The next morning I checked out of my room at 11 and just barely managed to drag myself down to the beanbags in the lounge. Although I’d hardly slept at all, my flight to Thailand wasn’t until 6 so I figured I could snooze just long enough to power myself on to the next evening’s lodging.
…Or so I thought. Somewhere around 2pm Sankar’s brother called and invited me out to lunch; he’d actually done so the night before but I figured he’d simply forgotten or overslept. Nope! And by total coincidence, his restaurant was only a few blocks from where I was staying 🙂
As it turns out Sankar is just one brother of three – and among all of their shared businesses (restaurants, a shopping mall, a gold shop, etc) the Banana Leaf Apolo is by far the most successful. It’s famous country-wide, has won countless awards and has even been visited by the president himself (as well as international names like Mel Gibson). Needless to say it was an honor to be escorted in, introduced to the entire staff as “his new friend from California,” and treated to an ENORMOUS gourmet lunch of far more than I could eat. Including their specialty: fish head. It truly was a meal to remember and a great way to wrap up my stay in the country – even if I did feel like my stomach was about to pop. We chatted about everything from life in Singapore and India to my “unusual” nomadic lifestyle…but more than anything, he seemed interested in my ideas for how he could “high-tech” his businesses. It’ll be cool to see how many become a reality the next time I make my way here 🙂
We talked for so long that before I knew it my flight was just around the corner, so we hopped in his car and headed straight to the airport. Kinda funny to pull up to the budget terminal in a brand new top-of-the-line Mercedes 😆
We said our goodbyes and our thanks – and just like that, I was on my way back to Thailand.
I can hardly wait… 😀
Note: These posts are behind realtime; the above took place on Thursday, February 24th.