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Day 152 – The Simple Pleasures of The Hua Hin Mango Lady

August 2, 2010

Dateline: Hua Hin, Thailand – Monday, August 2, 2010

It’s clear this place is good. First off, the only people buying are Thai. Second, the place only serves one thing. You don’t make money serving only one thing unless you serve that thing well. It also probably helps when that one thing is mango sticky rice.

This is my last full day in Asia and being here at this food stand means that I’ve come full circle. I first discovered mango over sticky rice a few years back on my first visit to Thailand. The sweet mango and rice drizzled in coconut milk sauce was one of my favorite parts of the visit. It’s legendary amongst the backpacker set that travel this country. Of course, when I returned here five months ago, I quickly sought out this Thai dessert. Throughout my time in Thailand I have repeatedly indulged my weakness.

I am, therefore, ending my trip where I started off: chowing down on a Thai favorite. This mango sticky rice stand in Hua Hin doesn’t seem to have made the Western guidebooks, but it’s definitely in the Thai ones (seriously, I flipped through a local Thai guidebook—written in Thai—and saw a picture of this place). Everyone in line is young and none are foreign despite the place being just around the corner from the farang backpacker places. I should be surprised that it’s so busy on a Monday morning, but then again Hua Hin is a beach town and, in beach towns, someone’s always on holiday.

The mango lady and her male and female assistants whip through mango after mango. The owner strips the skin and slices each mango under 10 seconds. It’s not like she’s sloppy, either—the leftover skin doesn’t seem to have any stray meat.

She’s selling them as fast as she can make them. Yesterday, she ran out of mangos by mid-day because of a large pre-order. Today, it looked like she’d last at least past one o’clock.

Do I really have to tell you that it tasted good? I didn’t think so.

I feasted on the delicacy on the drive back from Hua Hin to Bangkok. Tonight is my last night in Asia. I will spend it at my Aunt and Uncle’s place. Tomorrow afternoon, I’ll be leaving on a jet plane, going to California with an achin’ in my heart. I’ll miss this place. In Cali there’ll be no tropical heat, Asians will speak English, I won’t have to wash laundry every night in my sink, and there won’t be any mosquitoes.

Sadly, there won’t be a Thai lady that solely sells mango over sticky rice.

Right now, though, forking another bit of mango into a ball of sweet rice into my mouth and sitting in the tropical sun, it sure does taste good. Maybe that’s all that matters.

GALLERY: Click through to view a slideshow of the pictures you see above.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 19, 2010 12:36 pm

    Ending a trip is (almost) always bittersweet! So many good things to miss…contrasted with the pleasure of sleeping in your own bed every night, and not having to pack up and move on in the morning…..

    I’ve enjoyed reading your posts pretty much every time they appear….good writing, nice photos. Your talent is showing.

    Will you “do something” with this, or just leave it on WordPress to marinate? No pressure, Bro!


    • October 7, 2010 1:04 pm

      No pressure taken. For now, I’m going to let the site marinate. Eventually, I will do something with all these words.

      I’m not finished yet, though. Come back in a few days when I finally get my butt in gear and head out to South America.

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