historical chinese moment
my second and last thai cooking class started with a field trip to the local market to get a tour of all the different ingredients that go into thai cooking. later we were given 10 minutes to walk around on our own and i went and bought some snacks (e.g. chiang mai sausage), even though i knew we'd soon be eating. i was the only one returning from yesterday's class. today's class was a mix of europeans and australians, along with an older taiwanese couple and their tour guide who also acted as their sometimes interpreter. i learned my lesson from yesterday: you don't have to eat everything you make, and actually, you really shouldn't anyway if you want to have enough space for all 6 dishes. so while everyone else was clearing their plates on dish 1 and 2, i'd just pick at my food, eat just enough to get a taste.
thai rice variety
stir fried mixed mushrooms with baby corn
steamed banana cake
after the class was over i went out with some classmates to get some coffee and trade traveling war stories. walking back to the guesthouse i bumped into one of the assistant cooking instructor from the school and she gave me a ride on her scooter to the bank (where i had to cash out another traveler's check) and invited me out to have drinks with one of the other instructors. so i spent the next few hours hanging out with the thais, occasionally they'd speak english, but most of the time they just spoke very animated thai, griping about their job and other things people talk about. once it started getting dark, i got a ride back to my guesthouse.
later in the evening i went out to the night market, which is a 15-20 minute walk. there were a lot of souvenir items (handicrafts), but the only thing that interested me were the insects in glass cases. i ended up buying a few bug-embedded keychains, with the promise to come back and maybe buy one of the bigger insects. later i saw a man and his son trying to negotiate the price for a box of bugs at another vendor. i knew they were getting swindled, so i casually told them that there's another place that sells insects a lot cheaper. that caused the bug ladies to get really angry with me, "sir! this is none of your business!" as they tried to wave me away. i left with a smile, not knowing if the man was going to take my advice.