EARCOS & Why I Was in Thailand
As a teacher at an international school in Taiwan, I have the opportunity to attend the EARCOS Teachers’ Conference (EARCOS = East Asia Regional Council of Schools) which takes place in a different East Asian country each year. At Morrison, teachers must apply and be approved to attend the conference, but if we are approved, our airfare and conference fees are paid for, leaving ground transportation, lodging, and meals to us. Not a bad deal, if you ask me. Two years ago, I attended the conference in Manilla, Philippines, but I didn’t have any extra time to stay and explore. This year, the conference was in Bangkok, Thailand, and it coincided with our spring break, so two other ladies and I planned two and a half extra days into our stay. The whole trip was excellent! I learned a lot at EARCOS, but I think I’ll save that professional conversation for my colleagues because most of my readers are probably more interested in my cultural experiences.
We spent all of our time except for one day in Bangkok as that was the location of the conference, but we found that there was plenty of fun to keep us occupied on the busy streets surrounding our hotel. One of my favorite aspects of the bustling city was the street food! I tasted delicious fried chicken, sticky rice with bananas and red bean all wrapped in bamboo, fried plantains, sweet glutinous rice balls with fruit centers, vegetable cakes, meat skewers, and more. My FAVORITE treat though was a dessert called roti (I googled it!) that originated in India but has found its own variation in Thailand. Here’s a picture of the delectable dish:
It is a sort of fried tortilla with banana and egg on the inside and sweetened condensed milk and sugar on top. The egg doesn’t add flavor as much as texture; because of the egg, the roti is similar to the consistency of french toast. If you like bananas, you are sure to enjoy this treat. Each night, my friend and I went back to the same vendor to have this dessert, and I particularly enjoyed watching the lady prepare it. Here’s a little video of the process since my words would never do it justice:
Queen of Curry
We also enjoyed some tasty (and spicy!) Thai food at a restaurant called “Queen of Curry.” It was just a short walk from our hotel (and right next to the roti stand); we went several times since we enjoyed the food so much. The Thai curries and soups are savory and bursting with flavor. We couldn’t eat enough!
On one of our free days, we met up with a friend of one of my traveling companions, and she took us to a Lebanese restaurant in the city. I had never eaten Lebanese food before, so this was a new experience as well. I enjoy lamb, so I asked the waiter for a recommendation and he suggested the kebabs. My meal was phenomenal! Obviously, Bangkok is an eclectic city with tastes and culture from all over the world.