Feasting in an Eclectic Decor

Okay, I looked. Bob Dylan has never used the word "eclectic" in one of his songs. Too snooty, maybe. Well anyway, there are no song lyrics for this article.

I mentioned in the last article that we had a nice lunch after eating the boiled peanuts. Well we did, but I would make a lousy restaurant critic, because I can't tell you the name of the place, or even it's exact location. All I can say is that it was on the left side of the highway just a bit after we first came into Chiang Rai. They had nice outdoor seating, but we went inside the glass door on the right side, the door that Por had just exited in this photograph.

The place had a really nice Thai soup with pork, which Ach loaded up with tons of hot peppers. I didn't add pepper, but enjoyed the soup very much anyway. But the decor of the restaurant is the point of this article. If you've been reading this blog for a while, you'll know that I never knew what I'd find next in Thailand. Well this place is a good example. 

We sat down at a table in one corner near this Gorilla Rack shelving that had a TV that was on. No surprise there. You see TV's in Thai restaurants all the time. I think they had it on a news station. A lot of places you'd see a UK football game on. That means a soccer game from England for the American readers. Others might be running a Thai soap opera program, and you didn't need to know Thai to know that the guy was cheating on his wife with the younger woman and the shrieking woman throwing things was his wife.

But my eye went to the shelf below the TV which held the component stereo system, a cassette recorder and a reel-to-reel recorder. It's the reel-to-reel machine that really got me! And it had a tape on it, like they had just finished listening to something. Neat!

Next my eye was drawn to the lovely aquarium with the bubble machine blasting. From a distance that looks like it might be a big red betta fish, or a Siamese Fighting Fish, as we called them when I was a kid and I was big into tropical fish. After all, Siam is Thailand, and that's where those scary fish come from! But no, the red was a bright plant, or mock plant. On close examination we found that the tank had NO fish in it at all. Okay, maybe they had the day off.

Now our table was a normal table with normal legs and normal chairs. Unremarkable. But looking further to the left from the aquarium, the entire other corner of the room was taken up by this amazing collection of wood furniture, what we would call burlwood furniture back home. 

It was all very highly polished and it looked like a great place to have a business lunch and impress that new client from Chiang Rai. On the back of the enormous chair in the back corner was a sign which read, "For Sale 150,000." That's right, that corner of the decor of this place was for sale, for 150,000 Baht, which is about $5,000 US. And that's a price that isn't out of line with the prices at the place in Berkeley.

Finally I turned my head around to look at the wall directly behind us. And there was the head of an animal with a nice rack of antlers. But look a little more closely, as we did. There were a couple of polished gourds hanging from the antlers. But wait, what are those two other things hanging there in front?

After looking them over, we decided they were bird's nests, and then they looked very cool to us! Maybe someone will come along who can tell us what kind of birds might have made them.  

But something tells me that a website that focuses on American birds is not going to help identify those nests in Thailand. We didn't wonder too much about it. When you're exploring a land that is so different from your own, where you don't speak the language, you find yourself looking at new discoveries and just enjoying how they look, without needing a complete explanation of what you're seeing.