I’ve been sort of shut-in lately…which is saying something, given that I work from home and already spend 99% of my time inside my house on any given day. After getting a cold early last week, even my daily walks ceased (the weather was cold and rainy too, by Florida standards). Then I transmitted my cold to Apple, and by Thursday and Friday we were both cooped up at home, sniffling and sneezing together.
Come Sunday, I hadn’t ventured outside for any Vitamin D or O2 in nearly a week — so it was fortuitous that Apple’s Thai friend Lek gave her a call and asked if we wanted to come to her house for an impromptu dinner get-together. Even Apple’s warnings about having a cold didn’t faze Lek, who brashly replied that she wasn’t afraid of it. Besides, she added, she had already invited another friend who had a cold as well, so there was no point in bailing out. I had essentially recovered fully by then, and Apple was longing for some of Lek’s home-cooked Thai food to unblock her sinuses, so we decided to go.
If I’m being honest, at first I didn’t know what to think of the idea. It’s not that I didn’t want to go out, eat dinner at a friend’s house and see other people — I just don’t take well to spur-of-the-moment activities. I like to have everything planned, like to know when I can expect to have the evening to myself and when I can expect to go out and do stuff. I had also just finished a truly rotten (read: ricockulously busy) week at the office and was looking at starting an even busier one on Monday, and part of me wanted to just play video games and vegetate all night. But an even larger part of me yearned to get the hell out of the house and interact with other humans, so I agreed to go.
I’m so glad I did, for we had a great time. As is always the case when you visit Lek’s house, lots of friends show up whom you haven’t seen in ages (and some whom you’ve never even met). We had an excellent meal filled with a variety of home-cooked dishes, including papaya salad, larb, tom yum and even teriyaki chicken. After dinner, while the gaggle of Thai girls hung out together, laughing and joking and telling stories, the husbands and boyfriends swapped their own stories about Thailand and the things we had encountered during our travels there.
Feeling like I was actually a knowledgeable authority on a subject other than that of video games, web development or cars was different for me — and refreshing. We talked about the places we’ve been, the food we’ve eaten and the exotic fruits native to Thailand, and I found myself likewise sharing a lot of stories with Lek’s husband. At one point he presented us with what he called “magic fruit”: Tiny little red fruits that, once you ate them, had the amazing effect of converting all sour and bitter flavors into sweet flavors. To demonstrate, he asked us each to eat a magic fruit and then suck on a slice of fresh lime. Much to everyone’s surprise, the lime tasted like sugar candy. It really was incredible. (And potentially quite useful.)
Sunday’s outing was such a good time that Apple and I have vowed to get out of the house more often for similar activities. Lek has a big karaoke party scheduled for late February that we’ll be going to (I won’t be singing, though…I do have my limits), and tomorrow we’re going to meet her and her husband at a highly-recommended new Thai restaurant where Lek works a couple days per week. I hear tell that I might be invited to develop a simple website for them in exchange for something tasty, like a whole bunch of free Thai food and sushi. I can get on board with that.
So here’s to getting out more, and hanging out with these folks again soon.