About Us

We are a married couple who retired and moved to Thailand in 2014. You are welcome to join us and our travel monkeys Sun Wukong and Malcolm Jr. on our adventures! We hope you enjoy the trip as much as we do.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

New Year's Day Alms For The Monks

Pointing to Momma's scooter and her scooter, Nok said we were to hop on and we would “Let's GO!”
I took the opportunity to generously let Vince ride with Momma!

New Years Day........you could feel the excitement in the air as people young and old lined up behind tables laden with their favorite offerings to give to the Monks.

Vendors were walking up and down selling flowers, incense sticks, small mandarin oranges, packaged juice boxes and balloons shaped like elephants, fish, Hello Kitty, Doraemon and Spiderman. I did buy a pink elephant and promptly deflated it so I could bring it home to put on my cubicle wall. I thought the color was particularly funny!

There were hundreds of Thai People and two Falang! We were an attraction as people stared or came over to Momma to ask who we were. She was like a puffed up mother hen, very proud of her newly hatched chicks!

Nok arranged flowers with Joss Sticks (Incense) next to baby mandarin oranges and small packages of rice. The closer the moment came to meeting the Monks, nervous hands kept re-arranging the offerings. Chanting of many monks over the loud speaker system was the signal that things were starting and the crowd became hushed. We watched and imitated the locals during the prayers which lasted about 15 or 20 minutes.

Next a large pick up truck drove down the middle of the street and the back of it was over flowing with flowers and baskets with the people's offerings along with envelopes of money. Right in the middle of all the colors, was what must have been the Head Monk! He was in a chair raised above the level of the side of the truck. He was dipping pieces of bamboo in water and sprinkling it at the crowd. People hurried to the truck to place their flowers and offerings and as it came closer to us we were able to place our flowers along with the others! It was really awesome!

After the truck made it's way to the end of the street the other Monks started walking along at the tables where people were waiting. People would place food in the offering bowl, a helper to the Monk would unload the bowl and place it in a huge plastic bags and load it in the back of the 10 yard dump truck.

We walked through a small market and to a coffee shop and had much needed coffee and snacks. The coolness of the morning was wearing off as we took a leisurely walk to Nok's parents farm and garden.

They were so proud of their 10 acres of rice and vegetable garden and they sell at markets and use for personal use. March is planting time so the fields were bare but the garden is full of Thai basil, peppers.....really teeny tiny hot as hell peppers, eggplant, lemongrass, mango, papaya, banana, Kaffir lime leaves, and jack fruit.

We all picked items fresh from the garden and walked back to the house where both Momma's proceeded to fix a 5 course lunch. They let me help chop the eggplant and dice some pork.

It was really fun to watch both of the Mommas stir, taste, stir, add, and taste again. All the while chatting away discussing if the flavor was just right.

Fresh rice from their last harvest, along with beef curry, chicken something, eggplant, tom ka soup with shrimp and pork something.

Have you ever taken a bite of something, smelled, tasted and felt the flavors develop in different areas of your mouth? Just as you are savoring one flavor, another one sneaks in and surprises you. Each bite with each dish was like this. Sitting outside in rural Thailand where two women chefs had no clue just how amazing their food really is. Smiling with every mouthful I literally wanted to cry...........the food was THAT good!

With a full belly, a very late night before all we wanted to do was go back to take a nap. Nope! That does not happen when your hosts want to show you ALL of their favorite things. We are so glad we got a second, third and fourth wind to carry us through the day. Because what we saw was spectacular! …....To be continued.

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