The Tastes and Smells of Thailand
Thailand — and Southeast Asia in general — is a symphony of exotic ingredients and foods. After spending the past two weeks sampling foods I never knew existed, tasting brand new tastes, Allison and I decided to take a cooking class here in Chiang Mai, Thailand, to learn more about what we’ve been experiencing at the food stalls and in restaurants.
Meow, our cooking class instructor gathered her class from the various guesthouses where we’re staying. In our group there was a guy from the UK traveling on his own, a girl from Brazil, and 2 couples from the Neitherlands.
She gave us a sheet of paper with a whole bunch of photos of the different dish options we could make, and asked us to choose 6 of them. Then she made a shopping list, and we all went off the market. That’s where our first lesson took place as Meow explained with the different fruits, vegetables and spices were, and how they are used in Thai cooking.
After some browsing and shopping (Meow did the shopping), she took us to her school — the Pad Thai Cooking School in Chiang Mai:
Here’s Allison and Craig and me and Camile ready to learn!
And here I am cooking! We cooked Pad Thai, curry, pumpkin in coconut cream, stir fry and other good stuff.
Later, we came back to our guesthouse and ran onto all of our friends from the trek we did the previous day! They had all stayed on for 3 days and just gotten back. It was so nice to see them!
Then I went down to the local internet cafe to look into extending my stay in Bali, but it doesn’t look as though that’s gonna work out.
Anyway, there was a power failure and the internet connection went down so I returned to the guest house. Just in time, too. Everyone was getting ready to go out!
We walked towards central Chiang Mai and had a few drinks at a sidewalk bar owned by a guy Dierdre and John had met a few days earlier.
Then we moved on to another local bar where we proceeded to let loose and have a lot of fun. It was nice to jsut enjoy each others’ company… we really lucked out that everyone in our trekking group got along so well!
A few doors down from our bar, there was Thai boxing taking place… so a few of us walked over to check it out:
After this particular match was over, these transvestite women came out in beautiful colorful dresses and starting twirling on stage, sort of like a halftime entertainment show.
That’s Judith there on the left in between the two Thai ladies. She told me that one of the boxers came up to her and offered her a chance to fight him in the ring for a cash prize. She REALLY didn’t want to and she politely told him so.
Anyway, we came back to the group for a bit and eventually everyone split up. It was a really fun day and I’m sooo tired. I’m so glad we spent a little extra time here in Chiang Mai. Being here a little longer made all the difference when it came to getting to know some cool people, whom I’m sure I’ll be keeping in touch with.
Tomorrow morning we’re off to Krabi, which is a jumping off point to the island of Ko Phi Phi. I’m excited to go, but so sad that my adventure here in Chiang Mai has come to an end… so far!