Sunday, December 28, 2014

Phichit Perfect

December 28, 2014
   The folks around Phichit (pronounced Pitch-it!) are mainly rice farmers (although corn and John Deere tractors are making inroads) and the area reminds me of northern Iowa with great swaths of farmland and a central community with a water tower. Pattarapan's people are teachers and they live on a quiet street just off the main drag.

Bob Boze Biker Bell in his white hat, white sox and white 100cc Yamaha on the quiet street where the Pothongs live.

   And here's the main street of Phichit:

Downtown Phichit during rush hour

   I've been riding that little motorscooter all over town with Tommy on the other one (the family has two). Really fun and I do get the looks with the white sox and hat. Ha.

   Every meal we've had here is modest, but elegant with at least five, seven, or in this case eight dishes, plus rice. Here is the table last night for our first dinner as a guest of Pattarapan's family:

 A Pothong Family dinner

   Yes, that is my sketchbook at lower left and a Singha (they don't pronounce the "ha" just "Sing") beer in the glass. Here are the dishes we cosumed with great relish: Lemon grass soupp with shrimp and mushrooms (Tom Yum Goong), shrimp with oyster suce and snap peas (Goong Pad Tua Lantad), sour-cured pork (Moonaam), cured pork plain (Naam).

   The Thais don't serve Iowa farm-hand style with the bowls going around and everyone piling on the portions. No, in Thai culture you put a bed of rice in a bowl and then take small portions to put in the middle and you combine each dish with the rice, eat that and then sample another. It's much healthier to say the least. Tommy has lost 15 pounds since he came here last summer and he eats like this every night. He claims it's the healthiest he has ever eaten. In fact, he has a theory:

"Only the rich can eat healthy in the U.S. but in Thailand it's the poor who eat healthy."
—T. Charles Bell

   The irony is that with the growing middle class in Thailand they are starting to eat processed foods, and at chains like McDonald's, Dairy Queen and KFC for a treat (the food is more expensive and considered an exotic treat on special ocassions). So the wealthy in Thailand are eating what has almost ruined our health. Ironic, no?