Proof that a little love and nurturing is a just adequate substitute for tropical heat and humidity - I present to you: galangal, grown in Cape Town, 34 degrees south of the equator.
Lunch today: Tom Kha Gai. Just like I remember. The slices of fragrant and earthy galangal really are essential. Good thing I also have Makrut growing.
Sorry national braai day, I'm a bad South African, the wors and tjops will have to wait for another day.
For anyone looking for real Thai techniques and recipes, I highly recommend Oi Cheepchaiissara's Food of Thailand (ISBN 978 1 74045 473 5). Available from Exclusive Books in South Africa or from Amazon.com. It doesn't make any compromises with regard to ingredients available in the west, but at least you've got a decent idea of what you should be aiming at.