Friday, December 14, 2007
It's all Thai!
“The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.” _ G. K. Chesterton
As always, places and situations are not what you assume they may be. And I found myself somewhere in the grey zone between a traveler and a tourist, desperately wanting to accept but sometimes unable to. Among other things, one thing I learnt about myself in Thailand last week was that I was less adventurous than I imagined when it came to food. Did the food have to be sanitized and deodorized and presented in the interiors of a plush restaurant to make itself acceptable to me? I hope not; after all, I did try the food off Chiang Mai’s streets _ sausage that was all cloyingly sweet cake in taste and texture, shrimp and squid fries that reeked but were as tasteless as very deep- and long-fried pakoda are wont to be, coconut cakes that smelt and tasted overwhelmingly of coconut, and almost unfamiliar fruit, which were lovely. And in the market, I saw boxes of fried, ribbed creamy worms without flinching.
But all in all, I could have done without that one peculiar smell that assailed me on the street - it was the same in most places, very strong, very sharp and I found myself hurrying past it, holding my breath. After some amount of study, guessing and mulling, I’ve concluded it’s a green leafy vegetable, a combination of coconut and pandan leaf/essence and the cooking medium that did it. What mattered is that it affected Me the Foodie. Now Not So Foodie, and it hurts.
More pictures follow from my trip, but meanwhile, please don’t forget the Grindless Gravies event – the deadline is December 22.
Thailand Doi Suthep Coconut Pad Thai Travel Khan Toke Pandan Orchid Sago Pumpkin Chiang Mai Som Tam