Bali wasn’t short of WTF discoveries…
One activity we did not anticipate encountering in Luang Prabang (or really anywhere in Laos) is bowling, but low and behold, it’s all the rage here. It probably helps that it’s the only institution open past 11pm (and they’re open and serving BeerLao until 3am!). I’m not a huge fan of bowling, but when the bar closed and our Slow Boat friends were headed that way, we hopped in the tuk-tuk for the ride.
Over the past 9 months, we’ve eaten some strange things. It’s part of the adventure, and half the time we don’t even know what we’re really getting. One thing we did take a pass on was bugs, beetles and scorpions. We saw carts full of them in Bangkok, but our most memorable bug-eating experience happened as we were relaxing with Pui in Maetachang.
We’re hanging with Pui while he cooks some vegetables wrapped in a banana leaf on a little fire next to this sort of covered patio structure we’re chillin on. A huge black beetle comes flying by, and to our surprise, Pui reaches out and grabs it mid-flight and holds it up to show us.
Again to our surprise, he throws the beetle on the fire next to the vegetables, and it cooks for about 30 seconds. We’re thinking, well, that’s kinda cruel, but if we lived out in the middle of nowhere, maybe we’d do that too.
Then, to our biggest surprise, he plucks the beetle off the fire, cracks it in half, and bites off the juicy torso of this beetle. Yum. WTF?!
Big multinational corporations have to make some adjustments in their products and marketing to be locally successful. For instance, McDonalds doesn’t sell beef in India (that’s right, you can’t get a burger in Micky D’s!), and here in Thailand, they make sure Ronald is demonstrating proper Thai etiquette.
As we explored the many wats of Chiang Mai, we stumbled across a few influential lamas (high priests, teachers) that have been preserved for generations to come. Ok, well, not actually preserved, but a scarily-realistic wax version of the lamas, often encased in glass, on display for inspiration and devotion. WTF?!
Thai massages and spas are a necessity of any visit to Bangkok. For a mere $5, you can have your feet, your back, or your whole body worked in the age-old tradition of Thai massage. Some spas have expanded their offering to “fish massages”, tanks full of hundreds of little fish that will eat the dead skin right off of your feet and lower legs. WTF?!
Nepal, one of the poorest countries on the planet, is full of scenes that beg the question, WTF?! Check out a few funny things we encountered during our last week here:
Check out this machine – the universal work vehicle in Nepal. I call it a Nepali Utility Vehicle (NUV). Part tractor, part truck, part bus, part wheelbarrow, part loader, part tuk-tuk, the NUV is about as bare-bones as they come. Max speed – not fast. Max load – well, that depends on how high you can pile up!