Leaving hotel life behind – at least for a while – means the necessity to fill the refrigerator. So Foodie goes shopping. To make a memorable and somewhat fun event out of this necessity I choose the Siam Paragon as the place to be.
The Siam Paragon is a well known upscale Shopping Mall and Department Store in the heart of Bangkok with many fancy brand-names. You can here listen to a piano in an artificial pond, have the perfect colonial tea time at the lavish Mandarin Oriental Shop, buy luxury cars from Maserati Ferrari and Porsche, the newest Gucci handbag or Prada shoes, see your private banker or just visit the Paragon Platinum or even Prestige Club –
both institutes for the rich and ultra-rich clientele, who are willing to spend money without leaving the amenities of the club rooms and hopefully spend more. If they have to get outside, electric golf buggies waiting to drive them and their shopping around. Let them safe their strength for pulling the credit card out later on… and digest the many many digits on the bill presented for signing.
Altogether, in an environment like this, you can expect quite some fancy grocery shopping too. And the Gourmet Market in the basement of the complex delivers what the rest of the mall promises.
I have been to this store many times, wandering through the isles, gazing at the marvelous displays of fresh and imported delights from around the world.
There are isles of fresh fruits and produce from so many different countries, two huge displays with crates full of different varieties of rice, fresh fish that can compete with some of the better fish markets I have seen around the world, well hung meat, cheese and sausages over sausages.
Afterwards comes isle after isle with the packed and canned goods. Behind the isle with the cleaning supplies and endless rows of beverages, a fight between good and evil emerges: Eight meters of toothbrushes plus five meters toothpastes, mouthwash and floss tries to counters the 20 meters of chips and three isles of chocolates. A no hope battle I assume – at least to judge by the many people standing around the sweets.
It is insane what you get in this market – and if you are looking for something very specific from your home country, the odds are not so bad to maybe find it here. At least I don´t know another place in Bangkok with that international variety…
So let´s forget for a while, that in the end you have to pay for this epic assortment big time.
It is truly exiting to go to this place – even more to shop in it.
Back to my initial task and shopping needs. The idea was to buy a few basic things for a small kitchen – at least some of the necessities. But what covers this, especially, when a steady place is yet not found? I am not prepared to move to the next place with a box of supplies under one arm, especially when the next place even might be a hotel again.
And there is another reason not to exaggerate the shopping: Bangkok is a town for eating out. You can do it good and affordable. I hardly know people who eat frequently at home or really have their kitchen supplied. Reminds my of New York City / Manhattan – only in a different way and under different circumstances. But the same rules apply.
So you have to have some small things available, like a coffee, sugar, milk in the morning, maybe a bite for breakfast, salt & pepper, maybe some olive oil and vinegar for a salad or a basic dish to prepare… and certainly lots and lots of beer. But everything more than that depends strongly on the opportunities and limitations of the kitchen. And in this department, even though it looks nice, my kitchen is really poor equipped. The possibilities are definitely limited.
So we have here another example for the good old KISS principal – which states, “that simplicity should be a key goal and that unnecessary complexity should be avoided”, so “keep it short and simple” is here to aim for, regarding the shopping list.
Now the goal for this shopping trip was identified. Just buying some basic stuff to survive in an apartment with limited kitchen functionality. Unfortunately for the shopping itself I was so engulfed in a cloud of ideas and possible scenarios to think of, that I left the camera at home. Maybe next time for that.
And this story does not end here…
(to be continued)