Monday, April 26, 2010

Stalking the Elusive Thai....

I talked to Pat (the English friend I mentioned) this morning. I suggested two different Thai restaurants for our lunch, and she decided we should go to the one where I hadn't  eaten before - that way we would both have an adventure. She is staying out in Hammond Bay, so I told her I would pick her up at 12:30 and we would go to Sakira Thai, which is in the north end of town.  I got into Suzie (our old green Crown Victoria) and headed out Hammond Bay Road.

I had to go right past Piper's Lagoon, which is one of my favourite places for sitting, staring into space, and as I had a few minutes to spare, I pulled in there and got my camera out. Poor Piper's Lagoon. The tide was so low, it was more like Piper's Puddle, but the view beyond it was still splendid.
Just north of where I stood is the aptly named Shack Island. I don't know whether anyone actually lives there - I don't think the island has any services at all - but those shacks remain (maybe just so we can remember which island is Shack Island).

I stood for a few minutes, taking pictures, savouring the soy latte I had bought along the way, then went to pick up Pat. We drove up to Metral Drive, where Kasira Fine Thai Cuisine is. After a couple of false starts, I managed to find the place - I really haven't been getting out enough lately - but the extra driving gave us a chance to chat. Pat asked whether I would mind driving up to Coombs, which is half an hour or a bit more northwest of where we would be having lunch, and I agreed readily. I love visiting Coombs.

When we finally found Kasira Thai, we discovered that it is closed on Mondays. Oh, fine. By now we were getting really hungry. I remembered suddenly that there was a Thai restaurant in Parksville, which is on the way to Coombs, so we changed our plans and headed north to Parksville. We were a little apprehensive. I think we were both worried that we would find a "Closed Mondays" sign on the door again, but we didn't. We found the little, unassuming restaurant where I had eaten once before (with Jane, on one of our Girls' Days Out). I think the place is called Bangkok Thai Food. For some reason, its name won't stick with me. I just know how to find it. We enjoyed a lunch of green curry, coconut rice, and a dish with a name about as long as this page is wide. It had cashews and carrots and tofu and Thai basil in it, and I don't know what else. Whatever it was, it was very tasty. I hunted for a website, hoping to find the menu, but as I said, this is a very unassuming little restaurant, and I don't think the owner has heard of the internet yet.

There was one uncomfortable moment during lunch. I ordered green tea with my lunch. It came in a little pot, and I was given a Chinese teacup. Pat ordered "regular", which is to say black, tea. "Red Rose?" said the proprietor. Yes, Red Rose would be fine. Pat's tea came in the form of a cup with a tea bag and water in it. There was also a little saucer on which were packets of sugar and something in the way of creamer. We managed to convey to the proprietor that Pat would like milk for her tea, not White Death, and he brought that, but we never figured out why I rated a teapot and she had to settle for a bag in a cup. Never mind. Apart from that, lunch was very pleasant.

Once we had had our Thai fix, we drove the ten minutes or so to get to Coombs. Coombs is a very small town, famous (sort of) for the market on which there is a sod roof where goats are set to browse during the summer.  At this time of year, the roof is just covered with grass (except one part of it, which is covered with pretty purple flowers). We wandered happily from one shop to another, finishing in the Coombs Country Market, which is full of the most amazing variety of foodstuffs, as well as pottery from Mexico, wind chimes, bamboo screens -- I found packages of little foreshortened clothes pegs, each one sporting a wooden ladybug about the size of a bumblebee. (I didn't buy them. I tried to think of a use for them, but failed.) I did buy a tin of Tieguanyin tea (which I'm sampling right now as I sit here remembering my day).

We visited the square where all the huge statues are set, higgledy-piggledy, the Buddha (just outside this photo) bumping elbows, as it were,with a giraffe, Kwan Yin casting a wary eye at an advancing lion. Coombs is a bit of a mystery.

Meanwhile, the rain had started falling in earnest, so we decided to head home. I dropped Pat off and went home to get ready for my Tai Chi class. I had tried once before to attend a class since my accident, but my back wasn't up to it yet. This time, I was fine. A couple of Tylenol, an ice pack, and a cup of tea have eased what discomfort I felt. I was pleased and proud to get through the whole class without wimping out. 

I'll repost this now - Blogger gobbled up my post when it was only half finished. I think my laptop is possessed.


Barry said...

How lucky you are to have such interesting little towns to visit. Here the city and the suburbs have gobbled up everything for miles around.

John Hayes said...

Coombs sounds like an intriguing town! Sounds like a very fun adventure.

Reya Mellicker said...

What a nice day!

Piper's Puddle, eh?

As for the tea service, no one actually thought about the disparity. People don't think much. No harm done.

Seems like you had a very fine day!

AngelMay said...

Sounds like you had a really nice day. Wish I could have been there with you.

Sandra Leigh said...

Barry, the Island hasn't quite become one long strip mall (though the threat is there). So far, we have been saved by the fact that it's an hour and a half or two hours, depending on the route, by ferry to/from the mainland. That keeps the hordes somewhat at a distance. Mainlanders haven't figured out yet that once you're over here, there's really no reason to go back to the mainland except maybe to catch a flight from YVR. They still think we live in the boonies - and we do, but we like it that way!

John, Coombs is always fun, especially during goat season. ;>)

Reya, I'm sure there was no ill intent. I get the feeling that the proprietor just doesn't understand why anyone would want black tea in the first place.

Angel May, so do I.