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.
Walking west on Rangnam Road, to the Victory Monument Skytrain station.
This is a duty-free shopping outlet of some kind. Buses from the airport pull up and disgorge frantic shoppers. I only went in there once. I didn’t buy anything.
In Bangkok, finding shade is essential for survival.
Crossing the elevated walkway to the Skytrain turnstiles.
That’s the southbound train. We’re waiting for the northbound one.
Yep, we got off at the right stop. Let’s find the exit.
Okay, we turn left at the end of this street.
It’s on the right side of the street and there should be a sign. Do you see it? Hey, there it is. Let’s cross over.
Shades off and the Acer booted up.
English breakfast first, and then a coffee.
Hidden Cafe, Ari, Bangkok. Let’s come back here again next weekend for brunch, okay?
About the Author: Jeffrey
Jeffrey has written 4 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.
March 31, 2021, 12:21 pm
At least the directions were okay, some aren’t. I hope the food was worth it all.
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