After living in Thailand for a grand total of ten days I moved in with the host family I would live with for the next nine weeks of training. Being the hospitible people they were, they were very concerned with making lots of delicious food for me. It wasn’t unusual for my host mother to ask me what I wanted for dinner. Problem was, I didn’t know how to say anything, but Phad See Ew because it was my favorite dish to order at Thai restaraunts in the States. So anytime she asked me what I wanted for dinner, I said Phad See Ew. For lunch I ate out around town with the other volunteers in between training sessions. Since Phad See Ew was the only thing I knew how to say, I ended up ordering Phad See Ew for many a lunch. After several days of eating Phad See Ew for lunch and Phad See Ew for dinner, I was thrilled to finially reach the food unit in Thai class. The first time I was able to tell my host mom I wanted something other than Phad See Ew for dinner she laughed out loud and told me how much she hates Phad See Ew and was so glad I wanted something different.
Now a days, Phad See Ew is more of a treat for me than a common meal. The cornerstone of a usual Thai meal is a heaping bowl of rice. Every person has their own bowl of rice and spoons portions of a variety of dishes from the middle of the table, called gap kao (with rice) onto their rice. Since Phad See Ew is a noodle dish it is not a gap kao and therefore not eaten with rice. This means Phad See Ew is more of a dish that someone purchases for themselves individually or makes up to serve the masses. The only time I eat Phad See Ew now is when I go to out and order it. And today was one of those days. I biked down the road for lunch and stopped at my favorite restraunt/hut.
I like mine with vinegar, fish sauce and lots of sweet chili sauce 1. I think adding sweet chili sauce 1 to noodles is something peticular to the area I live in. Whenever I go to a different province and ask for sauce with my noodles, I get a look like I just asked for ketchup to add to mac and cheese.