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.”