Cafe Rawn. The Thai version of cafe bonbon, the coffee treat left to the world by the Spanish Conquistadors. Very strong coffee grounds are steeped in hot water, making an espresso strength liquid. Strained and poured over ice with equal amounts of condensed milk, it’s cool coffee bliss for those stifling hot tropical afternoons. Just 20 baht, about sixty cents USD. More in my forthcoming ebook: Dongtan Confidential. #coffee #damngoodcoffee #coffeebliss #thaifood #thailife #jomtienpattaya #ebook #dongtanconfidential

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Tongue Biting Good

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Yesssssssss! Thai green papaya salad made just the way I like it, no chilies, just a little garlic. This at my favorite cheap cheap eatery in Jomtien Beach, Thailand.

Ran Nong Som, a family-run establishment right on the beach road has good quality food at very reasonable prices. (it’s on Jomtien Beach Road just past Soi 3 but way before soy 4).

Along with the salad, I had a huge piece of fried chicken thigh, and a Coke Zero with ice. Would that be considered a paleo diet?

I was so enjoying it, but distracted, that I bit my tongue, for the second time today. Fortunately I did not break the skin this time. But I did earlier this afternoon while I was on the beach gossiping with my buddy Paul about financial woes of the global economy.

When something bothers me, I google it and see if I can find relief. I read there’s a superstition that says when you bite your tongue, it means the next thing you were about to say is a lie.

That doesn’t describe me at all, paragon of virtue that I am. Okay, rarely, I might embellish a story just a teeny tiny little bit.

Continuing my Google quest, I found all kinds of hypochondriac causes, such as antidepressant medications, seizures, obsessive compulsive disorders, anxiety, stress, bruxism, and more.

Treatments involved psychotherapies, habit retraining, orthodontics, even surgery.

Towards the end of the research, I decided it was merely not being mindful while eating, saltwater rinsing all that’s needed.

Thankfully the pain is gone, and I truly enjoyed my healthy, or relatively healthy for me, meal at my favorite eatery in Jomtien beach.

Stay tuned for more of Jimbo’z fairy tales from afar, including a lurid story about breaking in a new foreigner in town at Boyztown.

No Sapicey Please

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Just how much heat can one put on the table? Plenty, as long as it stays on the table and not on my plate.

I do test myself on occasion, my limit is about one third of a red hot Thai chillie pepper. It’s enough to judiciously spank the tongue three or four times, spread eagled out over the course of a meal.

That’s about what you see on this decadently fatty dish of crispy fried pork with basil over rice.    I’m so grateful the family run Ran Nong Som restaurant knows exactly how spicy I like it.  Btw, they’re a sweet Cambodian family and it’s on Jomtien Beach Road, a few doors past Soi 3.

Many places, due to language differences or spite, will get it wrong and make it more spicy. Like the sweet chili fried fish I had in Bangkok last week. A perfectly good whole fish crispy fried but then smothered to death in a sweet pineapple tamarind sauce that must have had at least 30 of the satanic little devils.

Cheapskate that I am and not wanting to waste an $8 investment, I gulped a swig of Singha and jumped into the fire. Four heroic bites later and I was begging the Lord Buddha for compassion and mercy. A plate of plain rice and two Singhas later and my mouth is still ablaze by the napalm. I won’t even go into the ensuing violence on the throne back at the hotel.

It’s not a good idea to send a dish back in Thailand, especially at the budget eateries because it causes loss of money and face. You might end up with a spit loogie, cigarette ash, or cock roach in your food. Or they will try to twist it around and ask then why did you order spicy? The waiter or the cook most likely will be docked for the error unless you graciously apologise for misordering.

The most important Thai words to know when ordering:

ped  =  spicy

Ped nit noy  =  just a little bit spicy

Mai pet  =  no spicy

Be sure to add ka (if you’re female) or krup (if you’re a male) at the end. It means thank you please ten thousand times, and shows that you’re polite and classy.

Here’s more on ordering spicy foods in Thailand from the fabulously informative “Women Learn Thai” website.

It’s an amusing read with audio pronunciations and the comments are hilarious.

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