"You brought good weather!" A proclaimed on Saturday, after I woke up to a sunny day in Bangkok. He told me it had been raining and the days were cloudy for several days; I thought it would be a rainy weekend since it had been drizzling hard when I arrived late Friday evening. The sun decided to follow me from Manila, so I didn't have to use the borrowed umbrella, or worry that my shoe choices would be a waste slogging through muddy streets.
However, there's such a thing as too much sun. And today, after never-ending brilliant days, blue skies, intense sun, I just couldn't take it any more. I was hot, tired, and dusty. I had found the market and the small family run restaurant on my list of things to see, I had walked for what seemed like miles even though it looked like six (maybe 7) blocks from one wat or another. My mind needed airconditioning. I flagged down the first taxi that stopped before me, and headed towards the mall.
Down in the gourmet market of Siam Paragon, it's easy enough to find succor from the heat. There's the basic food court on one side, a Japanese food display touting all sorts of goodies, countless international food options that run the gamut of budgets, and further along the main walkway, more restaurants that weren't terribly busy for the late lunchers. I headed straight to Iberry, where I had two scoops, one of the Italian coffee and pistachio. Friend J raves about iberry's black sesame, but I had just had a wonderfully intense black sesame bun which meant that I needed something else to titillate my taste buds. The pistachio won't win awards, but I must say that the intensity of the coffee ice cream was atmospheric! It was like a frozen ball of espresso, with bitterness in the aftertaste and caramel creaminess. It wasn't a great match with the pistachio, however, so if you opt for the italian coffee have something like the vanilla or the chocolate to go with it. The coffee tends to overwhelm any partner, and the pistachio didn't stand up to it.
After a couple of hours and trying to get my courage back up to face the heat outside, I wandered through the supermarket section and saw a gelato stand near the cashiers. Great positioning SP folks! The fruit gelatos were whipped and decorated in their Carmen Miranda-like glory, but I wanted vanilla, and they had a vanilla bean gelato with a lot of black specks. I don't know what ice cream devil was living in my head at the time I placed my order but instead of getting a fruit flavor with the vanilla, I pointed to the white chocolate container and ended up with this white on white cup. The vanilla was quite pleasant by itself, while the white chocolate was one step away from being frosting. I took my time licking each dewy morsel of both flavors, people watching, wondering what duties took the woman sitting to my right to collapse in an intense snooze out in the middle of the food court, and enjoying the cooling colors of the aquarium. The late afternoon glow told me it was time to head back to my friends' apartment, pack, and catch my flight home to Manila.