Hey, What’s in the Bag?

As usual, people trickle into the office in the morning. My seat is in the biggest room in the office, which is also connected to the front door. I like to spend most mornings greeting people and chatting as we all get ready for work.

People will come in with all kinds of weird things and I’ve taken it for granted, just as a normal everyday thing. For some reason this morning some people are huddled in the corner all looking in a bag. I thought if it interests them, I’ll definitely want to see it and hey, why not take a picture too. 

It looks like some kind of seed or beans. But, why would that be so interesting. I move in for a closer look…

Okay, now it doesn’t look like either, but I still can’t tell. Maybe a rocky soil? I ask Leevong to show me so I can get a closeup look and picture. 

They’re some kind of bug that they only know the name of in Lao. As I’m now this close an awful smell wafts up and envelops me. From the smell of it, they’ve been dead for awhile now. 

Khampat, the one who brought them in, takes the bag into the kitchen. Thank the lord because working all day with that smell next to me would not happen.

The grossness only continues from here… About 10 minutes before lunch, Khampat disappears into the kitchen to fry the bugs in oil. It doesn’t make the smell any better and allows it to soil the air throughout the bottom floor of the office. I go in and turn on fans and try to run back out into the other room before passing out. 

Our wonderful lunch of beautiful colors and smells comes and we all sit down to eat with a big plate of the bugs right there next to the actual food.

I get over it and focus on enjoying my food and the rarity of this experience. It’s definitely gross, but it’s something so different from anything I’m used to, so I’m having fun with all these new adventures.

Here a picture of the tasty food I talk about so much.

This is lunch for about 10 people. The big bowl with the orange liquid is an amazing local curry. The yellow thing directly below is shredded naw mai… I mean bamboo. I rarely talked about bamboo before coming here, so it just took me a while to remember the name in English. I find that happens a lot for the new experiences and food I have here. It’s kind of cool, except that when I leave here I’ll only be able to talk to myself… Which I do anyway, so nothing’s new. The thing just to the left of the bamboo are glass noodles and chicken. All the rest are combinations of more vegetables and meats than I know how to identify. I do know it’s all delicious and now it’s time to dig in!


2 thoughts on “Hey, What’s in the Bag?

    1. Normally I’d try just about anything once and have already eaten many different kinds of bugs here. All kinds of signals in my body said stay away from these ones, so I didn’t try them

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