Lek (I think that’s what her name tag said) suggested I try the mango and sticky rice dessert. No doubt I looked confused for a second as I pondered the susggestion.
“It’s a traditional Thai dessert,” she continued. “Not too heavy, you should be able to finish it.”
What the hell, I thought. “Ok.”
A few minutes later she was back with a plate. Slices of mangos arranged in two rows on one side, a clump of white rice on the other. The sticky rice lived up to its name, with a slimy, sticky texture. The mangos were sweet, wonderful specimens that were no doubt picked fresh just recently, like all the other fruit I’d had in Thailand.
I was finishing up a late dinner my last night in Bangkok. I’d just come from Siam Paragon, the off-the-hook shopping monstrosity. An aquarium in the basement, exhibition space, a bowling alley, and movie theatre on the top floor, and several floors of shopping in between, there’s probably nothing you could want that couldn’t be found there.
I had just finished picking up a few last minute items after spending the afternoon wandering around Wat Pho and the Grand Palace. The Emerald Buddha at the Grand Palace was a sight to behold, perched atop a large shrine that rose nearly to the ceiling, lights pointed all around. The spectators that entered were awed instantly, staring intently and prostrating themselves before the image of the Buddha to show their respect. I stood for a time, watching and admiring.
The night before I first adventured to Siam Paragon, where the Bangkok film festival was holding multiple movie screens each day. I took in a late showing of Revolver, a Guy Ritchie film. In uniquely Thai fashion, the audience was greeted with the Thai national Anthem in place of dancing soda and popcorn. The audience rose for the playing. For one of the nicest theatres I’d ever been in, with a large soda, I spent about 200 Baht (about $5).
After three hours sleep Friday night, I woke up to catch my flight to Japan.