Warning: The below post lacks cynicism, sarcasm (for the most part), and other literary-based tools commonly utilized in prior posts/blogs
Every so often you come across an individual that has made the deliberate choice to dedicate their lives to that of others. Someone so selfless, it appears that the happiness of others is the only fuel that keeps themselves alight (+5 points for sentimental analogy!). And while historical figures such as Mother Theresa, Gandhi or even Wilson from Tool Time encompassed similar traits (yes Wilson, go with it), they unfortunately lacked the one ability that truly would have placed them on a platform all by themselves - Some damn good culinary skills.
And that is where you find Khun Saiyuud Diwong - More affectionately known as Poo - An unfortunately nicknamed women (unless you are a hipster who revels in ironic graphic t-shirts), from the slums of Bangkok, who decided that feeding her friends, family and community was her life's endeavor. With an overly-successful cooking school, recycling a nonstop flow of tourists 313 days a year (Sundays are a "holiday"), Poo's greatest accomplishment (aside from a damn good green curry), is keeping to her roots (a notion which every Detroit Lions fan can truly appreciate). Despite the fact that she earns more in one day than most her neighbors see in an entire year, she still lives in the slums, where poverty, disease and constant flooding threaten her way of life. She still purchases food from the local market (just like your local HEB w/a slight hint of chaos/madness). And the only "extravegance" acquired from the proceeds of her school is a fairly efficient air conditioning unit that keeps the "mose-keet-o's" at bay. Instead of surrounding herself in a life of luxury never dreamed possible, she instead fulfills that same dream for those lucky enough to call Poo their family/friend/neighbor. Delicious free meals, life-saving medicine, and even the occasional trip to the beach (which apparently was a BYOB event), all small tokens that make the world of difference to those born to nothing.
In what is starting to sound like a NY Times piece of Poo's Cooking School is honestly my attempt at expressing gratitude to a lady who not only provided Julie and I the inspiration to make some bomb-ass Thai food upon our return to the States, but also left us with a sense of appreciation knowing that people like her still exist in this world. Willing to convert her own success into the betterment of others, one "I Cooked With Poo and I Liked It" t-shirt at a time.
Onto the pics: