Tuesday, March 3, 2009

In Thailand

After 2 weeks in Chiang Mai, Thailand, one of our favourite things here is the food. There is quite a large variety in vegetable, fruit and meat. But what really counts is freshness. In our restaurants back home the food comes mainly in pails from Sysco or some other corporate giant. Here, it comes from the farmer’s markets that abound, from the markets gardens that are everywhere, supplying the type of food that everyone here expects to eat—fresh. Try and put some pailed food in front of them and I am sure it would be unanimously turned down.
So, every day, we go out to eat, because it is cheap, but excellent in quality. And people here are eating small amounts but more often. Little sidewalk food vendors with Pad Thai, grilled chicken, pork on a stick, mango shakes blended before your eyes, papaya salads, stir fried red rice with bits of sweet pea stalks, garlic and one of our favourites noodle soup with veggies, bits of chicken and seafood balls. I am gaining weight!
The other amazing thing is here is the cloth. Silks made in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and China. Cotton from the same countries, bright colours, batik, dyed with indigo and other natural dyes, and intricately embroidered Lisu handbags, dresses and tops.
Chiang Mai is certainly the hub for the 6 tribal areas in the north who come down to the markets in this city and sell their crafts and art. And we get to benefit form their wonderful, sometimes centuries old traditional wares. This morning we walked through the day market part of CM and found a small street where there must have been about 30 stores piled high with hundreds of varieties of material, from silk to hemp. Lillian had a hard time choosing, but boy did she have fun. Will write more next time about buildings. So much to get excited about.

No comments: