Being invited to a baptism? Check ! Laos

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What does a laotian baptism look like? Easy: food, drinks, music and craziness…

We’ve decided to hitchike from luang Prabang to Luang Namtha to be free to stop anywhere we want on the way and discover the small villages without any tourism infrastructures. The first night we stopped on a tiny place called “Pak mong” because we were running out of time before night and we slept in a shabby guest house on the side of the road… Well, for a first hitchhiking experience that was quite intense.

10 o’clock in the morning, our backpacks on our backs, we hit the road with the memories of our evening teaching a card game to two kids (6 years old) in exchange of learning how to count in lao tongue (Nung, song, sam, si, hun, ho,Diè, Bè, Kao, Sip, Sip het, Sip song, Sip sam… ok enough!). At that moment we still hope to find our first car before 11 am because we don’t know yet that our first car is actually not before 3.30 pm.

A successful hitchhikking technics in Laos is to go out of the village or city to start, otherwise people stop only to let you know where the bus station is. We were therefore walking slowly to the end of Pak monk when we heard music and laugh from a “garden” and saw tables ready for a big banket…

In less than one minute we were invited, our backpacks were on the floor, we were seating at the VIP table, 2 shots of Lao-Lao were already inside our stomachs and we had a glass of beerlao in our hands…

The surprise being over, we’ve been able to finally understand that we were at the laotian version of a baptism. Here are the “activities” you do there :

  • Tie bills around the wrists of the baby, the mum or the dad with a small white string.
  • Eat without stopping all sorts of national dishes unknown but all better than the previous one – “Suong” : rare beef meat (“moo”) choped in a red sauce with spices, “Kah” : fish (“Paaa” or “Ta”) choped with vegetables, spices and a lot of black pepper, potato soup (“pirclok” ou “Man ton”) + onions + porc,  fried grasshopper… and all this served with sticky rice and “Par Sao”, the laotian version of parsley (Our hosts didn’t speak english though we found a way to mime the animals to discover what kind of meat we were eating but for the vegetables we’re unfortunately still searching).
  • Never stop drinking – bottoms up – our glasses of beerlao with ice cubes or Lao-lao… Reminds me of the Georgian way of toasting
  • Dance with your hands going left and right doing like a wave.
  • Kissing, hugging, cheering, laughing, singing…

#pakmong and its surprises… Today we’ve been invited to a baptism… A lot of #food ?, #laolao, beerlao and music

Une photo publiée par Eats To West (@eats2west) le

A LOT of food…

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Fried and salted grasshoppers.

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My very first grasshopper.

…  It tastes a little bit like shrimp actually. Based on the 2 handful I ate I think I can say that I liked it quite  a lot.

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Par Sao – Laotian parsley, a bit mentholated, efficient even in the very spice dishes.

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VIP table where the beerlao flows continuously.

Baptism_Laos_Pak mong_Luang namtha_Girls having fun_top things to doDancing and hugging – Women side !