Pattaya - Thailand blogger con fizzles due to no alcohol! - Restaurants
Everything is closed. It is a Buddhist holiday in Thailand and the selling of alcohol is prohibited, except by those game enough to risk it, like the beach-chair boys. [Addendum: wile watching the cricket at Sharky's, E@L noticed some guys buying a coke, drinking the top bit, then getting the waitress to top it up discreetly with Song Sam or Bundaberg rum.]
E@L is staying in a large but otherwise empty hotel somewhere overlooking Pattaya Point, near the Sheraton. Friend of the mother of a friend owns it. Must be a tax dodge. There was a slight hint of panic when he arrived and approached the desk. How to check-in a farang? They managed to book him a flight (tee) time at the Siam Country Club so they can't be all bad. It's a tough course if he remembers rightly. Will try to stay under 100! Most bets are on 110+ though.
No beer today? Neh-mine. Pray goff tomollow!
E@L walked all along Beach Rd from Walking Street, near where Ronald McDonald is giving passers-by a wai, to the Dusit Resort at the north end of the beach. Very quiet. He took his shirt off. Only a few people burst out laughing. Out on the bay, he could count ten people para-gliding. Rows upon rows of empty deck-chairs.
E@L thought he'd revisit an old bar where Ooh, Noi and Nit used to serve him cool beers all afternoon. Ooh would come back to his hotel to learn to swim in the pool. He was not sure if he wanted to see them again after 3 years, but this bar was shuttered up like the rest. Would any of them still be working there? Gone to other bars, as part of the cycle? Died of AIDS? Made their fortunes? Got more babies, more cynical? Married to a GreenCard and retired?
He remembers Noi asking him if part of a letter to a farang "boyfren" in England sounded OK.
"I miss you belly much. I lub you," she read.
"Do you love him?" asked E@L, ignoring the hilariously ironic mispronunciation.
The look in her eyes was priceless as she paused slightly, a smile playing around her thin lips.
"I love his money."
A young American in white tennis shoes, white sox and a brand new white Thailand t-shirt climbed into the taxi-truck after him, holding hands with a Thai girl.
"Gee the water is low today. It was really high yesterday! Hey, sometimes the sun is out, and sometimes it's not. Man the beach is crowded!"
E@L pressed the buzzer immediately and jumped back out...
The planned blogger.th meeting last night failed to materialize due to all bars being shut for said holiday. Neither Dick Headley nor E@L had mutual knowledge of any Bangkok landmarks that did not sell alcohol, so nothing could be co-ordinated. Dick even came to E@L's hotel two (2) times, but E@L was out looking for a "slim/skinny guy in white shorts" at those times. Not ANY slim/skinny guy in white shorts - you people! keep a civil brain in your heads - but Dick himself, and not "dick".
He did drop off a new, revised edition of his mate Chuck Woww's book "Losing The Plot" with
no fewer typos in it. Thanks to Dick and Chuck for that.
E@L will be doing some viral marketing for Chuck and Dick (sounds like a chipmunk show) by finishing reading the book as ostentatiously as possible whenever he finds an open bar.
& hey, Dick! Get a fucking mobile phone you tight cunt ;-)
E@L will have to revise his restaurant review of Raan Derm soonestly. In the confusion of last night he ended up eating there again, despite telling Dick he was going somewhere else for dinner.
(Fucked if he could find his favorite Korean BBQ place. Soi 23, soi 33, soi 39? Fuck - he was in soul-need of the best paejon in the world, which they do at a place called [what else] Erhawon in whatever Soi it turns out to be. This spring onion pancake is about 1.5cm thick, much thicker than what you normally get in Seoul, but it's not sloppy inside. Crisp and delicious, with that fantastic dipping sauce. Mmm-mm! But not to be!)
So back at Raan Derm, he tried the Mussaman Curry again, by itself this time. Without the contrasting dishes to offset it, he found it very sweet - too sweet, as Duck Curry can be sometimes. Fruity sweet; lots of something, maybe pineapple, in there. Also with the dish on his side of the table he could see that it was swimming in oil. Not so nice this time.
The soup with the green stuff was fantastic again however.
And sorry Lisa, but E@L doesn't
a) know any good Singaporean restaurants, and
b) like Singaporean food. b may be dependent upon a. Duh!
E@L, signing off from an Internet Cafe in Pattaya.
OTHER MONKEYS SAID
Hmm... If you like Thai food you should try S'pore's bak kut teh shops. The kidney & liver soup, the braised intestines, the braised trotters etc. have a very authentic Asian quality that's generally missing from the antiseptic food courts.
Mate! "Intestines" and "antiseptic" should be not be used in the same sentence!
D'oh! Just did it myself!
Offal rhymes with awful in my book, though I have had the liver soup in some back street trolley chef in Bangkok and lived. Remember, I do ultrasound for a living - I know what can go wrong in a liver...
Must admit I had a reasonably good fish-head curry at the food court in Old Airport Rd last weekend. But the sauce tasted just a bit powdery - like at least some of it came from a tin of Keen's. I hate that in a curry; it's such a cop-out. I make my own Thai paste from fresh ingredients.
And the food was the only reason I was Geylang, I swear!