not all who wander are lost.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Mellow Day on the Mekong.

Laos. Wow. Breathtaking. Raw, untouched, picturesque beauty! It's slightly confusing- speaking Lao and paying in Kip. I've spoken Khmer, Thai, Dutch and Lao these past two months (and on occasion when I get really confused for some reason I'll speak spanish!). I've payed in US dollars, riel, baht, and Kip. Sometimes I have to say hello 3 times before I get it in the correct language.

$1usd =
4,000 Cambodian RIEL
30 Thai BHAT
8,000 Lao KIP

SuSuDay (Cambodia).
Su WA Dii kah (Thailand).
Sa BAI dee (Laos).

In two weeks I arrive in Bali, where I'll be using the Rupiah ($1usd= 8,800) and speaking Indonesian. I can't wait, and I don't want to forget all that I'm picking up. I've been trying to practice Khmer, Thai, Lao, and Dutch everyday--even if that studying only entails going through my notebook and reading them over a few times. Tonight I begin my German lessons from Sina and Philipp....I can't wait, it's a little less "throaty" than Dutch.

Right now we are 4 hours into our slow boat ride to Luang Prabang-- now only 5 hours to go! I'm not complaining though- this country is absolutely stunning. I have good company, I've brought along some good eats (papaya salad!) and it's nice to have some free time to practice my languages and plan my next few weeks. Aside from a few little adventures, my plans mostly consist of what I want to eat and where to get it! Ha! Here are some dishes I'm really looking forward to:

*jaew maak len - a dip of roasted tomatoes, chilis, and shallots
*khai phun - dried seasoned river moss
*koy paa - chunks of fish blended with herbs, lime juice and sticky rice
*naem khao - balls of cooked rice mixed with sour pork sausage and fried whole, then broken into saladlike dish, eaten with fresh leaves and herbs

And then....drumroll that I've already had, loved and vow to eat more of: LAAP. LAAP is Lao style salad of minced meat tossed with lime juice, mint, and chilis. Its serves with a plate of lettuce and herbs that you use to scoop it up and eat it with! Brilliant! My only other plans are to visit a waterfall in Luang Prabang, tubing and a 3day rock climbing course in Vang Vieng, and then one week in Vientinae eating, going to the herbal sauna, eating and doing yoga. Life is good.

-Miriam Beard : "Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living."

No comments:

Post a Comment