The first time I visited Thailand, I was seven. In America, all I've ever known was my mom, dad, and brother. The idea of having ten cousins and grandparents was brand new to me. The second my mom, brother, and I got off the plane, we were greeted by at least 15 people with open arms. The 3 weeks I spent there aren't so clear now 10 years later, but I remember being surrounded by a kind of love that I was deprived of in America. My dad unfortunately could not come with us to Thailand due to health problems. He had not gone back home for at least 20 years, so his vision of his home lived through my brother and I. One thing he constantly told us about was how he would wake up early to go to the market to get fresh Kanom Krok, Thai coconut pudding cups. My brother and I were obsessed with finding out what they were. My relatives laughed at us, as Kanom Krok was just another sweet to them, but brought us to a cart that made them anyway. The joy of finally experiencing Kanom Krok was offset by the impeding doom of never having it again once I left Thailand. A lot of my memories of Thailand are bittersweet like that, I got a taste of a culture I could not possibly keep up with in America. On the last day, my family surprised us with a gift: Kanom Krok cookware and recipe. It still lies somewhere on my kitchen shelves, but seldom used to actually make Kanom Krok. But it serves as a reminder of my family back in my other home and the culture I’ve learned to embrace.
– Sandra Kumwong