Life in a Thai Village
The pok pok sound of my mother-in-law pounding chillies in her mortar and pestle and the woop woop of frogs greets my morning. Outside dragonflies buzz in the hundreds through a garden green with tropical rain.
We are in the rural village of Hua Sai in Southern Thailand, staying with my husband’s family for three weeks.
The days start early. Around 6 am we have breakfast out on the veranda. Hot soy milk, fried noodles, maybe a pineapple or paw paw.
It’s never lonely here. Many families have been living here for generations and everyone knows each other. People constantly come and go; stopping for a chat, maybe to sell some fresh seafood or pick something from the garden.
In Thailand, people don’t say ‘how are you?’ like we do in Australia. They say ‘have you eaten?’. In this village at least, the answer to that is almost always ‘yes!’ (or gin low: I’ve already eaten).
In fact, I just had to pause writing this blog as a neighbour came over to give me a bag of steamed peanuts and take a bag of bananas.
The garden here looks wild, unlike many organised veggie patches I am used to seeing. Nearly everything is edible though. Nothing seems to go to waste either. After picking a bunch of bananas from a tree, my cousin came and cut down the trunk to use in soup and to allow a new tree to grow. As we ate jumbah fruit yesterday my husband said ‘Don’t throw away the seeds. We can cook and eat them, they taste like potato.’
It’s a good time of year to be here though; I’m lucky. Other times of year it is hot and dry and hard to get fruit and vegetables. As a vegetarian this leaves me eating rice and egg every day, which let me tell you, can get very boring but is a quick way to lose weight!
For now though, I am going to enjoy this lush land.