The Latest, Greatest Adventure

31 December 2007 § 1 Comment

Today, being New Year’s Eve, was a free day for we In-Thailand folk. It started out slowly, we percieving not that adventure was waiting at its nether parts. In fact, our imperception was more accurate than we thought…

It all started when the sun went down. The light faded, the sky turned a smoggy orange, and reading out on the breezy balcony was impossible without blindness closing in soon afterward. I thought to myself, thought i, “Self, it’s about time you and Veronica got some meat on your bones.” So i gathered up my belongings (three half-read novels) and began to query my vicinity as to the status of my napping roommate. She had just woken up, and was in the state of mind often called “grouchy” in the vernacular. “Yo Vron,” i threw down, “Whaddaya say we grab some grub up in this hood?” She, being kindly disposed to the idea, proceeded to prepare for such a venture.

As we walked along the dusky lane tangent to our dwelling, our conversation turned from mangy dogs and being run over by speeding drivers to the destination that would fulfill our quest, having been altogether indecisive up to this point. I, missing the American enterprise so widely accepted in our five-minute-or-not-innit society also known as the sandwich, suggested to the chagrin of my companion that we settle for KFC. She, being greatly indisposed to such an insult to the culture that we found ourselves in, made a remark to the effect that her preference was simple, English-speaking asian food. As we passed by the proximate option, Hot Pot, she also remarked that she had always wanted to have the cultural experience of cooking the food in a provided vessel centrally located on the table. I, being the kind and decisive friend that i am, considered the option taken, and began to redirect our steps to reach the point of interest: Hot Pot.

Slight wariness set in as we were handed the menu. It consisted of many pictures of single, uncooked food items, and their prices. There was no suggested mixture that we saw, so, I, being the imaginatively experienced friend that i am, started pointing things out to our waiter (who spoke “medium” English, which really meant not much at all). Feeling satisfied with the sensible order of beef, bok choy, and baby corn, with a side of vegetable noodles, i sat back in expectation of our delicous and imminent meal. Veronica, on the other hand, felt uncomfortable at the crowd of wait staff that was accumulating at our table in anticipation of our selections, and began to vociferate against the unfamiliarity and choice of restaurant.

When the order came, we discovered that, in proportion to our pot, it was quite meager. Wishing to fill our stomachs with more than a few leaves and slices of beef, we decided to use our ignorance to our advantage. Desperately, we appealed to the waiter to suggest more additions to the soup that was forming under our attention. He pointed out several more vegetables that suited our fancy. Veronica was ever skeptical, mutteringly eating the green, curly noodles. “The sauce is good,” she admitted darkly. However, once there was less empty space in our pot, and it had come to a rollicking boil, the general atmosphere across the table from me improved. The sauce was indeed quite good. Our conversation began to include hopes and plans for much more cookery in the future, as well as many a giggle over our situation.

It turned out to be a satisfying meal, though we were the center of attention and probably a main topic of conversation in the kitchen. Our waiter saluted us with an erudite, “Happy New Year,” which we heartily returned. We had had a truly cultural experience, and we both felt improved as individuals as we left.



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