Pad Thai Lady.
I'm sure I've spoken about my revere for Pad Thai Lady (also dubbed PTL) plenty on this blog, and how I want to bring her home with me in my carry-on luggage, but really she deserves every ounce of praise she gets, and her very own blog post! This lady can cook. She doesn't need a fancy kitchen with crazy gadgets and granite counter tops. No way, all PTL needs is a sidewalk, a few tables and chairs in her living room, some fresh veggies, and a large selection of sauces and cooking oils. PTL (real name: Mon) is a legend in Suphanburi - she speaks no English, but she serves as the personal chef for a majority of the farang in our town who don't have kitchens in our apartment and who thus seek her out almost every evening to whip up some Pad Thai, Pad See Ew, Khao Pat Gai, Phad Phak Ruam, Phad Kee Mow, etc - rice or noodles - up to you!
As of Tuesday, It's officially been 8 months since I left the USA for Southeast Asia, and while there are many things I miss from America, one thing I know I'll have a hard time leaving when it's time to go back is PTL. I think she has spoiled my opinion of Thai restaurants in America forever. I'll never be able to eat at a Thai restaurant and pay $10-15 for a meal I used to get for 90 cents! I'm sure I'll also miss the whole set-up: eating everything with a spoon, never knowing if the water you're going to drink will make you sick later on, the fact that there are no doors or windows on the restaurant, the Thai soap opera blaring in the background, the family photos that decorate the walls, and of course the dogs, cats, geckos and mosquitoes that hang out at your feet while you eat. Sure, it's different - but it's all part of the experience, and I LOVE it. Now I just have to convince Mon to come to America (whatever city I eventually end up in) to continue to serve me delicious Thai feasts, mai pen rai, right? If nothing else, my goal before I leave is to at least convince her to teach me how to make a mean Pad Thai, which means I better get working on my Thai phrase-book!
In other news, the Social Studies teacher at Sa-nguan Ying School, Kru Tuke, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study in America for 6 weeks in a program at Amherst College. Everyone here is so proud of Kru Tuke and Nell and I are excited (and a little jealous!) to send her off with a list of things to do and see while she's in Boston. Here's a link to Tuke's blog that she's set up for students and friends who want to follow her experiences in the US: http://discovertheuswithkrutuke.blogspot.com/