Bags packed (Taschen gepackt) and motorbike fully fuelled (vollgetankt), we set off on the 672 turns back down to Chiang Mai. The hellish (höllische) ride we’d experienced (durchmachen) on the way up was replaced (ausgetauscht) by a great ride with beautiful scenery. Such a difference (Unterschied)! However (Allerdings), we did still encounter (treffen) the buses, as they several times overtook (überholen) us, leaving just inches of room. One even tried to overtake us on a blind corner, (toter Winkel) then aggressively sounded his horn (hope) at us to get out of the way when he realised (bemerken) there was actually a car coming the other way!

The ride ended up taking us about five hours as we stopped for a few photos and also to have lunch but the extra two hours from the bus option was well worth it (war es wert)! And so, excited, we returned to Chiang Mai for another two nights and again stayed at Green Sleep Hostel.

As we returned (zurückkommen) on a Sunday, we took in the excellent Sunday Night Market once more – this time a lot more efficient (effizient) knowing which food stalls we wanted to go to!

Next to numberless (unzählige) elephant sanctuaries, there is another major characteristic activity for Chiang Mai: there are about as many cooking schools as there are rescued elephants.

Seeing that our knowledge (Wissen) about food and cooking is rather limited to put it nicely (Tom: “Speak for yourself. I cook an excellent beans on toast!” (Bohnen auf Brot)), we both weren’t sure about what we got ourselves into (waren uns nicht sicher, worauf wir uns eingelassen hatten). We were excited but a bit anxious (ängstlich).

Due to the multitude (Menge) of cooking classes, all of which get five stars on Trip Advisor, it was quite a task to decide for which one we’d want to go for. Our choice fell onto Zabb E Lee Cooking School. What an excellent decision that was!

At 4pm, we were picked up and transported to a local market named Somphet market. There we were greeted with a big smile by our cooking instructor (Kochlehrer) for the evening: Ann. At the market, Ann told us everything and more you’d ever wanted to know about herbs (Kräuter), spices (Gewürze), vegetables and fruits. Her knowledge (Wissen) is absolutely amazing (erstaunlich) and I can honestly (ehrlich) say, I cannot remember a single thing she told us! Nonetheless (nichtsdestotrotz), for the moment it was highly educational (extrem lehrreich).

After our ‘little’ introduction (Einführung), she gave us time to have a look around and buy goods if we wanted, while she bought all the ingredients (Zutaten) we’d need for the evening.

We then hopped back on the minibus, which drove us to Ann’s home, where we’d start cooking our previously chosen meals (zuvor gewählte Gerichte). Everybody would cook 4 meals: one appetizer, one stir-fried meal, a curry, a soup (Suppe). Finally we’d cook some mango sticky rice all together. We had an evening full of food ahead of us!

After arrival, Ann treated us to some Rosella juice, while she set up all the ingredients (Zutaten) we’d need.

Let the cooking begin! First, we’d prepare (vorbereiten) and cook our chosen soup. I chose to cook a stuffed cabbage (gefüllter Kohl) soup and Tom would cook a Tom Kha Kai soup. Ann instructed (anleiten) every single step, she explained (erklären) what we have to do and looked out (beobachten) for all of us. In no way (In keiner Weise) we felt that she left us alone or didn’t pay enough attention (Aufmerksamkeit). She guided (leiten) us all through step by step, so that everybody would be happy with the result (Ergebnis). And I can say, my soup was absolutely delicious! On top of that, Ann was very charming (charmant) and funny (lustig); making lots of jokes (Witze) to keep us entertained (unterhalten; im Sinne von einer Show bieten).

After having prepared (vorbereiten) the ingredients (Zutaten) for the soups, we moved on (weitermachen) to our stir fried dishes. Chicken Pad Thai for Tom and Cashew Nut with chicken for me. Again, Ann guided (leiten) us through step by step and made it look so easy. We crushed (zerkleinern), we squeezed (zerquetschen), we fried (braten), we cooked all without Ann getting tired (müde werden) of cracking a joke (Witz reißen) at any time possible. We had a lot of fun.

We all successfully (erfolgreich) finished our soups and stir fried meals, without burning (anbrennen lassen) anything and without anybody getting hurt (ohne, dass sich jmd verletzt). What a success (Erfolg)! Now it was time to eat! We all gathered (versammeln) around a huge table and we proudly (stolz) shared (teilen) our food with anybody that wanted to try. I think I speak for both of us, when I say that we were very surprised (überrascht), yet (jedoch) very proud (stolz) of ourselves. Thanks Ann!

Next, the curries! Tom chose to cook a green curry, while I was looking forward to cook my favourite Thai dish: Massaman Curry. We first had to prepare a fresh curry paste. Again, Ann explained (erklären) to us what ingredients (Zutaten) we’d need plus which ingredients it is possible to leave out when recooking the dishes at home (some herbs and vegetables aren’t available (erhältlich) outside Thailand). Once we had prepared everything we’d need, we started mixing and grinding (zermalmen) the ingredients by hand with a pestle (Stösel) and mortar (Reibeschale), until a soft paste was left. We then proceeded (weitermachen) to cook our chosen curry dish. Again, there were no problems at all and we never had the feeling of being left alone or not knowing what to do. The results (Ergebnisse) were amazing. Several lovely smelling (riechende) and great looking curry dishes, waiting for us to consume (konsumieren)!

We’d have to wait though. First we would prepare some Mango Sticky Rice and the appetisers.

Ann asked for two volunteers (Freiwillige) to prepare the sauce for the mango sticky rice, and neither Tom nor me hesitated (zögern) to volunteer. Mango sticky rice is one of the famous traditional Thai dishes alongside Pad Thai and Thai green/red curry. Sweet sticky rice with chopped mango pieces all covered (bedeckt) in a salty white sauce. We did as Ann told us and the result was lovely, although I have to say that I’m not a huge fan of Mango Sticky Rice. Tom however, absolutely loves it.

Finally we prepared our appetisers. Fresh spring rolls for Tom and my all-time favourite fried spring rolls for me! It turned out to be quite an easy task which I was very pleased (zufrieden) with. From now on there’s going to be fried spring rolls every dinner at home!

Once we were all done, it was finally finally (endlich) eating time again. Just as before, we shared our meals with anybody who wanted to try and Tom was very pleased when I handed over (rüberreichen) my portion of the Mango Sticky Rice to him (without the mango though). It was a real shame (Es war eine wirkliche Schande), but I didn’t manage to finish all my food, as I was thoroughly stuffed (absolute vollgestopft), ready to explode (bereit zu explodieren).

We both agreed (Wir wares uns einig), an evening spent cooking and eating a whole lot of food is an evening well spent. And it’s even better with a great host (Gastgeber), teacher and nice people to share your food with.

Five kilos heavier (schwerer) but very happy, we once more hopped on the minibus, which would take us back to our accommodation, where we’d have a very good nights sleep dreaming (träumen) about food.