I love the experience of living by myself. Frankly, I’m a little surprised to discover just how much I enjoy it. Before I came here I had a slight fear that my weekends would feel a bit empty being so far from home, away from friends and family and all that was familiar. But that’s not the case at all – time simply flies by. At the moment I usually study Thai, shop for groceries, socialise with friends and spend lots of quality time on my own. And, of course, this is interspersed with eating. I know it must seem like all I do is eat but that’s far from the case – I just like to write about it, that’s all. And I really must write about my best food revelation yet: Burmese food. Wow. An entire cuisine I knew nothing about.
The Aussies I know here have been raving about this simple Burmese Restaurant from the moment I met them but I hadn’t gotten around to checking it out even though it’s only a few minutes away. But it was top of mind this week and I made a point of having dinner there on Saturday night. The food was so incredible that not only did I eat there on Saturday – rice with chicken and potato curry, tea leaf salad and tomato salad – I came back on Sunday afternoon for a second dose of their tomato salad. They use a simple recipe that somehow really intensifies the flavour of the tomatoes. Burmese food does seem to taste a bit different to Thai, though I need to try more things on the menu to elucidate the differences. I’m also planning to go to Burma, by the way, which is very close to this part of Thailand. I’ve never been particularly interested in travelling there before, but lately I’ve become very intrigued by the work that happens here in support of the Burmese.
The original plan for Saturday night was to actually check out a free outdoor screening of Persepolis, which I’ve been wanting to see for ages because I’m a big fan of Marjane Satrapi’s books. The screening was at Chiang Mai University and there was a pretty small turnout – probably due to the threat of rain and poor promotion of the event. So we all ended up ditching the screening the minute it started and went back to Paul’s condo and had Burmese for dinner instead. (Eventually, Paul and I watched New York, I Love You which basically sucked – though having said that, I have lately realised just how much I would love to live in New York one day!)
On Sunday night I thought of cycling back to the second day of the free outdoor screenings to check out Me and You and Everyone We Know by myself, but realised that my bike lights don’t seem to work. So I opted for a ride around a part of the local neighbourhood I haven’t explored yet. I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed cycling so much – it was so liberating being on a bike again! And eventually I ended up at a local ice cream parlour that I actually visited a few days after I arrived in Chiang Mai.
iberry is like no other place I’ve been to – and I have eaten a lot of ice cream in a lot of places over the years. It’s a very trendy ice cream parlour with charming decor, quirky objects, and a big garden with outdoor furniture and sculptures. The shop is owned by a famous Thai comedian named Udom Taepanich who has a very big nose – hence the statue with the very big nose. And, it seems, his nickname is actually ‘Nose’.
On my first visit I had lychee mojito sorbet. One of my favourite fruits and one of my favourite cocktails – what’s there not to love about that flavour? And I would have had it again yesterday but it wasn’t available. Instead, I had green tea and red bean ice-cream and it was so delicious that it reminded me what my favourite ice-cream flavour is – green tea. I have to admit that although I am constantly seeking out new sensations, I can be a real creature of habit at times who enjoys very simple pleasures. Which is probably why these past few days I have been making tuna sandwiches and watching Law and Order marathons, things that I didn’t even realise I enjoyed so much.