Finding Breakfast

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We must be getting good at this. On the morning of our first day here, we strolled down the street and found our regular breakfast place within minutes. Six days later, it remains our morning ritual. It’s the kind of place where the border between the restaurant and the family living room is indefinable. The family puppy comes out each morning to greet us, and the owner proudly sees us off each day with the 4 english words he has proudly learned: ‘thank you very much!’. We compensate by thanking him in some of the few Laos words we’ve learned: Kopchi lei lei!

Our morning ritual is a bowl of pork rice noodle soup, served with the compulsory plate of fresh vegetables, chili paste, fish sauce, shrimp paste. However the contents change almost daily depending on what part of the animal is available. Vegetarians beware- we are often never entirely sure what we’re eating, and this rule applies to every meal we eat. But cheers to our breakfast establishment for seeing to it that no part of their pig is wasted. Either that, or our continued presence has inducted us into the category of ‘almost local’, in which they serve to us the real soup– the kind unaltered from the original recipe– the kind they would not normally serve a tourist. We were particularly surprised to see blood cubes floating in the steaming broth yesterday.

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While it took me a second to warm up to the idea, it ended up tasting just like silken tofu. We were also served fresh Bird’s Eye Chilies, which we eagerly finished with tearing eyes and runny noses so as to prove our ability to eat like the locals.

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