Buddhism doesn’t mean vegetarianism around here. Most everything is based upon some sort of meat or fish.
And getting across that you don’t eat meat, fish, or dairy isn’t exactly easy. We have tried the words and phrases in a small phrase book by Lonely Planet, but this is hit or miss. I get a lot of confused looks when I try to communicate “vegan” in Thai (Jen thinks it’s my accent, but I fail to see how it could be a problem for someone from Louisiana to communicate with someone from northern Thailand).
We are also armed with a weapon provided by a helpful guy on the train from Bangkok who, when he discovered we eat vegan, wrote down instructions to that effect in our phrase book. I whip this out at restaurants and let them read it. It works about two thirds of the time.
We are working through the challenges, and eating lots of papaya salad and vegetable stir fries with rice along the way.