Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Friendships Without Borders
Recently I got an email from Aor Buaklee, a charming lady from Thailand, telling me that Esther is going to visit her in Chiangmai in April next year. She also extended her invitation to me but I couldn’t yet figure out where to get the funds. But who knows? Hope springs eternal. (Aor Buaklee is second from left in the first picture; the first one is Esther.)
Esther, Aor and me got a bit closer during the International Visitors Program in the US. Maybe it has something to do with geography. About two dozen typhoons usually visit the Philippines each year. Esther has noticed that those typhoons would normally proceed to ravage Taiwan after leaving a trail of destruction in the Philippines. “We have something in common,” said Esther, who currently works as reporter of the United Daily News in Taiwan.
I guess my fascination with Thai history, Thai food, Muay Thai, and the mighty Mekong River brought me closer to Aor. We always talk about all these things during the program. Thai history is rich and colorful, just like their cuisine. And boy! Aor turned out to be an excellent cook. Esther and me one night cobbled together some vegetables, spices, eggs, processed meat, and wine and brought them to Aor’s room. In just about an hour or two, we have a fantastic Thai dinner comprising four different kinds of food, including some reprocessed leftovers from the other night’s dinner in a restaurant a few blocks from the One Washington Circle Hotel. Thai food is practically vegetable-based, maybe the reason for Aor’s svelte figure.