First course is on the floor


Dear Hillary,

We moved into a new house last year. Has two kitchens, one for farang food and the other for Isaan cooking. This should work well, but it doesn’t. Dinnertime and the plates of Thai food are set out on the floor, and my food is on the table. I know this is what they do in the NE, but I believe that a ‘family’ eats together, which just helps in strengthening family relationships, not one at the table and the others on the floor. What makes it even more silly is at least one of the kids will eat with me and the other one with her mother and the grandmother on the floor. How do I get the whole family together at the table?


Dear Barry,

The clash of the cultures, I’m afraid. Your wife has very strong connections with her family in the NE, and will follow the culture, especially with her mother living with you too. You are trying to change things, she is trying to maintain the culture she knows. You must also remember where you are living, my Petal. This place is called Thailand, as is the NE. This is not a western country. Make the most of it, eat on the floor too and you might find the entire family will enjoy it.