The backlog of photos sure can tell you of the many places that I’ve been to and the sights that I’ve seen. They can describe to you the hustle and the bustle of the big cities, the frogs ribbit-ing away in the countryside, and the food I’ve eaten. Getting through these has been a slow marathon warm-up and while it pretty much looms over my head most of the time, I know there are many more things I want to share.
Through visual snaps, it’s easy to get a sense of “how was/were your trip(s)?” or at least to see a glimpse into it. But sorting through the hundreds of photos, connecting them into collages in a thoughtful way (whether there is an immediate and apparent relationship between the photos or not to the readers), the sense of cohesion binds them together just a tad bit more. And when you add the words, it almost becomes a narrative…as if I could be sitting across from you in a café or restaurant and telling about the adventurous tales of these travels.
When it’s cold, I miss Thailand. When it’s hot, it reminds me of Thailand. When I’m hungry, I miss Thailand. Often, I find myself wishing it were a hop, skip, and a jump away but it IS across the Pacific and travel time does go into the double digits (oh when is teleporting going to be an option?!).
It’s been wonderful having the opportunity to go to the motherland every few years. I truly believe that the trips as a child and into my continued adulthood, it has helped shaped who I am and taught me an understanding of where my parents came from and how they came to be who they are today through their experiences.
In countries like Thailand, where it’s easy to live well for most of us because the dollar/the Euro/your currency will likely stretch far, it’s tempting to want to eat at the trendiest and hippest restaurants. But when you realize that it’s how the locals live and how they, on an everyday basis, eat the street food, you can’t help but want to find out why.
It’s through the street food that the culture emerges: Thai women straining out the rice noodles from the boiling pot of water, the fruit cutters chopping away at the pineapples and guavas and mangoes and wrapping the fish sauce + salt + sugar + chili mix that comes with it, and the man that puts the plate of bean sprouts and chives to accompany your Pad Thai at your tiny tables with colorful, plastic stools.
Thai food, while it often uses many, many ingredients, can also be enjoyed in more simplified forms, like sausages that come from the Isaan region in Eastern Thailand simply served with a side of sticky rice. And what I enjoy is that each vendor, each little metallic cart, usually just specializes in one or two dishes. They do it ‘til they get it right to their standards, and when I find someone who cooks it exceptionally well, that’s what keeps me going back for more. But hey, there’s just too many to just stick with a few so I continue my endless hunt of great eats.