Tuesday 24 April 2012: Giin khao reu yang?
Today I had a "working" lunch at my friend's restaurant. Toa is the chef and owner of the Thai Orchid Café in Lexington, Kentucky. We first became acquainted when she volunteered with the Indian Ocean tsunami recovery efforts in India and Thailand for Habitat for Humanity International-programs I was overseeing at the time. She and her husband Mike are giving people, who care for their local community and have reached out in struggling parts of the world.
Whenever I have Thai food, with its balance of hot, sour, salty and sweet, I am brought back to the times I lived and worked in Bangkok, where I often was given the traditional Thai greeting: "Giin khao reu yang?" (Have you eaten rice yet?) I learned there that care and hospitality make the loveliest dishes.
If you look behind Toa, you'll see her husband and my partner watching me take this photo. Never before had an audience-felt strange to be watched as I was trying to focus.