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Saturday, December 21: Day 243 – Gone Fishin’

Today we reconnected with Saylom, our guide when we first arrived in Laos. We visited his beautiful house in the city. All of his neighbors are his relatives. Here is a view of Phou Si from his house.

Then we drove out with him and his cousin to his property where Saylom has a fish pond.

His cousin had just purchased a new car and it had 57 miles on the odometer and plastic still on the seats.

We saw lots of road construction because the Chinese are building a railroad, and they bring in their heavy multi-ton trucks and ruin the roads. Laos then must fix them. That hardly seems fair.

We first stopped to visit some friends of Saylom who live nearby his property. They were doing construction on a house. The family stays on the property to prevent theft of building products.

They have a garden and are building a fence to keep the chickens and water buffaloes out.

Here is what they had caught and cooked for lunch. I couldn’t decide which view was the least appetizing view. I’ll let you choose. Note the fly in the mouth.

Fortunately, we had eaten a big breakfast.

The name of the village is Ban Phik Yia, and it consists of 82 families. When speaking of the population of a village, it is always expressed in families.

I liked this idea of growing a crop on a table. It keeps the rabbits away, and weeding and harvesting wouldn’t be such backbreaking work.

Saylom’s cousin name is Suck. And he did at fishing. He threw out a lure with a loud plop with no bait on it and reeled it in quickly. No luck, Suck!

I questioned this approach. Saylom dug up some bait, and they ended up catching about a dozen fish.

Here is the day’s catch:

While Saylom and his cousin were fishing, I made friends with some chickens. This big mama was sitting on 13 eggs and protested a lot at being disturbed.

This basket is for a future mother ready to nest. She will come find it.

I remember “nesting” when I was expecting a baby, and I can imagine that my expectant daughter is doing the same. I guess that is universal in motherhood.

Here is a chicken coop.

The ducks wander in and out from the bottom of the coop. The chickens are safely tucked away for the night on the top since EVERYTHING likes to eat chicken. Saylom pays a local young man to watch over his flock by night.

I made friends with one skinny chicken. She didn’t cluck but said “Uh huh” all the time. We had a long conversation. She even pecked another chicken away since I guess I was her new bestie!

The men cooked the fish at Saylom’s brother-in-law’s house. I asked Suck if he was REALLY going to put a bucket of fish in his brand new car. He decided that the other cousin should carry the bucket on his motorbike.

Here is the outdoor kitchen.

Rob and I were to relax by sitting on little wooden stools aka knee killers on a veranda? lanai? fort? balcony? overlooking the rice fields in the front of the house and eat papa-ya.

The air was fresh and the temperature pleasant, and we both started to doze off. I have been really tired lately with low energy, and I am thinking that I am low on iron and need a really big fat juicy hamburger!!

We had delicious fresh perch and catfish for lunch. Here is a picture of my lunch buddies.

They asked if I had the app that changes pictures into people not wearing any clothes!!

Certainly not! That freaked me out. Does that exist? Beware of strangers who want to take your pictures!!

I showed them the Shazam App. They thought that it was cool and downloaded it. This app listens to a song and then tells you the name of the song playing as well as the artist. Shazam can always answer, “What’s the name of this song?” or “Who sings this song?”

Saylom remembers when he was a young boy that during the rainy season the fish came right up into the rice fields.

Currently, it is very dry. The leaves are changing color and will soon fall off the trees. The dry leaves are burned for fertilizer.

Rob announced that we were getting tired and Saylom offered us a place to take a nap.

Rob said, “No, I’m not napping here.”

Rob had to be a little more direct and said that we would like to go home.

“Now?” was Saylom’s response. He kind of stared at Rob for a moment, but then we packed it up and headed back to the hotel.

We returned to Luang Prabang where there are no stoplights and only one small roundabout which looks more like a planter in the middle of the road. In fact the sides are painted with red and white stripes probably to keep people from running over it.

Here is our adopted family for the past two weeks. This Vietnamese couple has leased this hotel property for three years and are trying to attract travelers. We helped them get on Google maps and correct their address on Booking.com.

We also encouraged them to not change the towels and bedsheets everyday. Most hotels have a system for alerting the housekeeping staff when a change is needed. This saves time, money, water and detergent.

From left to right it is Cuong and his father Tien, me, Tu aka Bumblebee, and Hoa. Hoa is the only one who speaks English.

For lunch I had yellow curry chicken soup. Not only did my lips tingle from the spices so did my tonsils.

Rob and I are getting very excited to be with family. In less than two weeks, our daughters and son-in-law will start to arrive for our planned time together in Thailand.

We are missing what we know like steaks, popcorn, grass, movies, etc. We are Americans and appreciate America and all our fond memories of home.

Maybe it’s the time of year! Maybe it’s the baby on the way. Maybe we have stayed in one place too long. Maybe it’s an eighth month slump…but going to a restaurant that played the following tunes in a row added fuel to this feeling…

  • Puff the Magic Dragon
  • Achy Breaky Heart
  • Take Me Home, Country Roads
  • Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree
  • Five Hundred Miles

What kind of playlist is this????

I needed Life is a Highway and On the Road Again.

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