I am re-posting my very first post, December 31st 2010, on WordPress because this is the second anniversary of my blog and I thought that you would be interested to see how I started my blog. It was through the use of the Daily Prompt which inspired my answer; answering a simple question is a great way to get the writing flowing.
I had stumbled onto WordPress by sheer accident. I was reading something on the internet and I clicked on a link which got me to Black Water Dog’s blog and that got me to another blog written by Kolembo who is a brilliant poet and I said to myself “why not do this for myself?” So that is how I got here.
I know the 3 countries I’d like to visit and why, I just can’t give either of the 3 any priority due to the fact these would be imagined experiences based on photos, articles and preconceived notions.
The first country that comes to mind is Thailand. What first drew me to Thailand as a destination is the cuisine. When I was 13, My parent’s friend Elizabeth introduced us to the Thai restaurant called Jaiya located at 81st Street and Broadway in Elmhurst, Queens, New York. Elizabeth commandeered the menus and ordered for the table. I remember having beef satay with a peanut sauce that was unlike any experience that I had encountered with plain old peanut butter. The slight spicy bite blended perfectly with the sweet caramelized beef on those small skewers. I also had the crispy spring rolls that were so much more delicate than any egg roll that I had ever had before. The follow up was, if you can believe it, even better. To this day, I have yet to ever eat a crab preparation as delectable as Jaiya’s crab with special sauce. The crab is the east coast blue crab, broken into pieces and stewed in this sauce that I cannot dissect not explain how all the ingredients combine to make a sauce that makes you forget where you are, who you are with, all that you can focus on is sucking the crab, sucking your fingers, dipping the crab continuously into the sauce to suck some more. When you have finally exhausted the crab source, you finish the rest of the sauce with your rice. This introduction into the complexity and refinement of Thai cuisine piqued my curiosity into the country itself. Cuisine such as this must come from a wonderful land. I do know that Thailand is divided in terms of climate by north and south. The north is more temperate and mountainous whereas the south is dominated by the jungle. This diversity in climate is also reflected in differences in cuisine, the south being spicier than the north. Now I am not 100% sure if I am correct on the geography which is an excellent reason why I have Thailand on my list.
Portugal is another destination I would love to explore. The first thought that comes to mind is Porto, the beautiful city in Portugal which is home to this magnificent fortified wine that in France, we simply adore as an aperitif and conversely the English enjoy it as a dessert wine. I actually have to confess that this is principal the reason for my infatuation with Portugal. I do want to say that the exquisite dish called paella comes to my mind when I think of Portugal, but I am not sure if I’m getting the culinary origin of paella mixed up between Portugal or Spain. But, honestly, does it really matter? All that counts is that I would very much like to spend a good amount of time visiting Portugal thoroughly.
Lastly, Turkey is my final destination. It is also part of a huge regret in my past travels. My sister and I were back packing through Europe. We were in Rome with a trio of lovely Australian girls who introduced us to the nicest 3 Canadian guys, who were on their way to Corfu, Greece. After we parted ways with the girls, my sister and I met up the boys in Corfu. The group of us got along so well and we had a fantastic time. Upon leaving Corfu, the boys invited us to accompany them to Istanbul, Turkey. Part of me really wanted to go but my sister really, really wanted to get back home to France, which we ended up doing. I don’t regret doing what my sister wanted at the time but now I do regret that opportunity. I have read so much about Turkey; the architecture, the collective history of East and West, the religious sites, and of course the cuisine.
I enjoyed writing this, I gradually realized that the only thing that mattered was why I wanted to visit. That “epiphany” was a big deal for me since I tend to get hamstrung by my desire to please people. I hope that whoever reads this piece enjoys it.