First Lada pulled outcome bottles from her shopping bag: milk, Red Bull, and a bottle of rice whiskey from the distiller we visited earlier in the day. She mixed them up together into a "crazy cocktail" she said she learned from a "lady boy" which is what gay men are apparently called here. It was surprisingly yummy and while we sipped that we waited for the main surprise.
A waiter arrived carrying a bowl of deep red liquid, and several smaller bowls as well. Here it was,the Real Deal. As it turned out, the red liquid was duck blood, a locally relished delicacy. To prepare it, they first put a later of cooked chopped duck liver in the bottom of a soup bowl, then cover it in duck blood. Next they add mint, lime juice, crispy fried onions, green onions and peanuts. This is called Lerd Ped, it needs to sit for about 10 minutes to congeal, and they we eat and savor. Only a few of us got the courage to try it. Many were totally turned off at the idea. But it was surprisingly good tasting, and although I wasn't tempted to have a second bite, I'm glad I had that first one. Of course we all laughed for hours about that evenings festivities. We ended up at a restaurant in town where we had a great meal, more foods than you can imagine. I've Beene ting vegetarian this whole trip (except for the duck blood!) and each meal is completely satisfying and delicious.
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