Sabaa di! I trotted across the border to Laos a few days ago, and on the bus to the border was accompanied by 4 baskets of courgettes and, of course, the obligatory chicken (complete with beady eye). Cruised on up to a chic little town called Muang Sing and from there went on a little 2-day trek into the villages. Wow! It was like stepping back 500 years, pigs, chickens, goats and not much else. Wooden houses on stilts, malnourished kids etc. We stayed overnight in one of the villages and coz these treks are pretty new, we were some of the first foreigners these guys had seen and were objects of mucho curiosity. We were treated to the traditional Akha massage, and carefully avoided the spirit gates and chose our chicken for the pot, all the normal tuesday night activities.
At the market they had lots of exciting fried things : small frogs, bigger frogs, and 3-inch insects (and as my many lady friends know, when I say 3-inches, i'm not kidding) on sticks. I have so far neglected to sample these delicacies, but I did munch on some larva of a bee-type thing. And it wasn't the tastiest thing i've ever eaten, but it beats yak butter.
I'm sure you'll all be delighted to know that it's pleasantly warm down here, i'm back in the Tevas and shorts, preparing myself for when i have to cross the equator, *sigh* and get even more tanned. And I can tell you that i'm not at all looking forward to lazing around on the islands off the coast of Thailand, or Indonesia, or the Phillipenes, one little bit.