I have come to the conclusion that eating in Thailand is much like long-distance running. Stamina is built in practice, or during the daily meals at home. Trainees improve their endurance by incrementally adding chilli powder, spicy sauces, and larger portions until they reach new levels of stamina. Then the big day comes and the trainees’ endurance is put to the test at a Thai dinner party. Last night was one such test. We were invited to a neighboring village to celebrate the marriage of a Venezuelan man and a Thai woman who met in Australia and are now living in New Zealand…perhaps the most international couple I have ever met.
Anyways, the dinner party consisted of at least eight courses and I soon realized I left the gates too quickly. As in any long distance race, a good runner knows to pace herself and save a kick for the end. I definitely ate way too many fried shrimp, sliced pork strips, and stuffed chicken wings at the beginning of the meal to make a solid effort to eat much of the fish, rice, and vegetables that soon followed. By the time dessert had arrived, I was limping my way to the finish line and barely had enough energy left to lift my spoon.
Overall the food was delicious. My big takeaway from the night, however, was the importance of pacing when dining in Thailand. That said, I should lie down because I am just stuffed from tonight’s dinner.