Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Turning Asian of the day

Turning Asian of the day: This morning I had a big bowl of noodle soup, THEN coffee.

Things I've learned: The streetside lice inspections one sees are not actually that. I learned this while Lisa was cutting my hair recently. In addition to finding my first grey (no, I haven't let that go yet) she found a bunch of what Lao people call "itchy hairs." These are the coarse, kinky hairs that tend to grow out of the top of one's head. Well, Lao heads. And my head. I remember sitting in class in high school--probably in geometry or physics or something else I hated--and systematically feeling for and pulling out these strangely-textured, usually pitch-black hairs. It was a way to pass the time, and I had plenty of hair to go around, so I didn't reckon I'd miss them.

In Lao PDR, people believe these hairs 'eat' your other hairs. They'll take over your head, make your other hair fall out, and do other bad things. So when you see women squatting next to each other in the mornings, picking through each other's hair, they're not looking for lice, they're pulling out these itchy hairs. Who'd have guessed?

The public blackhead and booger extractions are still, as far as I know, what they seem.

I dropped a pair of chopsticks. I swear the sound they made as the clattered on the floor was “bo pen gnang”. Today is good.

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