So dinner upon arrival was sin dot, a Lao style barbecue. I was very excited about this because last time I was here I remembered it being very good.
Sin dot is an outdoor BBQ where you sit a table with a brazier of hot coals in the middle of it. They top the coals with a aluminum contraption that looks a little like a dome with holes cut into it surrounded by a moat of broth. I didn’t take a picture so you can look here for a good picture and a great description: http://www.travelfish.org/blogs/luangprabang/2011/12/14/lao-style-barbecue-in-luang-prabang/
Next comes the options for thin strips of meat; chicken, pork, bacon or water buffalo are your options. We choose bacon and chicken. Basically you start by adding a bit of fat to the top of the dome, it melts greasing the sides of the dome to cook the meat. You add the veggies of your choice to the broth to cook them while your meat is browning. Additionally you add rice noodles and the optional egg to the broth for a tasty soup. Everyone is in charge of cooking their own meat and picking out which veggies appeal to them.
It’s a great dish and if we could ever get over the dual threats of open flame and personal responsibility for cooking your own meat it would take off in the US.
After dinner coffee I made my way back to the newly picked guest house. I noted when we were negotiating a rate in the afternoon that there appeared to be a party setting up in the narrow street outside. When asked what was happening, I was assured that they party would conclude at 8pm. Needless to say that was a bit optimistic on their part.
If parties can be assessed by the number of drunken people singing Karaoke then this was a great party! It wasn’t a wedding but may have been a house blessing, I’m not entirely clear. Karaoke is a funny thing it seems in many cases quality and enthusiasm are inversely proportional. So as the night moved into the early morning hours additional people seemed to find the courage to sing their hearts out.
The late night music barely invaded my conscious as the realization that I may not have cooked a piece of chicken thoroughly moved to become my main concern. Thus began what we’ll call the 48 hours in a black hole…. where I slept, berated myself for not cooking chicken properly and cursed the existence of roosters.
Word of note: If you visit you will inevitably find yourself close neighbors to rooster. There are many dogs here, but they don’t seem to ever bark. Into this evolutionary gap the neighborhood roosters have rushed. You’ll soon be able to determine distinct voices in the chorus, by the end of this month I may have named them. There is one that strangely even sounds like a dog deeply barking, unfortunately he is not the one directly outside my window.