The sweat was running down my face as I ate it. My host family's mother cooked it for me. I was going to spend 2 weeks with this family. It was the first night and I wanted to be polite but all I could think about was the burning in my mouth. I put a big smile on my face with the intent to be friendly, and not complain about the food. Eventually I finished it and she asked if I enjoyed it. I said I loved it and I thanked her.
 
Being from Nebraska, I did go through some culture shock but I had an amazing time as I spent the next couple of weeks learning about the culture of Thailand. They base a lot of their culture around an amazing respect of one another. The family was great and as the two weeks passed, I wanted to give them a gift to thank them. I decided on a basket of nuts and dried fruits. I thought it was a fairly safe gift for their culture and I wouldn't be overstepping with anything too elaborate.
 
On the last night, I gave the family the basket. They loved it and thanked me immensely. The mother told me (in what she knew of English) that she was going to give me something special too. A couple hours later, I was entertaining the kids in the other room with my butchered attempt at Thai when she came in and told me she had something for me. I followed her into the kitchen. Right on the counter she had the same meal that I had the first night. She said, "You loved it so much. I made it again for you to enjoy before leaving us."
 
Eating it the second time required almost as much discipline as the first but I really loved that woman and my time with the family was spicy but wonderful!
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It's Spicy But Wonderful
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