Before moving out here, I told myself that I would not once again be caught in the routine trap – I would shake it up a little, and not be predictable or a creature of habit. Well some habits or customs are worth forming, becoming part of your weekly routine - even looking forward to them, with a daily countdown.
‘See you down at Lucky’s on Thursday night?’ is a phrase frequently used in my vocabulary now. Lucky is a lovely lady. She has a Mojito stand at the Maenam walking street market on Thursday nights, just in front of the Fish ‘n Chip shop. The fact that Lucky and her brother make the best Mojitos in town, (and possibly in the world) is a known fact. This open secret was at first only realised by a privileged few. The secret is now out, and each week, the queue at her Mojito stand grows and grows as her circle of followers expands.
For 50 Baht a glass for this magical, minty potion, can you really go wrong? Sure, there are other cocktail stands offering their version of the Mojito at the market, but trust me when I say that they are not a fraction as delicious as Lucky’s! Don’t waste your time sampling them all – make your way straight down to Lucky’s stand, and order a few rounds at a time. Don’t bother ordering only one, you will be back for more anyway. For new devotees of Lucky and her Mojitos, you will only have to wait three nights to once again savour her magic potion (also knows as a truth serum – you’ll see why), as Lucky is now also down at the Lamai market on Sunday evenings. If twice a week is still not enough for your new ‘fix’, not to worry, she has a bar on the Ring Road in Maenam.
Part of experiencing a new culture is finding out what the locals’ gastronomic delights are, including the liquid variety. I was told that all ladies drink Spy, so I gave this a try, but found it a little too sweet for my liking. I stick to whisky and soda when I can’t make it to Lucky’s Mojitos. Speaking of whisky, I’m sure that everyone has had a run-in with the infamous Sang Som. Although it is called a Thai whisky, it is strictly speaking, a rum. (Or paint stripper, depending on your experience with it) Sang Som forms part of the infamous buckets made famous by the Full Moon Party, and now introduced to bars on the island. Added to the mix, is Thailand’s more potent version of Red Bull, some Coca Cola, and a dash of ice. I have yet to partake in a bucket experience, but I have been told that each bucket consumed will lead you to reveal at least three secrets you would rather have kept to yourself, and results in a rather serious headache.
On the subject of headaches, a certain brand of beer apparently contains a dangerous chemical called formaldehyde, used for preserving dead bodies among other things, and can lead to a bad case of a ‘Changover’, sorry, I mean a hangover.
So how do you overcome a feeling of death after a night of a liquid diet? Sip on an ice-cold fresh young coconut, packed full of electrolytes and vitamins, guaranteed to perk you up again – until the next Mojito evening that is...
© Rosanne Turner
Footnote: Chang is a brand of local beer. There is a constant debate as to which brand is best, between Singha, Leo, Tiger and Chang. Everyone has their favourite, and it's hard to convince them otherwise. There are Chang devotees out there that swear it is the The men in my circle all agree however, that Chang leads to a nasty hangover, due to its chemical content.