § 4261(c)(1) to a domestic  segment beginning or ending in Alaska or Hawaii, and the tax applies only to departures. For calendar year 2014, the rate is approximately $8.70.

Passenger Facility Charges (“PFCs“): These charges are an additional tax the federal government allows a certain airport to charge passengers so that the airport can subsidize airport expansions and update airport facilities. For more information, CLICK HERE.

Segment Taxes: A segment tax is a federal tax that applies for a departure from the airport at the beginning of a flight segment. These taxes don’t apply to selected rural airports. The amount charged is approximately $3.40 and up.

U.S. Security Service Fees:  This fee was imposed on airline passengers in response to 9/11 to support higher security throughout airports, and support the TSA.  This fee used to be $2.50 per trip; however, recent articles have suggested that the government (with both Republican and Democratic support), will likely increase this fee to $5.60 per trip.

CLICK HERE for an interesting article from Bloomberg.

 

Happy Flying!

Secret Foodie Hot Spot: Guernsey, Channel Islands

St. Peter Port Harbour Photo courtesy of www.GuernseyImages.com

St. Peter Port Harbour
Image courtesy of www.VisitGuernsey.com

All images courtesy of VisitGuernsey. Please visit their website at www.visitguernsey.com

“Kilometers are shorter than miles. Save gas, take your next trip in kilometers.” – George Carlin *****************

TODAY’S POST: GUERNSEY, CHANNEL ISLANDS!

I didn’t know much about Guernsey until I read more about it and spoke with the Guest Author of this post.  To get there, CLICK HERE for information on flying to Guernsey. Here’s a quick overview of the area, according to Wikipedia:

Guernsey, officially the Bailiwick of Guernsey (French: Bailliage de Guernesey), is a British Crown dependency in the English Channel off the coast of Normandy. As a bailiwick, Guernsey embraces not only all ten parishes on the Island of Guernsey, but also the islands of Alderney and Sark – each with its own parliament – and the smaller islands of Herm, Jethou and Lihou.

Although its defence is the responsibility of the United Kingdom, the Bailiwick is not part of the United Kingdom but rather a possession of the British Crown. It lies within the Common Travel Area of the British Isles and is not a member of the European Union, but has a special relationship with it, being treated as part of the European Community for the purposes of free trade in goods. Together, the Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey form the geographical grouping known as the Channel Islands.”

ENJOY!    -D

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The island of Guernsey can be found under an hour’s flight away from London’s Gatwick Airport; however, it might as well be the other side of the world. Never mind the 27 different beaches, the luxury four and five star hotels, or the relaxed pace of life–the topic I want to discuss today is Guernsey’s wonderfully fresh seafood.

If you were to sail out due west from Guernsey you wouldn’t reach land until Newfoundland, Canada over 2,300 miles away, so, as an island surrounded by water you would be correct in thinking Guernsey deals in its fair share of seafood!

Locally caught fish include: bass, bream, brill, haddock, halibut, mackerel, monkfish, mullet, plaice, pollock, salmon, sole, tuna, turbot, and whiting. On top of this there’s also an abundance of shellfish including clams, king prawns, mussels, ormers, prawns, and scallops. Of course there are then the obligatory varieties of crab and lobster for which the island is so well loved.

However it’s not just being able to catch the produce locally that makes Guernsey so special; the island’s chefs still have to play their part superbly.

So what sort of dishes could you expect to find on a seafood menu in Guernsey? In the interest of fairness I felt I should head out for my evening meal to make sure for myself. I headed to Le Nautique, one of Guernsey’s premier seafood restaurants found in the island’s capital.

I was not let down. Delicious!

Seafood Photo courtesy of www.GuernseyImages.com

Seafood
Image courtesy of www.VisitGuernsey.com

For my first course I had a delicious terrine of scallops, prawns and smoked salmon, accompanied by a refreshing herb yogurt dressing. The refreshing tang and coolness of the dressing played off wonderfully against the smoky, yet light, tastes of the seafood terrine. This was of course complemented with a crisp bottle of Sancerre in order to set my palette alight with the mingling flavours of white wine and seafood.

For my main course I moved onto a grilled fillet of Guernsey brill topped with a ragout of scampi, scallops and prawns in a light beurre blanc. Personally, I feel you will do very well to find better seafood anywhere at the same sort of price range; my main course cost me £16.50 and it was £6.50 for my starter. I agree that there are cheaper meals readily available, but consider the considerably larger price you would be paying for this in a big city restaurant, this is just another benefit of having our produce so closely available to us in Guernsey.

It doesn’t just start and end at Le Nautique though. There are approximately 20 island restaurants specializing in seafood, and pretty much every restaurant on the island offers some sort of seafood menu.

The Southern Cliffs Photo courtesy of www.GuernseyImages.com

The Southern Cliffs
Image courtesy of www.VisitGuernsey.com

Just like the sea air is in our lungs and the salt water is in our blood, life on Guernsey also means the sea’s bountiful foods are on our plates, and that is something we are indeed grateful for.

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profilepic (2) Bio Jamie Hunts copyrightedABOUT THE AUTHOR:

JAMIE HUNTS

Jamie loves living in Guernsey and loves even more the idea of spreading the message about his wonderful island home.  Check out Visit Guernsey and Guernsey Images to learn more about a holiday to Guernsey.

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Unless otherwise noted in this post, the text in this article is the intellectual property of Jamie Hunts.