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Retirement Party in Phitsanulok

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July 28, 2014 / Thai / By
Ryan Dickinson

When I was teaching in Sukhothai I had the opportunity to go on a few field trips with my students. Most notably, I chaperoned two trips to Bangkok and Chanthaburi for Science Camp and English Camp, respectively. Yet on one occasion I got to go on a field trip solely with the other teachers in my department. One weekend all of the foreign language teachers in my school went to Phitsanulok to celebrate the retirement of another teacher. We toured some of the city’s most famous temples, took a bus tour of the area, and shopped in one of the only malls in the region.  

My favorite part of our trip, however, was eating lunch. We ate lunch at a restaurant not just near the river, but on the river. Our tables were set up on rafts that we reached by walking across narrow wooden planks. As I walked across the planks to get to my seat all of the other teachers eyed me with worry. They seemed convinced I would trip and fall and insisted upon offering me a helping hand. Though it was slightly embarrassing to be seen as the only individual who required assistance, I was still excited about this particular adventure.

 My surroundings were beautiful. On one side I was encompassed by mountains and on the other I had a view of the river just as it dropped in depth creating a small waterfall. About every fifteen minutes a rafting tour group would paddle by lost in adventure and excitement. At the time I didn’t know the name of the restaurant or even where I was outside the city of Phitsanulok and, to be honest, I still don’t. It was simply one of those experiences that is almost impossible to describe.

 We didn’t order our own meals. Instead numerous Thai dishes were delivered to our table and we ate ‘family style.’ Our meal consisted of superbly made traditional Thai dishes with condiments that included my absolute favorite Thai chicken dipping sauce. Grilled fish, fried fish, grilled chicken, tom yum soup, papaya salad, and rice were just some of the dishes we had to choose from.  My fellow teacher and friend Heather wasn’t really a fan of Thai food so the other teachers had a special dish of fried rice made especially for her.

This led to an interesting discussion of how fried rice, though Americans consider it to be largely an Asian dish, is considered ‘farang’ food in Thailand. Or, in other words, it is a dish almost exclusively consumed by Westerners. Our meal was peppered with the interesting and colorful discussions that typically result from the merge of different cultures. This was the first time I got to talk in length with the Cameroonian and Chinese teachers at my school. It’s perhaps because of this I retain such fond memories of this one meal. Situated in a unique setting I got to bond with my fellow teachers. It was an experience I couldn’t have gotten just as a tourist in Thailand. This meal ultimately reinforced one of the most important lessons I’ve learned: that sometimes it’s not the food that makes a meal memorable, it’s the experience.


N/A

Country: Thailand

Province/State: Sukhothai

City: Phitsanulok

Address: N/A

Zip/Post Code: N/A

Location Tips: N/A

Phone: N/A

Website:N/A

Price Guide:$$ (What's this?) N/A = home cooked meal,etc
$ = street food, fast food,etc
$$ = bistro, cafe, pub, bar,etc
$$$ = fine dining,etc

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