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N ONTHABURI N EIGHBORHOOD R EACH

A PRIL 2014

Thani Talk Serving the Nonthaburi community and supporting local charities since 1994

Now online at: www.issuu.com/nnrthanitalk

Meet Our Muslim Neighbors The mosque on Soi Prasert Issaram, just outside of Nichada Thani, welcomes Muslim worshippers of all nationalities, said Iman Yousop Leechalard (on right). (Below, clockwise): Local Thai poses with mosque friends from Africa; Pakistani businessman and Thai wife; Descendents of immigrants from India; Thai young ladies on their way to a neighborhood wedding.

Cover Story: Pages 4-9

Events at a Glance: April 24 Tour: Night out at Sky Bar * NO NNR SOCIAL in April *

Happy Songkran!!

Contents: Highlights Tour: Meet at “Above 11”, p. 3 Grapevine: pp. 26-27 Cover Story: Muslim neighbors Recipes: p. 41 Restaurant: p. 49 of Soi Prasert Issaram, pp. 4-9 Charity: Fundraiser Recap, p. 14 Feature: American Women’s Club, p. 46

Thani Talk is generously sponsored by


NNR Committee

Thani Talk ~April 2014

Writers Wanted For Thani Talk Travel Writers Feature Writers Long hours, zero pay. But it’s loads of fun, and you get to see your work in print. Plus, it’s a great way to meet fascinating people in our community. If you excel, we’ll double your pay. If interested, please contact Liz at nnrnewsletter@yahoo.com

NNR BOARD 2013-2014 Chairperson

Mare Harvey

billandmare@mac.com

Vice Chairperson

Charlotte Sanders

084-875-7655

Treasurer

Val Mowat

081-849-1466

Activities/Tours

Alexandra Ries

084-388-4457

NNR Socials

Sarah Glaze

081-793-0806

Charity Socials and Volunteer Coordinator

Linda Feltham

091-095-0457

Advertisements

Laura Sadowski

089-924-5306

nnrads@yahoo.com

Newsletter Editor

Liz Lu (Co-editor) Monique Langer (Co-editor) Jennifer Bradley (Proofreader)

086-784-7171

nnrnewsletter@yahoo.com

Distribution Coordinator Heather Powell

083-293-2169

Bazaar Committee: Carla Zeitune (Coordinator), Charlotte Sanders (Raffle Prizes), Mare Harvey (Sponsors), Tipwan Smagpong (Vendors).

Ad Rates

1 page

26.5 x 19 cm.

2,500 baht

1/2 page

13 x 19 cm.

1,500 baht

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13x 9 cm.

800 baht

• • • •

Rates per issue, discount for annual ad Based on space availability. Deadline for all ads is the 15th of each month. Ads must be paid in full prior to publishing.

NNR is a not-for-profit organization of volunteers dedicated to serving the Nonthaburi community and supporting local charities since 1994. We achieve this by publishing a free monthly magazine that has a distribution of 1,400 copies. We host monthly coffee mornings, an annual charity bazaar and organize monthly tours. There are no membership dues. 2


Thani Talk ~April 2014

NNR Social and Tour

No NNR April Social

Happy Songkran! Stay Cool & Have a Splash!! April 13-16

NNR April Tour: “Above Eleven” Sky Bar

“Above Eleven” is a sky bar & restaurant on the 33rd floor of the Fraser Suites on Soi 11 of Sukhumvit Road in downtown Bangkok. It is an amazing place for drinks, with an interesting food concept for Japanese/Peruvian cuisine. Let's spend a great time together and enjoy breathtaking, panoramic views of the Bangkok skyline!

Date: April 24th Time: 6pm. We'll be back around 11pm. Where: Meet at ISB in front of Chevron Theatre

RSVP: Alexandra Ries at berlin.bangkok@hotmail.com. When you RSVP, please provide cell number 3


Cover Story: Our Muslim Neighbors

Thani Talk ~April 2014

Rich Diversity of Our Muslim Neighbors

Thai law protects freedom of religion, and the kingdom's religious inclusiveness is evidenced by the many places of worship for a myriad of faiths in our Nonthaburi community. For example, six different worship venues are regularly listed in Thani Talk, ranging from temples to churches to synagogues to mosques. Although the majority of Thais are Buddhist, here in our Soi Prasert Issaram neighborhood just outside of Nichada Thani, we live side by side with Muslim neighbors whose families have lived here for generations. I live on Soi Prasert Issaram and can hear the daily call to prayer that is broadcasted five times a day from speakers throughout the community. I ride my bike past the Soi Prasert Issaram mosque and buy snacks from halal food vendors. One recent afternoon, I spotted a group of young neighbors, dressed beautifully for a Muslim wedding, who were waiting for motorcycle taxis by the side of the road. Then and there, I decided it's about time I learned more about the wonderful Muslim community in which we all live. According to a 2011 survey reported by Thailand's National Statistical Office (NSO), 94% of Thais are Buddhist, 5% are Muslim, 0.7% are Christians (mainly Catholics), and the remainder are other religious groups such as Taoists, Jews, Hindus and Sikhs. The NSO also reports that a greater percentage (30.4%) of southern Thais are Muslim, while Muslims make up less than 3% of the population in other parts of the kingdom. Nationwide, there are 3,494 mosques, according to NSO records, and Thailand's Religious Affairs Department reports that 99% of the mosques are associated with the Sunni branch of Islam, and 1% are Shi'a. There are two mosques, both Sunni, here in our neighborhood. One is on Soi Prasert Issaram, and the other on Samakkee Road.

Friday noon prayers at mosque on Soi Prasert Issaram. 4

Thai Muslims migrated to the kingdom from a wide swath of Asia, including China, Pakistan, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Some Thai Muslims, such as the well-known Boonyaratglin and Bunnag families, trace their ancestry to Persia. Although nearly two-thirds of Thai Muslims are of Malay ancestry, the majority of Thai Muslims in our Pakkred neighborhood are ethnic Thais.


Thani Talk ~April 2014

Cover Story: Continued

The local mosques, however, welcome Muslim worshippers from all over the world who happen to live in or near Pakkred, said Yousop Leechalard, the 43-year-old imam, or spiritual leader, of the mosque on Soi Prasert Issaram. The mosque is located just 800 meters past the Subway sandwich shop on Soi Prasert Issaram. Some worshippers hail from Egypt and Jordan, he said. Indeed, after prayer services one recent Friday, among the crowd of worshippers leaving the local mosque were professional football players from the Ivory Coast and other African nations. Mohamed Kone, 30, plays for the Thai Premier League's TOT team. The nearby TOT Stadium Chaengwattana is one of 20 stadiums in the league. Accompanying Mohamed at the mosque was his friend Fofana Amara, 25, who plays for the BBCU (Big Bang Chula United) team. Both men are from the Ivory Coast, and Mohamed said they also have friends from Morocco, Mali, and Gambia who attend the Soi Prasert Issaram mosque. Also in the crowd of worshippers was Apin Rojvithee, 32, who works for the Suraponn Trading company located on Soi Prasert Issaram. He is a Thai citizen whose ancestors emigrated from Tamil Nadu in southern India. While the majority of Tamil Nadu residents are Hindus, approximately 6% are Muslim. Apin's father, 61-year-old Aran Rovithee, said his own grandfather first came to Thailand to pursue a number of business opportunities, including the spice trade. Apin's uncle Thamnoon Tulyathamrong, with his beautifully-braided white beard, also goes to the same mosque for prayers. The majority of worshippers, however, are ethnic Thais whose families have lived in the Soi Prasert Issaram and Soi Samakkee areas for generations. According to Imam Yousop, approximately 500 families, representing more than 3,500 people, are in the neighborhoods served by the two local mosques. Arriving at the mosque for my interview with the imam, I had expected to meet an elderly gentleman, so I was surprised that the leader of the Soi Prasert Issaram mosque was a tall man of 43 who looked ten years younger than his age. Imam Yousop said when his uncle, the previous imam, passed away in 2011, the "year of the great flood", the community promptly elected him as its new leader. "I didn't want to be imam," he said in Thai, "because an imam has a lot of responsibilities. But when the people elected me, I accepted." Imam Yousop's duties include leading prayers, teaching others about Islam, and conducting community ceremonies such as weddings, funerals, and blessings, he said. (Lt): Iman Yousop Continued 5


Thani Talk ~April 2014

Cover Story: Continued Many Muslims in the neighborhood have both Thai and Muslim names, such as Khun Nattawut Srisuk, whose Muslim name is Fadil. Khun Nattawut, a driver at Mansions in the Park, goes by the nickname "Din" and was born and raised in Pakkred. Before joining the Mansions staff, he worked for his family’s food business and taught religious studies at the Soi Prasert Issaram mosque.

As a child, Khun Din started his religious studies when he was 6, and like other children in the neighborhood, attended Islamic classes at the mosque school from 4:30pm to 6:30pm, after he had finished his regular studies at the local Khun Nattawut “Din” Srisuk, like many Thai government Thai school. Beginning at age 16, Muslims, has a Muslim name. His is Fadil. Khun Din attended a religious school in Minburi for 7 years, coming home during school breaks to find that his childhood neighborhood had transformed overnight due to the arrival of ISB, Nichada Thani, and other modern buildings. "I was surprised," he said. "It felt strange." He still remembers the days when the land where Nichada now stands was empty land and rice fields. But Khun Din acknowledges that the arrival of the expatriate community has brought more jobs. Khun Din was born and raised in the Soi Prasert Issaram neighborhood, but other locals hail from Muslim communities elsewhere in Thailand. For example, Somnuk Phudi, whose Muslim name is Bubagat, moved to Pakkred from Minburi, and Konnee Lamot, 46, moved to the neighborhood from Pathumthani at the age of 25 to marry Khun Supaida, whom he met in Pakkred during school breaks visiting relatives. Khun Konnee said he decided to make his home in Pakkred, because there were more jobs here than Pathumthani, where most of the residents were rice farmers.

K. Somnuk in work clothes (left), and in Muslim attire to attend a wedding.

Khun Somnuk, who has one daughter, and Khun Konnee, who has two girls, said they do not insist that their daughters always wear Muslim attire when outside the home. "If she wears normal clothes she doesn't look Muslim, but it's no problem. It's up to her," said Khun Konnee. On Soi Prasert Issaram, Muslim women food vendors can be seen in a range of attire and head coverings. Some wear a shawl, others a simple knitted hat, and still others opt for no head coverings at all.

But when the young women of the community attend Friday prayers or a major event such as a wedding, they all dress up in their prettiest traditional Muslim outfits. Soda Lamot, Khun Konnee's 19-year-old daughter, said many locals buy Muslim outfits in Minburi. 6


Cover Story: Continued

Thani Talk ~April 2014

Then there are expatriates in Nichada Thani who are also Muslim. For example, my neighbor Lea Palma moved to Pakkred last August from Indonesia when Pepsico transferred her husband to Thailand. The couple had honeymooned in Thailand, and Lea was glad to be back. She finds the Pakkred neighborhood welcoming for Muslims, even though the kingdom is majority Buddhist. While visiting the neighborhood with her real estate agent, Lea heard the call to prayers. "I was so happy there's a mosque!" she said. "Living far from home, I need something that reminds me of home. I saw men wearing sarongs walking by. I saw ladies wearing kerudung (veil)." Shopping for Muslim clothing and food has also been easy, said Lea, a 33year-old mother of triplets. She took a boat-taxi from the Nonthaburi Pier to Yaowarat (Bangkok's Chinatown) and ended up finding shops selling kerudung, peci (hat), and even abaya (long dresses). "It never occurred to me that Chinatown would have kerudung!" she said. Lea has visited the Middle East before, but she said Asian Muslims in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand share a kinship. "We have the same style," said Lea, adding that the "Melayu" style of this region showcases happy, bright colors. "The ladies here look like my aunts in Sumatra." Lea, pointing to the colorful kerudung she was wearing, said that the veil makes it easier for others to know that she is Muslim, and that has come in handy. For example, helpful Thai vendors have steered her away from fish ball soup, offering friendly alerts that the broth is made from pork, which Muslims do not eat. Ever so adventurous, Lea has also discovered Ruamjai Market near Impact Arena, where she can buy halal food. She found it through word-of-mouth from other Muslim expatriate families. In Nichada Thani, there are 12 families from Indonesia, she said. Other Muslim transplants to the neighborhood include Shawn Akbar, owner of Shawn Carpets located opposite Que Pasa restaurant on Soi Prasert Issaram. Shawn is a Muslim from Pakistan, and his wife Jaree, is a Thai Buddhist from Nakhon Si Thammarat in southern Thailand. They met at a fitness club in downtown Bangkok, and fell in love. Since Islamic law requires Muslims to marry Muslims, Khun Jaree attended Muslim school in Prakanong downtown in preparation for her conversion. She said her Buddhist family is easy-going and did not mind her becoming a Muslim, as long as she is happy. Shawn said he is glad that Khun Jaree was open to accepting his faith. He is also happy they moved out to Pakkred when the opportunity to expand his family's "Rugs Corner" business came up. "I'm thankful to God that He brought me here," said Shawn, who regularly attends Friday prayers at the Soi Prasert Issaram mosque. "I'm very religious now. I guess because of the community." Like other faithful Muslims, Shawn and Khun Jaree hope to make a pilgrimage to Mecca one day. "Because it's a duty of Muslims," said Khun Jaree. "Unfortunately, we can't right now," she said patting her tummy. The couple is expecting their fourth child in early April. Continued 7


Cover Story: Continued

Thani Talk ~April 2014

Each year, about ten Muslims from the Soi Prasert Issaram community go on the Hajj, according to Khun Ayub Senptiyanont, a phoonaam, or mosque leader, who has for more than ten years guided groups of Thai Muslims to Saudi Arabia on 45-day Hajj pilgrimages. The tour group usually number 60 to 70 persons per year, he said, and they come from Muslim communities all over Thailand, including many from the South. About 70% of the travelers are women, said Khun Ayub. The cost, covering air fare, food and accommodations, is approximately Baht 160,000 per person, he said. Such a price tag is beyond the means of many in the Pakkred neighborhood. Ta Kanmanee, a travel agent at the local Bilosakids Travel company, said she has handled visa applications for Muslim clients going on the Hajj, but she has yet to go herself. The vibrant Muslim community of our neighborhood lives in harmony with all of their Buddhist friends, said the locals. "I have friends of all faiths," said Khun Somnuk of Mansions in the Park. Uniformly, those interviewed expressed sadness about the conflicts and resulting violence between Buddhists and Muslims in southern Thailand. Khun Jaree calls her mother in Nakhon Si Thammarat down south whenever there's news of another attack. "She's Buddhist there, and around her are Muslims,” said Khun Jaree, who is now a Muslim herself. “I tell her 'Don't go out, it's dangerous.’" Said her husband Shawn, "If they are killing like this, they are wrong. If you are a good Muslim, you won't do it." Khun Din, the former mosque teacher, added, "In my opinion, those who commit violent acts are not practicing true Islam, because the Islam religion does not teach us to do that." Others also emphasize that Islam does not condone violence and intolerance. The sectarian violence we hear in the news has less to do with religious differences, said many locals, and more to do with the political separatist movement. "Islam forbids us from hurting others," said Iman Yousop. "Muslims are not dangerous." Iman Yousop extended an open invitation to all in the community, including foreigners of all faiths, to visit the Soi Prasert Issaram mosque and learn more about their Muslim neighbors. "They are welcome to come to the mosque," he said, adding a request that visitors to the mosque dress in a respectful manner. By learning more about one another, people of different faiths can live in harmony, said Iman Yousop. Statistics from internet sources, i.e. National Statistical Office, Foreign Affairs Ministry, Religious Affairs Dept, Islamicfinder.com, Wikipedia.com, etc. Profiles from personal interviews. 8

Liz Lu


Cover Story: Continued

Thani Talk ~April 2014

Women and girls attending Friday prayers stand behind a blue curtain separating female from male worshippers.

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Thani Talk ~April 2014

Fundraiser: Thank You

St. Patrick’s Day Party was a Magical Night! Fundraiser Aids Homeless Mare and Bill Harvey were the very generous hosts of NNR’s March 22nd St. Patrick’s Day-themed social evening and fund raiser. More than 150 people attended the Green-filled fundraiser, drinking a total of 140 liters of Guinness and Kilkenny. To top it off, the event raised a whopping 105,000 baht for a worthy cause – sleeping mats and cushions for residents of the Nonthaburi Reception Home for the Destitute. Cathy Sackett

(Above): Hosts Bill and Mare Harvey welcomed more than 150 revelers to their home.

Thank You, Jeff and Ivor! (Above): Professional magicians Jeff Burns, left, and Ivor Smith entertained the crowd with a good dose of Scottish humor and “quicker-than-the-eye” expertise with ropes, cards, and yes, a foldable banana. The magic duo were in Thailand to conduct safety training workshops for Chevron, and they generously donated their time to help a worthy cause.

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Continued

Thani Talk ~April 2014

(Above) Teens from ISB’s Elder Care Club worked hard all night to sell raffle tickets and collect donations. But being under-aged, they were all denied even one drop of Guinness and Kilkenny.

Thank You to Tops for donating gift baskets for the evening’s raffle drawing 15


Tour Tales

Thani Talk ~April 2014

March NNR Tour: Biking on Kokret Island A lovely group of ladies spent the morning of March 18 on a bicycle tour of Kokret Island. Located only 20 minutes from Nichada - including a short ferry ride across the Chao Phraya Kokret is a nearby escape from city life. Kokret is home to the Mon people of Burma, and their traditional pottery-making is demonstrated on the island. The famous Kokret pottery can also be purchased from various factories throughout the island. Thank you to the adventurous ladies who attended! Alexandra Ries On Wednesday 19th March, I and a few other ladies set off for Kokret. Kokret is a man- made island in the middle of the Chao Phraya. It is only about five kms from Nichada so a very do-able half day trip. It is also home to one of the oldest Mon settlements, who are famed for their hand thrown pottery made out of local Koh Kret clay. I have been there on the weekend, when many locals take the ferry over. There are many market stalls open and the roads are very narrow and full of pedestrians, which makes it very chaotic and hard to cycle around. So, it was a change to see it during the week when there are far less people around. We took the short drive in the air-conditioned comfort of a Montri mini van and were soon at the temple where we took the ferry across. The ferry cost us a grand total of two baht each way! Once on the island, those who wanted to walk set off, and those who wanted to ride hired bikes (40 baht for the day). The bikes were pretty rickety and we had some fun experiences with squeaky brakes, poor steering, very uncomfortable seats etc. However, it was an easy six km ride around the island. There is basically one path around the island. This path takes you through some market areas with pottery stalls and past a few massive brick kilns to look at. We also cycled/walked through some lovely rural areas of banana plants, lotus filled canals, etc. All in all, despite it being a very hot day we all had a great time. Thanks to Alexandra, for organizing the trip and taking the time to show us around. Cathy Sackett 16


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Thani Talk ~April 2014

Community Groups

Women’s Groups Working Together

Interclub Welfare Committee

Club Canada On March 7th I had the pleasure of attending an Interclub Welfare Committee Meeting with Liz Lu, a Thani Talk editor and wonderful charity worker. This was the first meeting of the committee in over a year, and it is hoped we will now meet on a regular basis. It was attended by women representing several local groups including, the American Women's Club, SILC (Samutprakarn International Ladies Group), Club Canada, and of course our very own NNR. It is our collective hope that at the next meeting in May there will be more groups represented. One mission of the committee is to share information about the welfare projects that each of the women’s groups are involved in, with a view to helping each other by sharing ideas, and if applicable, resources. An excellent example of this is a discussion that we had on the potential closure of an NNR supported charity, Sparrow Home, which is in jeopardy of losing its funding. Some great ideas were put forward, and we will now host a meeting on March 27th between the welfare committee members and the head of Sparrow Home’s Foundation, allowing the committee members to visit Sparrow Home for themselves. A special thank you to Sandie King for her dedication to helping Sparrow Home. We are really hoping that as a result of these efforts we will be able to keep Sparrow Home open. While we have these resourceful welfare ladies in our neighborhood, we will also introduce them to other NNR supported charities, the Home for The Destitute and Baan Rachawadee for Girls, with a view to getting help with our projects there. I am very excited to be representing NNR on this committee and feel that together we can achieve so much. We could not be involved in all the charity work that we are without the help of you, our Nonthaburi neighbors. By supporting our NNR events you make sure that we have the funds to carry out the work that we do. We greatly appreciate that, as do our charities. In addition to supporting NNR events, there are many volunteers who are involved in a hands-on capacity, helping to improve lives. Together we can all make a difference! Linda Feltham

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Community Bulletin Board

Thani Talk ~April 2014

The Community Bulletin Board contains advertisements from local instructors, vendors, residents, and service providers. If you would like to advertise your business or event here, please submit your announcement by the 15th of each month to nnrads@yahoo.com. Cost per announcement is 400 baht.

Yoga Class with Napisa Napisa Pant

Bollywood Dance Class Beginners/Advanced Irit

Mon: 8:45-10:15am, Energize and Restore, All Levels Wed: 7:45-9:15am, Strength and Smiles, Level 2 Wed: 10:00-11:00am, Prenatal Yoga Wed: 7:45-9:00pm, Evening Yoga, Level 1-2 Friday 7:45-9:15am, Back and Core Yoga, Level 1-2 @Studio Above Starbucks Napisa C. Pant 086-975-7187 or napisapant.yoga@gmail.com

Vinyasa Yoga Ellie Edelhoff Develop strength, flexibility, balance, focus and awareness coordinating movement and breath. Thursdays 8.15-9.45 am: Clark Hatch Gym above Starbucks. All levels welcome. Contact: Ellie Edelhoff 087-000-2464 or 02-987-9677 Email: eedelhoff@hotmail.com

Meditation Courses-Individual or Group Learn to meditate-TM style. Relieves stress and anxiety. Improves health, academic, athletic, and professional performance. Easy natural, anyone can learn. Expert instruction by a 30-year teacher of meditation. Contact Ellie Edelhoff for more information. www.TM.org, www.tmeducation.org, www.DavidLynchFoundation.org

Bollywood dance is a fusion of Western, Eastern and Latin dance with traditional classical Indian dance styles. It’s funky, it’s sexy, it’s fun... and it’s a great workout! If you love to dance - this is for you! Classes: Bollywood for Beginners– NEW!: Monday OR Thursday 9:30-10:30am Advanced: Tuesday 10am OR Wednesday OR Friday 9:30-10:30am All classes held at Regent Dance Studio, Nichada Thani. For further information, contact Irit: 086-0044840 or iritmike@gmail.com

Advertise your business or event here! Contact: nnrads@yahoo.com

April 2014 NNR and Community Events April 5

Visit Nonthaburi Reception Home for the Destitute at Nichada Night Market

April 7

Holiday: Chakri Day (Observed)

April 13-15 Holiday: Songkran Day April 24 20

NNR Tour: Above Eleven (see page 3)

Happy Songkran Day!


Community Events

Thani Talk ~April 2014

Sports Day for Neighborhood Thai Children High school teens joined forces with the Soi Prasert English Class project on March 2 to take 49 local Thai kids to ISB for an afternoon of sports. Members of the Interact Club and the National Honor Society pitched in to play football and basketball with the children. Youngsters also had the chance to enjoy the swings, monkey bars and Big Toys on the playground. The 2-hour visit was capped by a trip to the cafeteria for snacks and drinks. The Soi Prasert English Class is taught by community volunteers every Sunday. For more information, see photos and details on p. 22, or contact: lizsiam@gmail.com.

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Community

Thani Talk ~April 2014

Soi Prasert English Class Offers FREE Lessons to Local Kids Founded last October to provide free English lessons to Thai children in the community outside of Nichada Thani, Soi Prasert English Class now serves 30 to 40 kids every Sunday afternoon. Teen and adult volunteers provide group lessons that the kids may otherwise not afford. If interested in being a volunteer teacher, please contact: lizsiam@gmail.com

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Heard It Through The Grapevine

Thani Talk ~April 2014

Heard It Through the GRAPEVINE This is a column that we hope everyone will appreciate. It’s a chance to share all those good finds and tips so that others can benefit. If you have tips to share, please send them to the editor at

Villa Express opens near old supermarket location A Villa Express shop has finally opened near the old Villa location in Nichada. Just up the hill from Twist, the shop offers a selection of chips, candies drinks, ice cream and bread. It’s not yet offering 24/7 service, but manager Noparat Junsawang said the shop is open from 9am to 5pm, 7 days a week. Teens have already been flocking to it after school. Liz Lu

Pearl Tea Lovers, Get 25% discount with Rabbit Card I finally put my BTS Rabbit Card to good use recently by swiping it at an Ochaya kiosk. By using the Rabbit Card instead of paying in cash, I got an immediate 10 baht discount on a 40 baht drink. Rabbit Card can also be used at other participating retailers. Check out the Rabbit Card machines at BTS stations for more deals. For more information in English, click the following link: http://www.rabbitcard.com/en Liz Lu

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Heard It Through The Grapevine

Thani Talk ~April 2014

Free Aerobics Classes at Nichada Plaza Grandstand Residents of Nichada can enjoy an evening of fun and exercise by joining the aerobics sessions held at the Nichada Plaza Grandstand each Monday and Thursday from 5:15-6 pm. These events are free of charge and all residents are welcome. Tips for the instructor are appreciated. No reservations required, just show up. Julie Lanteigne

New Bakery Delivers Daily Deliciousness Recently opened on the second floor of Nichada Plaza, L’Atelier de Paris offers fresh pastries and breads baked daily. Chef and owner Frederic Paris takes great pride in the array of delicious baked goods on offer. Daily selections include many kinds of bread including dinner rolls and baguettes, as well as fantastic pastries and desserts. The macaroons, éclairs, croissants, brownies and cakes are all fresh and delicious. Orders can also be placed the day before for bread and Danish, and two days before for customordered cakes. Cakes can be made to suit your occasion. L’Atelier de Paris is open daily, though Chef did mention that they would be closed only on the days after Nichada Night Markets.

L’Atelier de Paris Nichada Plaza, Second Floor Hours: 8am-5:30pm daily Phone: 087-283-2993

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When Life gets Overwhelming Reach Out for Help‌ For 30 years, Carl Janowitz has provided counseling for adults, adolescents and families. Educated and trained in the United States, he also had a private clinic at Bumrungrad Hospital for five years. Now with two locations downtown and also in Pattaya, Carl specializes in clients dealing with life changes, relationship conflict, stress management, school problems, substance abuse and self esteem issues. For a confidential appointment please call 089 680 3503 or counselor_cj@bangkokhappy.com www.bangkoktherapy.com Carl Janowitz Marriage and Family Therapist First Tower Sukhumvit 1/1 (Behind Bumrungrad)

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Thani Talk ~April 2014

Around Nonthaburi and Beyond

Events: Concerts Thirty Seconds to Mars Live in Bangkok April 5, 8pm BITEC Bangna www.thaiticketmajor.com

Events: Shopping International Book Fair Through April 7 Queen Sirikit National Convention Center Furniture Factory Outlet Season 1 April 19-27 Queen Sirikit National Convention Center Bangkok International Gift Fair 2014 April 19-23 BITEC Bangna

Clubs: International

Adult Volleyball League: Wednesdays at 6:30 PM (and some Mondays) playing friendly matches in ISB’s Rajendra Hall. Contact Pat Sethbhakdi: psethbhakdi@hotmail.com Nichada Tennis Leagues Tuesday-Intermediate League Mary McCarty: mrymccrty@yahoo.com Friday 7:30-9:30- Intermediate/Advanced League Ann McVey: tim_mcvey@hotmail.com

Worship Venues The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) 50/33 Moo 4 Chaengwattana Road, Pakkret, Nonthaburi. Church service in English begins at 11 a.m. All are welcome! Chaengwattana Community Church Sunday Service- 9:30am Tues/Wed evenings: Life Groups- Encouraging WedWed 9am: Encouraging Women Youth Group (high school) Sunday 6:30pm Youth Group (middle school) Thursdays 6:30pm http://www.cccthailand.org

CCT - Club Canada Thailand Open to all nationalities. Monthly tours, book group, Lunch Bunch, and other social events. www.clubcanadathailand.com

Catholic Mass in Nonthaburi Our Lady of Mercy Church 69/13 Moo 1, Tiwanon Rd. Ban Mai, Pakkred. English Mass: Sundays at 5:15pm BWG - British Women's Group Faith Formation Religious Ed/CCD) Classes Monthly Luncheon, Activities, Coffee Mornings. OurLadyofMercyParish@gmail.com Open to all nationalities. Contact: Sarah Glaze 081-793 0806 Synagogue www.bwgbangkok.com; Beth Elisheva Synagogue, Mikveh & Jewish Center info@bwgbangkok.com 121 Soi SaiNamThip 2, Sukhumvit Road, Soi 22 Tel: 02-663-0244; Fax: 663-0245 ANZWG -Australia/New Zealand Women’s Group Monthly Coffee Mornings, Tours, Newsletter & Activities www.anzwg-bangkok.org

Mosque Soi Prasert Issaram Mosque 8 Moo 3 Soi Prasert Issaram, Pakkred, Nonthaburi Neighborhood mosque just outside of Nichada Thani.

AWC—American Women’s Club of Thailand Buddhist Temple Monthly Luncheon, Activities and Coffee Wat Bua Khwan (วัดบัวขวัญ) Morning. Contact: 02-712-3380/1 awc@awcthailand.org; www.awcthailand.org 1 Moo 9 Ngamwongwan Road, Muang, Nonthaburi 02-952-8062; Watbuakhwan.com Popular local temple offering merit-making, prayer, Clubs: Sports blessings and funeral services. Men’s Softball League: 15 minutes from Nichada. Go via Samakkee Road, on Slo-pitch men’s softball. League runs from No- shortcut soi just before the expressway on-ramp near vember to May. Contact: Troy Regis at: Ngamwongwan. (troyr@isb.ac.th) 33


March Social: Mardi Gras

Thani Talk ~March 2014

Mardi Gras Happy Hour Thank You to Gracious Hostess Amy Sorensen

Mardi Gras - Kopkhun kha! by Sanya Stanley Time for chats and friends and fun, After being out whole day in the Sun!! A wonderful event Amy was hosting, And not a bit I am boasting! Masks, colours and balloons, Carnival in all the rooms!!! King's cake, Brazilian cheese bread To name but a few, Delicious morsels to taste and view! Nichada's heart was beating in a Carnival rhythm that day Hurricane cocktails, lemonades were enjoyed by all, needless to say!

Hostess Amy Sorensen (right) spared no attention to detail with elaborate decorations and delicious food and drinks!

Chit-chat, laughter and merriment We all enjoyed a Carnival sentiment!! From many corners of the world. Mardi Gras stories will be told!

What a fun and festive happy hour to celebrate Mardi Gras! From the moment you opened the door you were greeted with carnival decorations, bright clothes and strings of colorful beads, and great food as well as delicious, free-flowing but "dangerous" Hurricanes. Many thanks to Amy for hosting such a fun-filled event. Annette Long Special thanks to Halliburton for their loan of the everpopular slushy machine, AKA “Daiquiri Hut! 34


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Recipe Corner: Cookies!

Thani Talk ~April 2014

Delicious Cookies! If your family is like mine, you can never have enough COOKIES. This month’s recipes are for two types - the first a twist on a classic favorite and the second a healthy version. I’ve made the double chocolate chip cookies more times than I can count, and of the many recipes I’ve tried, this one always earns rave reviews. The second is a new recipe for my family, and I’m phasing it in hoping that my kids won’t notice! The two main ingredients are bananas and oatmeal - and that’s it! Experiment with add-ins to suit your family’s tastes. I’ve tried walnuts, cinnamon and chocolate chips. These have actually become my breakfast cookies in a pinch (minus the chocolate chips), and our after dinner dessert (with the chocolate chips). Enjoy!

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies Ingredients 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1/2 cup brown sugar 1 large egg 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup milk-chocolate chips 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions Heat oven to 350°F. Cream the butter and sugars in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high speed. Lower to medium speed and add the egg and vanilla. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. On low speed, add the dry mixture to the butter mixture. Beat until fully incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips. Form the dough into approximately 1 1/2-inch balls. Place on parchment- or foil-lined baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake until the centers are just set, about 12 minutes. Let cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks. Recipe and photo courtesy Real Simple Magazine

Two Ingredient Cookies Ingredients Two large bananas One cup oatmeal (I used the Quaker Instant red tin from Villa) Directions Mix ingredients with fork. Batter will be lumpy from the bananas. Drop onto greased or parchment paper-lined cookie sheets by generous spoonful. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Note: My photography does not accurately depict deliciousness

Recipe courtesy The Burlap Bag: http://www.theburlapbag.com/2012/07/2-ingredient-cookies-plus-the-mix-ins-of-yourchoice/ 41


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Feature

Thani Talk ~April 2014

American Women’s Club Nichada Liaison Hosts Gatherings Whether it’s making friends, contributing your time to worthy causes, or just having fun—there’s a place for any woman at the American Women’s Club of Thailand – founded in 1955. We’re here to provide social, cultural, and philanthropic opportunities to help foster a positive experience for all. Membership is open to any woman living in Thailand, and we welcome all nationalities. The annual membership fee entitles members access to all AWC programs, networking opportunities, the newsletter, clubhouse and more. Every Monday morning there is Casual Connections (CC) in Bangkok. Delcie Jensen hosts CC on the 2nd Friday of each month at the "New Bakery" in Nichada Thani (2nd Floor, Nichada Plaza) at 10 am. It’s a small group, but hoping to grow! Please contact Delcie (members@awcthailand.org) for more details. This time for coffee and chatting is open to members and nonmembers - providing an opportunity to get acquainted and share experiences. Most months AWC members have an opportunity to meet for lunch—sometimes to listen to a guest speaker or simply to enjoy a different restaurant. The AWC organizes many activities (i.e., mahjong, tennis, golf, knitting, shopping and classes), membership gatherings, and trips to acquaint everyone with the hidden treasures in and around Bangkok. Annual fundraising events, such as Breakfast at the Oscars & our Halloween gala have drawn generous support from Nichada residents – Thank you! AWC’s primary charitable focus is with women and children. As a philanthropic arm of AWC, the Community Projects Committee reviews and acts upon requests from organizations and individuals within Thailand – last year we supported Baan Poomwaet orphanage and partnered with Nichada residents. The AWC Scholarship Committee administers scholarships to underprivileged young women so they may complete their final three years of high school. AWC maintains a thrift shop to raise funds for clubhouse operations and AWC’s philanthropic programs. All members are invited to bring in secondhand items as donation or consignment goods. Nonmembers may donate items. For current activities and events, or to contact us, please visit us online at www.awcthailand.org. We look forward to welcoming you to the American Women’s Club or partnering with us in our endeavors. Jennifer Chutorash

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Feature

Thani Talk ~April 2014

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Restaurant Review

Thani Talk ~April 2014

Restaurant Review: La Bottega ‘Best Italian Food in Bangkok’ If you have never been to La Bottega, this is a friendly nudge to do so! It is the best Italian restaurant in Bangkok in my humble opinion. Run by owner/chef Luca, who smiles and is forever chirpy, it has superb, authentic Italian food that oozes with flavor. Close your eyes, and you could well be in Italy. Lovely, light, classy and simply furnished, the restaurant has a calm to it despite the bustle of the expert and courteous waiters. To complete the ambience, it has a gorgeous large terrace with lots of natural wood and greenery (with candlelight and live jazz style music at night) – with huge fans to help with the airflow. It is a special place for a cozy lunch, or a special dinner - slightly pricey, but definitely worth it. Antipasti include delicious, mouth-watering Grilled Scamorza with Speck Ham and sautéed mushrooms in which the salty cheese enhances the salty, aged ham. There are also Tuscan style small, rounded Chilean Mussels in white wine with cherry tomatoes. Also a must-try are the yummy homemade pastas and raviolis of course, and one recommended is the soft Porcini with Truffle cream. Risotto Luca with a thin crust of black truffle cheese and lightly spiced cured bacon is salty, creamy and fragrant (and filling!). To finish, scented Panna Cotta with raspberry or homemade Tiramisu served with wild berries and slices of orange are some of the tempting desserts. And, of course, the Italian breadsticks, bread and coffee are all wonderful, as they should be in any excellent self-respecting Italian restaurant – which La Bottega certainly is. Prices range from 240 to 1890 baht. The menu is delectable, fresh, seasonal, as well as beautifully cooked and presented. You will find this gem at: Terrace 49 Building Sukhumvit Soi 49 (very close to Samitivej Hospital) Tel: 02-204-1731 Hours: Tuesday – Sunday: 11:30 am – 2:30 pm. Daily: 5pm - Midnight Website: www.labottega.name Sally Elliott 49


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Thani Talk 2014 April  

Nonthaburi Neighborhood Reach news magazine, serving expatriates near Bangkok, Thailand.

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