Here in Central Laos, after a daily consumption of pedaling and eating rice and lacking the endurance to continue the latter, I begin to pedal along and eye the street food vendors with a hungry curiosity. Noodle soup is the daily breakfast staple; it is served with a plate of lettuce, green beans and chilies. Sticky or steamed rice is the local Laotian roadside meal and my daily snack.
Other on the go foods for the hungry bicycle tourist in South East Asia? There are hollowed out bamboo tubes that are stuffed with rice and peanuts and razor thin beef steamed inside of whole portable pineapples. And every food imaginable is served on an environmentally friendly take away stick. No need for tuberware or styrofoam here. There are boiled eggs on sticks, bananas on sticks, papayas on sticks, corn cobs on sticks and yummy mystery “sausages” on sticks. I pedal along the oddly nutritious heavily forested palatable roadside attraction. Pandemic The Magic Hungry Bicycle comes to a quick halt as we stumble across the most peculiar sight of a full cooked chicken plus feet. It appears as if our chicken friend has been stopped, wings a flapp'in mid flight. He is roasting on a steel grate and is being served...you guessed it, lacerated onto a bamboo stick.
After pondering how and why to eat a chicken’s feet and then immediately scratching my head as to how they can get an entire chicken onto such a skinny stick, I begin to chomp away. The texture is furry for I don’t think the feathers have been removed, I decide not to look and keep eating. Attempting to devour this whole chicken on a stick is a hunger be gone, no more rice for me for a while, adventure. In addition to a curious texture and the sight of the ‘I think he is next’ chicken running around the cooking area, there is a brown gooey substance mid stick that could be an organ to nibble around. The stick itself has been soaked in lime juice so the stick itself is quite tasty. Fear Factor try outs here I come! After failing at eating the entire chicken, for I gave up somewhere near the organs, I take a large swig of sour sop juice and cycle off deeper into the mysterious nutritional adventures of central Laos while realizing how much I really do miss rice.