Dim Sum in Chinatown…
Just popping out for a meal in Thailand can turn into a mini adventure (it’s one of the many reasons I enjoy living here). There I was on Saturday, heading to Chinatown with friends. One of us sort of knew where we were going and it wasn’t me. I mean, my sense of direction is more than laughable. Also laughable? I once made my living as a cartographer.
With the taxi driver waiting for instructions, a crumpled map in Chinese and Thai was shoved my way. “Here, you read Thai. Figure out where we need to go”.
Following the arrows, I could see we wanted ฮ่องกงติ่มซำ (Hong Kong Dimsum) located between ถนนเยาวราช (tanon Yaowarat) and ถนนเจริญกรุง (tanon Charoen Krung) in ตลาดเล่งบ๊วยเอี๊ยะ (Layngbuayiaya market). Seemed simple enough.
After explaining to the taxi driver where we wanted to go, I passed him the map. The driver turned the map this way and that. Upside down and back again. And for good reason. It was not because he couldn’t read a map. It was due to a common problem with maps made in Thailand. Too often, no attention is paid to North.
Our map had ถนนเยาวราช (tanon Yaowarat) on the top and ถนนเจริญกรุง (tanon Charoen Krung) below. In reality, it’s the other way around and diagonal.
Expats joke that taxi drivers in Thailand can’t read maps. But, when you think about what they have to work with, the problems they face come clear. All I can say that it’s a good thing (most) Thai taxi drivers have a better sense of direction that I do!
For whatever reason (I’m guessing the insane traffic), the driver dropped us off at the wrong end of the block. Now, it might seem a negative but it wasn’t. Not really. With all the selling excitement going on (swinging duck bodies, hanging pigs heads, slimy pink grunge, and more) having to fight our way from the soi 6 side to the soi 16 side was a bit of a treat.
But I’ve yet to figure out how you go in on soi 6 and come out on soi 16. Anyone?
Hong Kong Dimsum…
The food at Hong Kong Dimsum is fresh fresh fresh! I’m drooling (all over again) just writing this part of the post. For lunch we ordered enough dimsum (fried, steamed, and desert) and drinks for three people. Price? A grand total of 442 baht (US$14).
fried taro: เผือกทอด /pèuak tôt/
red pork: หมูแดง /mŏo daeng/
crab wrapped snack: ขนมจีบปู /kà-nŏm jèep bpoo/
prawns (Chinese name): ฮะเก๋า /há găo/
spinach (?): ผักโขม /pàk kŏhm/
eye of the dragon: ตามังกร /dtaa mang-gon/
pork wrapped snack: ขนมจีบหมู /kà-nŏm jèep mŏo/
prawn wrapped snack: ขนมจีบกุ้ง /kà-nŏm jèep mŏo gûng/
pork and prawn wrapped snack: ขนมจีบหมูกุ้ง /kà-nŏm jèep mŏo gûng/
Portugal pie (egg custard): พายไข่โปรตุเกส /paai kài bproh-dtù-gàyt/
My dictionary tells me that ขนม /kà-nŏm/ is ‘dessert, sweets, cake’ and it works for snack-type foods (such as dim sum) as well. And from what I could gather จีบ /jèep/ is a type of Chinese wrap. Does anyone know for sure?
In preparation for a coming series (Thai 111) I’m collecting loan words so it was great to add dim sum (ติ่มซำ), a Chinese loan word in both English and Thai.
dim sum |ˈdim ˈsəm|
a Chinese dish of small steamed or fried savory dumplings containing various fillings, served as a snack or main course.
ORIGIN from Chinese (Cantonese dialect) tim sam, from tim ‘dot’ and sam ‘heart.’