Free food

Bananas brought back from Phanat Nikhom, bamboo shoots picked from an overgrown grove on the CMU campus, and nam prik makham (chili paste with young tamarind). The bamboo shoots had to be boiled several times to remove their bitterness, and the nam prik makham also includes garlic, chili, ngapi (fermented fish paste), palm sugar and salt, but otherwise, no money was spent on these fresh, delicious foods. Even in Chiang Mai, it isn’t unusual to see people foraging for fruit, edible leaves or even ant eggs (a northern Thai delicacy) in any area that isn’t completely paved over.

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