I just hired a bicycle and rode it around town today. I knew there was bird flu in this province. So what did I do, ate eggs for breakfast, silly me, but they say a sick bird won’t lay eggs. The lady at the café said the market wasn’t allowed to sell eggs today but I did see cooked eggs for sale at the evening market. When cycling to one village we were stopped on our bikes. They sprayed our bikes with some kind of disinfectant, but it seemed a somewhat half- hearted attempt. Then we saw people dressed in those one- piece, head- to- toe suits when they’re handling something biohazardous. If I’d known there was bird flu at that village I wouldn’t have gone! Many rural Lao villages have chickens running around so the lack of squawking and chickens running out from everywhere was distinct.
I must describe some of the awesome food I’ve had here. The Boat Landing Guesthouse (where one of the owners disappeared last year) has some great northern Lao cuisine. Last night we had some food of the Akha ethnic group. We had a gorgeous chicken ginger soup, green beans with sesame. We also had a jeo, a Lao style dipping sauce much like a salsa, made of a forest ‘saw tooth’ plant and many other spices. Tonight we had Khao Soi, fresh cold rice noodles with pork cooked with fermented bean paste like the mince you get in mapoh tofu. We had freshly cooked rice paper rolls with preserved vegetables inside. We also had an interesting steamed rice cake with preserved vegetables in a banana leaf which you eat with sweet and sour sauce. Delicious!