Archive for Thai

Thai Food: How to Master a Thai Menu – Part Three

Thai Banquet with the 5 tastesIn the first two parts of “How to Master a Thai Menu” we went over the types of menus you may come across in Thailand, the variations in dishes you will see and some of the common favourites you can get almost anywhere.

Today we talk about the five tastes in Thai food and how, when you sit down to eat with a group of Thais, they will try to include each of these tastes, for balance and deliciousness!

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Thai Culture: Behind the Smiles, Sun, Spice and Syllables

Smiling Thai dancerWhen I moved to Thailand nine years ago, from Sydney, it wasn’t the food, the weather or the language that threw me off balance.

I had travelled through Thailand several times before, stopping off on flights between Sydney and the UK, to see my younger brother who had lived in Thailand since 1990.

The 30 degree heat wasn’t too different to a Sydney summer; I used to eat rice most of the time instead of potatoes when living in Sydney, so the food was an easy adjustment; and the language I had a very basic understanding of and was committed to learning, so I knew I would meet that head on.

Though these are the main things that new arrivals may have problems adjusting to, this was all quite natural for me. Perhaps I was half south-east Asian in a previous life?

Instead it was the things that take a while to notice that struck me as strange – some of the character traits of Thais that were foreign to me and which can delight or exasperate us expats!

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How to Master a Thai Menu – Part Two

In the first part of this post we went through some of the types of menus you may encounter when in Thailand and touched on some of the variations in dishes you will see, depending on where in the country you are.

There are a few “common denominators” that seem to traverse all regions and all Thai menus, which you can find wherever you are – and that’s our focus today. If you have even a passing knowledge of Thai food, a few of these five dishes should get your taste buds going.

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How to Master a Thai Food Menu – Part One

Living in Thailand, working and socialising with Thais as I do, food is a topic never far away from people’s lips (forgive the pun.) In fact I have often been sitting around a table with a group of Thais, waiting for lunch, while they enthusiastically discuss what they will eat for dinner.

If you’ve ever been here on holiday you will have caught glimpses of the importance of food in everyday Thai life – from the noodle seller on the corner of every street to the itinerant fried banana, fresh fruit or dried squid seller around town, to the smells of freshly cooked food emanating from the night markets.

Preparing, making, packaging, cooking and selling food is a big part of life, as it is in much of south-east Asia.

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Mind Your Language – An Englishman Learning Thai!

Thai scriptI have lived in Thailand for just over nine years and I made it an early goal to at least have a working knowledge of the Thai language.

A large part of my time here has been working with the English language in some form or other; for several years as an English teacher in a local secondary school and as a private tutor; and in the past couple of years as a professional writer.

But I, like many English people, do not have a natural gift for learning new languages. I have in the past studied French (at school) and Spanish (at University) and I took quite well to the latter, but if there was such a thing as an Olympic Language Race I would come in somewhere near the back, just behind an average 7-year-old European student.

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