^That bag of green circular shaped items is the noodles that I bought at the daily market. Below them to the left are the quail eggs. To the right is my favorite deep fried snack that I probably keep going on about, and in the middle are the bananas that a friend gave me. Anything in this picture not in a bag wasn’t from this shopping trip.
Yesterday and today have been cold, rainy days. I needed to do some laundry, and since it’s still wet and raining outside, I washed enough clothes for a couple days in the bathroom sink and hung them in the hâawng-náam (literally-“water closet”, referring to the bathroom) and my hâawng-naawn (literally-sleep room, referring to the bedroom). I had trouble getting to sleep last night, for a few reasons.
We went to buy things yesterday. I definitely needed to get some fruits and vegetables, as I was down to one head cabbage and some garlic for fresh vegetables, and was out of fresh fruit, except for two bunches of bananas that a friend gave to me, and half a papaya (which was from a friend of a friend) left over from breakfast. I was also out of tofu and peanuts, out of which I had been making peanut butter, and I was hoping to eat a good supper of street food from the stands at the Monday market.
Because of the rain, we suspected that there wouldn’t be as many vendors at the Monday night market, but we were going to the daily market (which is under a shelter) anyway. I bought some fried vegetable spring rolls for supper. The vendor cut them in half and served them in a bag with a thin pointed stick and a small bag of sweet and sour sauce (which I did not eat). I used the stick to pick up the spring rolls and ate them as I walked around the market. I didn’t know what to expect at the Monday market, so I bought enough fruit and vegetables for the week, and it’s likely that at least some, such as the carrots, should last me more than a week.
I have to admit that I was disappointed with the quality of some of the items, but, looking back, I see that some of my disappointments were actually blessings, tokens of God’s love.
The first thing I purchased was a bag of quail eggs for 50 baht. I decided to get some potatoes, but while I was digging around to look for ones of good quality (I am fussy.), I saw a roach hiding in the pile. I poked at it with a potato and it moved, so I know it was alive. Disturbed, I covered it up (I’m not sure if I did the right thing.). I didn’t want to offend nor disappoint the lady who was selling the potatoes, so I stuck with the two I had picked out, and also selected a bag of 3 baby corn. She encouraged me to get a bag of mushrooms, too, which I gave away before leaving the market. At another stand I selected a few carrots. The vendor weighed them, and urged me to get one more, which I did.
I was disappointed with the red onions. I bought a bag of tiny red onions, and saw some later that I would have preferred to get instead, if I hadn’t already gotten some. It was difficult to find some that looked in good shape for a price that I thought they were worth, and these did not. I also bought some other cooking onions, and I think the quality and price were alright.
Another one that disappointed me was the fruit. I purchased a small package of small oranges for 20 baht, and 4 of them were rotten. I saw what looked like better deals (maybe not cheaper, because they were larger) at other stalls. The oranges were also soft, so they were suspicious. However, when I ate the oranges today, I realized that they are probably mandarin oranges. The softness does not mean rottenness, as they do not seem rotten, and are sweet and delicious, and do not have too many seeds. I like them.
I found a small bag of tomatoes for 5 baht, which I thought was a reasonable deal. We had gotten into the car when I remembered that it was the only place the missionary family that brought me knew to buy some msg free noodles of the similar-to-instant-ramen variety. I compare them to Chinese noodles. We found one package of dusty green noodles, but the bag held air, and the noodles were vegan and msg free, colored green with pandan powder, which is from a plant, and didn’t have all the garbage that your typical instant-ramen in the US was (it’s not the same thing, but that’s what I compare it to, though they also have Chinese noodles in the US, so if you’ve seen those curly Chinese noodles, it’s a better comparison). I was disappointed and disturbed that the packaging was dusty and looked a little damaged, but looking back, I realize that it was a blessing and a token of God’s love that there was one package there waiting for me. I’m also thankful that our leader showed me the ones.
I was also hoping to find starfruit. I had seen some before, but was disappointed not to find any. Maybe it was there somewhere? Oh well, it was a blessing, our leader’s patient and helpful wife looked up what kind of a threat roaches posed to health and hygiene, and didn’t find much, and I washed the potatoes anyway. Besides all that with the roach business, I realize that roaches and other bugs could be crawling all over the produce even when we can’t see it, it’s just that seeing it disturbed me. It was not such a bad experience after all, though I do think, after going to the Monday market on a rainy day, that I’ll stick with the Monday market and the Thursday market for fresh produce and other things, even if it’s raining, but may go back to the daily market to get more noodles (I cannot say for sure, as I have not tried the noodles yet, and I cannot predict the future anyway). I think that tomorrow I will make a noodle soup.
^Carrots, apples, and oranges from the daily market on the right. Greens (I’m not sure, whether I got these thin greens at the Monday market or daily market, now that I think about it.) in the upper left corner. The bag in front on the left toward the middle is sweet potatoes from the Monday night market, and I think that’s red onions in the lower left corner. There’s other things there, too, but I don’t remember what it was and can’t identify it right now. It might be the other bag of onions and some unseen items, but it might not.
My dad and stepmother sent me a beautiful shiny butterfly birthday card with a carefully selected cash gift of clean bills. ((My dad is very kind, thoughtful, careful, patient and generous toward me. I love him . I would love him even if he wasn’t, but he is. I love my stepmother, too, who has also been very patient towards me and kind to me.)) We went to Tesco, but first I went to the bank right next door to cash the gift along with some donations I had received from others. At Tesco I purchased a package of 4 thin rolls of tissue (toilet paper, though we use it mainly as napkins and tissues here in Thailand), a bottle of sesame oil, a bottle of sunflower seed oil, oats, peanuts, yakinori seaweed, dates, daifuku, garlic salt, hair conditioner, and dog food.
Despite the rain, which had pretty much stopped when we arrived at the market, there was a good selection of produce. The vendor who sold fried and boiled quail eggs was there, and I tried a basket of fried eggs. The vendor who sold my favorite snack was also there. To my disappointment, I didn’t see any sticky rice doughnuts, which I’ve really only seen once, and was hoping I would find again if I went early enough (but either the vendor was not there, or the vendor was there, but the doughnuts were not). Maybe it was because of the rain? Perhaps I aught to buy some sticky rice and make my own Hmong cake (sticky rice doughnuts are very similar). I also found tofu.
^On the right is baby corn and something else. Could it be tomatoes? I’m not sure, and am now questioning whether I got the tomatoes from the same vendor as the baby corn and the potatoes, or if I got the baby corn and tomatoes from a different vendor than the one who sold the potatoes. In the upper right are some small greens. I’m not sure what it is. It seems to me to be a cross between cabbage and collards. Maybe it is one of the other (baby collards/baby cabbage with the leaves), a hybrid, or something totally different. I think I should ask a friend to name these greens for me. In the middle top is leeks, then there are my Tesco purchases and something else. There are other items, too, that you cannot see.
A man enthusiastically offered to sell me some cabbages. I like cabbage and they keep for at least a few weeks (I usually eat them up so I don’t know how long these will keep for), so I bought one kilo, which was two, for 30 baht. The very next vendors on that side (if I remember correctly) were a friend’s parents. I was thinking about buying some leeks from them, but they gave me the leeks, along with some Asian cabbages and a bag of tomatoes for free. They might have already decided to before I even noticed they were there, because I think I first noticed when they were already giving away free produce to the person who was leading me through the market (going ahead of me, anyway), who happens to be another friend, and our leader’s wife.
My friend’s parents are so sweet, kind, and generous. They have given me free produce at least once before, though I think twice, and I’m pretty sure I got a discount the last time I shopped with them.
I’m thankful for all the people who have been kind and generous toward me. Thank you. You might not realize just how God has used you, but He has, and your gift has made a difference in more than one way.
A little bit can go a long way here. At Tesco, I also topped up on my phone, and on the way back we refilled the water jugs, which are huge. I didn’t keep track as well as I should have on how much I spent. When that happens, I try to guess on the high side, and I’m also going to round up for this one…This shopping trip cost me less than 900 baht. That actually converts to a little more than $25 on google right now. That’s a little over 25 US dollars, and I’m not planning on eating all this food up in one week, but it seems that it’s better if I don’t set goals on how long the food and other items should last. I’m expecting that most of these things that will keep well and that I have a lot of, should get me through a few weeks, though. Perhaps I will share later how long some of these things lasted me. I’m thankful, though. God is good. He has provided, and shown me that I do not have to worry about things like “what will I eat” in the future. I am very blessed to have this abundance here. God is good. He has promised already to provide ((See Isaiah 33:16 and Matthew 6.)), and that He has been doing in more ways than I expected already. God is good.
The refrigerator went from seeming almost empty (one reason being that I wanted to eat most of what I had before buying more, and possibly also because I have been eating pretty well) to being stuffed to the point where I had to carefully arrange to fit everything. God is good. God provided, and even though (as far as food is concerned) I think I had enough in the freezer and in dried goods to get me by for another week, I think, I’m very thankful we went to the market when we did, and that there was so much available despite the rain (also answers to prayers), and that now the fridge is packed, and I had to move ice packs out of the freezer to make more room, too. God is good. I’m thankful.
Today was another cold day, but a little warmer, I think, especially warmer in the kitchen. Today I prepped two of the three different types of greens that I bought (I’m not sure about one type, but I know one of the two was purchased at the Monday market.). I kept busy for a few hours thoroughly washing, inspecting, picking apart and cutting, boiling, and bagging the greens to put in the freezer, and then washed and boiled some quail eggs. I also washed the dishes and cleaned the counter, too. I usually don’t heat up water for washing dishes, but today I did for two different batches of dishes. Thankfully, the water came out somewhat warm, though not hot, so it was not unbearably cold, though it occasionally came out cold.
This morning I also fixed some hot herbal tea from mint purchased at the market the last Monday I went. It’s still good, and there’s still some left. I made enough for everybody, but only one actually took some, so even though I had 3 or four cups, which both warmed my hands and my insides temporarily, there was still a lot of leftovers. I emptied the pot of the mint not long ago and filled it with water to heat up for a hot water bottle, but it would not turn on, so I used the rice cooker, but that’s a blessing also, because it will keep the water warm even if I wait for hours before refilling the bottle, which is a large vinegar (actually artificial vinegar) bottle that I had thrown away, but fished out of the trash and washed for this purpose. Right now I have it in a pillowcase under my feet, and I just folded the pillow case over my feet again. It feels good, though my feet might be burnt in some places, as I did not wait for the water bottle to cool, and might have kept it under some spots for too long.
Pretty soon, I need to rearrange my laundry, most (if not all) of which I think is still wet. I’m thankful for the rain, because the Lord knows we needed it. It’s been very dry, and I was concerned for the trees (and also for the drinking water supply). The Lord knows how much we need(ed) to replenish the water supply and also to hydrate the trees, so if it rains all week, I’ll be OK with that, but I would prefer for it to be dry tomorrow, if we don’t need anymore, so that I can hang this laundry out if it’s still wet, and so that I can do more, as I have a lot that I want to wash this week.
^The water jugs, a bag of greens, and some other bags that I already showed you. I’m still not sure what’s in the one.