On 4 January 2014 after several days of great holiday meals cooked at the family home, rather than going out to restaurants, Paula has a favorite new sentence to teach me, as we drive off to Chiang Mai for a meal with her friends at the fun Shabu Shi Japanese buffet.

Tung kor mai jai, kin ow, kin ow!!

Translated to English from the Thai, it means "Paid no money, but eat eat eating yummy food!"

  • Spoken with great ebullience!

  • No guarantees about the spelling of the Thai words. Ha ha

On the edge of town, Paula spots a special sale and doubles back on the highway to go to the sale. We need to buy a wedding present for her friends and she says this will be perfect for them, "Salami!"

Hmmmmm, salami! I couldn't recall ever having seen any salami in Thailand. Seemed like an odd wedding present, but maybe salami is such a rarity here, that it would be a valued present. I have a lot to learn about their customs and preferences.

We park the truck and walk toward the Big Sale, which seems to be under large white tents. I'm wondering whether they'll have any samples of the salami to taste. My mouth is watering, it's been a long time since I had any salami.

We turn the corner and enter one of the big tents. Inside there are long tables, all covered with stacks and stacks of fine china. They're gonna serve the salami on china??? I'm feeling disoriented. "Oooooh, salami, salami!" Paula says to me.

And then it dawned on me. We were in a part of Northern Thailand known for its outstanding ceramics production. It was the china on the tables that was on sale. "Ceramics? ummm, ceramics on sale?" I asked. "Yes! Salami," only now it sounded more like "Ceramics!"

We bought a lovely twenty piece set for the wedding present and an elegant eleven piece tea set for our friends in Bangkok: 2,350 Thai baht, $72 USD after conversion.

Ron Chester, Santa Clara ‼

02/24/14; 03:04:07 AM

Last built: Sun, May 4, 2014 at 9:44 PM

By Ron Chester, Monday, February 24, 2014 at 3:04 AM.