Most people love Thai food, although tourists generally want a milder, less spicy version of these delicious dishes. This often means that restaurants aimed for tourists only rarely serve good and authentic Thai food.
Eating is an important part of Thai live, although less time is now devoted to cooking, especially in Bangkok, where food can easily be bought from the local food stalls and where kitchens in the new condos are often too small to really cook. But when Thai families get together, food plays a central role and is always shared. At home or in a restaurant. Many prefer nowadays to go to restaurants, which have huge choices of different dishes (vegetable, meat, fish, rice, noodle, soup, and salads), instead of entertaining guests at home. This is because real Thai cooking takes a lot of time. To cater for a big family and to prepare the many different dishes means to first go to the market early in the morning to buy all the ingredients, then chopping the veggies, meat and fish, preparing the different curries and sauces, and finally cooking everything. Those you cook will however hardly have the time to sit down and enjoy the meal. Thus a restaurant visit is so much easier!
Food has also always played a central role during our fieldwork, and dinner was the pleasure of the day to look forward to, apart from the many sediment cores. And so were the many visits to the many markets with their food stalls and local delicacies.