In search of Bangkok’s most elusive cafe.
I had planned to leave China in the early summer of 2020 … but then I had two flights canceled and the third flight would have have cost me around $6,000. So I talked to the administrators here at Zhejiang Wanli University in Ningbo and started paperwork for the fall semester. I figured that by January more countries would have opened up and I’d be able to fly out. Well, here I am, six months later, stuck in Ningbo and once again getting ready to start paperwork for another semester, now hoping to fly out in the summer.
Right now, as I type this, it’s February 12, 2021, the lunar New Year’s Day. Here in Ningbo, it’s been overcast and rainy for the last few days. Last night, I heard fireworks on the streets around campus, but today it’s very quiet. I was out on my bike earlier shopping at the few stores open today.
Just like a year ago, each day I have to send my body temperature to the director of the Chinese language program. At banks and malls, we have to sign in, write down an ID number, which for me is my passport number, and then have our temperature checked. We also need to show a green-colored health code on a smartphone, but I never carry my smartphone off campus. Fortunately, the director was able to procure a small card for me that functions the same as the digital health code. I just flash it and they let me in.
So what to do today? Well, join me as I climb into a time machine and travel back to a day before the Wuhan Coronavirus.
Back in 2014, when I was living in Bangkok, I happened to read about a small restaurant and cafe in Ari, a neighborhood a few Skytrain stops north of where I lived in Victory Monument. I looked at a map, wrote down the directions and address, and headed out the door with my backpack and camera in hand. Let’s go.