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My Comfort Food

THAILAND | Tuesday, 21 August 2007 | Views [342]

Coffee and a full meal here cost the same, about 20-30 baht or .80-$1. Whenever I'm riding my bike around town I keep my eye out for any cafe that looks like it would serve coffee that is larger than a measuring cup. About three days in I decided that buying my own package of instant Nescafe and Coffee Mate would solve my desire to have coffee and sit at leisure on the porch. To make the coffee I had to go down to the kitchen and ask for the hot water. The cup was twice as big as the usual fare I have been having so I was already thrilled.

1 1/2 cups later of disgusting coffee convinced me that even if I'm buying instant nescafe from the street vendors they make it better than I can. I did break down on Sunday before the market and go to Starbucks here. For $3 I had a Venti coffee. I'm not proud of that, but there it is. The coffee is not nearly as strong as it's made in the states thankfully.

Today was my most successful day yet. There are bunch of street vendors set up down the road from where I am studying. Everyday after lunch the french people and I go to have coffee. One day we stopped at a to go vendor. I didn't know that you have a choice of how you want to take the coffee away: paper cup, glass cup, or plastic fishbowl. The price also changes depending on that choice. So of course, being a faraang (foreigner) I am just given the most expensive choice: 35 baht.

Today when I went the woman recognized me and gave me a glass: 20 baht. She gestured to the plastic stool next to her stand to sit. Across from us is another vendor and they start talking and asking me questions. The coffee vendor would ask the food vendor a question in Thai and the food vendor would ask me the question in Thai, but use gestures that helped translate. It was a good time. They asked me where I'm from. New York City never got translated. United States is as specific as it got. Then they asked if I was studying massage. Yes. Easy.

Once that conversation hit a wall we started on the language lesson. "Chai," yes. "Mai," no. "Kor," please. "Korp Kun," Thank you. They also taught me the thank you that Chiang Mai locals say, but I've forgotten.
When I left them I asked "kor gaa-faa tung sai nom noy (i'd like filtered coffee with milk please) to go." Plastic bags with coffee cost 10 baht.

Tags: Food & eating

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