Being waited on hand-and-foot gracefully is not our strongest suit. Invariably, it involves numerous rounds of awkward back and forth – us reflexively insisting on doing everything for ourselves, then relenting when we realize that we're spurning the generous hospitality being offered to us. If today is any indication, we should have plenty of practice soon.
I'm not quite sure how to act; this whole experience is pretty unreal. I have never been escorted anywhere, much less to the bathroom by a man in a crisp white shirt and tie. I'm not accustomed to having a someone hover nearby, waiting on my every beck and call, offering free iced coffee, beer, Thai food, ice cream, or anything else I could imagine.
Getting everything we want, when we want it, for free, at what is probably the nicest Thai restaurant in the country outside of Bangkok, is really blowing my mind right now.
It is a quiet day at Bualaung, no weddings or parties scheduled, so it's just us and the hundred or so people who live and work in this compound, enjoying the downpours of Thailand's rainy season. We're not sure what where we fit into this behemoth place just yet. Tara expected we'd be hanging out with her family, but so far, they are nowhere to be found.
So, we watch the rain, bask in the tranquility, listen to the birds, and write, write, write.
When noon rolls around, Tara's cousin Sansanee, who is about our age, and is being groomed to take over the family business, stops by to say hello and make sure we are being treated like royalty. After a nice chat, she takes it upon herself to order us a "light lunch". Twenty minutes later, a parade of waiters brings us a feast!
Our mouths are agape and saliva production spikes rapidly, as place after plate after plate of authentic Thai food is placed on the table before us. We love Thai food, and can hardly contain our excitement!
The servers disperse, and then we survey the scene. There's a huge bowl of Tom Yam soup, and a plate of som tam, a sour, spicy, sweet green papaya salad, studded with peanuts, tomatoes, and tiny shrimp:
Then comes the pork satay with peanut sauce:
Moo Da Dio, a plate of pork in a dark, sticky glaze, served with crispy fried lime leaves:
…and a hearty helping of phat thai (pad thai):
And then, there's salt-coated deep fried chicken called Gai Ga Glear, served with sweet chili sauce. This is undoubtedly the best chicken I've ever put in my face. I am dead set on learning exactly how to make it before we leave.
Lastly, there's a little basket of kow neow (sticky rice):
I am speechless. The experience reminds me of the time Tara and I made popovers with honey butter for our friend Sarah. Her response was something along the lines of "THIS IS SO GOOD, I JUST WANT TO THROW THE PLATE ACROSS THE ROOM!"
Without deliberation, we've easily placed this extravaganza in the list of Best Meals We've Ever Had. This only scratches the surface of Bualuang's menu; I can't wait to see what comes next!
A few hours later, the skies are darkening, the rain is still falling, and it's time to go back to our hotel for the night. But first, we wander around and snap a few more photos of the grounds:
I think I could get used to this life of luxury business.