Palm Fruit and the Profit of Life

Allow me to explain two things about Thai culture before we get to the juicy part of this post. The palm juicy part of it. Bahaha.

The Lemonade Stand

Business in Thailand is commonly operated out of the home. Whether it’s a thriving construction company or a simple boiled corn stand, there is often some sort of business happening at the house. I call these at home enterprises the Lemonaide Stands to simplify explanations and because a lot of them are literally stands on the side of the road, like the one photoed above.

The Profit of Life

“Gam rai chii wit,” which means “profit of life” is a Thai idiom used to describe life experiences that contribute to the richness of life. In Thailand the “profit of life” means stopping alongside the road multiple times between point A and point B. The profit of life in Thailand lays in the process of life. The experiences between point A and B are as important as point A and B.

I venture to conjecture that the “profit of life” and the “Lemonade Stands” are intertwined. The “Lemonade Stands” are possible because people do stop, browse and purchase in order to gain the “profit of life.”

Back to the Palm Fruit Story

At some point between stopping by a wedding and meeting up with some people in the Old City, we stopped at this palm snack stand. Immidiately, I’m annoyed because stopping for any nonessential things between point A and B drives me bonkers. I am not good at gleaning the “profit of life” by Thai standards.

In an effort to entertain my self on this stop, I took some pictures.

All of the snacks and sugars sold at this “Lemonade Stand” come from these trees

Behind the stand there’s this whole enterprise.

Palm fruit shells

Opening the fruit. It looks similar to coconut, doesn’t it?

Here’s the insides.

Washing the fruit

Packaging the merchandise to sell in front of the house and in town.

Several products are made from palm fruit. These are sugar discs.

Mmm they taste sugary

Finally, tasting the palm fruit. It tastes similar to fresh coconut. Not too surprising since they seem to be similar plants.

Clearly, this stop at the palm fruit stand turned out to be more interesting than I predicted. I guess there is some “profit of life” to making stops along the way now and then.

 

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