I am in Bangkok, Thailand, the Land of Smiles. Here is the first person who made me smile!
Mags and I will be spending the next couple of weeks eating our way through the northern part of the country….and shopping but allegedly only for handmade textiles. In Bangkok, we are staying at the Chatrium Riverside Hotel, where the staff can’t find enough ways to be adoring and everything is beautiful and works perfectly. I have not been exactly roughing it in the past few weeks but I am glad to have hot water that works every time, smoke-free air and no sewer smells in the bathroom.
I got into town several hours before Mags’ flight was scheduled to arrive and hadn’t eaten for 14 hours, so after I got settled, I hopped the hotel’s water shuttle up the Chao Phraya River. I was happy to find a food court by the boat dock and picked the kiosk that had the most green stuff on display. After waving my arms and pointing a lot to communicate “no meat”, I thought I ordered vegetables with spicy noodles but my chef thought I ordered prawns with spicy rice. No matter — it was excellent. It had all kinds of flavors going in different directions and I couldn’t identify them all but I know they included lemon grass and lime juice, fish sauce, soy sauce and chilies. The tab: $1.30
Mags and I have spent the past couple of days seeing the sites, checking out some of the textile shops and eating.
We agree that we want to focus our eating at the places Anthony Boudain would like, which in Thailand means staying away from middle brow restaurants catering to tourists. Today we ate at a little family food shack we came across in one of the dozens of outdoor markets around the city center. We had pad kee mow noodles and green curry with beer for $8. We are also grateful that our hotel tariff includes a breakfast buffet that is quite spectacular.
It is incredibly hot and humid here, with the heat dispelled every afternoon by an unpredictable downpour. One thing that helps me keep my sense of humor when I am sweating like a pig is Mags’ unauthorized activities. Her first night here she carved her name in somebody else’s wet cement.