A wee update

Alright, this will be just a little something: Like a hastily written postcard instead of the bulky letter you actually owe your friends. Truth is, Lao kept me pretty busy in the last few weeks!


Me and Röteli. And yes, she DID enjoy my cuddles!

Firstly, I moved houses. Why? Well, a fantastic house-sitting opportunity for my boss’s friends came up and I just couldn’t refuse: Beautiful, spacious two-story building almost directly at the Mekong with a lovely balcony and everything! And merely 2km away from work. I only had to cuddle and feed their cat in return and well, be there in case any burglars were watching the district (someone had just recently broken into the empty house next door).

So, for 2.5 weeks, I lived a very fancy volunteer life!

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fine fodder

I suppose as soon as you have blogged about typical fruits here, there’s really no way around a brief, additional post about the veggies and dishes in Lao PDR. So here we go:

In general, there are not sooo many unknown veggies on the local markets. There are potatoes, onions, carrots, eggplants, peppers, beans, cabagges, … Most of the vegetables, I have already encountered on the Asian Markets in Berlin. My new local favourite is Water Spinach though, an Asian variety of spinach and sooo delicious fried with Tofu. Crunchy, fresh and healthy! And for some dubious reason, it is called Morning Glory here 😀

Usually, you season your meals with salt, ginger, garlic, chillies, turmeric, lemon grass, lemon or Thai basil and some oyster and fish sauces. But frankly, Lao food is not as “complicatedly” spiced as Thai or Indian dishes. I’d say spicy is the main flavour which is why I learnt early how to order my meals with only very few chillies.

One other thing I learnt quickly was that Lao people eat a LOT of meat. There’s even a saying according to which they eat anything that crawls and moves. Fish, pork, beef and chicken are the most frequently eaten goodies, but you also see different kinds meat on the local menus: Frogs, snails, dogs, ants and other insects, squirrels, a variety of seafood etc. One Lao speciality is larb, a kind of minced beef salad. But I am really no expert on this….

So let me tell you about Sticky Rice instead.

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Whitening, Brightening, Lightening

Today, I’d like to talk about beauty ideals. It wasn’t new to me that most Asian countries prefer a fair skin and many people had advised me to take cosmetics from Germany with me because I would find it hard to buy creams without brightener here. So I came prepared.

Nevertheless, it shocked me how many compliments I received for my light hair, blue eyes and especially for my relatively pale complexion: “Sooo beautiful!” and then my female colleagues would hold their arms next to mine and continue “Not like my skin, this’ ugly!” In Vientiane, I encountered multiple women in the streets whose skin looked yellowish and definitely very unhealthy. In combination with the usual bit of sweat I kept wondering if they were seriously sick or just used too much of a cheap brightening product. By now, I know that it is the latter reason…

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Vitamin C – Lao Style!

Since the last post was about the questionable choice of meat here, I’d like to show you some typical Lao fruits today. Some of them, I have come to love dearly by now, like the fiery red Dragonfruit. It’s best eaten chilled with yoghurt and sooo refreshing. You can cut it like Avocado, or peel it or even just scoop the flesh out like you do with a Kiwi.

Then there are the huuuge, prickly Jackfruits and the (easily confused) spiky Durian. The latter is the stinky one, remember 😉 Not even kidding, in some places you are not allowed to bring these fruits because of their very distinct, foul smell. But they are tasty! It’s a bit like with Swiss Cheese that smells like old feet but is delicious nevertheless. Then, there are Rambutans, which honestly look like little fluffy, angry Pokemons to me 😀

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