I miss you, Bangkok.
The Thai capital’s known to Singaporeans for its shopping, namely Chatuchak Weekend Market and Platinum Mall, and for gays and party-goers, the vibrant club scene. For me, it’s the street food that I miss most – makeshift stores full of color and flavors present a soul against the backdrop of the rapidly modernizing skyline selling every day foods that seem that much tastier and that much soulful. You wonder how fresh’s the produce, you wonder where that water comes from, but what is life without its risks?
This morning, I woke up feeling a little more needy than usual. It’s not a completely unfamiliar emotion – I feel like this when I wake up from one of those episodes starring him. I don’t pine over him anymore, not because the feelings have faded, but because I know it’s a lost cause. But ever so often, the mind unconsciously revisits the subconscious recesses of things that we try so hard to hide, but never quite forget. I am trying, but when it’s bad, it’s bad, and the day looks just a tad darker than it really is. Sometimes, I can handle it, at other times, it’s like it just happened all over again, and my heart would shatter once more, again. Escaping to a better life overseas, even for just a week or two, helps me calm my mind, for seeing others in peril and in poverty makes me feel like my problems are insignificant to the real people who need help. So, after an afternoon’s worth of work at Starbucks, and finally completing my ultrabook review, I decided to “escape” to Thailand. I still remember the day Keidi first brought me to Jane Thai after work. It wasn’t a good impression, since I had set the bar high – comparing it with Bangkok’s best, but we make do with what we have, right?
Immediately, the Milk Tea disappointed. Having just tasted the actual thing whilst at Phuket, this was a rather bad impression. It had a strong flavor that was not unlike Indonesia’s famous Teh Botol Sosro, except it had a dash of milk added. The familiar flavors that I knew and love never came, and I didn’t finish it. The Phad Thai was okay, except it had an overwhelming flavor of lime to it which I tried to neutralize with copious amounts of fish sauce, sugar and ground dried chili, and sort of succeeded. It was a triumph, but I don’t remember needing to season my Phad Thai in Bangkok, only to regulate its spice.