One restaurant J. and I frequent is a family-run place near our apartment. It’s just a ten minute walk away, and the tented dining area is surrounded by plants. There’s no shortage of orchids growing on the property, no doubt used to garnish each dish with a blossom. The food is excellent as well. Almost always I order the same dish: minced pork, with lime leaves, pepper, coconut milk, and curry over a fried egg. Not the heart-healthiest dish, but certainly tongue-happiest. The family that runs the place is friendly and prompt in their service. The matriarch takes orders and does the books, the daughter and sons serve, an old hunchbacked grandfather refills the water pitchers, the father repairs things. Some mystery men make the food. It’s a great atmosphere for eating. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the name of the place. For convenience, I’ll refer to it as “Cheap Delicious Family Garden Restaurant Near Wat Jet Jod That Has Orchids a Cat and a Fat Baby.”
Minced pork curry over fried egg I always order at “Cheap Delicious Family Garden Restaurant Near Wat Jet Jod That Has Orchids a Cat and a Fat Baby.”
If you ever visit Chiang Mai, be sure to eat at “Cheap Delicious Family Garden Restaurant Near Wat Jet Jod That Has Orchids a Cat and a Fat Baby.” You’ll be glad you did.
Wat Jet Yod.
The days have been generally mellow. During the good (non rainy) weather a few days ago, J and I went to Wat Jet Yod to read, drink iced coffee, eat pineapple, and sit in the sun. A slighted insane looking monk came and tried to have a conversation with us. He was convinced that we were both reading guidebooks. Most foreigners must rushing through the temple to make the most of their time here; it’s an out of the way destination. I explained that we were reading stories. He looked at my book’s cover.
“The…World…According to…” He paused on the last word.
“Garp.” I said. The monk looked over to a parrot that had been rattling its cage. He looked back at the cover.
“It’s a character’s name.”
Life hasn’t been entirely mellow here, though. Even a square can roll if you force it hard enough. Last week, J., a Thai friend, and I went out for two late nights at two bars. The first involved a sprawling bar, concert venue, and dance club called Warm Up. We arrived around 10PM, just missing an insane rainstorm. I’d left my ID at home and was worried that I couldn’t get in. But my Thai friend assured me that I looked far older than the Thai drinking age of 18. Thanks, I guess.
Warm Up is divided into different areas of sin/vice. The main area is an open air seating with different bars and a courtyard. Clustered around it are a dining area, a billiards/bathroom corner, and enclosed rooms with their own bars and different types of dance music. For most of the night, we sat on a couch talking, watching people, and drinking a reasonable amount of whiskey sodas/colas. Eventually, my friend convinced us to dance. Little did she know that my dancing looks like a first year student’s animation where the character’s IK rigging is all out of whack causing body parts to jerk and bend in awkward and pathetic ways.
We danced until 1:30AM. Fun enough, but I need to start wearing a paper bag over my head when I dance.
The second night started at 10:30PM at a restaurant/bar near the Ping River called Riverside. No points given for originality, but at least you know the place is at the side of a river. The bar let us bring in the unfinished Piper’s whisky from the night before. Some kind of corkage fee was worked out, but it ended up being very reasonable.
That evening at Riverside they had two live bands. The members were sharp looking Thais that performed even sharper sounding covers from a catalog of alternative rocks songs. The first band had more energy, but the second was older and more skillful musically. The first band had a girl that could belt it out to great effect. The second had a pointless tambourine rattler that only took the mic for a cover of The Cranberries “Zombie.” Zombie?
Another evening ended at 1:30AM. I was tired. I don’t know how I went to bars so much last time I was in Thailand. I guess 3 years can turn a party animal into a serious pooper.
But just when things were getting boring, J. AND I GET IN A minor SCOOTER ACCIDENT. Before you write the embassy, no one WAS HURT IN MAJOR WAYS. We had just left from dinner with our French neighbors at a spicy roadhouse-looking restaurant hidden off Huay Kaew Road. Entering the main road, we had to make an immediate U-turn to head home. This involved crossing two lanes and making the U-turn before the opposing traffic came. I swooped across and completed the turn, only to realize that our bike was lying sideways on road, sliding across the lane with J. and I on it. The bike fell over and skidded so casually that it almost seemed impossible. But we got off, picked the bike up, and rolled it to the side of the road. There were white scratch marks on the asphalt where some part of the bike had skidded along.
Our friends pulled up behind us and asked if we were okay. To them, the accident must have been like watching a clown falling down the stairs: scary but also absurd. It felt like my elbow had gotten scraped, but otherwise I was fine. J. just had a little booboo on her iddy bitty footsie. We drove home. At the apartment, I discovered that my knee had been scraped a little through my pants, and my elbow had lost a dime-size area of skin. Not too bad, all things considered.
Some unresolved mysteries: How had our legs been under a sliding bike and not gotten scratched up very much? Why did the bike fall over? Why did I have to wear a BRAND NEW PAIR OF PANTS and get them scuffed up in an accident. I think the pants are cursed. Only time will tell.
Slowly, I’m learning that new things and me are an unsuccessful combination. This musk of entropy isn’t meant to have new shiny shiny.