Chiang Mai Travel Blog› entry 26 of 45 › view all entries
After spending one week with my friend (we were soooo happy seeing eachother again after three months), learning to drive a motorbike, visiting hotsprings, wats, and a zoo, strawling through the streets, having some amusing evenings in the bars, escaping the room one night because of the presence of a rat, climbing to the highest point of Thailand, my friend left town, and I was staying one day longer. I remembered some people saying that food tastes better when you prepared it yourself. Chiang Mai is also known for its hundreds of Thai cooking schools. A hard job to find a cooking school is not possible here. Choosing a school on the other hand...
Without knowing why, I chose one and the next day I was ready to make some real Thai dishes. To be honest I was a little nervous going to the "school". Meeting new people si difficult for me most of the times, that's something I learned on this trip already.
The group was not to big, and consisted of only seven people. The teachers were two young Thai women, and the first assignment was the visit to the market the buy the ingredients for our meal. The variety of choices for your dishes was not huge, but I don't think that's necessary. The menu was build up out of seven steps. For me it was a Pad Thai, Hot & Sour soup, a green curry of which I also made the green curry paste myself, Sweet & Sour stir fried vegetables, and for desert sticky rise with Mango. The cooking was easy, and after finishing one dish, we had/got to eat it.
Well, maybe it was the best food I ate since I'm here in Asia, and I'm crazy about Asian food. Propably the fact that I did prepare it myself made it taste better indeed. Pride tastes good.
Food has been a special part of my Chiang Mai experience. The food stalls on the street, not always knowing what you eat because a lot of time it's just written in Thai writing. That'a another remarcable thing about Thailand to me. Being one of the more westernising countries of South East Asia, I thought more people would speak English. I'm not saying they should, but it's just something I notice. When I come over here, who I think I have to adapt to the people, but learning Thai... When I learn a language I really wantto learn it, not just a few words or sentences, and my mind is set on Nepali for this trip, and only that will be difficult enough. Anyhow, being a vegetarian it was difficult to choose food that didn't consist meat. Afterall everything worked out fine, because my friend was smarter on the Thai language. Ofcourse there are always western restaurants, or South-American, but isn't that part of the fun...the local menu.
A dish that I seem to eat everywhere over Asia is a good Indian Palak Paneer, with a garlic Nan. It's still Asian, and that I know is safe from a vegetarian point of view.
So far, this trip has been a culinary heaven, and together with a lot of discoveries about myself that were not always pleasant ones, I must say these first three months have been special. There are nine more months to come, and I don't regret my decision to make this trip even a bit. As hard as it may be some times, it is something I want to do, and I feel I have to do to go on in life.
Coming to a place like Chiang Mai came at the right time, as everything always seems to come at the right time. The rest I needed at excactly the right time, and with the perfect person.