| about this site |
who we are |
site map |
reading tips |
teaching tips |
student tips |
build vocab |
Good stories from small beginnings
Can someone make a good story out of a very ordinary event? Can a very ordinary item lead to a tale of discovery? Well, yes. Some of our most enjoyable stories start with everyday events.
Today’s story for you to read is an example of that. Our writer, Suthon Sukphisit is an expert on all things traditionally Thai and has a curiosity that drives him to learn more. He is an experienced cook and gourmet (an expert on good food) as well. You’re going to enjoy reading how a frustrating kitchen experience led him to a local market in search of information.
It starts in the kitchen
Before you start reading any story, it’s a good idea to have a look over the whole text to get an idea where the writer is going to take you. As you do that, you make a kind of story map in your mind. Here’s some practice doing that.
Read the notes below to help you scan through the story then write the paragraph numbers beside each topic in the story map box.
Tips and information
During his visit to two knife stores, Suthon learned a lot about buying and caring for knives – things all cooks would like to know.
After you have read the story, work with a partner to write a short role-play conversation between a knife seller and a customer. To do that, you will have to remember what the sellers told Suthon. Then write some questions for the customer and the answers of the seller.
Tell your own story
Do you have a story yourself? Has something happened to you recently that led you to a discovery or to an unexpected and fun place?
Think about the different parts of Suthon’s story: the theme, the experience that sparked his curiosity, the pursuit of information, and finally some general thoughts on the subject. Use this as a pattern for planning your own story. With a little preparation, you should be able to tell it in English.
Check it out
Suthon says that Thais tend to use mostly narrow-bladed knives and keep them sharp by stroking them across the bottom of a plate. Do you think those statements are true? Check them out.
The next time you stop by a roadside vendor for a bowl of noodles with sliced pork, your favourite somtam stand or the fish shop, notice what knives are being used. Ask the vendors why they use a particular knife, what makes it suitable for the job. What are the knives made of? Where were they bought? Find out how often they sharpen their knives and what method they use. Are there differences depending on which region of the country the cook comes from?
Make a few notes and diagrams; see how much information you and your fellow classmates or study group friends can collect.
If you don’t live in Thailand, make a visit to your local market or food shop to find out about the knives used there. Do different people in the same shop have different preferences? Where are good knives purchased where you live?
OUR STORY FROM THE BANGKOK POST
bristles dampen cleaver hack racket chipped dents intact season (v) no-nonsense type firm mince wok array carve
Answers: 2 para 2-5, 3 para 6-14, 4 para 15-20, 5 para 21.