Bird poop foreigner

I got my first bicycle after school friends pushed me often enough down the field until gravity did not take control and I took flight. Oh the adventures I would go on by myself off into the surrounding villages, through rice paddies and down dirt lanes. Being the very youngest in a group of mismatched teenagers made it easy for me to “disappear” for hours at a time. Dust clouds of Thai children my age would yell “farang kii nok” (bird poop foreigner) as I pedaled by their homes. My retort was ” khon Thai kii kwai” or “Thai people were water buffalo poop” since that is a bigger plop of stink.

Just who or what makes a foreigner? I grew up thinking I belonged right where I was at the time. It was the other people who had their traditions and mindsets as to what was in or out. I have roots back to County Mayo, Ireland; Cornwall, England; Bermuda, Switzerland and other spots. Hmmm – family members placed feet on this soil..displacing others, in the 1700’s and earlier. Some were up to no good and should have been sent back to their ports of departure.

Most of the vegetables we grow are foreigners. Consider the squash. It’s name comes from the Narragansett people (Wikipedia) but the plant originates in points south of the border. It was eaten both raw and cooked. I think the sugar folks took us down the broad path and here we are!

Pumpkin chai is a sweet drink for folks to try this week. A frozen blob is added to 1/2 cup black tea and 3/4 cup milk or coconut milk. Chai is good both as a cold or hot drink. I think it is here to stay.