Thursday, February 3, 2011

A week visiting the southern provinces - part 2

I have had my quota of Pho (noodle soup) few months. A typical day can be pho for breakfast (I struggle with the meat in it at breakfast), Sticky rice and chicken & vegetables, and pho again for dinner. One morning there was French bread sticks, but my companions prefer the noodles. I have turned down animal intestines, fish with more bones than flesh, green leaf soup…I avoid the fish as I dislike the bones, but the broth that they often come in is divine. I hope my companions don’t notice I just take the broth.

I'm not sure #4,#5 are supposed to be
'insipid soup'
 You notice that villages specialise in something. One village may have stalls out the front and all of them are selling knives. In the next village all of them are selling charcoal. In the next village all of them are selling watermelons. Specialisation is strong, but I am sure there is a market for diversification.


Yes, a large pig beside the girl
opening the coconuts
A diversified stall with more than one item

 We have stopped for watermelons, coconut milk (doesn’t rock my boat) and on both trips we have stopped at the village of Napong, less than an hour from Pakse. Here they specialise in flatten, marinated, barbecue chicken. As you stop the vehicle mobile sellers come running up with chickens on sticks and a lot of cars treat them as a take away. We stopped and sat. You choose your chicken(s) from a table and negotiate a price. The lady heats them up over the charcoal and whacks them into pieces with a large cleaver, and you eat it with your fingers and sticky rice. The chicken is good. Although both times for my second piece I have gone for something that looks like a wing only to find it was both times half a chicken head. This time it had a beak, last time it had an eye. At that point I decided both times I had had enough chicken. I have avoided the chicken feet mainly because my companions seem to think it is a delicacy and also it seems like too much work for me.

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