28 June 2007

Another weekend

This week my first visitors to Lao from home came to visit. It was really good to see some people from home. I’m also glad they didn’t get food poisoning from the eateries I took them to. Pity the weather was so hot and humid for them, I think yesterday, their last day, was 37 degrees. Over a couple of days we chatted over a fair few beer Laos and some cocktails too. We went to That Luang, a large gold stupa, one of Lao symbols that appears on the bank notes and on the Lonely Planet I have. We didn’t go for very long because it was so hot. We also went bowling which was quite fun. A few lanes down my mate noticed a guy that was bowling and was holding the ball in the palm of his hand instead of putting his fingers in the holes. His technique seemed to work- I saw him bowl a couple of strikes.

Yesterday I had lunch with people at A’s work. We went for a buffet called Don Chane- part of the chain of Don Chan restaurants. It was cool to meet the people he works with. A’s boss owns the Microfinance Centre he works for. It trains financial institutions about microfinance and generally running their business. He also owns a lending institution and a magazine. Owning media in Laos is risky- it can get you chucked in prison so he has to manage it very carefully. He was much younger than I imagined- he has at least a few years before turning 40. I think this guy has the skills to promote real ability to lift people out of poverty and contribute to development in Laos. Therefore people from overseas take notice and he is often attending conferences and training sessions overseas.

It is wonderful living with an entomologist- we have a large millipede in the freezer. I suppose she will take it to work for training, but she is gone for a week so we’ll have to put up with it until then. Actually it is not an insect- it is a myriapod, I am proud I remembered! I like coming to Laos and discovering that ordinary things are different to home. The snails are longer and thinner and have flatter shells. There are extremely large snails with cone shaped shells. The millipedes here are tan in colour and look like mini- cigar to me. I think I have only ever seen black ones.

I went to an interesting market today. I’m feeling I know more about where food my comes from. The market had several pig heads. It had a couple of cow heads too. A woman was digging into a cow head with a knife- possibly trying to extract the brain? People were using small knives to cut the hair off pigs ears and legs for sale. I noticed some blackish coloured tripe sitting in a tub of water when usually it is pale in colour. I wonder why? Also, I saw a woman pouring brown liquid into sausage casing. It didn’t look quite red enough to be the colour of blood so I’m not sure what it was. Come to think of it, it may have been blood that had oxidized and she was making black pudding.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

tripe is blackish until cleaned. Dark liquid poured into intestines, pia?