Thursday, September 4, 2008

Thai Cuisine

Last night was my last night at Thai Cuisine. It is a little restaurant in town owned and completely operated by a husband and wife who moved from Thailand less than 20 years ago. Somchai (the husband) cooks and is in charge of the finances and Jamsri manages the workers, waits on tables during the day, and helps cook at night.
It was a bittersweet moment.

Things I will miss:

· Somchai making me supper each night. He made my favorite things from the menu (pad thai, siam noodles and chicken pineapple curry) with the perfect amount of spice, along with things not on the menu (crab and lime fried rice and a lot of things I couldn't pronounce).

· Jamsri's gossip. She knows everything about everybody. She remembers almost everyone that comes into her restaurant more than once.

· Somechai's little personal corner in the kitchen. It has a TV with tons of blank tapes with Thai soap operas he taped from the day before and his Buddhist monk statue that he feeds curry, rice, and vegetables to every Saturday. Whenever he isn't cooking he is in this corner.

Tips. It's easy to get used to having large amounts of cash at all times...even if it is in ones.

Somchai and Jamsri's broken English. It was really hard at the beginning but it grew to be endearing. Jamsri's favorite phrase was, "It weird!" and Somchai's was "What his name?" (referring to the boyfriend I don't have.)

· Making jasmine tea. It smelled divine.

· Jamsri and Somchai love me. I am their favorite waitress. They trust me completely and give me total control of the front so I can run it how I like it to be run. When I graduated from high school Jamsri made me a lei. She folded rose petals into thirds and threaded them all together. She used over two dozen roses. Somchai knows I hate vegetables and not once let broccoli get into the food he made for me. If that isn't love, I don't know what is.

Things I will not miss:

· Smelling like peanut oil. (Who likes smelling like supper?)

· Feeling greasy when I am done with work.

· Sore feet.

· Vacuuming under the tables every night.

· Making Shirley Temples.

· Cleaning the soy sauce bottles.

· Working with people when they are at their worst...waiting for food.

And the funny thing is...the last five months I worked there, my food handlers permit and alcohol serving permit were both expired.

Jamsri didn't mind.


Neighbor Jane Payne said...

Bittersweet is right. I felt a twinge AND relief for you while I read this post. I'm so glad you captured the memory and pictures.

I really loved reading this, Ande. That peanut oil, combined with your mousse, created a smell all its own in your hair and I think I might miss it. I'm going to miss seeing your thick wallet, too.

melanie said...

I can't even pronounce their names! I love that she is the gossip and he and I could probably get along when I see his TV shelf. Not that I like Thai soap operas, just that I'm a stacker too!

Just the thought of cleaning the soy sauce bottles grosses me out. They'll never have another waitress as good or as trustworthy as you!

Carolyn said...

Oh man. I love love love that place. I even went there when I was home. And it was so delightful!