This evening Yome’s mother invited Lilli and Faye and I over to eat rice with her (as well as food that goes with rice). I noticed early on that Yome’s mother called herself “mother” when she was talking about herself in front of us – so that’s what we should call her (“Meh”).
It’s been interesting to see what pronouns, etc. people use here to talk about themselves. “Dichan” (I) is far too formal and would never be used here, although in central Thailand you’d hear this more often. “Chan” (I) could work maybe in town but in the village I think it’s better to use something else. I’ve been using my Thai name (“Bua”) (or “Rute”) or sometimes my Thai-yai name (“Rute-taa”), or just “Phii”, which means older sibling. The younger children have introduced themselves as “Nong” such and such (younger sibling). Our neighbours two houses down are grandmother and grandfather. All names and pronouns can actually be dropped but it can get confusing if you don’t know which “phii” is being talked about.
So anyway, back to the meal at Meh’s house…. She made some really tasty Thai-yai food for us and told us the names of each dish. One of them was dried pork that had been rolled in some sesame seeds – the direct translation of the name was meat from heaven, or heaven meat. I’m not sure if the word for heaven has other meanings in Thai – I didn’t think so. But it sure was good meat from heaven. She also had these little fish that were about the size of a gold fish but they’d been fried and salted. You just popped them into your mouth whole – they were sooooo good. It surprises me sometimes the things that appeal to me. I can’t tell you how appealing those fried fishes were – like how you might munch on nuts or some pretzels. I mean, you wouldn’t want a bowl-full of them, but you just want some to nibble on as your talking. It makes me wonder a bit about what will seem disgusting to me back in Canada. I guess I’ll find out in a few years.
Meh told us that the word in the village is that we don’t eat rice! How funny! I think I can guess the reason – our neighbours often come by in the morning while we’re still eating breakfast. This is the one meal a day where we eat western food – usually there’s fruit, coffee and bread. We had a good laugh along with Meh about the gossip about us. I’m sure that tomorrow everyone will have heard that we do eat rice and spicy food (that’s also a common misconception) and that we love Thai-yai food. Word travels amazingly fast here.