Singapore Sling

After a well-needed good night’s sleep, we woke up to a fresh day and went to find coffee and breakfast. The whole scenery outside was completely changed and there were no remains from the night, only normal everyday city life.
Inside a quiet alley, a few women were frying and serving chicken on skewers, so we got some together with a spicy papaya salad. We sat in what seemed like their back yard, where they put plastic chairs and tables.

Later on, I’ve learned that this was my favorite part of every trip – the first morning, not knowing anything yet, finding out where the locals eat breakfast.

In another alley, a shriveled old woman with a shawl on her head stood by a wooden booth and sold iced coffee. As she opened her mouth to smile as we approached, showing the three last teeth that were left in her mouth.
She mixed dark liquids out of different sized pots, poured a large amount of sugar, opened a can with thick condensed milk, and mixed it all in a big colorful plastic cup filled with crushed ice. It’s an acquired taste. The coffee is very spiced and sweet, and it took me a while to get used to its taste.
I would now kill for another cup of it.

We had about a week in Thailand until the flight to Vietnam, so we planned to travel to one of the islands for a few days.
We got into a sleazy traveling agency beneath our hotel. An Israeli guy named Erez, with dreadlocks all the way to the floor was working there, and he said he lived in Thailand for nine years now. I had a slight suspicion that he escaped from Israel for some reason.
We told him we were not into clubs and parties but something more secluded. He recommended on quiet areas in Ko-Chang island, and we booked a bus and a ferry for the next day.

We kept strolling around the city, curious to see everything.
I felt full of new energy, just waiting to be hungry again and try every street-food I saw.
For lunch, we ate a super spicy papaya salad with tiny salted shrimp, fried noodles, some crab with vegetables, and sticky rice for the spiciness. Each table had a small set with peanuts, hot chili with fish sauce, and various spices. Once in a while the server approached us with a big smile and asked “Spicy OK?”.
It was too hot to be outside by the mid-day so we went back to the hotel and had Singapore Sling by the pool.

By the afternoon we went out again on a long trip around the city.
We had spring rolls and Pad-Thai what we bought from a woman on the street, and iced coffee which an impatient man poured into a nylon bag full of ice.
We escaped the touristic street, getting lost in the everyday life of people around. Children finished their school day and were streaming out of the schools with green and white uniforms. People working, shops.
We stopped for iced tea at a cafe that was run by a chubby man who was trying to hush a crying baby. Mostly teenagers worked there, and I tried to imagine myself in their place – what it’s like to finish school and go to work in that crazy city?

The sun began to set and the grey skies were painted orange as the streets woke up again. Even though the Khaosan was ridden with tourists, I felt like I can’t get enough. I didn’t want the evening to end.
It was my first time abroad in nearly ten years, and I was hungry to prey upon the world.


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