Moving day

It was a hectic day today at work. It started out in the normal way…chaos..but then things became wonky. We all knew it was coming, the day we had to move into the main building,  but it sort of crept up on us and today was the day. Until today we were housed in what seems to have been a renovated storage shed or garage behind the main building containing the studios and administrative offices. It wasn’t much but we had lots of room and we made it home. A newsroom is the people in it and that buzz that only happens when a bunch of newshounds gather in one place. In the good old days ( and I remember them well) it also involved a lot of cigarette smoke but, sadly, this essential ingredient of all great newsrooms and jazz clubs has been snatched from us by the Health Stasi. Besides, a lot of great things were created in garages including the first Apple™ computer and Google™. It seems now the “outside child” has been made legitimate and ieNews has been welcomed into the bosom of ieTV.

Starting around 5pm our own version of the Geek Squad – Harry and Jesse led by the company workaholic ,Robin ( who I have known longer than I care to mention) ,descended on the newsroom. It was the calm before the storm. They lurked like sedated Tasmanian devils waiting for their moment to wreak havoc. I chatted with them and proceeded to nibble on my blue cheese, caviar, smoked oysters and Carr’s cracked pepper crackers I had cleverly purchased earlier. After Vash went off to get ready to read the news they asked, in that innocent voice that all IT people employ “is it ok to start moving a few computers now?”. I assented and suddenly they turned into the beasts they always were. They tore through wiring like a bunch of demented rabbits and monitors and CPUs started flying out the door like drunken patrons at a speakeasy raid. It wasn’t long before our desks followed and every piece of video editing and capture equipment behind them. I followed our precious possessions to their new place of abode and explained, as best I could, where things should go. Apparently my assistant and I now have our own little office area just off the main newsroom…that should be interesting. Moving is a stressful experience so I was glad when Alvin called and invited me to dinner at Tamnak Thai around the Savannah and I fled the scene at around 8:15pm.

Let’s now talk about when okay restaurants go bad. Thamnak Thai was never a great restaurant, I included it in Fodor’s guide but only because it was the only “Thai” choice. The building is nice ,the decor is pleasant and the food was generally passable. The one problem they always had was their otherwise lovely dining deck ( complete with wrap-around koi pond) is located mere feet away from the Queen’s Park Savannah. How lovely you say…a park! But no, my dear friends, the QPS includes a surrounding road that is, they say, the largest roundabout in the world and one of the busiest thoroughfares in Port of Spain. I arrived at the restaurant to discover Alvie had chosen the deck…and not just the deck…the part of the deck closest to the road. I settled in and figured at least the meal would be better than the noise. I was wrong. In retrospect I would have been happier sucking on a car exhaust for several minutes.

Thai food at its best, and this includes street food, is a play on the senses. It is light, elemental and complex at the same time. It mixes tanginess, sweetness, saltiness and sourness in a masterful interplay. It is the culinary equivalent of a Magritte. A million points that come together into a work that grabs your soul and says “let’s dance”. Not this time. My meal was  the worst sort of poseur. It was like those supermarket jars labeled “mayonnaise” that have no connection to the reality of mayonnaise that lovely unctuous blend of egg yolk, lemon juice and olive oil that has no resemblance to the horrendous concoction of whipped vinegar, whole egg, soya oil and numberless additives in the jar. All I can say is the squid ( complete with unremoved quill) should have had Goodyear™ stamped on the side, the pork was overwhelmed by ginger, and the duck was inedible. Thai food is not about smothering things in overly reduced coconut milk and tossing in some ginger. It is about balance. If you can’t achieve balance you need to close the place down and open a burger joint. And presentation should not consist of shredded cabbage, a bit of curly  parsley ( very Thai) , two cucumber slices and a tomato rose on every plate. That is not Thai. It is decidedly family diner of the worst sort. The meal was an insult to my palate, Alvin’s palate, any person who loves food and quite frankly, the people of Thailand.

Thinking about it..maybe we were only supposed to eat the tomato rose and the cabbage. Perhaps the other stuff was meant to be the decoration. If that is the case then the meal was passable.




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