The One With The Nightly Dinner Routine
I honestly didn't know what to expect when it came to what meals would be like in Thailand. I knew markets and stands were common and that pad thai was probably abundant in the country. I didn't know that when I got placed in my apartment I would not have a kitchen of any kind, aside from a refrigerator. When I first heard this I won't lie, I sort of freaked out. My inner monologue went something like this "HOW THE F AM I SUPPOSED TO FEED MYSELF WHEN I DON'T HAVE ANY WAY TO MAKE FOOD?!" Except in my head "F" was very clearly spelled out.
After the first few days here we realized we weren't going to be able to survive with just a fridge, so we rode our bikes to the nearby store and purchased a water heater, which is essentially just an electric tea pot- we have them in America too and I'm obsessed with mine. We use that to make a lot of different things so we can theoretically survive without buying every single meal outside of our apartments.
The great thing about Thailand is that every. damn. thing. is cheap. Meals are rarely more than 300baht, the equivalent of 10USD and that's honestly when you're splurging or in a more urban area. Where we live has significantly lower prices than say Bangkok or Chiang Mai. Our average meal is between 30 and 60Baht (1-2USD).
We have been here for about a month and a half now so we officially have our "spots" and are on a first name basis with some of our favorite vendors. In fact at one of our favorite restaurants in Tak, the cook brought our rice out in the shape of a heart the other night. We knew we had officially been promoted to "regulars," which is a pretty awesome feeling.
While we do love that restaurant, our go-to meal is Pad Thai (how cliche, I know) and a papaya salad. Our nightly routine looks something like this:
Around 6:50pm one of us texts the group and says "night market in 10?"
7:00pm we ride our bikes about a mile to the river where several vendors set up stands to sell various amazing foods
7:10pm we stop at the pad thai stand and get a serving to go
7:15pm we go to the papaya salad stand and get an order to go and say "mai phet" meaning "not spicy" -I will never be able to put into words how DELICIOUS papaya salad is, if I am able to recreate it when I get back to the U.S. I will cry tears of joy.
7:20pm we ride our bikes back to our apartments with our food in our baskets
7:30pm stage dive into a pile of bomb pad thai and papaya salad while constantly saying "I can't believe I'm not sick of this yet!"
The convenience aspect is slightly missing because we do have to ride to the river to get the food, but the meal is always so, SO worth the effort it takes to obtain it.