It's been an extraordinary journey. To meet some amazing people, to have been exposed to such a unique culture and way of life. And to do what I do best at a world renowned venue at the Shangri-la hotel, Chiang Mai, Thailand has been worth every minute of it.
I feel like I belong here, no doubt I look like a native and have been spoken to in Thai. What stood out the most was people’s genuineness, their friendliness their frank approach,
So the first day we landed in Bangkok and went straight to the hotel. It was an okay hotel, not that great. But it was just a stopover. The first thing Sahir (my 11 year old son) noticed was the lizard inside our room and he wasn't impressed with the standard of the room. I told him our next stop will be a better accommodation.
We wanted to have dinner but the hotel restaurant was not appealing. So we took a walk to the local eateries. We didn't know what we were ordering but made sure the waitress was clear that we do not want any PORK! I think she got the message in the end. So it was seafood all round and freshly made smoothies. The coconut milk soup was absolutely amazing! I could taste the freshness of every ingredients. The lime leaves and the limes juice did it for me.
We also had a guest who kept visiting our table...well a black cat kept walking under our table. Not sure if he was with the dining team but he loved to stare at our food.
Day 2. I woke up early to go and meet Larry and Wan, a fellow fruit and vegetable carving expert. Thank God for Google map I was able to walk from the hotel to their place without any difficulty. As I was too early I stopped by at a cafe and tried their cappuccino. I resumed the walk to the carving academy and boy it was hot. I must have walked 10 minutes and shed a gallon of sweat.
At the gate Larry greeted me and took me to the top floor to meet his wife and business partner Wan. Wan wanted to see my work and fearing criticism from a fruit carving veteran I showed her my best work on Facebook. She gave me that look and knew exactly what I needed to notch up my skills of fruit and vegetable carving.
The remaining 5 hours was an absolute joy with Wan. She taught few simple techniques that I knew would help me excel my carving skills. I took away some very important and valuable lesson: There is no ceiling to your knowledge and skills. You will always learn something new.
Also Wan made me a lovely lunch with fresh fish, rice and vegetable stir fry. She also gave to coconut juice.