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Wednesday, August 16, 2000

High Thaim

All this time, there's been a pretty damned good Thai restaurant ten minutes from my house that I never knew about--the Lotus Thai Bistro. I found it browsing online restaurant reviews in a desperate but fruitful attempt to expand my local culinary options. I was able to get there, order, eat, pay, and get home for $9 (after tip) and one hour of my day, and when the food arrived I knew it had promise right away just by the vibrant colors -- green basil, red bell peppers, white chicken, a yellow mustard sauce on the salad, and a bright orange, fat wedge of cantaloupe, sliced along the skin to make it easy to spoon off chunks. It's not the best I've ever had, but it's an order of magnitude better than anything else I've found in north-north county (on par with Spices Thai in Del Mar). They also get Kudos for a Rules of Success poster on their wall which included things like "Have the discipline to save money, even on a limited budget", "Strive for Quality", and whatnot -- i.e., an actual take-pride and work-hard ethic as opposed to, say, similar posters I've seen in Maui who's emphasis is inevitably on the hang-loose and relax side (with the subtext: and if your customers or friends don't like the results, find some with lower standards!)

Also had a good surf session last evening. It was crowded out there, but more than once I saw the big one coming long before anyone else and got to ride it all the way to shore with a trail of white water on my tail sending the rest of the crowd through the rinse and spin cycle. While paddling back out from one of those, a sponger said "Nice Wave!" and I said "Heh, it's like an arcade game dodging through all the people!" and he looked at me kind of dumbfounded and concerned because I'd broken the script. Next time I'll just say "Right on, Dude!" or something.

Anyway, those "big ones" were probably only four-footers. Today they're calling them Six! Hopefully the swell is still here by evening, and my arms have recovered enough to get me out past the white water. I need a longer board -- my little potato chip is too slow!

Back from surfing. I wondered at the wisdom of hopping in the water when I was getting Thai-lunch cramps just from bouncing around in my truck on the drive there. But heck, I'm attached to a flotation device by a leash--what could go wrong? Unfortunately, it was not a problem. The waves weren't so big after all (four foot again) and were very infrequent, so mostly I just paddled up and down shore a lot to try out the different spots. Caught a few good ones when they came in. Getting better at working the wave--getting more speed by riding it further to the bottom before turning and then riding it higher once I cut across. It's fun to dance up on the crest, like skittering around on tippy toes, and then when a wall forms ahead to dig in with the front foot and drop back in for maximum acceleration, shooting across the face just before it crashes down behind you.

It's too bad Maui has so many surfers on top and spiny things underneath, or I bet I could have a lot of fun there!

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Simon Funk / simonfunk@gmail.com