It is said that 2,000 sausages are eaten in Pattaya every day, but do the consumers know what they are devouring? Last year they almost jumped out of their skin when WHO’s International Cancer Research categorized processed meats such as sausage, ham and bacon not just unhealthy but positively dangerous. Apparently, even Thai favourites such as kun chiang (Chinese sausage) or naem (Thai-style fermented sausage) are risky too. This is because in the manufacturing process, various chemicals are added to prevent the growth of bacteria in the food and to maintain the original pink colour of the meat. One solution is to steam your sausages or bacon, rather than fry or grill them, as there are fewer downsides that way. Then again, you can switch wholeheartedly to fruit and vegetables which are rich in vitamins and very good for you. But not in the form of chips!
It has become an article of faith amongst pregnant ladies that they should avoid eating nuts and shellfish during pregnancy and during breast feeding to reduce the risk of their babies developing an allergy to them. But now the American Academy of Pediatrics has produced new guidelines which state that avoiding these products may encourage the very allergies they seek to prevent. In a test study 11 percent of babies who were exposed to peanuts developed an allergy compared with 35 percent of those denied them. As with many things in healthcare, there is no clear answer. Avoidance of certain foods is sometimes needed for those with severe reactions, but things backfire when the same rules are applied to everyone.
Long Life Eggs
Only one person born in the 19th century is still alive today: 116-year old Italian Emma Morano who is enjoying the limelight as the oldest person in the world. The record for longevity is still held by Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment who died in 1997 at the age of 122 years and around 6 months. Emma was born in November 1899 and has reportedly not left her flat for 25 years. Contrary to all received medical opinion, Emma has thrived in spite of giving up fruit and vegetables in favour of a diet which features at least one raw egg a day and portions of raw minced pork. She has maintained this regime over many decades and remains a creature of habit, rising at eight, lunching at eleven and having dinner at six. Incidentally, according to research conducted a few years ago, the average age of death of expats in Thailand is a discouraging 66 years.
With bars and restaurants sometimes closing rather than reopening these days, it may be time to think of a new business nobody has tried yet. A few years ago, an English guy made a fortune making wedding dresses in Pattaya and exporting them back to Europe for a fraction of what they would cost over there. More recently, another guy did rather well forwarding to addresses abroad non-nicotine cigarettes until it was discovered that the practice is illegal. One gap in the Pattaya market seems to be wigs for men. In spite of periodic discussions on social media, it seems that there is not actually a publicly-identifiable business in our fair city specializing in this particular form of vanity. Looking around at the many bald, farang heads in Pattaya, there may be a small fortune awaiting some intelligent entrepreneur.
Ever so slowly, it has to be admitted, the stereotype of cross-dressers is beginning to change on the Eastern Seaboard. Traditionally, transvestites and transgenders have been given a limited role in the mass media – stealing your necklace and escaping on a motorbike or poisoning a drink to remove your possessions whilst you are unconscious – but that’s beginning to change, or rather to become diversified. It is now common to see transgenders working in supermarkets, banks, hospitals and restaurants, and customers hardly blink. Not to mention the fact that Pattaya’s three main theatres all offer a cross-dressing cabaret show which is attended dutifully by large numbers of Chinese tourists on a daily basis. How long will it be before a transgender puts up for elected office? Assuming there any elections, of course.
There’s a really good French cafe-restaurant in the soi which has the main side entrance to Tukcom in South Pattaya. La Petite Planete, absolutely non pretentious, has daily specials for around 300 baht with a wide selection as well as an a la carte menu which is also very reasonable in price. On a recent visit, we enjoyed a crab salad served with fresh French bread, John Dory fillet and French fries with dill sauce and a choice of desserts. The house wine is good value for the price. Another good eatery with reasonable prices is Palmer’s on Pattayaland Soi two and almost next door to Cheers bar. Their breadcrumb fish with chips is first class and their sausage sandwich, uniquely, comes with plentiful fried onions. On the same street, there’s a good Indian restaurant, Maharaja where the staff understand the difference between spicy and non-spicy flavours.