The Buddhist monk ordination ceremony now behind us, everyone kind of slept in – well maybe until 8. After checkout, we went to a restaurant in town offering various dishes in a buffet style, but that you just ask for and they put it on a plate. Most of the offerings were too spicy for me, and I wanted something more western, so I ordered some hard sausage (hoping it wasn’t spicy), and a fried egg. They put the egg on rice (soy sauce please!), and the sausage was sweet. Total tab for the 10 of us was under $13.
And then it was all hunkered down at mama’s house waiting for the bus, leaving at 9:45 pm. That will get us to Hua Hin at dawn. Another night and day without sleep.
I have now been in Thailand for two years and two months, and this was the first truly immersed Thai experience I have had. Fortunately, I had Thai ‘guides’ but it was good to experience Thai life more as a Thai (even though the family treated me like royalty). A tiring but ultimately very fulfilling, interesting and motivational experience.
The final dinner
On this whole trip, I never knew where my next meal would be. I had no idea what was in store for me this evening, but I was asked to help with the buying of various foods for a cookout. Two went on a motorcycle ride and came back with sacks of greens (cabbage, mustard, plus), chicken and chicken livers, and sodas and ice. We had a party.
In anticipation, the women had laid out plastic mats on the jagged concrete driveway. Two small clay pots were placed in the middle, and coal fires started. It was a steamboat! One of my favorite meals. Cook the food in hot water or on a sort of grill, and ladle out what you want. Simple food, simply cooked, with plenty of spicy sauces to complement.
We fed about 14 people on about $20, and my impression was that it was a special meal they don’t have often. But neither do I.