Eat Rice

I’ve touched on this before, but I don’t think I’ve done rice justice in my blog.

Rice is an integral part of life. The most common greeting is “Have you eaten rice yet?” (rather than “Hi.”) If you are in the process of eating rice when someone walks by, the greeting becomes, “eat rice!” If there’s no rice involved, it’s not a meal. It’s just a snack, or literally, “play eating.”

So…. some eating related pictures.

There is a picture of a slightly bloody, skinned pig being chopped up, if you’d rather not see it. It’s the eleventh picture from the top, after the one of a three-year-old with a machete.



Rice harvesting is just about over. The primary school students harvested their little plot of land. Imagine my surprise when, at the end of class, everyone took those rice-cutting hooks out of their desks!



Some students eating lunch in the field.



Rolling in watermelons (Those other things are overgrown coconuts.)



There’s nothing like starting the day off with fried fish, raw fish and chilies ‘soup’, fish curry, raw veggies that you might mistake for weeds, coconut water, fried bananas, bananas in coconut milk, watermelon, papaya salad so spicy it’ll make you cry… and of course endless baskets of sticky rice. We had all slept at a temple, and we ate this meal around seven a.m. The other women had been up since four, chopping and pounding and frying. I, the lazy one of the bunch, rolled off my straw mat bed around 6, in time to go present breakfast to the monks.



Presenting a morning meal to monks. On the morning I described above, I was too busy being honored with the job of handing the food over to take pictures. The picture below is from my first month at site. The monks sit in a row. Lay people take turns presenting each dish of food to the head monk, who takes some of the food and passes it on to the next monk. There are usually four or five monks present, but it depends on the temple. There’s a lot of “wai” -ing involved. Preparing food and presenting it to monks is one of the many things my Thai friends do to “make merit” and ensure good things for this life and the next.



Large celebrations, large pots. These ladies are preparing for one of many meals in celebration of the marriage of my neighbor. They hired someone to cook, but all the women neighborhood women were involved in the chopping, pounding, chopping, pounding…



The wedding celebration preparations took over the entire street. Mom, dad, and Aunt Bunny fit right in… (this was last April). The ladies were put to work wrapping rice and bananas in banana leaves. These little packages are boiled, and the rice and banana become gooey.



Host mom and host grandma making another variation of those boiled celebration treats. This version has pumpkin, coconut, and a rice flour paste rather than whole grains of rice.



Fried chicken and ant-egg salad. Yum.



I’ve tried hacking open coconuts many times, with little success… so I turned the job over to my 3-year-old host nephew. (Not really. He already had the machete in his hands when I found him. I took it away after I took the picture.)



There’s something to be said for preparing your own meat (although these guys needed a lot of whisky to get through the process.)



And, to balance out the gross-cute factor… I tried to train the kittens to wash my dishes…



Then there’s Bangkok.

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8 Responses to Eat Rice

  1. Neil O'Brian says:

    great photos and commentary niner!

  2. Mark O'Brian says:

    Great Pictures Sweetie! I can’t believe that we made it into the blog! I’m craving some ant egg salad right about now.
    Love, Dad

  3. Lois O'Brian says:

    Hi Honey! You can imagine how long I oohed and ahhhhed at the kittens washing your dishes! If it’s possible, this is the best blog of all. I’m re-experiencing my amazement at having been there. Love, love, love, MOM

  4. Linda Lang says:

    Aunt Bun says: What a wondrous and small world we live in. Hello, love, and smiles to everyone who showed me the hospitality that Thailand is known for.

    Happy Thanksgiving Jeannine.
    Your blog is beautiful, hearing your news and seeing what you are seeing is truly important to me!

  5. Sarah says:

    Gin cow lewa yang ca? Thanks for sharing! I can’t believe how little the kids are harvesting! HUGS!

  6. Jean Prendergast says:

    Hi Jinjean, Just fell in love with the watermelon boy!! He is so darn cute! Wegmans should consider him for a summer photo shoot. You and I have to exchange some recipes real soon(NOT!) Hope you’re well! XO Jean

  7. Linda Schriver says:

    You are a marvel! You describe things so well that my stomach is queasy. I did not hear any mention of chocolate! My God continue to bless you for you are a blessing to so many others! Linda

  8. Thank you all for your nice comments… it means a lot to know that you all are reading!

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