If I could bottle a rural village, I'd make a fortune, selling it as a natural sleep aid! Our sleep patterns have been pretty woeful since we arrived in Thailand four months ago. The night before I headed to my friend's hometown, I managed three hours of broken slumber.
San Phor Loi (have no idea of the transliteration or Thai script...can't even find it on the map) is south east of Mae Sai, about ten minutes off the main highway. Typical, with acres and acres of rice paddies, slow moving vehicles, friendly people, an abundance of relatives and QUIET. By 8.00 pm it's so quiet you can hear a pin drop...and crickets!
|Mum's storage shed.|
Ms P built a beautiful, modern home (no photos) there a couple of years ago, where her Dad resides, while she lives and works in Chiang Mai. I met a few aunts, uncles, cousins and of course, Mum.
At one aunt's place khi lek (ขี้เหล็ก) leaves where on the boil. The tree grows everywhere and everyone seems to eat it for its general medicinal and believed anti carcinogenic properties.
|Note the cracks in the earth. Very dry!|
I was warned that it would be far too bitter for my tastes, but it wasn't at all unpalatable, in or out of soup. The chilli content on the other hand....!!!! Turns out khi lek is otherwise known as Siamese Senna, Senna being a natural form of laxative and is sold in supermarkets worldwide. I'm not sure if the Thai name should be literally translated (pooh + iron) but it could be fairly accurate, not only does it keep you regular, but perhaps it's high in iron also?
|Khi lek soup, the three bowls on the left.|
|Lovely Lanna woodwork on Mum's house.|
On the second night, Ms P refrained from telling me that one of the meals I was eating consisted of large juicy, ant eggs (red ants to be exact), until after I'd whoofed down a few servings. Quite nice and apparently, seasonal! Little bursts of flavour in every bite.
|Aunty Tong Bai's kitchen|
Unfortunately I didn't get a photo...there wasn't much left in the bowl by that stage, but if you're interested, it looked a lot like this.
The warm hospitality of country folk seems to be a constant in most countries, and Thailand is no different. Instantly welcomed and fed home grown/reared/gathered food...even if it did seem a bit odd that Ms P fronted up with a new friend, farang and female to boot. We had a few private chuckles about the scenario and bet chins were still wagging after our departure ;)
I slept like a log...a solid eight hours, or more, each night and during the day I accompanied Ms P around the Golden Triangle area visiting relatives, shopping and seeing some sights...to be continued.
Snap's other blog Chiang Mai Thai