The blog post requests are in! There's no deadline though so feel free to keep sending them. So far I have:
  • Attend a local sporting event (cock fight, muy thai fight) 
  • Go on a scavenger hunt (supplied by my sister) 
  • Attend the lady boy cabaret 
  • 7:30 dildo time (see my last post) 
I can’t promise to get any of these done in a timely manner so just keep checking back.

We have a brand new fancy schmancy 711 just off the main road, right down the hill from our place. It’s about twice the size of any of the other 711s I’ve been in. I think they’re trying to be all snobby and green too because they don’t sell the six packs of two-litre water bottles that we go through every day. Way to conserve the environment and make me drive all the way to Sairee to get water. I’m kidding, good for someone on this island for trying to cut back on plastic water bottles.

What they do have though is a big empty parking lot in front of their building, which you don’t see around here very often. Bikes get parked along the side of the road. Parking lots just don’t exist. Especially not ones big enough to put cars in. What to do with all that space? It started out a couple weeks ago that every time I’d go to 711 or the sub shop next door, I’d notice locals out in the parking lot camped around the one tree in the middle, having some sort of picnic. Apparently that attracted enough attention that whoever the picnic chef was decided to get themselves a little street cart to sell food out of. Then the street carts began to multiply and every time I drove past, there was one more than the last time. Pretty soon, as soon as dusk fell, the parking lot would be buzzing with locals selling food out of their street carts.

This made me very very excited because one of my favorite things about traveling this part of the world is the night markets, and the street food that comes out at night. We haven’t had a lot of that on Koh Tao, which is what I was missing. We have pancake man, well several of them actually but only one worth going to. He’s a little old guy, smaller than me, who never says a word, but flips his gooey pancake batter around like he’s an Italian chef making a pizza pie. His hands move in a blur and he’ll whip you up a pancake (which is more like what we know as a crepe) in under a minute. Since I’ve been back he got promoted from his corner spot in front of the old 711 bar up to the main road. I was worried at first when I saw the pancake kid who took his place on the old corner, and watched with disappointment as he clumsily made me a pancake that tore every time he moved it. But then I walked down to the other end of the street and there was good old pancake man, attracting his usual line of drunken tourists.

So you’ll see little street vendors scattered about here and there, but up until now there was no market where they all congregated into an alley of street food carts. And then the new 711 popped up with it’s big fancy parking lot. Every time I drive by at night it’s grown a little and is that much more enticing. I don’t know why I waited this long to go down there, but I finally made it down the hill tonight, parked my bike, and went to see what exciting local cuisine I could find myself for dinner. The parking lot was lit only by the 711, so I was pretty much walking around in the dark, down the line of about seven or eight carts set up, waiting for my eyes to adjust to the dark. They never adjusted enough to figure out what in the world I was looking at. Lots of mystery meat, ready to be fried up, several fish encased in salt, bags of what looked like curries or other soups or concoctions. One lady who had taken the time to translate her sign into English boasted that she was selling “rice cooky salad.” Being the only white girl there, all the stall ladies heads turned and tried to offer me a polite ‘sawadee ka’ to invite me over. Finally one guy who spoke a few words of English got my attention with ‘papaya,’ and knowing that he meant papaya salad, I eagerly nodded my head and waited in line as the lady mixed up ingredients in a bowl with one of those spice grinder sticks. When it was my turn and she finally finished mixing everything together, she grabbed a spoonful and handed it to me to try. Perfection! Just the right amount of sweet from the papaya and spicy from the chilies and tangy from the fresh lime juice. I smiled and said very good, wondering what she would do if I hadn’t liked it seeing as she didn’t speak any English. I was also offered some fried chicken but politely declined.

The next stall over offered an interesting selection of things that were a complete mystery to me. She advertised “fish meatballs,” but looked like she was making some sort of batter and putting it into a takoyaki pan. Curious as I was, I walked on, eager to get home and eat, and just grabbed some corn on the cob from the last lady on the block.

Back home, I practically inhaled the corn on the cob. Well actually I literally inhaled it. I was so excited for corn on the cob, which I haven’t had in ages, that I actually managed to inhale some kernels of corn. There was nothing special about it, nothing added to it, just good old sweet, summertime corn on the cob. And the papaya salad was divine, teeny tiny crab and all.