Random Play by Graham Reid

Thai coup, or Thai food?

There are so many important things to discuss -- cancerous politicians, the state of our nation’s mental health, Eden Park on the Harbour, TVNZ thinking people wouldn’t be pissed off by The Sopranos early exit -- that it’s hard to know where to start: so I’m not going to.

Just to say that if the coup in Thailand caught you a little by surprise then you might like to consider what I wrote back in March (Troubled Times in Thailand) when things were heating up.

The subtext of what I was saying then still applies: if this has kinda crept up on you it’s probably because the media hasn’t been watching on our behalf. And yep, we still have friends there and use it as our playground if we’ve got a few grand to spare and time to lie on a beach. We really should be paying more attention.

But I’m not going to essay anything of great importance right now because I am nakedly soliciting your help.

I’m off to Vancouver on Sunday and will be bopping around the area. If you know of anything I REALLY MUST SEE/DO then I’d appreciate a few tips, I’ve never been there and while I have things I must do I’m keen to get out and about and into more, shall we say, “obscure” pleasures. Flick me an e-mail if you can help.

The Vancouver Film Festival is on while I’m there so I may just end up going to the pictures.

And the other thing I’m soliciting for is my website
here which is constantly expanding as new ideas occur to me.

The Music From Elsewhere section -- where I post commentary about terrific albums that usually aren’t being reviewed anywhere else, plus a sample track -- is going like a rocket. Feel free to subscribe, it’s free.

And there has been some funny feedback about the Windows On Elsewhere pages I launched this week.

I try to take a photo out of every room I stay in, so there are about 100 pix up there which range from views of brick walls and fire escapes to white sandy beaches and enticing panoramas.

Check ’em out. You click on the pix and they blow up big with a caption saying where the place is. Some refer to places about which there are stories elsewhere in Elsewhere.

It’s just a bit of fun and should amuse you on a slow day in he office. And yes, I can tell you more if you really are interested in staying in some of the places I have had the good and bad fortune to. The brothel in Taipei was interesting.

But now it’s your turn to contribute to Elsewhere.

Over the years I have collected recipes from various people -- top chefs in luxury lodges to mates who can whip up something special -- and so I’m going to launch Recipes From Elsewhere soon. I’ve got some cracking stuff from genuine gumbos to Thai dishes, and much more.

If you want to contribute just send me in a recipe, and it doesn’t really have to be from “elsewhere” although that would be useful.

It shouldn’t be too complicated, just something your average person could get together and enjoy making. And be pleased to serve up to guests. Something a little bit different.

I’ll have to make every dish or idea you send in just to check that it can be done (sometimes people add an extra “0” onto a measure so we need to be cautious), but of course if I’m hospitalised your recipe won’t be posted.

But the idea is to just share some good ideas, whether they be of interesting Mexican food or a good goat curry. (A recipe that turns muttonbird into something edible would be welcome!)

You won’t get anything out of this (if I’m not you sure aren’t) but you’ll have the pleasure of knowing your recipes are being read and tried by people around the world -- and you’ll be in excellent, professional company too.

You will get full credit of course, and if you’ve got a decent picture of the dish or yourself making it then flick that along too. Naked chefs are okay by me, although they may not get posted.

So let me know what you’ve got, what works for you and your guests, and let’s share the good times.

Anything involving too much stuff from cans or which looks suspiciously like Allyson Gofton once did it will be scrutinised very carefully.

Righto, I look forward to a swag of recipes when I get back from bear country. I guess I’ll be bringing home some good Canadian music for Elsewhere -- and recipes for elk.

Outta here.