But that is a discussion for another day. Today is about Thai food and enlightenment. The two are independent although one might argue that the East is so often associated with enlightenment. Sadly this is far from the truth. Although one might realise that one is enlightened after one visits the ‘East’. Old joke, new ways.
For the longest time, all of six months, I was hard pressed to find a restaurant in Leuven that served a good Pad Thai. One where the noodles are cooked just right, the tamarind doesn’t overpower and the sweet and sour just bursts in your mouth. And one garnished with peanuts and one that comes together so beautifully when the lime is squeezed onto it.
Such blissful Pad Thai, my friends, can indeed be found in multiple places in Brussels but sadly not so in Leuven. So when the Pad Thai cravings began last week, I hot footed it to the ‘new place’ that I had my eye on and, what do you know, it didn’t disappoint!
Let’s just say I will be a regular, pocket permitting.
So much Pad Thai and Mai Tai induced conversation ensued and in true Mai Tai induced fervour I proclaimed to the bearer-of-all-brunt that if he had no other redeeming quality, I would marry him ten times over for not being a male-chauvinist.
So it would be unfair to say that I’ve been at the receiving end of much gender related discrimination. Brain related, and therefore valid, discrimination but not gender related. But I’ve seen my fair share of chauvinists, both male and female, the former far outnumbering the latter but the latter no less chauvinistic.
I’ve seen them in all walks of life; colleagues, friends, family, age no bar, education no bar. And in my vast experience (scoff!) I have met a handful of men who were not male chauvinists. Allow me to elaborate.
There is the kind of man who is the very definition of male chauvinism, others practice it but don’t preach it, others don’t preach it and don’t practice it and to many this last kind is classified as non-MC. To me this is not true. This last kind too knows male chauvinism for what it is, might even agree with it with some peer pressure, but makes an active effort to go against the tide.
But I think I have been lucky in life I have met certain kind of men, few and far between, for whom the very concept of chauvinism and the resulting discrimination were alien. As ridiculous and unnatural as walking on your head or eating with your feet. This is the kind of man the husband is.
And so I gave him his due and duly lauded him for this and asked him ‘Oh! wise one, why art thou thus’ and he replied ‘See Amrita, most people who fight for equality fight against differences and like to say that men and women are the same. But to have equality one must first accept that there are differences. And then realise that they don’t matter’.
I experienced a mini Buddha moment. Enough said.