Monday, January 28, 2008

Time for something completely different...

My stomach is gurgling. I dreamt of thin crust, brick oven pizza (with fresh mozzarella and tomatoes) all night long and woke up this morning to a shake of bentonite clay and psylium husk. Utterly revolting and totally unsatisfying…

It was little more than a week ago that I was roaming through a dizzying array of food stalls at the “Choa Far Variety Weekend Market” in Phuket Town and sucking down bowls of spicy rice noodles with crispy pork skin, bean sprouts and shrimp; gnawing on soft, fatty morsels of tripe satay and succulent pork satay and washing it all down with tall, icy bottles of Singha at Jae Yoa (pronounced “Jay-Yo”), a 50 year old noodle shop on Patipat Road in Phuket Town.

Mr. Ray, our guide that day, was a friendly taxi driver that picked us up at the airport a few days prior and offered to give a tour of Phuket, since our time there was limited. “No touristy places. I want to see Thailand.”, Princess said as he tried to sell us on a trip to the overly-touristed beach of Patong, a monkey circus and a trip to a shopping mall. “Somewhere good to eat”, I said, gesturing as if I was putting something in my mouth. “No problem”, Mr. Ray replied, in very good English.

He took us to Raiwai Beach, a small Thai fishing village.

We walked the fish stalls and vegetable stalls and watched fishermen mend their traps.

Mr. Ray and I inspected the food vendors and filled up on crispy, fried chicken wings (Princess wasn’t to keen on that) and chewy, sweet roties as thin as crepe and filled with palm sugar and sweetened condensed milk.

Next, we were off to a trip to the fruit market where we filled our bellies on mangusteens, darien, mangoes and rambuten.

And then the noodle shop…

So, how the hell did I end up here, drinking clay? Aside from the 12-hour bus ride and death defying ride on a longtail boat in a churning, tumultuous sea?

I had this brilliant idea a few months ago that doing a fast/cleanse/detox would be a nice thing for my body after the surgery I had in October. And, after much research on the web, I booked myself into a “fasting” bungalow at The Sanctuary Resort & Spa at Haad Thien Beach on Ko Pha Ngang. However, I started having doubts last week whether I could make it through a fast after enjoying so much tasty food, or even if I still wanted to do one. There’s so much food to explore in Thailand, why do I want to starve myself? But no backing out, I had paid a deposit.

Haad Thien Beach is only accessible by either a very treacherous ride in a longtail boat (a 10-foot long, wooden boat with an outboard engine at the end of a pole mounted on the back – hence the name) or a very treacherous ride in a taxi (if you can find one to take you there) on an unpaved mountain road, along a cliffs edge. I chose the boat ride because I hear drowning is a more peaceful death than falling over a cliff. Being strangled to death by Princess hadn’t occurred to me when I made the initial decision to take the longtail boat. But, as we were tossed about in 5-foot waves and our luggage became waterlogged and a dripping wet Princess began gesticulating wildly and hollering something in Spanish that sounded like a rapid-fire machine gun I knew my death, one way or the other, was eminent.

The Sanctuary, built into the cliffs along the beach and surrounded by a lush, green jungle is the perfect location for that “getting away from it all” feeling. And as soon as the excess adrenaline from the boat ride had worn off, and my hands stopped shaking, and I had checked into my thatched, Thai style bungalow up on stilts with tropical forest all around – I slipped into the easy, relaxed mood of the place and decided once again that a fast would be a really good idea.

But that was three days ago. And now, as I await another bentonite and psyllium shake and a coffee colonic, all I can think is that I would KILL for a beer and pizza…

If anyone wants to rescue me, please send a helicopter to The Sanctuary - and make sure there's cold beer in the cooler!


tammy said...

such a grand adventure and such beautiful photos!!!!!

Shalimar said...

sweetie how can be a real foodie and a great chef fast ;-)

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