Friday, October 17, 2008

Breakfast of champions + further (albeit unnecessary) proof of my dorkiness

I'm happy to tell you that the mysterious mass-restaurant closure appears to be over. Yesterday while the electricians were working on my "hong naam fai see-a" issue I actually got to eat real food. Actually, the restaurant I wanted to go to was still closed... but I think maybe it was just too early. Anyway I ended up going back to the place where the girls had laughed at me. I dont' think I can adequately describe how much I was dreading going back there. But as you know I was pretty dang hungry.

This time I took the "nee arai" (what's that) approach and it worked okay. I noticed that here was a display with three different pots of soup near the front of the restaurant, so I just walked up and pointed to the most appetizing looking one and said "nee arai" - of course I don't know what the heck they said... but I smiled and nodded and indicated "one serving" and sat down. They then proceeded to bring me all these dishes. You know... there are a lot of things I *want* to take picture of, but I'm just so self conscious already... so I just sneak a shot here and there...and the quality shows. Seriously though, I dare you to go into a new restaurant, ALONE, and start taking pictures of the food and tell me how you feel.

Let's see what we've got here going clockwise from the lower left: little nests of thin rice noodles, the main dish - a yellow coconut curry with chicken, green veggies- mint, basil, long green beans, white sprouts, and shredded cabbage, um... other misc toppings sliced green onions, cucumbers, pickles, and maybe carmelized onion... not really sure, and finally the dish where you put it all together. Yeah... not quite scrambled eggs and toast. It ended up being really good, but a bit spicier than I generally want my breakfast to be. But, you know, not bad for less than $2.


Ok... we need names for clarification... there's the restaurant where they laughed at me - "McLOL", the place where I've practiced my Thai - "Thai101", the little restaurant on the other street that's basically an extention of the family's living room, let's call it a "B&B", and the restaurant right behind the school, which unfortunately I'll have to call "The Dive".

Thai 101

So with access to food again things were looking up. I only had two classes today (which just gives me a bit of breathing room to plan for tomorrow)... the first one at 2pm. So I went to the B&B for breakfast. All of the restaurants I go to are family affairs, and I generally just give my order to whomever is looking at me when I sit down. So far this has worked okay. Today however... today I let my little farang dork shine. I get to the restaurant and I say hello to the cook and the other lady who work there. I sit down at an empty table. A familiar looking man comes over, smiling, and says something to me. Of course I don't know what he's saying, so I tell him what I want to eat. He smiles and says something else.... I smile and he walks away. A moment or two later the cook looks at me, expectantly and I repeat my order to her. Then I notice the first guy sit down at a table nearby and start eating and talking to a little girl. I've seen a little girl here at the B&B sitting on the couch in her living room watching TV... but this is not that girl. And soon enough the man and the little girl get onto his motorbike and drive away. Only after he leaves do I realize this isn't the dad who owns this restaurant... it's the soup guy from across the street from my school. D'Oh!

So let's recap from his perspective. You notice a new woman in your neighborhood - she's come into your place of business once or twice. One day, you're out having a nice meal with your kids. You notice the new gal and go over to say hi to her. "How do you like our city?" you ask (or some other general small-talky thing beyond 'hello') and she replies to you "I'd like a burger and a coke please." Double D'oh!

If that doesn't win me the crown for Dorkfest... I'm not sure what will.

TAG - Code Pineapple... if I haven't mentioned it twenty times already - I have two new classes with young learners tomorrow - three hours each.