I have been working in Bangkok this week. Thoroughly enjoyable with an incredible mix of people, all working for my old employer. 25 people speaking probably 6 or 8 languages, different skin colours, backgrounds, cultures, religions……… all in complete harmony. It seems so easy. We had a real, live rocket scientist and a published author to give you some idea of just how broad a range of backgrounds they brought to the workshop. This post however is about me.
On Friday night I was exhausted and had an early dinner. My flight left early in the morning so my alarm was set for 5am. When I went back to my room there was a small cellophane wrapped package on the bed, containing a thin brown piece of chocolate. Normally I would eat the chocolate but this evening I just put it on the bedside cabinet, went for my shower and turned in. I fell asleep without a problem.
At 2am I woke feeling hungry. I remembered the chocolate. In the dark I fumbled for the package and opened it. The piece of chocolate was not solid but in stick form. Mmmm, I thought, maybe mint sticks! Just like the old Matchmakers. And I took one, put it in my mouth, crunched it and swallowed. After a few seconds a dreadful taste started to spread through me. I could not begin to imagine what the flavour was so I put on the light and looked for the pack of chocolate.
A piece of paper fell out. I read it. It said, in rough terms:
Take these sticks of jasmine and spread them around your room for a wonderfully relaxing fragrance.
Not chocolate. Incense sticks. Oh bum! I could not rid myself of the taste. It seemed to claw itself up from my stomach and taunt me all night. And I’m afraid I slept little after that. Jasmine smells beautiful but it clearly isn’t going to feature large in Delia Smith’s Cook Book or Martha Stewart’s Top Dessert Fillings. As decoration or garnish perhaps. No more. Perhaps I should have tried fire-eating afterwards and allowed the incense stick to burn within. The sweetest eructions ever.
The moral of this story is clear – all that looks like chocolate is not. Jasmine may make wonderful tea but it is better infused than ingested.
Health Warning: joss sticks are bad for your digestion.
22 thoughts on “Relax – just eat it…………”
Eeek! I shall always remember this story next time I see incense sticks!! Vivid description Andrew! I can almost taste it… 😀 Sharon
Jusat now glad I am not that much into chocolate, but I could enjoy a jasmine stick, burning.. 😉
So funny, Andrew, if it was not so yucky. How disappointing for it not to be chocolate – and in the middle of the night. Disappointing really isn’t the right word is it? 🙂
Did it keep the mozzies away? Lovely shot.
Yikes! I have that taste in my mouth just reading this! 😯
Ah, the joys of foreign travel… 😉
Ugh! I couldn’t imagine the taste and I know it would drive me crazy if it had been me. I would have been up looking for minty things to eat…
As you are well, then laughter is the order of the day. 🙂 Obviously the intellect of the gathering did not influence your early morning hunger satisfaction. Possibly had there been a brain surgeon in the group…..
Roughseas locust comment reminds me of my elementary school experiments with chocolate covered insects…..I was the most willing. Most anything is palatable if covered in chocolate…even jasmine I’ll wager.
We all need a story or two like this in our personal repertoire. Andes thin in the wrapper…then no fun. 🙂
Steve, we were never allowed to eat chocolate covered insects at school. Of course locusts were few and far between in Hereford, possibly because other schools had eaten them all but I suspect not. On the matter of brain surgeons, one good friend and ex-colleague always used to challenge people when they wanted to give someone a “stretch assignment”. He would say, “Depends what it is. If I am about to have brain surgery I don’t want a cutter who is on a stretch assignment”. Wise words indeed.
Hmmm…a stretch assignment sounds like a good exercise for a photographer….not for someone cutting us up.
Oh flip, Andrew, Jasmine scented mouth freshener ins’t in it!! Don’t you just wish you could ‘rewind’ the clock just a minute or two and start over again? But that not being an option, I Love the scent of Jasmine (standing under the arch in bloom is like heaven) but I bet you’re put off for life now. I shall take due note of your health warning, for chocolate is a staple of my diet. The start of your piece was so harmonious, it had me all relaxed, (as quote) and smiling at the melting pot of nationalities, then wham, jasmine interuptus! Hope you are now fully taste bud refreshened. xPenx
Jasmine interuptus. Wonderful!! We do have a jasmine growing in the garden – it was the subject of extensive horticultural advice earlier this year. I think Rough Seas has a PhD in Jasmine cultivation. Possibly two. I am now fully refreshed, thank you Pen. I’m afraid the Sympathyometer wasn’t reading very high when I got home. Too much laughter.
ah ’tis ever the same, laughter and joy, so long as it’s someone else who’s at the erm…jasmine end of the stick? xx
No PhDs, one can get bored with doing degrees, so only two degrees of the more lowly types (neither of which are in jasmine sadly). I do however have two different types of jasmine. The one which we both have in common was cut right back after flowering but is now sprouting new branches 🙂 Hope yours is going well.
And there was me thinking you were going to tell us you had eaten a chocolate covered locust or worse.
Matchsticks were nice, were they not?
Good tale though. That will teach you for eating chocolate.
Just read this one out to the other Welshman who burst out laughing.
His comment was RTFI (Instructions rather than manual in this case).
Bummair ! Still, you’re alive and kicking …
Pardo me Andrew if you can hear me snickering and giggling. And I am still grinning as I write this comment. I don’t know but maybe this was not intended to be funny. I thought- gee this man is so cotton picking smart and then he eats something in a foreign place without really looking it over. Now don’t get me wrong- I am not implying anything thing with the previous sentence.
Andrew, I really hope that you realize that I am joking. I thought that I was about to read that you had to go to a doctor or even the hospital. Whew! I am glad that your taste for chocolate in the wee morning hours did not result in something very serious. You didn’t write how long sweet jasmine lingered on your taste buds.
Beautiful photo of the incense. The colors are so pretty. Thanks for a good read. I hope you are fully recovered. 🙂
Laughing is not only permitted but encouraged, Yvonne. I am fully recovered thank you.
Oh no! I am struggling to imagine just how bad that must have tasted…especially when you were expecting chocolate. On the plus side, a lovely photo and I can wait to see more shots from Bangkok! I love that city 🙂
Oh I am so sorry – no more photos of Bangkok – we didn’t leave the hotel to be honest. Work work work. But I may go bug hunting tomorrow if the rain holds off and before we go to see Ian Anderson perform The Best of Jethro Tull.
Oh well! Some lovely bug shots will be more than enough to keep me occupied 🙂