I did things in 2020

At the rooftop of a very Instagrammable rooftop bar (there is no other kind) in Ari

I didn’t make the most of the semi-utopic state that Thailand enjoyed amid a global pandemic, thinking it’ll last a few more months. Now, we’ve gone back into lockdown which is terrible but necessary. Thailand handled the pandemic quite competently that even when citizens (mostly the youth) were staging revolutions against the government throughout Bangkok and in some other provinces, there were no signs that a second wave of COVID-19 was imminent. I almost made plans to plan a trip to Chiang Mai, a place I’ve only been to once but claim to love. But the most I did was make reservations at nice restaurants and a café for which reservations didn’t seem necessary because few people were eating out. Being able to do things and being able to take that for granted – it was fun while it lasted!

I took a photo of the ferris wheel, but the glistening Chao Phraya river rudely photobombed.

Opera singing so good, we thought the music was coming from a CD being played (specifically, Music from the Motion Picture Only You)

Dessert at a restaurant in EmQuartier where vegan and non-vegan food do not feud.

At Funky Lam Kitchen, a Laotian restaurant in Thong Lo that’s cute and serves delicious food. I promise to come back and drag friends (just two though, and only if they feel like it) if you can promise to remain open, Funky Lam Kitchen.

The coconut panna cotta that everyone deserves.

Heavenly slabs of pork things at Funky Lam Kitchen.

Being able to go out means seeing parking space signs for flies, a Bangkok exclusive.

Rama 4 Road – it’s like Sukhumvit Road but without the malls and the BTS

At CHI, The Spa at Shangri-la Bangkok. A bathrobe is not a piece of clothing, it’s a place where the body wants to stay forever.

Those two were anything but happy together.

Older

Big news: I listened to a classical radio station on Spotify today. It felt like something I should do more often. I also played my Kid A CD, which is a grown-up album to listen to. As you know, Radiohead is not a Dua Lipa, a Cherry Sawayama, or a Chromatica. As a gay who’s always listening to pop girls new and old, I sometimes feel obligated to listen to pop queens, but at what age must it stop? Is it okay for a mid-30s gay to listen to “Rain on Me” and “Sour Candy” on repeat and not feel like an old uncle trying to be cool? I like the aforementioned Chromatica tracks, but it’s “1,000 Doves” that I love. That’s me as a grown-up – listening to classical music instead of pop girls. But that’s not all that I do that’s been making me feel like an adult.

I eat lots of vegetables now and even find them delicious (except ampalaya, a vegetable that relentlessly assaults the tastebuds with bitterness). I also cook veggies and always look forward to the results. My cooking skills are uneven; sometimes the dish comes out decent, sometimes it’s too salty, too spicy, too peppery, or too garlicky. If I were a parent, my children would hate the things I cook for them. First of all, if I were a parent, I don’t know that I’d be cooking vegetables for their benefit or for mine. I’d probably cook lots of fried foods for those needy bastards, which would compel me to eat some of the fried junk that their young body can process hassle-free. This is why I’m so glad that in my present reality, I don’t have to. The thought of me with children will never be not terrifying. 

I also no longer put sugar in my first cup of coffee, not even “sugar in the raw” (which is Starbucks jargon for raw sugar that is barely sugar for how unsweet it is). The 28-year-old me, the one that drinks at least four cups of coffee a day and still manages to sleep like a baby, would never. 

Still on food: I sometimes insist on giving friends “adult dishes” I’ve ordered or have stocked up on. I have friends who have the palate of 12-year-olds, and may they be always blessed. Being an adult requires the utmost politeness when accepting or denying offers of food. Some people would decline the food we offer them, and that’s okay. If you don’t want your feelings hurt by friends’ rejection of your adult dishes, offer it to a religious shrine instead. Similarly, we wouldn’t always like the adult food our friends give us, but we’ll accept them anyway because it seems rude not to. Unlike certain friends, I can eat almost anything and have grown used to different foods on my plate touching each other. For example, I don’t mind the ketchup touching the kangkong. But there’s a limit to this newfound tolerance. Rice drenched in sinigang soup touching portions of a saucy dish like mechado or menudo is still abominable. Still, I don’t think I’d mind should I ever find myself in a Pinoy food buffet situation where these wildly varying dishes find themselves on my plate. I’ll cross that bridge when that bridge finds itself on my plate.