January 02, 2011

060107 breakfast

Back into the house...


with the youngest running after the cat wherever it goes...


Singaporean toddlers her age are way behind in terms of ability to scramble up wooden ladders & dirt slopes barefooted.

At the hearth in the men's half of the house - they always do the cooking together :)


Traditionally Akha women cooked only the rice & vegetables, while Akha men took care of everything to do with meat - hunting, slaughtering, removing fur, cooking & of course eating. Many other tasks are similarly divided by gender into 'men's work' & 'women's work' according to tradition, such that husband & wife must work together to get things done e.g. planting rice - men dig the holes in the soil for women to throw in the rice seed, building houses - men cut the trees & bamboo to build the main structure while women cut the imperata grass & assemble them into roofing material.

Purple sticky rice (at bottom left on floor) to go with breakfast:


Leftovers from yesterday's dinner (same practice as in the cat's home) + eggs from one of the Ban Huay Mae Sai shops with กุนเชียง goon4 qiang1 (aka. 腊肠 la4 chang2/lup cheong/Chinese sausage) from Chiangrai municipal market + fish from the cat:


The goon qiang isn't exactly the healthiest of foods but it's the easiest to store long term (needs no refrigeration). The 'fish from the sea' is because they don't get to eat any fish bigger than the little loach-like freshwater fish that they dig up from the mud in forest streams (it can take an entire morning to dig up just a few), unless they make the trip out to Chiangrai city & splurge on bigger fish at the market. Before there was iodised salt, goitre was a problem for people living up in the mountains far from the nearest sea, & a few of the very old folks in Ban Apa have visible goitre. A few people from the buseh's (headman's) household came over to try the 'fish from the sea' (the cat still hasn't figured out how these two households are related & keeps forgetting to ask).

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