Dead socks


Dear Hillary,

My Thai girlfriend has come to live with me, and that’s great, but for one thing – she eats the worst smelling food you could ever imagine.  Dead socks would be the closest I could come to describing it.  When I walk in the door of my condo, I can tell right away whether she has been eating the stuff during the day.  I thought all Thai food was supposed to be the tastiest in the world.  Tastiest?  You wouldn’t go within a couple of yards of this stuff.  What is it, Hillary?


Dear Jim,

I will bet that your girlfriend comes from Isaan, and the dead socks is a delicacy called Pla Ra, which you can only really get in the Isaan region.  Does she have Isaan friends which have come down from the village?  They usually bring large bottles of this fermenting fish mixture and share it around amongst their friends.  It must be eaten on the tablecloth on the floor to get the really authentic taste of Isaan.  You won’t break her of this habit, my Petal.  You may have to insist that the Pla Ra is kept in a sealed container on the balcony, and eaten there too!  Best of luck.