16/12/2008 – Tried Squirrel? I got the t-shirt…
I got my staff t-shirt today which I was very excited about. I intend to wear it for the rest of the week, all day and night, until I leave. I think I must be the shortest term member of staff at Spicylaos, but I’m happy to be doing my bit. Plus, I get my bed for free.
I had lunch with Pong and the Lao family who live here. It never ceases to bore me to eat sticky rice and lots of different dishes. The only problem with sticky rice is that it is incredibly filling and makes you want to nap all afternoon. Alas, my nap was not be quite yet as I was put to work on making two new signs out of Spicylaos t-shirts. For those that know me, you will know that I’m not exactly Picasso and I am also left-handed. So a job that might take someone half an hour to do took me a couple of hours because I had to work so slowly at writing the lettering and getting the spacing right. As it was most of it was wonky, but that was the best I could possibly do. And to celebrate, Pong and I drank a mini bottle of Cava that he’d been saving for a special occasion, and I convinced him that this was pretty special (well, kind of).
For dinner, I ate with Pong and the family again. This time the Granny disappeared and came back with an omelette that she had whizzed up for me because they were worried about my falang tastebuds. I thought that was so sweet and I felt a bit bad because I didn’t want to put anyone out: sticky rice alone would suit me just fine. So along with the omelette I ate sticky rice and a Lao dish which was like a stew with chunk of animals in it such as Squirrel and Wild Chicken. I was intrigued by the Squirrel so they fished a chunk out for me to try. It was an unusual tasting meat, quite earthy and rich. The Wild Chicken was dried, as I was informed by Pong who asked why I hadn’t finished. I had thought I had reached the bone as it was hard, but in fact it was just chewy. Pong told me that a lot of the meat here is dried out or salted to preserve it as a lot of people here don’t have refrigerators. It was interesting to talk with Pong about food as he will eat anything that moves and comes from the background where they had to eat whatever they could get. Of course, this differs from my attitude to food – I am a particularly fussy eater. Nevertheless, I have endeavoured to try several new things on my travels. So far I have checked off Rat, Water Buffalo and Squirrel off the list.