Organic Thai eats

P’Book and I had a delicious lunch the other day in Bangkok at Anothai Restaurant, an organic, mostly vegetarian café and bakery that’s been around for a few years (second entry on this page). I haven’t had food this good, original and fresh in a while. We had:

  • two tofu appetizers
  • organic salad greens with miso dressing
  • spaghetti with salted fish
  • green curry fried (brown) rice
  • lemonade with mint
  • peach and mint sorbet
  • pumpkin & orange cake with cream cheese topping
  • lemongrass and rose petal tea

I didn’t know that in 2002, Thailand had implemented a five-year masterplan to become a global production center for organic food. Here’s the situation now – growing, but still a long way to go.

"On first tasting it I thought it like the flesh of some animal in a state of putrefaction."

[Originally posted on LJ]

August brings many blessings to Thailand, among them the rains. We have slipped into full-on monsoon mode: last Saturday at 2 a.m. as we left Khao San, the rains came so heavy that running was useless. One second of exposure got you as wet as ten. Spared the option of avoiding a soaking, we were free to stroll laughing through sheets of water on asphalt.

Another August blessing is the end of the durian season. Durio zibethinus is that bat-pollinated, spiky-shelled, custard-fleshed fruit of Southeast Asia whose infamous odor has meant its banishment from the region’s air carriers and five-star hotels. I too regard this fruit as a scourge of the olfactory kind. Unfortunately, in our household the majority opinion holds otherwise, and despite my grandmother’s efforts to isolate the peeled durian with plastic wrap, rubber bands and Tupperware, the smell has taken the refrigerator hostage. I never before understood why it is said that mortuary workers can’t get the stench of death out of their hair and clothes. When I grow up my house is going to be a durian-free zone.

Khun yai ja… so, I was wondering, how long is the durian season? Can you get it all year round?” I said as the usual dessert plate of durian was set in front of grandfather at lunch today.

“Oh, no, child. It’s only ripe for about three or four months, starting in April or May, something like that. Why, what about it?” said grandmother suspiciously as I wrinkled my nose.

“Just that, it seems to have been… longer.”

She laughed and slid my grandfather’s plate three inches away. “Ok, is that better?”

I really love her.

Getting ready to go

[Originally posted on LJ]

Thursday statistics

Fellow Japanese lunch eaters: 8
[Pa Mon, noomai, N’Eck, Dear, noman, microps, matana, Jill]

Iberry ice cream flavors tasted: 5
[Horlicks, green tea, red bean, Nutella, noi na (custard apple)]

National Artist exhibitions visited: 1
[Chakrabhand Posayakrit at the Silpakorn University Art Centre, across from the Grand Palace at Tha Prachan. The Old City, or Rattanakosin, is my favorite Bangkok neighborhood, and my favorite street is the studenty Phra Athit. Highlights include the Baan Phra Athit Coffee & More bar/restaurant, Hemlock philosophy café, the roti and mataba stall, the bread and sankaya (coconut custard) stall, Saffron teashop, Passport travel bookshop. Nearby are Thammasat (the LSE of Thailand and seat of political revolutions) and Silpakorn (founded to teach the fine and applied arts) universities and my favorite Bangkok park, the artistic, cooled by river breeze Suan Santichaiprakarn.]

Friends seen for the first time in at least two months: 5

÷

Passing the time Saturday while waiting to rejoin Book, Tip, Nan and Yai:

+66 1 801xxxx 1654h ICT >> Thought would be cool to sms you while wriggling my toes in the sand of a thai beach. Not brighton wifi, but the sand is whiter.
+44 7932 690xxx 1102h GMT >> Way cool. Currently having brunch in berlin. How cosmopolitan we are!
+66 1 801xxxx 1713h ICT >> Wow. I feel like we're in an orange advert. Xx
+44 7932 690xxx 1136h GMT >> The future's bright, the future's ginger!

We are lucky.

÷

A list of jobs I have held, as prompted by ephemer in response to a list of jobs to which I have given more than a passing thought. Though inevitably the tried-it list is much shorter and less colorful, I say life is long…

Jobs For Which I Have Received Monetary Compensation
(Includes one-time paid tasks. Can you tell which ones?)

Assistant to CEO of renewable energy company
Babysitter
Busgirl at fancy restaurant
Classified ads copytaker
Freelance copy editor
Layout designer for start-up philosophy/science magazine
Pianist at some company’s Christmas party
Resident assistant at academic summer program
Runner for NBC News coverage of Princess Diana’s funeral
Teaching assistant at Montessori school
Temp
Walk-on chorus understudy for a Washington Opera production of Rigoletto