Sunday, March 18, 2007


I am a hardcore coffee addict and in Thailand it is oh so easy to find a fix. This is a street vendor who is brewing the black nectar through a sock. The coffee is not exactly the flavor the Thais are looking for so they add a great deal of sugar and milk to it and in the coffee shops you see heaps of whip cream topping nearly any drink, but especially the mocha.
I find it funny because my first journey to Thailand in 1997 it was the absence of coffee which first made me realize I was addicted to the caffeine. I was living at my friend Mod's bachelor home and living a very Thai local life. This was my focus as I didn't want to be a tourist and bounce around to every photo opportunity I wanted to see what it felt like to live in a Thai neighborhood, eat Thai food, drink Thai drinks, and just live and write about the experience.
BUT NO COFFEE? The only thing I could find in those days was instant coffee unless I visited a hotel where I would get coal black coffee which had probably been ground some time during the Japanese occupation in the 40's. It was truly awful and so I gave up chasing it and just accepted that Thailand was a coffee free zone. The headaches from the withdrawal was so painful I thought I would die. After seven years of teaching and drowning myself in caffeine to keep up with the youth of America I had never really been without coffee.
What is funny is that I used this occurrence to break myself of the habit and returned to the USA drinking herbal tea. When I finally made the decision to move here five years ago I had been off coffee for years, but on my return I found that coffee shops were popping up on every corner like cockroaches scurrying out of drains following a rain.
Now it is a bit ironic that by meeting my Thai friends in a nice quiet place where we could chat I slowly rejuvenated my lust and need for coffee. But it gets even more addictive because all the coffee houses have figured out that if they offer FREE WIRELESS a guy like me, who is too cheep to have the Internet in my home, will justify another cup of joe to stay on line. I'm hooked like a FISH.