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August this year will be phenomenal! In August 5 Saturdays, 5 Sundays and 5 Mondays. This happens once every 823 years. The Chinese call this phenomenon "a bag full of money"!
Joy to life distinguishes Lao from other peoples of the world. Today I want to talk about food and food products. We can't help but eat. We are always hungry. Food is the enjoyment of life!
One part of the working-age population of Laos works in the civil service.
The second part of the population can be divided into several more groups:
- workers-sellers in markets, traders,
- working at home.
Entire neighborhoods of Vientiane live off tailors and cutters, whose workplace is part of their home, in which they live with their families. They all try on and sew from morning to night. There are small children next to them, growing up, playing with threads and bobbins.
All Lao people have ridden and ride motorcycles since childhood. From infancy, children are transported in this way. Many Lao people are well versed in technology. They disassemble, repair, service motorcycles on their own. There are motorcycle maintenance services in the city at every step. By chance I managed to spy, a neighbor's woman, in front of my eyes, took off the rear wheel herself, twisted it, knocked, and put back her "clunker". Cool!
Laos is an agricultural country. A large number of workers are employed in agriculture. Many agricultural enterprises do not have mechanization, so all work is mainly done by hand. It's hard work - squeezing rice all day long in a 40-degree heat. Rice and fruits are the main agricultural products of Laos. The government has no money to buy fertilizers. Therefore, all agricultural products supplied to the domestic market are environmentally friendly. Dairy and beef farming is underdeveloped. There is no own milk here, it and meat are imported from Thailand, where it is 2 times cheaper.
A separate topic is markets, retail outlets and street trading. There are a lot of markets, outlets with street food in Vientiane. The markets are always fresh agricultural products. Due to the heat, it is not possible to store food for a long time. Every day fresh vegetables, fruits, salads, fish, poultry meat are brought to the markets. In the Lao market, you need to bargain, otherwise a foreigner will be "snatched" by products at an inflated price. We, foreigners, are clearly visible from afar. During this time of living in Laos, I only buy products from regular suppliers. Trust in the sellers has developed. They already remember me, give discounts.
Everywhere, in all markets, there are women with babies. Often, when a child is born, there is no one to leave him with. A woman has to create conditions, right at the workplace, for the child to be with her. A baby bed with barriers is installed for the child and the child is always in the market next to the mother.
All Lao people love to eat well. But any food costs money. Good food costs a lot of money. Not every Lao has enough monthly budget to eat and drink for 3 days ?! So someone still has money! In Laos, food is not very expensive. If you eat like ordinary Lao people who eat in common food places all their lives, then the daily budget for one person will be about $ 10.
What is included in this amount?
Usually in the morning, for breakfast, a Lao eats a large bowl of noodle soup with salads - $ 1, juice, tea, water - $ 0.5. Lunch consists of a large portion of rice, with a huge amount of different salads, spices, broth - $ 3. In the evening, eat rice, sweets, drink beer and this is about $ 5. Therefore, it is possible to squeeze out and eat normally for an ordinary person who receives a monthly salary of $ 300 without any problems. Many rice dishes are quite varied and inexpensive. A huge role in the food culture is played by a variety of papaya, mango, spicy Korean salads, etc., which cost nothing. Grass, leaves, stems, roots, fruits, with different taste, smell and color, improve digestion. Lao people are mostly vegetarians, although they love meat very much.
We, too, at the very beginning, when we arrived in Laos, selectively bought some products in the market, for fear of catching an intestinal infection. Therefore, all products were first bought in a supermarket, where prices are 2 times higher than in the market. Over time, we found places - markets and fast food outlets, where prices are lower and the quality is not worse than in supermarkets. Until today, there has not been a single case when we and our children got poisoned or got sick with an intestinal infection.
Several months ago, returning home, I saw two Lao pensioners in a cafe. Merry, they sang in karaoke. We drank beer. The large table was filled with food.
Interestingly, I thought, even pensioners keep up with the youth. Songs, beer and food are everywhere. All Lao people love to eat a lot. They constantly chew something, and most importantly, they constantly drink.
Appetizing scents envelop the whole Vientiane from early morning until late at night.
People wake up and immediately start cooking and eating. We in Europe are used to starting the morning with a cup of coffee. That is, in the morning I never gorged, because the brain works better on an empty stomach. In Laos, the opposite is true. Morning breakfast is both lunch and dinner. They don't really need to strain their brains. Everything was decided for them and there was no need to think about anything. The people are happy. No hungry. Everything is in business. Everything in their life is good. This means that the People's Revolutionary Party is following the right path!
He who works well eats a lot!
Here are some statistics on who is how much and who weighs how much.
Studies have shown that in most Asian countries, people are on average lighter than those in the West. This is understandable, because the Western style of eating is the most harmful and contributes to the development of obesity more than others. Since rice is the main food crop in Asia, the level of obesity is significantly lower here. On average, 150 grams / day or more per person comes out. This association suggests that the prevalence of obesity is low in countries where rice is consumed as a staple food.
According to my observations: in Laos there are several times less fat people than in Thailand. Before the pandemic, we constantly traveled to Thailand and of course there are more overweight people there.
My forecast for Laos for 2020-2021 is as follows.
Even now, due to the shortage of a large number of manufactured goods that Laos has imported, the state and people do not have much difficulty with food. More than a year will pass when the price of common products starts to rise. Today, during the period of isolation and pandemic, I can say that the price per 1 kg for certain seasonal food products has fallen, and these are: rice - $ 0.7, mango - $ 0.6, pineapple - $ 0.5, passion fruit - $ 0.5, apples - $ 0.5, corn - $ 0.4, bananas - $ 0.5, parsley, green onions, dill - all for $ 0.1, tomatoes - $ 0.5, cucumbers - $ 0.3.
The price of permanent (popular) products, such as steakyris - $ 1, beer - $ 0.9, flour - $ 0.5, etc., will remain unchanged throughout the year. Only for imports, which are dairy products and meat, prices have gone up since the start of the global crisis. The market will shift in a year if the production of products is less than consumer demand or there is a dry period. All food prices will slowly grow imperceptibly and will not hit the budget of the country's population.
Small inflation during the year and the rise in prices for all goods, people will not even feel. The growth of the gross product during the crisis, today, is even higher than before it. There is an oversupply of some agricultural products. Bottom line: famine does not threaten the Lao people. The only factor that can cause a rise in prices and bring down the food market may be hunger in neighboring countries of Laos, such as India or China. When export prices rise and most of the agricultural products will flow abroad. But this will not happen in the coming years.
Residents of Laos, sleep well! There will be no hunger!
If you have worked well all week, then of course you are tired. Play karaoke, buy a few cases of beer, invite your friends and have fun. Don't think about anything! Everything will be fine in Laos!
To be continued.
Где родился, там и пригодился!
Август в этом году будет феноменальным! В августе 5 суббот, 5 воскресений и 5 понедельников. Такое случается один раз в 823 года. Китайцы называют это явление "мешок полный денег" !
Радость к жизни - отличает лаосцев от других народов мира. Сегодня мне хочется рассказать о еде и продуктах питания. Мы не можем не есть. Мы всегда хотим есть. Еда — это наслаждение жизнью!
Одна часть трудоспособного населения Лаоса работает на государственной службе.( Collapse )