Flying greens Lampang Reviews
Sep 22, 2006
In one town we went to a friend’s restaurant advertised as the famous “flying greens.” I was wondering what that meant as it was a humble rather low budget place next to a river.
Fortunately a tour group came in and offered the “famous flying greens” spectacle. They came squished in a dozen tuk-tuks a herd of pudgy pink Americans. A group of high/drunken Thai men gathered around a large drum and started a wild racket. Drumming, singing, tapping spoons and bottles they were going into a near frenzy. The middle-aged Americans were grouped on one side with their camcorders catching this “Kodak moment”.
One of them was clothed with an apron and given a pot lid and saucer to hold. A headdress of two stalks of greens was tied to is head as was a cucumber to his groin. Then the action started, first a Thai demonstrated by climbing a ladder to a narrow platform on the top of an old bus. Meanwhile down below the chef was firing the wok. With deft flicks the greens flew up and down in a circular motion a squirt of cooking wine and boom tongues of flame shot out in an impressive flambé. I used to do this job in a restaurant its not too hard to pull off. But what came next was very skillful.
With the greens cooked in sauce the chef grabbed hold of the wok and turned his back to the bus, with saucer holding garcon. At this moment the improvised band/dancers did three last beats 1.2..3… Whooshh was the only sound the next second as all eyes were fixed on a lump of green held together by a sticky brown bean sauce flying through the night sky. That was all the time it took to leap from the wok swung over the chef’s head to the saucer in the garcon’s outstretched hand. Ssmack.. It landed with a musical riot of rejoicing from the inebriated Thais and cheers from the chubby tourists.
Next was the tourist’s turn. He waddled up the ladder and to the end of the platform like a duck, the Thais were getting hysterical. When the clatter stopped and the green mass flew he held the pot lid over half his face in a feeble shielding gesture. In spite of this it stayed true to its target, this guy should be a major leaguer, ssmack.. and the crowd goes wild!
It was an amusing and definitely worthy spectacle. Drunken crazed Thais and overweight aging tourists all making asses out of themselves. All and all it would be worth the money if I had pay for it.
Part of the Stumbling through the 3rd world again 2005-... travel blog
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