Mae

 

This is the view from the front of Eid’s family home, looking out over a field owned by a retired schoolteacher who bought it to grow his own rice. I’m not sure why, since rice is cheap and plentiful in Thailand, but I suspect it has something to do with food safety, as Eid said he doesn’t use any chemical fertilizers or pesticides.

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That’s why Eid’s mother could safely help herself to the pak boong, or morning glory, in the field (morning glory grows like a weed in Thailand, so there’s no problem with taking it from another person’s field; and it’s very tasty stir-fried with garlic, chili and oyster sauce).

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Eid’s mother grows a lot of flowers. I asked her to hold one of them up, not so much because I wanted a better view of the flower, but because I wanted to get a photo of her hand.

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This is the hand of a woman who raised three young children on her own (Eid’s father died when she was about six), without ever working in an office or a restaurant or a factory (or getting any support from the government). She did this by feeding her children with food she grew herself, and by making things at home that she could sell for a few baht. As the oldest of three children, Eid also had to help earn money for the family, living and working with relatives who owned a bus company in Isaan (the northeast of Thailand) from an early age.

Eid rarely left comments on Facebook, but in this case, she felt a need to add something:

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