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Rain and Food

October 10, 2011

I honestly can’t remember the last day here it hasn’t rained, at least a little bit. The rain has been getting worse recently, and it’s become obvious that we’re firmly in the rainy season.

Even a few days into my stay (I’ve been here for over a month, which blows my mind when I think about it), I had realized a very important fact about living here: you need to take your umbrella everywhere. Sunny weather, which used to be at a premium, is now nearly impossible to find.

So what do you do when you find yourself in a place where you’ve got rain all the time but you still need to go out to work, eat, and live your life? Besides compulsively carry an umbrella, you could do like the approximately five bazillion motorbike riders around here and own a plastic poncho that covers you and anything you might happen to be carrying. Life here doesn’t stop in the rain.

But how to deal with rain that’s annoying at best and oppressive at worse? One way to do it is by sitting in a nice cafe or restaurant and simply watching the rain fall. And cold, wet rain is best observed when eating a nice warm food, like lau, known to the rest of the world as hot pot.

The exact mix of spices in the broth of our hot pot tonight was impossible to know, but still irresistible. Just spicy enough to give you the tingle in your mouth after you eat it, it infused the whole meal with a sense of warmth. The best part for my money, however, was the french baguette-style bread, provided for the exact purpose of dipping. Just being able to sit back, enjoy your food, and talk with a friend is the best part of any meal experience, and when one warms you up like this does?

It makes the rain a little more bearable.

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