This was going to be the get-away weekend: the last weekend before the preparations for the move to the new condo got serious. So Tawn and I were going to drive up to Korat and Khao Yai, about two hours northeast of Khrungthep, visit some property that Tawn’s father owns up there, and explore the self-proclaimed “Gateway to Issan“.
So what would be the one thing that would stop us?
Our designer, who with his globe trotting travel schedule to far away places like Turkey and India, has summoned us to a meeting to discuss furniture. Since scheduling time with him has been so difficult, we must make ourselves available when he is. To be fair, he is a well-known Thai designer, doing many stores and boutique hotels. He’s doing our home remodel as a favor as he’s our friend, certainly at a discounted price, so these schedule challenges are a small price to pay.
Still, we’re not going away this weekend.
Friday night I met Tawn at Paragon to take a look at some furniture at the Martha Stewart Store. Actually, it isn’t the Martha Stewart store, but it is the only store in Thailand authorized to sell the Martha Stewart furniture collection, so the entire store is done up so that you wouldn’t know that it isn’t a Martha Stewart Store.
We go in there frequently to get ideas as it is a style we like. The store was designed by our decorator friend and dressed by him as well, as are many of the furniture stores in Paragon.
The lady who works there is so familiar with us, she just invites us in to have tea. We sit at a dining room table on display in the main room, drinking tea and nibbling M&Ms, like two life size mannequins.
While there, we looked at various catalogs, discussed different pieces of furniture on display, and considered the merits of ordering a US-sized bed versus a Thai-sized one. A king-size bed in Thailand is not a king-size bed in the US.
Khun Nirin – note the carefully crafted PR in this linked story – told us of an experience where two picky customers – a pair of women – spent a half hour lying in one of the beds (under the covers, even) in order to try it out before spending that much money to buy the mattress. It was the middle of the day, other customers were coming and going, and the women just lay there seeing if they’d be comfortable on the mattress for an extended period of time.
If you think about it, it makes sense. Most of us shop for mattresses by lying down for sixty seconds or less.
I ate Halal for dinner at my favorite vendor in the food court. The nice lady there prepares Muslim style food and they have a chicken roti-mataba that is just lovely.
It is a southern Thai dish that takes thin, crepe-like roti and stuffs them with a curried chicken (or beef or lamb) and shallot mixture, then fries it in a pan to crisp the sides a little. The mataba is served with a side salad or cucumbers, shallots and chilies in a rice wine vinegar sauce, along with a spicy green chili sauce.
Not feeling fully satiated, I went haram and ate some pork satay. That was tasty, too, although obviously from another vendor.
Below: Tawn took a dozen takes for this picture at a dozen different settings before coming up with something usable.
As there wasn’t much to watch in the cinemas, we headed home where I was early enough to participate in a conference call with work at 10:00. Which was kind of boring, actually.
Funny food pictures: Above: Ken and Roka clown around at a Japanese restaurant called Yayoi, part of a Japanese chain that is operated here in Thailand by MK Restaurants. They serve you tea in this fun, brightly-colored English teapots with these tiny pink teacups that look to be stolen from a child’s tea party set. Below: Last weekend in the midst of errands we stopped for dim sum at SK Park Hotel, at the Chinese restaurant that Tawn’s whole family frequents. We didn’t check in advance and lucked out that nobody we knew was there.