03 October 2008

Oil Slick

For the sake of this blog entry, I decided to subject myself to serious investigative journalism this morning. I kissed the kids and headed out for a morning of pampering at one of the local spas. Now, I must confess, I'm not a first-timer to the spas here. But, again, for the sake of really making sure I had the facts straight, I thought I should check it all out again before I posted an entry.

After a quick car ride under very gray skies, I arrived for my ten a.m. appointment. Kicking off my shoes upon stepping onto the salon's glossy white floors, I was greeted by a spa guide who escorted me to a raised massage chair. I sunk my feet into the bubbly water bath, ordered a complimentary roselle tea from their beverage menu, dipped my hands into the awaiting salt water dishes on either side of me, leaned my head deep into the cushioned chair and closed my eyes.

After almost two hours of intense arm and leg massages, a couple coats of beautiful metallic silver lacquer, at least several buckets of salt scrub and almond oil, my pedicure and manicure ended. I continued to bliss out as I paid about a fourth of what the experience would have cost me in the US.

Feeling treated myself, I stopped at the local grocery to pick up an item that's been heavily requested by the kids and not responded to (yes, they wanted the "macaroni in the blue box, plllllllease"). Then, I headed home. Finally, the thunder cracked overhead and knowing what that meant I picked up the pace. Already committed to walking home, rather than taking a taxi (which were now in short supply as I entered the smaller side roads that led home), I felt a twinge of anxiety and discomfort. The thunder grew to an intense rumble (boy, that happened fast today) and my feet began to slide around on my flip flops as the humidity further liquefied the salon's pedicure oil. Helpful Note: When in Thailand, don't wear already slippery flip flops to a pedicure... especially during monsoon season!

And, then it happened. Still several blocks away from home, the first pellet of rain struck. And, just as it had done on days previous, the sky opened up, sheets poured and my oily feet began to create a slick. Pushing panic to the side, I threw my flip flops off, grabbed my grocery bag closer (to protect the precious blue cardboard box inside) and moved a little further into the street. Watching my sparkly toes hit the now very wet pavement and feeling my stringy soaked hair stick to my neck, I couldn't help but laugh out loud. I wanted to throw my arms up in the air and say to the heavens, "I'm in Thailand, walking to my home in the middle of a monsoon... and I'm having the time of my life!"

Cooking in Thailand: entry no. 15:
Thai "BBQ" Chicken
A really easy and delicious take on one of our favorite street vendor's "gai" (chicken). A great dinner when served with rice and fresh fruit.

1 whole chicken, cut into parts
1/2 cup of soy sauce
3 tablespoons ketchup
1/4 cup terriyaki sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, minced
2 bird's eye chili peppers, diced (use only one if you like a little less spice)

Mix all of the above ingredients together in a large shallow pan, to be used for marinating. Add the chicken and turn to coat. Cover and set in fridge overnight. Line a baking pan with heavy duty aluminum foil. (Ideally, use a pan that is only large enough to put all of the chicken in so that the pieces touch and form a tight layer. You don't want the chicken to be spread out.) Place in a preheated 350 degree over, uncovered, for about 35 minutes or until the chicken is opaque in the center (depending on the size of chicken you use, the baking time may vary a bit). Remove and allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving. Also good cold.

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