“Mai, Mai!” said the lady at the bakery, shaking her head as she pulled at the bag of cookies Blaine had just picked out. Bewildered, Blaine set the bag back on the tray. Carefully, I picked up a bag containing a different type of cookie. “A roy,” she nodded approvingly. “Delicious.” Blaine tried again, convinced that she knew better than the shop owner what sort of cookies she wanted. “Mai!” said the lady, swatting at the bag. She wore an exasperated smile now, shaking her head and yammering on in Thai.
At this point we are all starting to giggle, including the shop owner. Now it was a game. Which ones were the safe cookies? “A roy?” I asked, holding up a bag. “A roy, a roy,” she laughed. “These,” Casey ventured. “A roy!” Those were a winner. We kept going, checking each time for the approval of our cookie provider. A couple of times we picked up the forbidden bag just to see her pull it away from us. The chosen cookies were purchased, and eaten on the spot.
Really, none of the dry, crumbly little cookies were very satisfying. One of mine had a single miniature chocolate chip and a single raisin in it. That is no way to make a cookie. So of course we had to speculate on the forbidden cookies. What was in those cookies? Was the shop owner really looking out for us, or just trying to save the best cookies for herself? Who was allowed to purchase those cookies? Wouldn’t they get stale if someone didn’t eventually eat them?
I love the thought of going into Starbucks, ordering a drink, and having the barista tell me that, no, I don’t want that latte. Or maybe Baskin Robbins: “Rocky road? I really think you’re going to be disappointed with that choice.” There will be plenty of time for cookies that taste like cookies when I get home. For now, I’m happy to have a very small, very old Thai woman speak a jumble of indecipherable words and knock cookies out of my hands.