Ten things I learned this weekend

1.  Many people hold very strong views on circumcision. More than 30 people commented on my facebook status: “To circumcise or not to circumcise, that is the question. Thoughts?” Several more sent me private emails on the topic.

2.  The white mushrooms we buy from the lady down the street who sells vegetables off a tarp on the pavement are enoki mushrooms – originally Japanese and highly prized (and priced) by Western specialty food stores. We can buy a whole plastic bag for 60 cents.

3.  Don’t cook enoki mushrooms for longer than five minutes or they go tough and chewy.

4.  You can grill Japanese eggplant in a toaster oven.

5.  Commercial tomato-based pasta sauces must have enormous amounts of salt in them because when you make it from scratch it takes more salt than I think is reasonable to make it taste good.

6.  The neighbors are feeding Zulu pork ribs, which might be the reason why he is spending half his time whining at their door, begging them to let him in.

7.  Osama bin Laden is dead. While I do not mourn that fact, the sight of the midnight celebratory cheering and flag waving on the streets in the US also makes me a bit uncomfortable.

8.  The lovely afternoon storms we’ve been having that break the back of the heat of the day are worryingly early. Several years ago when a similarly premature rainy spell hit Laos many farmers planted their rice early, only to watch the seedlings sprout and then die when those early rains stopped.

9.  The Shinta Mani hotel has the best pool in Luang Prabang. It was the setting for today’s perfect swim – the water was just cool enough, we had it all to ourselves, and all you can see in almost every direction from pool level are the green mountains encircling Luang Prabang.

10.  If someone is going to take a photo taken of me when I’m six months pregnant and wearing a bikini it’s really best for everyone concerned when 80% of my body is underwater.

P.S. And discussing the pregnancy photos Mike took outside the front of our house this afternoon:

Lisa: “I look really pregnant in photo 590.”

Mike: “You look really pissed off in 593. Actually, you look really pissed off at me in a lot of these photos.”

Lisa: “I wasn’t pissed off at you. Really. I was more worried about the fact that when you told me to think about how excited I am about the baby it made it harder to smile nicely for the camera.”

24 responses to “Ten things I learned this weekend

  1. Your belly is so little and cute, I look like I’ve got a basketball shoved down my top.

  2. re: #7, totally agreed. was very uncomfortable. it wasn’t a superbowl win, but I guess somber candlelight vigils honoring the many innocent lives lost worldwide at the hands of both terrorists and those “fighting terrorism” are harder to pull off so quickly at midnight.

    re: #6, your dog is a lot smarter than you give him credit for.

    re: #5, definitely true. vinegar often helps bring out the flavor too.

    re: #9, no kidding! that looks amazing!!!

    re#10, you look stunning in that picture.

    • Vinegar!!! I never thought of that. Will try some next time. As for the dog, yes, I do believe he might be a lot smarter than we thought he was. Mike’s still not convinced, but I’m getting there. He’s totally reverted to “needy puppy” in the last two weeks since Barbara and Gavin have moved in. On the other hand he’ll still demonstrate excellent obedience whenever food is on the line. He’ll let me balance four pieces of dragonfruit on his paws while he’s lying down now, and just look at me until I give him permission to eat them. As for #10 – that photo is a miracle of water illusion and it does good justice to the mood of that pool. SUCH a cool pool – yesterday was the first time we snuck up there for a swim.

  3. I love the pic of you in the pool – so serene!

  4. I agree 100% on #7. I’m very uncomfortable celebrating anyone’s death. I live in the US and this odd celebration and flippant joking leaves me cold. Even more, the inevitable political posturing as a result makes me want to gag.

    • Yeah, Mike and I spent some of the time we were floating around in that amazing pool talking about this. I understand why people might be relieved, feel justice has been served, or even be happy… but public celebrations and flag waving… not so much.

  5. I know that it is the ultimate no no to tell a pregnant woman how big or small they look, but I agree with Rob – you are tiny. I think I’d give you a run for your money and I’m only 13 weeks. Although maybe I have nutella belly rather than baby belly 🙂

    And as an aside I don’t think you look pissed off – vaguely nervous maybe but not pissed off! 🙂

    PS – that pool looks like bliss!

    • Awww now I want nutella. And we don’t have it in the house. Damn.

    • The pool was amazing. Real life this morning… back to work in about five minutes. And as for pissed off – I didn’t put up the ones where I looked (as Mike alleges) pissed off. He took a lot. I picked ones that looked decent, and I decided to spare you all the photos of me climbing into that pool in my bikini and just put up the underwater one. Trust me, that was a good choice. I may be still relatively small for six months, but, wow, bikini photos really lay it all out there.

  6. That pool looks amazing!!!

    • Yeah… there are some perfect settings for pools. This is one of them. I think the rooms in this hotel are ridiculously expensive. We’ve been too nervous to suss out the room prices.

  7. The next time I’m in LPB, I have to take a dip in this pool. I love those preverbs writing on that last picture. “jong poum jai nai xing tee haow mee”, which translate to… be proud of what you have:-)

    Will you be giving birth in LPB or Thailand? Hope the question is not too personal, if it is I’m sorry.

    • How fun, I had no idea what that sign said! Thanks for that translation. As for the birth – I’ll be going home to Australia in less than two weeks to wait out most of the last trimester there – staying with my parents. So a long time apart for Mike and I :(.

  8. Um . . . you are ROCKIN’ that two piece. I’m actually a tad bit jealous — of the bod and the pool – I wouldn’t look half that good and I’m not pregnant. 🙂

  9. You look amazing friend!!!! Just so you know, I’m jealous. 🙂

    • OK, I’m sending you the same picture I sent Jos (one of me getting INTO the pool). If either of you pass it around I’ll… I’ll… do something bad. Very bad.

  10. So so true on the circumcision thing. I was totally floored when I realized I had to make that decision and that everyone had SUCH polarized strong opinions. I did a bunch of research. I made my decision. I said I’d defend it publicly on my blog but I still haven’t, because I heard that the APA was going to release a new statement on it sometime this year.

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