Man, 25 went fast.
And it had some major ups and downs. But 26 is starting to look really, really good. When Kyle asked me yesterday morning if being older felt any different, I’m pretty sure I gave him some sarcastic, flippant answer like, I can feel the gray setting in! Oh, my back! But the truth is that it feels wonderful. 26 feels stable and settled in the best of ways, like I’m finally moving towards what I’m supposed to be doing. And even if I’m not, it feels like I’ll be able to figure out how to get there. I’ve started actually enjoying running, for god’s sake.
And the best part of it is – having a birthday is an excellent opportunity to do something you’ve always wanted to do. So we went to cooking school! I think I found the brochure for this place our first day in Chiang Mai, and I’ve been wanting to go ever since. You go to a market to learn all about Thai ingredients (and although I know my way around a Thai market by now, I never feel comfortable taking pictures of the one in my own neighborhood lest I be permanently marked a tourist). Then you go out to their organic farm, where they show you all of the things they grow and then you get to cook with all the stuff from the market and the farm. IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!!! And we were so completely stuffed by the end of the day that we didn’t even eat dinner – well, we had cake for dinner, but that doesn’t count. And brought home two whole bags of leftovers. To round out the celebrations, I think I’m going to treat myself to a massage tomorrow.
All of the ingredients for my red curry! I left almost all of the seeds out so it wouldn’t kill me.
Tom Kaa Gai, coconut chicken soup
Kyle’s Tom Yum
Basil Chicken! (Kyle makes funny faces when he cooks)
Cashew nut chicken
Mango sticky rice, which I made by hand from fresh coconut cream, palm sugar, pandan, and the most delicious mango ever. OH MY GOOD.
And a note on air quality. You may remember this picture from when we first arrived:
And this was yesterday:
Gross. Thankfully the burning season is almost over, and we can spend time outside again.
Also, our class at TFH had their graduation ceremony for the term on Friday, and were, as usual, completely adorable. Some of them even wore their traditional Shan clothes.