The Diet of Champions

Sekong Travel Blog

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The road into Sekong - school kids on lunch lining up ahead.
What do you eat on a three day motorbike loop of Southern Laos? Noodle soup of course. It's cheap, tasty and, most importantly, easy to purchase with limited Lao language skills. Here's a rough transcript of the exchange in my noodle soup shop of choice in Sekong:

Scene: Midday. Hot as hell. A busy main road lined with various single-level wooden and concrete structures. Sweaty Salad parks motorbike, removes scratched helmet and broken sunglasses, and enters wooden roadside cafe stage right, wide smile plastered on face. Female Lao shop workers giggle and exchange knowing looks at the arrival of a falang: "Who's going to deal with this one?" they are clearly saying to each other. After a few seconds, One of them steps forward.

Sweaty Salad: Sabaai Dii! ("Hello!" in Lao)
Smiling Lao Lady: Sabaai Dii.
Sweaty Salad: (grin, grin, point, point) Pho? ("noodle soup" in Vietnamese - I know; I'm a language loser)
Smiling Lao Lady: Incomprehensible Lao sentence accompanied by nodding.
Sweaty Salad: Ah! (grin, thumbs up, grin) Khawp jai lai lai ! ("Thank you very much" in Lao)
Smiling Lao Lady: Further incomprehensible Lao sentences (directs Sweaty Salad to nearby plastic table and chairs)   

Sweaty Salad sits down, still smiling. Few minutes later he is presented with steaming bowl of noodle soup with assorted Asian veg, shreds of chicken and wedge of fresh lime. Lao ladies continue to giggle sporadically as he valiantly tackles the noodles with chopsticks and spoon. He gets through it eventually and then stands up, signalling that he wants to pay. Further giggling ensues before second, younger girl steps forward and pronounces...

Smiling Lao lady No.2: Twinty kip.
Sweaty Salad: Here you go (grin, grin) Khawp jai lai lai!
Smiling lao Lady No.2: Khawp jai.

Sweaty Salad waves and then descends shop steps to his bike, further giggling in his ears. Straps on helmet, puts on broken sunglasses, saddles up and gets the hell out of Dodge.
And that's about all that happened in Sekong. Easy Rider my arse.

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The road into Sekong - school kids…
The road into Sekong - school kid…
photo by: gert-n-bert