We all arrived in Thailand in the wee hours of the morning, and I immediately fell asleep on arrival at our rooms. The next morning, we woke up to the tropical sun shining through our windows, and I was ready to be in Thailand. We stepped outside, out of the AC, into the tropical heat to walk to our classroom on Mahidol University Salaya campus. Professor Matthews gave us a rundown of the class, and our expectations. I was really excited about all parts of our itinerary. Before we knew it, we were on our way to our first destination. Salaya Market was very overwhelming to me. Of course I don’t speak or read Thai, so I was unable to understand really anything that was happening. All the new foods were so different. The meats were a little weird, but the fruits were so cool. I had watched some Netflix specials about the food of Thailand, and the fruits were the things I wanted to check out the most. So, I decided to buy some lychee. I had no idea how the market worked, so I used my non verbal communication to get 20 baht worth of lychee by pointing to the huge pile and giving the woman a 20 baht bill. And it worked! I got about 6 lychee, and 20 baht is around 66 US Cents. i used my fingernails to cut the stringy pink outside in half, and a fleshy, juicy white fruit came out. I took a little bite. and all my stepping-out-of-my-comfort-zone-ness was rewarded. It was so good! I at the whole thing, and tossed the seed. I offered it to others, and had the rest of the fruits. I was really pleased that it went well. Encouraged by my progress, I decided to try some food food. Ryan, a classmate, and I, decided to split what looked like a curry. We were amazed at the incredibly low price of everything, and we felt like kings at the market. Once again, I was happy I tried the food, because the curry was great too. I didn’t really know what was in it, but it was good. Here is a picture:
Later that evening, Professor Matthews took us on a street food adventure. We went down this one endless road that had food stalls with little seating areas on all sides. We struggled to pick a place because we didn’t know anything about our options. We did settle on one place, and nothing was legible. I downloaded Google Translate that has a feature that uses a camera to translate text, so we were able to use it to figure out what to order. We got some rice, soups, meat skewers, and veggies to share. The whole spread got passed around, and I was eager to try the Tom Yum, because I was heartened by the positive experiences I had that day, and by my earlier tasting. It was amazingly delicious, and amazingly spicy. I went through so much water to quench my poor mouth. The whole meal was us getting thrown into the deep end of Thai cuisine. It was a new experience, but I really enjoyed it. At the end, I won our bet to see how much the bill would come to in USD. Only $30 for a feast for 7! I knew the trip was going to be great.
The Tom Yum Gung:
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