The road side stalls looked busy and interesting so I stopped to investigate. What were they selling? What was so aromatic? What was it in piles on the table tops?
I still don't know what the red things are - but some form of pig intestine is my diagnosis.
On closer inspection the brown strips were spikey - AGGGHHHHHH - I shouldn't have looked to close - it was boar skin, bristles and all.
The smell was gross.
I don't know what the locals do with it or how it is cooked. There is a lot of crackling for sale, so maybe this is the base ingredient. I'm not sure I do want to know. I am gagging as I type as the pictures bring to mind the horrible smell. I may never be able to eat roast pork again.
The women's shops along the road, that was not quite like the Monash freeway, I traveled on Sunday afternoon were not quite the voguish boutiques of Chadstone. I loved the umbrellas over the headless mannequins.
Yesterday afternoon I took the scooter for a Sunday drive to explore the outskirts of Vientiane. It seemed like I was driving forever past houses, shacks, shops and petrol stations. Almost like being on the Monash freeway- it was three lanes in both directions, narrowing to two then one lane and of course there were bottle necks and traffic jams.
There was no Fountain Gate shopping centre, but about 20 km out I found this long row of roadside shops selling clay cooking pots, basketware and bamboo items.
The view from my window. Typical Laos style buildings, a mixture of new and old and the very new. The street has not got an identifiable name. To give the location I refer to the French clinic, to the left out of the picture, or the Guru shop on the corner with the main road further to the right. It will be a view I will become very familiar with.
Off line for two weeks as I moved into my apartment BUT there was no internet.
Then when the internet was connected my computer wouldn't work. Its fixed now as it needed a new section of power connector. Luckily I went to Chiang Mai for a long weekend and was able to replace it there. There are no apple dealers and few repair places.
Thanks to Buddha or the communists we had a day off on Friday, so I took the opportunity to go back to Chiang Mai and catch up with friends and colleagues. It was great to be on a scooter zooming around the moat and the city walls of the old city.
When I first walked around the block from Jo and Mark's house I wondered what this masterpiece of concrete brutalist communist architecture was. Of course when I completed the block and found the front of the building it all made sense. Yes the Russian embassy and compound.