We have officially marked the end of our first full week in Thailand! Since touching down we settled into a condo and got our bearings in the city. We are excited to share pictures of our new place but want to finish setting up first, so we thought we'd share our first forays into Thai food instead:
The first thing to note is that Thai food is either very sweet (lots of desserts and syrup-based smoothies), or very spicy:
Ordering so far has been accomplished by pointing, holding up fingers for the count, and simple English or Thai words combined with lots of smiles and nods. English is not widely spoken here, but basic context-specific words are generally fair game.
There are several major malls near our condo (massive establishments chock-full of global department stores and outlets--think Gap, Coach, Forever 21, etc) that have a multitude of dining options. You'll find familiar foods from pizza to sushi, but it is expensive by Thai standards ($10-15 per plate for a full dinner). We have only recently felt comfortable enough to try Thailand's famous "street food".
Throughout the day, but especially in the evenings, food vendors line the streets preparing everything you could imagine. We settled down for a dinner of "pork salad Thai style" (shown above), with sticky rice and a plate of assorted greens. Michelle's entree was flank steak medallions in a spicy sauce, which they skewered over open coals in something that resembled a traditional kiln.
Some might be put off by the modest accommodations of these street-side mini-restaurants, but the food is incredibly tasty and beats U.S. fast food in the "knowing-it-is-real-meat" category. The best part? Dinner clocks in around $2 per plate.
We mentioned that Thais love sweets, so we topped off dinner last night with what we infer to be a traditional Thai dessert. These pink sweet-bread treats fall into the same genera as cupcakes. The most interesting feature for us was the distinct smell and taste of lavender. The bread itself is difficult to describe; it was dense enough that it didn't crumble while being light and airy, like a soft sponge cake, and a few sprinkle-like candies were embedded in the top. It was absolutely delicious, and we've made it our mission to learn the recipe before leaving!