Order Tara's Bicycle Touring Cookbook Today!

Lunch Break

by Tara

Sometimes, when we're working, we forget about eating. After several hours of writing and editing, I'm usually the first to notice my stomach making strange sensations. Tyler, though, hardly notices when I grab our wallet and slip out the door of our cozy green room this afternoon.

Just outside of our "office" there is an open-air landing, where a massage room waits, peacefully open, and usually without customers.

Shanti Lodge Massage Room

I descend the smooth, wooden staircase, hand sliding along the banister, admiring the art for sale along the way. At the bottom, I shove my feet into the sandals I've left by the entryway on shelves designed specifically for this purpose. Then, I walk through the restaurant and bar that make up the ground floor of the hotel:

Shanti Lodge Restaurant

…leading outside to where there is a terrace with even more tables and chairs surrounded by lush green jungly potted plants. The patio beams are decorated with masks and sculptures, mobiles made of shells, and vines that grow over everything with sweet smelling flowers.

Shanti Lodge Sleeping Kitty Shanti Lodge Decoration

Leaving the premises, I find myself at a road which dead-ends into a temple to my right. But it's the busy market, not the quiet temple, that prompts my walk, so I turn a corner, and enter a food-lover's paradise. There are chilies drying in baskets out in the sun:

Chilies Drying

…and the hugest broad beans I have ever seen:

Gigantic Beans at the Market

Soon the open-air market morphs into a covered one, and every isle holds something new and interesting to look at.

Bangkok Neighborhood Market Shrine Bangkok Market Kitty

Here is where the food vendors must buy their produce. Since we've put cooking on hold for awhile, subsisting on the delicious fare available on every street corner, I don't feel the need to purchase anything. Still, I never tire of window shopping.

Bangkok Market Shopper

Once I've made the rounds at the market, I pick and choose the cooked foods that look particularly tasty today. One by one, I collect rubberband-secured plastic to-go bags of goodies: yellow curry and rice, deep fried tofu and taro root with sweet and spicy peanut dipping sauce, and skewers of roasted chicken with chili sauce. Finally, I order up our current favorite beverage: Thai iced coffee.

A two minute walk leads me back to our guest-house where I climb the stairs once more, enter the room un-noticed, and transfer everything from their plastic bags to our plates and bowls. Then, I spread the food out on the bed, picnic style, while rousing Tyler from his programming reverie.

When he comes to, mind disengaging from the task at hand, his eyes land on the feast before him, and he breaks into a huge smile. Incredulous, Tyler wonders aloud how in the world I managed to get all of this stuff, when I've been working right next to him this whole time. I tell him I'm a ninja, and then we flop out on the bed and devour the delicious Thai feast together.

Now, time to get back to work!

Hours later, hunger strikes again and this time, we both stop working for the day. We close our laptops, happy in the knowledge that we've had a productive day, and get up to stretch our limbs a bit. Then, we grab our wallet and camera, locking our hotel room door behind us as we walk across the street for dinner. The little restaurant around the corner serves up some mean garlic chicken!

Bangkok Street Food Bangkok Street Cook Bangkok Street Cooking Ice Water in Metal Cup