One of the most interesting ways I know to engage with the world is through food. I'm not so much talking about sharing a meal, although that too is engagement, but more about getting insights into culture and into people's daily lives by learning about what they eat, where their food comes from, how they farm and fish, and also of course how households get everyday meals on the table.
I love hanging around in villages and small towns, especially in markets, but also in tea shops and out on the street, watching how the day unfolds for people. In many places, growing, gathering, and preparing food is the main task of everyone in the family but the infants. As an outsider I know little or nothing of the skills involved; I am an extreme beginner. And with a beginner's eyes I watch as fields are ploughed or harvested, rice and wheat are threshed and vegetables gathered, cattle or goats are milked, and food is prepared.
I'll be posting images and links on this page that are food and culture related. I encourage you to go to the photography page to see more images, and also to the Chiang Mai page, for there you'll find a way of getting immersed in the regional cuisines of Thailand. Also head off to some of the links, on the comments and links page; some of them have great images too.