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The Things I Endure for a Decent Seafood Meal

THAILAND | Tuesday, 26 January 2010 | Views [365]

Breakfast came free with my room, but this only included toast and jam, tea and something that looked like orange juice. If you wanted two eggs, that’ll be 60 Baht, please. In the morning there was a different clerk behind the desk of the hotel. She had pretty hair and lovely cheekbones, but I was a bit taken aback when she spoke to me in a voice that was and octave and a half below my own. “Do you want to stay another night? I need to know by 12:00; I am very busy.” Actually, I was interested in staying in Hua Hin for another night to check out the night market and to get some laundry done. I asked if the room was available for another night and she/he said that it wasn’t and that I would have to move rooms. I agreed to look at the room that was available for 550 Baht. The good news was that the bathroom had a lot less mold, but that was because the carpet had claimed all of it. Lord, was it musty. I agreed to it tentatively, feeling a bit obliged to keep my business with the one hotel that had taken me in. WHAT A SUCKER I WAS!

I set out looking for a laundry and a new room and only found one of the two. The guesthouses that I tried were either full, or they didn’t know if any of their guests would be checking out today. I thought that I should stick with a sure thing, even though the sure thing smelled like mold.

Hua Hin was established as a resort town when the royal family built a palace there in the days of Rama VII, and it became the place to go for a weekend getaway given it’s proximity to Bangkok as well as it’s dry weather and lovely beaches. Now, the large hotel chains have moved in and have claimed waterfront property and built golf courses so that it has also become popular for sun-seeking Westerners who don’t want the raucous, party-all-the-time atmosphere of Phuket. I just wanted respite from being on the road, some clean underwear, and a good seafood meal.

I spent the day doing anything to avoid my hotel room including two trips to the train station. The first time to purchase tickets for the trip up to Chiang Mai and the second to photograph the station that had recently been remodeled to bring it back to the glory of the Rama VII days. Finally the late afternoon hours slipped into evening and I headed for the night market. Mostly the market was a front for the restaurants that had purchased real estate in the area. They set out carts of fresh seafood for your approval before you ordered. There were lobsters, giant prawns, red snappers, mussels, squid, and it all looked like it had been swimming in the ocean less than twenty minutes ago. I had a hard time deciding what I wanted but I ordered the fried squid with garlic and pepper (something the waitress recommended) and the grilled mussels (because they are a local favorite). My food was served to me by another he/she. I had no problem with it, it just struck me that Hua Hin seems to have quite a generous portion of men who want to live their lives as women. The name of the restaurant was called Hua Hin Seafood, and I was able to forgive the unoriginal name because I enjoyed my meal so much. I think I paid about US$6.50 for two courses, fried rice and a bottle of water.

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