The Milk Hunt

One thing I love about Jeff is his creativity.  The man doesn’t give up easily and is willing to look at ALL of the possible options of how to solve a problem.  It’s pretty amazing.

We’ve got some friends that just so happen to live in our city of residence for the moment and they’ve invited us to join them for their Christmas festivities.  Very sweet of them – it’s our first Christmas “by ourselves” and we’re excited to have another family to share the day with.

While we were shopping at one of the many grocery stores here, Jeff happened upon a giant jar of marshmellow creme (something we never see on this side of the world) and had a great idea.  He would make fudge and bring it to their house on Christmas.  Nothing says Christmas like fudge.

So a couple of days ago, we started shopping.  When you’re in a big Asian city and you haven’t lived here for long, you may have to hunt for what you are looking for.  We’re used to this – so it was of no surprise to us that we had to go to one store for the semi-sweet chocolate chips, another store for the butter, sugar, vanilla, and another for the marshmallows (we opted for these instead of the creme because it was more convinient at the time).

But we could not find evaporative milk.  Strange.  That’s usually one of the easier ingredients to find.  Even our “little” podunk city has evaporative milk.  So we kept searching.

I think we hit five or six different grocery stores – and the more “Western” ones at that – but we still couldn’t find it.  Then our friends told us that due to the flooding, certain products have been hard to come by – and evaporative milk apparently is one of them.  Even the sweetened condensed milk that is so often used in Asian food was difficult to find.  At one store, they had a big sign limiting customers to three cans per family per day.

We had just about given up and Jeff was thinking of making toffee instead (also a good option), when lo and behold we spotted evaporative milk.  A small drink store in the downstairs section of one of the grocery stores had loaded up on it and had it displayed.  Jeff made a beeline for the shop and Macy and I watched from afar as he tried to buy one of the cans.  The girl behind the counter wasn’t going for it.  She would not sell it to Jeff.  He came back to our table defeated.

We ate our lunch and as we were leaving, Jeff said to me, “I wonder what I could say so that lady would sell me a can of the evaporative milk.”

And I said, “I’ll go.  And I’ll bring Macy.”

I guess a little Jeff has rubbed off of me over the years.

So the three of us walked up to the counter.  Jeff asked again about buying the can.  The girl shook her head no.

And then it was my turn.

“It’s for Christmas.”  I smiled.

She looked at me.  I could tell it was going to be harder to say no to the 9 month pregnant lady and her toddler.  I told Macy to say “Hello” in Thai.

I know, I know – I’m terrible.

Jeff asks if he can buy the evaporative milk if he wants to drink it in a cup.  How much for one cup?  She smiles.  25 baht (less than a dollar).  How about the big cup?  30 baht (about one dollar).

We’ll take it.

She smiles and pours the milk into a cup and puts a lid on the milk.

Macy starts saying “thank you” in Thai several times.  We all say “thank you” a few more times before leaving.  She keeps smiling.  I want to give her a hug.

We go back with the evaporative milk in hand.  And Jeff makes fudge.

Success.

It’s always good to explore all your options.  🙂

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4 thoughts on “The Milk Hunt

  1. This post was the essence of life in Asia.

    What you don’t expect – you can find!
    What should be there – is not there!
    When you do find it – you must find a creative way to purchase it!

  2. I can totally imagine Jeff with a big, polite smile on his face as he talked with the lady. He is a clever one, that Jeff! Isn’t it funny how our spouses rub off on us? Glad you got the milk! Who knew BKK would have a shortage?! Hope you can savor this Christmas together!

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