Sunday, January 4, 2009

Hot and Spicy

Having once again gone to bed around 5:00am, I woke up at 2:00 wondering how much more I can take of the endless fun and carefree lifestyle. Vowing that we all need some fresh air we six headed toward the Souk, or the old market. This market probably spans over ten blocks with several side streets and ally ways. Stopping in and out of a few places and having other items displayed before us, we were engulfed in an array colors and textures. Mainly comprised of fabrics, textiles, sundry items, and spices we enjoyed bartering and experiencing the local culture. I left with several scarves and a sachet of lavender to return to the hotel for a cup of tea and a quick nap.
Bahrain is a melting pot of its surrounding cultures. This is almost extrapolated to the weather as well. With a range of temperature from 75 one day to 50 and windy the next, the locals are prepared for anything. It was a very windy day and that made it difficult for Skandaar to drive. He thought it was funny to mention that vans aren’t stable and that we could flip at any time now… I suppose this was his version of pay back for our late night taxi services rendered. However, we arrived at Monsoon Thai for dinner with no harm to our person.
American spice and authentic Thai spice are two different degrees of hot. While one might easily boast, as I have, that they can handle anything – the hotter the better, one will quickly be brought to tears at Monsoon. Several of our group made the flavorful mistake of ordering the Hot and Sour soup. As I begin taking spoonfuls of this lemongrass and ginger clear base I was fortunate enough to avoid the sliced red chilies longer than other were. Once you bite into this chickpea sized morsel, there is an instant cough and your eyes begin to water and all sinus pressure is drained. After we all experienced this pleasure/pain we began to laugh as any ego we might have had over spicy food was dashed against the bamboo bowls.

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