Wednesday morning I was taken to the field on the back of a motorbike...not my favourite mode of transport and it was tough going down some of the sandy paths so I was quite happy to get off and walk. I had no idea what I was getting into or what it involved, everyone was already out in the field so I was given a hat, a sickle a bottle of water and told to go join them
. OK so I knew rice just didn't appear in a bag on the grocery shelf but didn't know it would be almost as tall as me and needed to be cut halfway down where the green meets the gold..grab a bunch with the sickle grab with your left hand above there and cut and repeat until you can't hold any more then lay it down in rows but not very long rows..then you start a new one. Lots to learn and only one cut on my left ring finger so not too bad. Of course the newbie had to quit long before the experts and sit up in the shelter where the breeze was blowing. One thing I did learn was just how much and how often Thai people eat. Oh and of course the introduction into real Thai food not what is on the menu in Thai restaurants abroad. Some of this is not for those with weak stomachs but I was there and saw it, just didn't eat all of it I had to draw the line at blood soup (it is red), raw meats, snails as big as the palm of your hand plucked out of the mud in the rice field, raw fish covered in red ants dug up out of the ground and crawling all over the fish and out of the bowl around the other food (seems the ants make the fish taste sour...I wasn't about to find out) and the topper for me was the hard boiled duck egg with embryos....I watched as everyone cracked the egg, drank the dark juice and checked to see how big their duck was and if it had feathers. Trust me I felt the same way you do right about now.
Tuesday I went to bed at 9 pm as I knew I was going to work the next morning
. Wednesday, after a delicious dinner of Laos noodles and fish and veggies, it was 7:43 pm when I put my head on my pillow. I need to get Bow's recipe for the egg sauce that went with this. Stayed up late Thursday until 7:53 pm. Dinner was a Korean BBQ that started the night off with a spectacular fire works display from the charcoal. Friday the harvest was done and it was party night again I managed to stay up until about 10pm. Smith by then was out cold in the hammock. We had a great feast that night. Dar bought 3 kilos of octopus but made moo (pork) for me with a nice brown gravy...yummm. I did eat some octopus and tried all of the other veggies and sauces.
Of course every meal has sticky rice with it and I have no idea how much of that I ate. It is so tasty.
Sorry this chapter is so long. I have tried to condense it as much as possible. Feel free to ask questions. I have many stories I could tell. Never again will I think it is only a little bit of rice throw it out. A lot of hard work goes into that bag of rice you buy in the supermarket....each grain is precious.
Last Tuesday morning I met Dar, Bow and Dar's cousin Da at the airport and we flew to Udon Thani then taxied 80+ Km to her village. Her sister Laat, and husband Dang had just finished their harvest that day so there was a celebration dinner. We got there just in time to see a beautiful white duck sacrifice its life for our dinner. The duck turned into Laab, soup and BBQ duck slices, served with sticky rice. It was dinner under the stars with the chickens and dogs running around, more and more people showing up to join the party.