Saturday, September 17, 2005


A spoonful of ... curry paste!

Hello after a week of nothing much to say. I am in Chiang Mai until next week and glad to be. This is a good base from which to do all kinds of activities: bike tours, visiting hill tribes, markets, etc.

Yesterday I went on a tour of some caves and temples and the hill tribes. We "visited" the Karen tribe way up by the Myanmar border. We could even see Myanmar from where we stopped. The Karens, as you may know, are the tribe of the "Long Neck" women who wear the bronze coils around their necks and knees because it is considered beautiful. Nothing beautiful about it, I declare. They looked only tired and sad to me. Seeing them just made me mad mostly. They were selling photos of how they look when the coils are removed, with bruises and sores around their shoulders. (And puhleaze don't tell me it's OK because that's their culture and they don't know from anything else.) Worst of all were the two teenage tourists posing for photos for their mom and dad, laughing with their hands wrapped around the women's coils, as in a choking fashion. Unbelievable. But yes, I know I contributed in some way by going on the tour. I don't know what the answer is, not experiencing these cultures at all? Or paying to go and see them and at least get educated and think about their lives?

Today was definitely in my top five for the whole trip. I went to Thai cooking school and donned my blue apron with a fun and friendly group of travelers. I learned to cook about eight dishes, including green curry and spring rolls. Got lots of information on some of the strange plants I have seen in the markets. I have hopes to try the recipes again as soon as I am home with my new cookbook. It was good to cut vegetables and stir pots after two months of other people cooking for me.

Easy to make friends here, which is always good. This evening I am going to the night market and a spa for a Thai massage. Enjoy your Saturday night back at home ...

I'm glad to hear about your cooking school experience. Jeff ended up not making it on Sunday but went to the Zoo.

Enjoy learning about the cultures, you are probably helping the village out b/c they get a cut of the tour money, even if its hard to digest.

Keep the blog coming!
So are you going to have a big cook-out when you get home and make all this delicious food for us?
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