Today we didn’t do much. We’ve had too much stimulation for too long so we took a day off sightseeing.
We went for dinner at a restaurant that Kev, inexplicably, really liked, saying, truthfully that they were a lovely family. And they were.
We turned up and we were the only white men they’d ever had in there. It was a steaks house.
Yes I know I said steaks house but that was what was written on the sign.
We sat at a table outside but the proprietor, a man of about thirty years told us to come inside cos it was hothot.
The family were Chinese Thai, we guessed, and utterly utterly charming. They took us into the house where there was one table lost in the middle of a big room with two sleeping mats against the wall.
We had dinner in a strangers bedroom!
It wasn’t brilliant but the kiwi fruit drinks, made by taking kiwi fruit and liquidizing it, and then mixing it with ice, were fantastic!
Why is it that we only eat fruit that has been made by scientists in a lab back home? Why?
The vitamin drinks here are bottles of runny, slightly sour jam, made so you can swig it. It makes sense. It’s wholesome and nutritious and when I get back home I will demand fruit that hasn’t been grown in a warehouse under uv lights and coloured with dye. Why do we accept it? I don’t know, I really don’t.
The proprietor, dead chuffed that there were white people in his restaurant, asked if he could take a picture of us for his facebook, and so we posed, grinning like idiots for him.
Anyway, the food wasn’t brilliant, so Kev thought that we should go there later for dinner too, and order the fondou moo, which is not fondou, and not moo.
Nel had been hoping for something called jim jum, or something, but by now I was really hungry.
Jim jum (I think) is a sort of boiling water dish, bought to you, (and we’ve seen it) onto your table and into which you put your noodles with a strainer.
There is a charcoal burner underneath which keeps the water boiling, and you cook your noodles yourself, at your table.
Nel thought this would be brilliant. Me, being a man, don’t really like noodles that much, believing it, quite rightly, to be girl food. I like meat, and protein, and curry. Bring me a cow with its horns on. Wipe its bottom and I’ll eat It.
Perhaps women have more delicate sensibilities. They must have.
Anyway, Kevin made another of his monumental mistakes by ordering the fondou moo, thinking it would be hot water with noodle, or something., and then, some time later, a pan was very, very, very carefully bought to us and placed in the middle of our rickety table, along with a plate of raw pork and raw carrots.
A precariously balanced vat of very hot oil. ON OUR TABLE!
We all sat and stared at it for a couple of minutes, wondering what to do, til Kev, knowing what to do, picked up the carrots and dropped them carelessly into the pot.
It was at this point that we realized that Kev didn’t really know what to do at all and it wasn’t the Thai dish that he had thought might come, but a vat of boiling oil on the table between us. And he’d thrown wet carrots into it. We leapt back, all four of us shocked as the pan boiled and seethed and spat.
Can you imagine a more dangerous dinner? Can you imagine a more insane way to eat? Or, in fact what to do with deep fried carrots, which were now rolling and blackened on the oil.
What you’re supposed to do is to spear a cube of pork with the long, thin forks we’d been given, it now seemed obvious to me.
Even done carefully though, it didn’t seem that a pot of oil in the middle of the rickety table was particularly a good, or safe idea. We were terrified of reaching for food, for fear of rocking it and upsetting the gently rocking bowl.
The weird thing though, the really strange coincidence was that the night before, when we’d talked about getting Jim jum, or whatever, and Kev explained that it was noodles you cook yourself, I’d joked about having a deep fat fryer bought to the table so I could cook my own chips instead. Honestly.
The proprietor then asked if we would pose for another picture for his facebook, and so we posed, grinning like idiots with a dangerous pot of hot oil on the table. I think this picture might show us as looking a whole lot more nervy than we were in the previous one.
Next time we eat, I might take along a stick of TNT to dinner.
I was enormously happy to leave our table and so we went on to a bar not too far from Kev and Jayne’s where they’d never had white people in before.
The man who owned the place was called Kim, and he’s a policeman, which was of interest to Kev, what with him needing to get himself arrested. This is to do with his film again, and, after a short conversation, and a phone call to his superior officer, and the offer of money from Kev, it was set up. Kim gave us his card, which might come in handy some day.
Kev reckoned that in all likelihood we were the first white men that had ever been there, maybe the odd one with a Thai girlfriend, perhaps, and so again we were a bit of a curiosity, being two ordinarily married couples.
There was a man of about 50, maybe older, who came across several times to tell us he was happy. He didn’t look it though, he looked very very drunk, or something and he didn’t seem well. His voice was a low and sinister whispery croaking sound, and he came across four or five times, leaned in so close I could feel his sweaty hair against my head. He’d look confused, gesture the four of us and croak ‘happy’, scarily.
We all nodded in agreement and said ‘happy’ and ‘Thailand’ back to him and he’d shake our hands, saying happy but not looking it at all. And he’d croak ‘smile’ at us, while frowning deeply.
Kev was easily persuaded to get up on the stage with the band, who were enormously happy to have him there. He sang a couple of songs he didn’t know, and, although in many ways it was a sound more shocking than hearing a tiger at the foot of your bed first thing in the morning, nobody seemed to care.
The guitarist was a tall man for a Thai, as tall as me and he is a seriously talented player and singer with a huge vocal range and a beautiful voice. In many respects exactly unlike Kev.
He sang some heartbreakingly beautiful Thai songs which were rendered no less beautiful to me and Nel by not understanding a word of it