Saturday, January 22, 2011

Snowmen in the Sand: A Thai New Year

A quick glance back at January of last year's entry finds a promise made to myself: get the HELL out of Korea for winter this year. So I did.

Swarna, July, and Alex joined me during this little reprieve from Seoul's biting winds and infuriating slow-walkers. The number of times I've said, "I hate this [weather]," since December was eclipsed by, "Oh my god, I'm so happy. I'm never leaving this paradise with its $5 massages and hand-delivered beach chicken.". Seriously, y'all...a little woman walks around with a basket contraption on her shoulder that's cooking your perfectly marinated chicken and she brings it right to your lazy butt in a beach chair, if you but only nod your glistening head. Mango, dragonfruit, coconut ice cream? Why the hell not? I've been lying here for a couple of hours...I deserve a treat.

That becomes your inner decision-making algorithm. I just had a massage yesterday and the day before that, but they're cheap and they're good for me. I'll have another. Hedonism doesn't have to be debaucherous, right? The pursuit of pleasure has gotta be a good thing for you.

Foodies often laud Thailand as a culinary giant and damn if they aren't spot on. The creativity behind street food took me by surprise. I expected a lot of fried things on sticks...which is definitely around...but there's SO much more. We had pancakes filled with spices and shaved coconut, thin fortune cookies filled with a light marshmallow cream and candied orange peel, fresh juices in shockingly vibrant colors, and even a baguette sandwich from cart vendors. We definitely ate well, on very little money. Two pricier exceptions were: Alex's and my special New Year's Eve dinner on the beach (worth it! so worth it!) and his farewell dinner, at an amazing tapas place in NaNa, where we ordered THREE desserts. Still just hedonism, right?

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