While in SE Asia I developed a deep appreciation for cold beverages. For much of my 6 weeks a/c was a luxury that I couldn’t afford so I had to seek relief from the heat/humidity in other places. The next best thing to aircon, cold drinks. Vietnam’s coffee is the best I’ve had. Its thick and rich, and they serve it with sweetened condensed milk. Pour that over ice and you have yourself joy in a glass. I had at least 2 a day, at $1/coffee it was far cheaper and better than starbucks.
Then there’s the vietnamese beer. its cheep. After being in Japan land of super taxed beer this was a huge relief. In Hanoi there are several beer halls that serve preservative free draft beer. They fill up several huge kegs and stop serving when the beer is gone. These places have plastic stool seating and spills onto the sidewalk. The hall we regulared placed cups in a kiddie pool and filled them up by spraying beer out of the hose into the pool. It was different that Asahi, which was a nice change and it was super cheap. 30 cents a glass. that right 30 cents. I could drink about 15 beers for the same price as I would pay for a single beer in Japan.
In a category of awesome all their own are fruit shakes. All my friends that had been to SE Asia wouldn’t stop talking about them, so I knew that I had to see what all the hype was about. That may have been the beginning of my addiction. They are so simple, yet so good. Just mango, ice, and sugar syruyp into the blender and out comes a treat for your taste buds and soul. Each shake had at least 2 mangos cut up on the spot, and I’m pretty sure they were grown less than 10 miles away. In Thailand I had at least 2 each day. On Koh Phi Phi we made friends with the fruit shake lady. I’m pretty sure we went to her place 3 times in 1 day, and I confessed my love to her later than night. In Chiang Mai I chatted it up with the shake lady so much that she would make me extra large shakes that would fill 2 cups and I would get them both. I usually used the extras shakes to bribe people into becoming my friend. Those shakes really were/are magic. I have considered attempting to make my own at home, but it won’t be the same. It may be best to let them be a beautiful memory. (feel free to judge my unnatural attachment to frosty beverages.)