This year, I am very happy. Two of the most detestable celebrations of the Calendar year are celebrated at the same day! Yup. I have been called worse names before (including an emotional fuckwit), but I still hate those two holidays. Chinese New Year, the days leading up to it are filled with NOISY songs, packed malls, traffic and garish reds. And the bald, big headed thingy with slanty eyes and a permanent smile on the face, whatever he is called. Businesses are closed, price of food increases by profiteering Chinamen and the never ending questions by inquisitive relatives asking the same questions which will be considered rude. Where are you working? How much are you earning now? My son wants to look for a good job, can help ah? Where is your wife?
A beautifully prepared Foir Gras with Mushroom Ragout. Seared outside, with a beautifully creamy texture inside. No hints of metallic taste, just sheer ecstasy. Sage. Am I in love?
Damn! Sometimes I feel like walking around with a sandwich board and writing down all the details of my life. And when I say relatives, I mean the kind that I get to see once in 2 or 3 years. Twice removed cousins and 3rd wife of 3rd uncle, three time removed. Or some uncle you have never seen in 10 years and suddenly comes up and offers you concerned advice. Yup, the same ones who did not give a shit whether we are starving or not after my father died and my Mum had to take care of us herself.
And Valentine's day. Whoever who came out with this pernicious idea should have a stalk of rose (with the thorns intact, please) stuffed into every opening of his body. And let's start with the nostrils. It is so commercialized and reeks of exploitation. Opportunists will come up with every trick from the book to equate love with how much you spend on your loved ones. A 1 dollar stalk of rose would be selling for 10 dollars on this day.
As long as we are on the subject of love, let me tell you about Robbie. Robbie has heart of gold and works in Oil and Gas in Bangkok. He has an abnormal fixation for Thai girls, and his girlfriends are usually harvested from some dingy bar at Soi Nana or Soi Cowboy. And he has been scammed by every clichéd scam from a bar girl's handbook for duping dumb foreigners in Thailand. From the freeloading brother in law who turns out to be his girlfriend's husband and "Honey, my mother needs an operation" tug at heart strings scam. But yet he persists with such such fervor and is a living example of the adage, A Fool and his Money are soon parted.
During one episode of his low periods when his "girlfriend" ran away after her father underwent a 250,000 baht operation, he called me up for some psychotherapy session over some drinks at Thonglor.
Girls, he said. Girls are just a life support system for the Pxxxy. Damn! Take away that, and you are left with a scheming, heartless cxxt.
You are just saying that because you have hit a bad patch, I said. Not all the girls are like that. Why are you looking for love in bars anyway. You know how these girls are?
Look. I am hitting 47 soon and am bald. Where can I get a nice looking girl for myself?
That's the problem, Robbie. You are obsessed with beauty. Why must you look for pretty, young things?
In my experience, all are equally bad. The older ones have a mouth too, in case you don't notice, he retorted. If I have to live with one, let it be pretty and young.
Let me tell you a story, he added. Once in the Buriram, there was a very pretty girl who lived in an isolated village near the Cambodian border. She has never left the village before and was a simpleton. One day, she decided to take a trip to Bangkok. Armed with a 4 thousand bahts, she arrived at the bus station and started wondering around until she found herself at Saphan Kwai. She was fascinated by city life, with it's shining skyscrapers and imported goods from all over the world.
As she walked past some pubs, a group of men saw her and immediately identified her as a village girl. They were drinking some Johnny Walker Black Label, and beckoned to her and invited her to join them. "This is imported alcohol, try some!", they said. Being fed on moonshine since 15 years old and also naive and trusting, she joined the guys. She was floored by the taste. It did not burn like moonshine and the flavour was smoky and intoxicating. She gulped down every bit and soon fell into a drunken stupor.
The guys took advantage of her condition and gang banged her. She woke up later in the morning at a hotel and spent another uneventful day wandering around the city and went home.
When she arrived home, she told her mother about the wonderful sights of the city and described the big malls and beautiful clothes. But she was most excited about the whiskey. She described to her mother the taste and the smoothness and the generosity of the guys she met.
"Ma! You know how our cheap moonshine gives us a bad headache as a hangover in the morning? Well, this delicious 1500 Baht whiskey doesn't. I did not get a headache at all. But funny, it gives pain at the opposite side. I woke up with a pain down there!".
And what is the point of the story? I asked.
Sometimes, you are so infatuated and drunk with love, you wake up in misery and never realized you got banged.
Chicken Roulade with Foie and Goma Miso Sauce. The sauce was sheer delight. It was fragrant, savoury with a touch of wine in it. It is a new item. Kiss me again and again.... Sage
I have to admit, asking me to write about love is liking asking FBB to write about Shakespeare's Sonnets. Two rather incompatible things. I myself have no luck whatsoever in the same department. Women tend to criticize everything I do.
My choice of books, for example.
Why do you read such weird books. Can't you read something normal? Sometimes I want to find something to read from your bookshelf also cannot.
Normal? I replied indignantly. What is so abnormal about my books? I don't keep titles like how to murder your blabbering nit wit you call a girlfriend? Or the secret to Japanese Schoolgirl panties vending machine?
You have bad taste in books, she said. Nothing is readable. Sartre? Being and Nothingness? So boring. All the authors are unknowns.
Great. Miss Bimbo Yoyo, who thinks that Sidney Sheldon is the greatest novelist from the Western Hemisphere has turned into a book critic. I can just sympathize with you for being intellectually challenged, not having known Mann, Pynchon or Saramago. But must you make it so obvious and remind me of your disability?
Scallop Carpaccio with Truffle Butter. I nearly fainted when this was served. Beautiful with lots of truffle in the oil. Fresh and springy scallops. Oooh! How can I live without you? Sage.
And the insidious invasion of my cultural life start edging into sacred grounds. My preference for music. Back in the good old days before the appearance of ipods, the car used to be crammed with CDs. It started innocently enough.
I don't like the CDs you keep in the car. Do you have Westlife? If you don't, I can bring mine and we can listen to it when you fetch me to work. Fine. I bought a Westlife, thinking that one hour a day will not do much damage.
Your car is so dirty. I will help you clean it up. And the following day, after the clean up, I find my Kate Bush replaced with Maddona, Argerich replaced by Clayderman and Wynton Marsalis replaced with Kenny G. It was not a car cleaning session. It was an invasion. My car was totally purged of the music I like and replaced with Muzak.
I snuck in a couple of my own cds the next day and then, WW III.
Why can't you listen to good music? What is playing on the CD now? Who is this Glenn Gould playing on the piano? I don't know him. Play Clayderman. He is the best pianist around.
There. The "I step on your father's head" game has begun. To cut a long story short, after some banshee like screams with my prized 3 cd Elliot Gould Bach Inventions CD being the casualty, lying on the road side along Sukhumvit Road. She was kicked out mercilessly by me 500 meters away, with her miserable CDs, accompanied by the symphony wailing car horns in the traffic clogged road. The Jedis have triumphed, Aslan and his forces have won and the Wicked Witch has been driven out of Narnia. Bad music, I can tolerate. Bad opinions from a mindless twit? War! No retreat, no surrender. No regrets.
Artichoke Vichyssoise with Sea Scallops. The scallops were seared and cooked on top, but the bottom is still raw. The soup was light and creamy. A match made in Heaven. Sage.
And hence having survived a total invasion of my life just for some hours of carnal pleasure, I am now happily seduced by a Blackberry relationship. Very long distance and dirty weekends in hotels. Nobody touches my book, my CDs and DVDs. Bliss. And the phones can be silenced with a touch of a button. And for longer orgasm, I could read Molly Blooms soliloquy, the final passages from Ulysses by Joyce.
Calpis Bavarois with Dark Grapes Compote. Desserts at Sage is always a beautiful experience. From the warm Mint Sabayon to this. Sweet Love. Sage.
And what happened to poor Robbie? I just got an email from him. He will be getting married at the ripe age of 50 this coming April. He took my advice, enrolled for a Thai language course and dated this lovely girl working for McDonalds. From fast Sex joints he graduated to fast food. And he still drinks imported whiskey.
Me? I'll take the path less trodden and have openly declared my love for Sage in this blog. Lovely food, beautiful ambiance and faultless service. So far, their track record is unblemished.
Here's to you, you Horny Old Bastard! A Long Beautiful life with Nooi.
And A Gong Xi Fa Cai/Kong Hee Fatt Choy and Happy Valentine's to all.