Singapore Adventure

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Breakfast of Champions
by venitha

Our last morning in Chiang Mai found us unable to face yet another morning of our hotel's less than appealing breakfast buffet, so instead we headed out to throw ourselves on the mercy of Chiang Mai's street vendors. Given the number of pineapples and bottles of fresh-squeezed orange juice we'd already happily consumed in three days of eating our way through the moat-enclosed city, we were unlikely to starve. Of note: We also tried fresh-squeezed(?) carrot juice (not particularly recommended beyond its novelty), but we resisted beetroot juice. It was beautiful, yes, but you've got to be kidding.

Jim's caffeine cravings were subdued with the so-very-Asian coffee-in-a-bag, and our sweet-tooths were sated with the ever-popular mango on sticky rice, served here with a little bag of sweet and creamy coconut milk. Mmmm....

My happiest purchase, however, for a mere 20 Baht (less than US$1), was a som tam salad in a bag, concoted in front of me using a large wooden mortar and pestle. Best of all, I got to use my newly acquired skill, learned just the day before in a thoroughly enjoyable Thai cooking class, of getting my Thai food made just the way I like it: spicy.

"Seven," I told my chef, holding up my fingers to indicate the number of deadly little Thai peppers I would like in my salad, and I was quite quite proud of myself at the tasty result.

Jim was not quite so enamoured with me. "It's breakfast," he complained.

"Yes... it... is..." I agreed, licking my fork in smug satisfaction, then adding, in the spirit of compromise, "That's why I got seven and not nine."

The number of peppers, Meow had insisted, must be odd. Meow is sort of what our instructor's name sounded like to me, but "You can call me Miss Beautiful." My tingling taste buds thank you, Miss Beautiful.