Sa Pa, Lao Cai
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'First Rice' Dinner with Chai's Family
Our guide in Sa Pa, Chai, invited my husband and I and our two children to celebrate her family's completion of their yearly rice harvest. We rented scooters-the Vietnamese vehicle of choice-and rode to the place where she grew up (with 11 other kids!). It was a building made out of a concrete pad and a bamboo fence, probably less total area than our garage. Her dad had a cell phone, though! We also met some 23-year-old Australian dudes who had been riding motorcycles through the country. The rice was delicious! The meat was good until my husband told me that Chai said it was dog. Our kids were kind of freaked at how wasted the Australians got on the rice wine that Chai's dad had made- but we promised that we were old and knew not to drink it! We tossed it over our shoulders and rode the scooters home in the rain. None of us will ever forget it.
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