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nakrian

khi nok, among other things

Tag Archives: fruit

I was enjoying a bit of afternoon AC and a refreshing iced green tea at Shine’s Café before venturing out into the muggy oven that is my village when my adorable, trouble-making student, Poon, burst into the café.

Poon, my 5 year-old student

“Teacher! Teacher!” He yells.

Sawatdii kah, Poon.” I respond.

Kong Kwan! For you! Longan!” He says in his best attempt at an indoor voice.

He hands me a large bag of longan– I’m assuming picked fresh from his yard judging by the number of ants crawling on the stems of the shelled fruit.

Kobp kun kah, Poon! Thank you.”

“You’re welcome, Teacher.” He rattles off his memorized response like a calculator responding to the input “1+1=.”

Poon grins, wais, and runs out the door and into his mother’s idling car.

This cute little interaction was a great pick-me-up before my 5 mile (8km) training run. Love my students!

Longan, aka Dragon Eyes

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Anxiously waiting for my bananas to ripen

Thailand’s rainy season is off to a good start– thunder, lightening, and afternoon downpours tuk-wan.1 While the sky might be gray and cloudy, the local vegetation is thriving, thanks, in part, to the warm climate and increased humidity. My friend, Emiko, has several banana trees in her yard, so she gave me a cluster of near-ripe bananas to share with Sigma. However, the bananas, being quite heavy, might bruise if left to ripen on the ground and since ants and beetles love to feast upon bruised fruit, we devised a way to keep the cluster off the ground and out of harms way. Pretty crafty, eh?

Yesterday, I spent the day at Suranaree University of Technology, where Michael teaches English. After I completed a 6 mile training run, we went to lunch at Coffee Pitini, a popular farang2 restaurant located near SUT’s front gate. I ate my first mushroom and mozzarella calzone since living in Thailand–mmmm, so good. I also learned how to ride a motorbike (finally)!

Cheese, bread, and any combination thereof, are not staples in the typical Thai diet

I stumbled across a number of interesting insects during my visit to SUT– many of which happened to bunk with Mike. However, my favorite had to be this broad-nosed weevil. As it lay dying, ants began to swoop in, pulling at it’s legs and antennae in an attempt to bring it to their colony. I like to think that this guy’s glittering shell inspired Lady Gaga’s 2010 Grammy Awards costume.

Ants trying to move a dying metallic weevil

I was sad to leave SUT’s beautiful, insect-filled campus– but more than anything, I dreaded the return trip back to my village. Two crowded buses and 1.5 hours later… home! Oh, and one of the bus drivers even managed to charge me an extra ฿5, because I am a Farang. As I got off the bus, he said “law len3 while he and the other passengers laughed and laughed. Joke’s on me; I didn’t get my ฿5 back.

1. Every day

2. Western/Westerner

3. Just kidding

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A Sikhiu resident brought the Shine Café regulars a basket of ma-muang* that he grew in his garden. This type of ma-muang has no fragrance prior to being cut and is quite hard– even when ripe. They are fairly large and heavy, and unlike most other ma-muang, are round in shape. Golf, the barista at Shine Café, prepared the ma-muang for us, as cutting them is no easy feat. They are a crunchy and not at all juicy, with a texture similar to that of apples. The flavor balances between lightly sour and lightly sweet. This ma-muang species is subtly reminiscent (in flavor) of the mangoes you’d buy in America, but it is ultimately more like a crisp apple shot with mango perfume. Alloy mak!**

Munching on some ma-muang. Alloy Mak!

Prepared by Golf, "barista" at Shine Café


*Mangoes

**Very delicious!

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This little fruit is such a delight– and has quickly become one of my favorites in Thailand. Peel back the fruit’s leathery shell to reveal the milky-white segments of the longkong flesh. The fruit is divided into segments, much like an orange. The flavor is subtly acidic with a rich, sweet finish. Julia Morton, author of “Fruits of Warm Climates,” describes the taste as a cross between a concord grape and a perfect grapefruit. However, if you happen to crunch on one of the seeds, you are in for an extreme example of bitterness. The texture of the fruit is unreal– it feels quite smooth on your teeth and tongue, perfectly lush. Just describing these guys makes my mouth water. Thais use a pinching technique to open the fruit so that they don’t get sap on their fingers. My opening technique, however, is all knees and elbows, and I inevitably end up sticky. In a Thai street market longkong run about ฿40 per kilo (roughly $1.30 for 2.2lbs).

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