shop Thailand” href=”http://riverecho.com/photos/photo/3769215065/phuket-thailand.html”>search Thailand” width=”240″ height=”180″ /> It’s currently 1:30am and BJ and I are in the middle of a “lunch break” during an eight hour quarterly meeting with Vertical Media. I’m not so sure we would wake up if we took an hour nap, sickness so we are pushing through, going for a quick swim in the rooftop pool and then going to keep the coffee and coca colas flowing until 6am. So far the night has been much easier than we anticipated. When we arrived in Thailand two days ago, my eyes were bloodshot and half closed but because we were in a new place we couldn’t let ourselves crash when we reached our hotel. Instead we immediately walked five minutes into town and to the beach. We are staying in the town of Karon on the island of Phuket in southwest Thailand. People who have heard of Phuket would most likely recognize the name Patong, which is a beach just north of us. The island is known as a popular tourist destination and from what we have seen and found so far, it is tropical, hot and humid, surrounded by beautiful bright green ocean water, has fantastically spicy food, and just a tinge of sleaze. Within the first ten minutes of being in downtown Karon, we were almost talked into winning the “grand prize” if we went on a tour of a time share. The scam artist, who happened to be an Australian, was very good at his job and he picked his subjects well . . . sleep deprived, hungry, not quite used to the heat, delirious, and new to town. We were able to avoid the situation but it’s given us a few laughs since. The few Thai people that we have met in our hotel and at restaurants in town have been really nice. We have been so quick to say “no” or just ignore people along the streets who are trying to get us to come into their store, or use their taxi service, or rent their motor scooter, but we’ve realized a few times after waving them off that some of the locals were just saying “hi” or “good afternoon.” Our protective and defensive instinct may not be so necessary towards the local Thai business owners. I guess it’s just the scamming Ausies that we need to watch out for.
We’ve been thoroughly enjoying the food so far. We love that everything is spicy and that they don’t warn you about it with a little asterisk next to the menu item like at home. And you don’t have the option to order mild, medium or hot . . . it just comes hot. But the spiciness is somewhat of a blessing in disguise because it is soooo hot out already that the food just makes you sweat more and if the slightest breeze comes by . . . oh, it just feels so nice. Most of the menus down here display the name of the dish in Thai and in English. There is no hope in being able to understand the Thai version as it looks like a bunch of pretty drawings and figures and the English version ends up being the direct translation. So for a dish like pad thai, we can’t read the Thai alphabet and the English name for it is simply “Rice noodles with egg and chicken, tofu, or pork.” Back in the states, we recognize most names of Thai dishes by the Thai name spelled out phonetically in the Roman alphabet like pad thai, kee mow, larb gai, tom yung goong, etc. So instead of looking at the menu we’ve started to just ask for dishes that we already know that we like, which surprisingly impressed our server at lunch today. I could just keep on eating Thai food forever . . . or at least every day for the next two weeks.
Oh, and photos from the last few weeks are finally up if you want to take a look.