That was exactly the reaction I got when I told people that I was going out for dinner at "Cabbages and Condoms" Most people thought the phone connection was bad or they heard me wrong!! Saru's reaction was the best of all - "Does condom mean something else in Thai? Sometimes I wonder if he is as smart as they say he is!
Most people were shocked at the name and it made for some interesting discussion o n my Facebook status. I confess that was the only reason I went there. When you travel as much as I do, at some point you get tired of seeing normal things however beautiful they are! I mean, how much can you gush about beautiful sculptures and golden pagodas and keep the listener/reader interested. The shelf life of normal travel tales is short. Every year, Saru and I would go on one big trip every year and come back with lots of pictures and stories. None of the trips garnered as much interest as the one where Saru's laptop and visa documents got stolen by a taxi driver in Seville . Our friends K and BS (OMG.....how did I never realize that his initials are BS? I cannot believe I missed out a golden opportunity such as this!!) were with us in Spain. BS regaled friends with this story for months. With every repetition, the thieves became more elusive and we became smarter as we turned the tables on them and got back our stuff in 2 days. BS wrote a 3-part mini-series on how we maintained a vigilance at the airport, made friends with taxi drivers, even met the taxi association president and got him to get our stuff back. It was an instant hit! I will re-post his story on my blog one of these days.
Anyway, my point is that it is fun to mix it up and go to crazy places once in a while. When we went to Czech Republic, we were tired of seeing ornate churches, so we took a day trip to see a church that was decorated entirely with skulls and bones - made for a great story!
So, I was in Bangkok for work and free for dinners. The French restaurant I blogged about was great, but I was itching to try local Thai food. When I googled for cool restaurants, I came across this name. It intrigued me, so I went, albeit cautiously. The restaurant was established by the former Thai Health Minister, Viravaidya to promote birth control and AIDS awareness. His aim was to make condoms as common as cabbages, hence the name.
Contrary to what I was expecting, the restaurant had a very romantic feel. The hanging lanterns, and tropical trees decorated with lights makes it look like Christmas in Condomville. When you walk into the restaurant, you are immediately greeted at the door by Santa Condom and his family:) I wonder how many hundreds of condoms it took to make these figures.
I ordered food and took a walk around the restaurant. There was a safe-unsafe sex wheel of fortune that you could spin to test your luck, a chart of jokes and lots of condom art to entertain the guests. I don't know about spreading birth control message, but this restaurant was doing roaring business. It was full of foreign tourists. You don't go to a restaurant named 'Cabbages and Condoms' for its food and not surprisingly, there were very few locals there.
Food was not bad....I actually did not have a bad meal in Thailand till now. Soup was nice and spicy while the raw papaya salad and cashew chicken were yummy.
After dinner, if you are looking for a mint, you will be disappointed. The check comes with 2 complimentary condoms and a coupon for a free vasectomy at the next door clinic:):)