Laos, Luang Prabang
Comment 1

Rice Rice Baby

Why spend your vacation lying on a beach, mainlining piña coladas, when you could be knee-deep in mud and buffalo shit, tilling a field? And so we found ourselves at Living Land, an agritourism experience just outside Luang Prabang that teaches visitors how rice is “traditionally” cultivated. Some things we learned:

-We would not make great rice farmers. That’s really the essential point here.

plow

A for effort, F for farming.

-Rice farming is a gendered affair. Men work the heavy machinery while women winnow the rice, separating the grains from their husks. Being skilled at this task is essential if you want to find a husband, which luckily we don’t.

-Those cone hats flatter no one. Even cute kids and beautiful women look like idiots in them.

Beautiful women/idiots

Beautiful women/idiots

-Rice seeds must be germinated on small plots before being transplanted to the main paddies. (Read: farming rice the old fashioned way is a lot of g damn work. Cone hats off to the peeps doing it without modern farming equipment in Laos.)

These rice seeds have been germinating for a few days. rice stalk

-When plowing behind a water buffalo, you will probably trudge through its shit and you will certainly trudge through its pee, which comes out like a fire hose.

-The irrigation system is both ingenious and organic. The paddies are terraced, so if you need water to flow from a higher plot to a lower one, you just break the mud barrier between the paddies. Re-dam the mud to stop the flow. It’s pretty beautiful in its simplicity.

-As far as we could tell, threshing is the step in the process designed for the men in your tour group get to show you how manly they are, basically:

-Sticky rice is higher in sugar content than non-sticky rice, hence the stickiness.

-Lao-lao, a 90 proof liquor made from rice, is not good. Lao-hi, which is a less alcoholic, sweetish liquor similar to sake, is.

-When rice is done right, it’s damn delicious with little else added.

rice treats

Various rice treats, not a marshmallow in sight.

 

1 Comment

  1. judy collins says

    Wow what an amazing experience. You guys are doing the REAL DEAL! Hats off to you both! Honestly :}

    Like

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