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Chao Lay

Our first Hua Hin meal, at the outermost edge of pier, more balmy than
sticky, was a wonderful respite from Bangkok. We should've done this sooner.
I wasn't sure about James's choice of curry powder crab, which sounded gross
because I kept thinking of blah grocery store bottled curry, but the crab
wasn't bad at all. It was really akin to Singapore chili crab, in that it
was spiced and saucy and cooked in the shell. This rendition had the crab
hacked into large pieces. We also ordered southern fried rice, absolutely
not knowing what southern style meant, except that here in NYC there's a
dish called southern curry, which is the hottest, craziest dish I've ever
had. This was not spicy like that. It was just really good rice with an
astonishing amount of prawns and squid tossed in.

We were still acclimating to the spooky, tropical beach climate where
lizards seem to roam freely. At one point, what I thought was a bat starting
flapping right near James's head and scared the shit out of both of us. It
was a massive moth. Now I get how the Japanese could fathom the concept of
Mothra. We also got a jarring surprise from a cat that jumped up on the pier
next to us. Seeing a cat wasn't a surprise, but we couldn't figure how it
came from under the pier since we were suspended over water.

The meal was satisfying and leisurely, that's why I hate to admit that
this was the only evening in S.E. Asia that I got stomach sick. Later that
evening I was laying on the bed, delirious and queasy. I say delirious
because when James asked, "do you want some Tums?" I thought he said, "do
you want som tam" and I was like yeah (I could always go for a little papaya
salad) if I wasn't so ill. I started to laugh, but had to suck it back in as
to not barf. Ah…memories.

Chao Lay * 15
Naresdamri Rd., Hua Hin, Thailand

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