‘All you can eat’ –
the Expat Ladies’ Lunch!
The monthly Expat Ladies’ Lunch group met last Tuesday at a
previously untried venue – the new Mercure Hotel, previously the Novotel –
to sample the Buffet Lunch.
Mai Friends Group meets at JJ Markets for comradeship, integration and
Ongoing refurbishment if the accommodation means that only the restaurant
area is available; however, the huge seating area was crowded with happy
eaters – the 20 or so ladies present soon found out why!
On arrival, we were greeted by attentive staff, who immediately served mixed
breads and platters of seafood, and gently laid our napkins on our laps.
Plus point number 1! Plus point numbers 2 through at least 10 came when we
inspected the food stations…a huge number of fresh salad vegetables, meats,
fish and selected starters, a main course station with a varied choice of
western and Thai dishes, and two stations with desserts, including ice
cream. Plus point 11 came when platters of sliced beef and chicken arrived
at our table! Coffee or tea followed a serious ‘all you can eat’ experience,
with everything attractively prepared and freshly cooked using good
ingredients and more than a little imagination. The general opinion of the
group was that certain other Buffet Lunch venues now have a serious rival,
not just in quantity, choice, quality and service, but also in price, as the
advertised charge is 280 baht per person.
All in all, a very successful event, which welcomed the group’s organiser,
Fran, back from her home visit to the US. Even without the enjoyable aspect,
(and price discount!), of a large group, all taking at once, this new lunch
venue is well worth a visit!
Ain’t Science Wonderful!
Leaving aside, just for now, the serious ongoing scientific
debate about global warming, its causes and our supposed total
responsibility for this and all other crises, a newly published and,
some may feel, slightly irreverent book should at least allow us to feed
our starving scepticism! And, possibly, reassure us that the sublime
talent, of thinking ‘outside the box’, is still alive and kicking, if
somewhat feebly, in the scientific community.
Due mainly to the world-wide web and other mass communication devices,
we could be forgiven for thinking that ‘sit back and enjoy our
collective guilt’ is the mantra for these early years of the 21st
century. Theories come and go, the more divergent they are from the
perceived wisdom we’re encouraged to believe, the slower they come and
the quicker they go! At the same time, the mega-politicians, the
mega-organisations and the mega-companies pump out more of their spin in
a never-ending stream. The still, small voice of calm gets weaker by the
year, and pessimism rules.
The above- mentioned book - its title alone may give you hope at best
and a good laugh at least- Global Warming And Other Bollocks: The
Truth About All Those Science Scare Stories, by Professor Stanley
Feldman and Professor Vincent Marks, seeks to dismiss by the use of
hard, (?) information, some of the more extreme and less logical
theories of imminent disaster, and, of course, hits at global warming
Beginning with the globally least disastrous scenario, the potential of
death by mercury poisoning caused by fillings in your teeth is debunked
by basic statistics. The safety level of daily exposure to mercury by
employees is 3,000 times higher than the amount of the admittedly deadly
substance in each amalgam filling. So, unless your mouth resembles in
size and content that of Jaws in the James Bond films, you’re safe!
The next myth concerns our (almost) favourite occupation, eating! These
days, we’re scared to eat anything that’s been fixed, mixed or otherwise
got-at. Yet, after WW2, an entire generation, (according to medical
experts, one of the healthiest and longest-lived ever), lived on corned
beef, followed up the popularity stakes very soon by hamburgers! The
point of this is that such foods, eaten in moderation, are far better
for you than chip butties and bread ‘n dripping, the staple low-protein,
high-carbohydrate, high-fat foods of the poorer members of society in
earlier times! Sausages get the seal of approval also, as at least there
is some protein involved! So, moderation in all things!
Organic foods and a fear of eating salt are next on the debunk menu;
but, even if the comment that plant nutrients are the same whether
they’re delivered though the air we breath or in large bags with a
chemical company’s name on them is true, the kind of toxicity we’re
worried about, even here in Chiang Mai, is the type which kills the
other species who like to feed on our food whilst it’s still growing! As
regards salt, we’d die without it! Before we died, we wouldn’t be able
to sweat, which may be seen by some as an advantage in this climate…but!
The real crunch, however, comes when the two authors take on the climate
change zealots, beginning with those cuddly and ‘endangered’ harbingers
of doom – the polar bears, inevitably photographed these days balancing
precariously on what is meant to be the last ice-floe in the entire
world! Well, the species is, apparently, not dying out at all – most
populations are apparently doing very well!
As regards out responsibility for the greenhouse gases which, according
to the opposing group of scientists, are about to destroy our fragile
planet, natural changes in the behaviour and power of the sun may be as
much to blame as the industrial revolution! Global temperatures appear
to be more closely related to solar activity, which is constantly
changing, than to levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. Interesting. This is
borne out by ice-core studies, amongst others, which suggest that our
earth warmed up more during medieval times than during the 20th century,
and cooled down considerably during the Little Ice Age of the 16th and
17th centuries, without any man-made interference. And again, it seems
that temperatures also dipped between 1940 and 1975 - a period of
intense industrial activity. Even more interesting…
The purveyors of doom and gloom do go on rather about CO2 levels in our
atmosphere, which, of course, have undeniably risen during the period of
industrial activity over the last 200 years or so. However, in the era
of the dinosaurs, levels were often 10 times higher than they are today…
life thrived, and there was no runaway greenhouse catastrophe of the
sort that the doom-mongers insist we face if we let levels rise further.
Levels also, it should be noted, came down again naturally.
And so it continues…the gulf stream is actually getting warmer; the
Maldives and other expensive tourist destinations are not sinking,
(although Venice certainly is, for other reasons!), and – wait for it!
Global warming may actually be good for us, due to warmer temperatures
and less winter frosts which will benefit agriculturalists. Whatever you
believe, this book, whether it’s ‘tongue in cheek’ or actual science, is
a good read!
Tapping your problems away?
You must be joking...
It was obvious that most participants at the last
Soroptimist meeting were having a ball as soon as Jaz Goven got
them all tapping away on certain parts of their body and using
some affirming statements.
Even the more sceptical members could see with their own eyes
how the Emotional Freedom Technique’s tapping changed the
emotions of the volunteers who were sitting right in front of
them. I personally experienced its amazing benefits a few months
ago when Jaz Goven was giving a talk at the Worldwide Holistic
Health Seminar in Chiang Mai, which is why I invited her to be
our speaker at the recent monthly Soroptimist meeting.
What is EFT? Probably the most exciting therapy and self-help
tool available nowadays, spreading rapidly throughout the world
and used by all kinds of professionals and individuals alike.
EFT is a new form of emotional acupuncture, (without needles),
based on the understanding that all negative emotions are stored
in the body causing disruptions in the body’s energy flows.
These disruptions or blockages can be cleared by gently tapping
on certain acupuncture points while voicing or thinking about
specific events or issues. The technique can be used for any
type of problem.
We already know that unresolved emotional issues can be the main
cause of many diseases; according to Dr Eric Robins, a
well-known American urologist, this figure can be as high as 85%
of all illnesses. Even though EFT may be labelled by some
medical professionals as pseudoscience, it is being endorsed by
big names in medicine and it still stands out as an amazingly
simple, quick and effective technique to overcome emotional and
In Western countries, we are still beginning to unravel the
mystery of our body’s energy systems, so we could well try this
unusual system which can help to overcome lifelong illnesses and
diseases. Anyone can learn and use it; you don’t need
specialised training, although it should be used on a regular
basis until the problem has been resolved. A free download about
the basic method is available at www.emofree.com, EFT founder
Gary Craig’s website.