A woman with the typical straw hut comes my way. Already a few metres before our paths cross, she smiles at me and says “Pai sai?” – Where are you going? “Pai Ban Kiet Ngong – to the village”, I respond. Now we stand on the same altitude, we stop and get into a nice country side small talk. She says “beautiful your sin (skirt)” – “Oh thank you. It’s a Lao sin.” – “Ah, do you wear it in your country?” – “No, rather trousers like yours.” Funny situation…we smile at each other.
She carries a big open plastic pot and now I am curious and ask her where she is going. She is on the way to the wetland to get fish, eels. The strange paste in her box will help her to catch the eel. Later I learn, it is based on crab meat enriched with a few other ingredients. Good bye, good luck!
Back on the veranda of my bungalow, I observe the wetlands and see people on canoes slowly making their way through the grass. Suddenly, a herd of buffaloes comes around, water is splashing, they seemingly enjoy their walk. So do I, a truly wild touch. Later, a young man is walking at the edge of the wetlands with a bag in the hands filling it up step by step fuller – what is it? Snails, he says.
The wetlands, a magical food basket. When I leave the village on the local songthaew, women loads to the bus six big bags full of – let me see – what is it – ah, small mussles. My sustainability heart wonders whether this food basket will always be abundant and eternal…time will tell.