In spite of tradition, I decided to duck out of the party early last night. The party itself was overwhelming - the tables were practically creaking under the weight of the food and bottles of beer on each. The main courses were roasted pork, deep fried spring rolls, salad made with thousand year old eggs and covered with mayonnaise (I think that was supposed to be a concession to health), spicy internal organ salad, beef stew and khao tom
Khao tom requires special mention since it's a special holiday food. It's made by pouring sticky rice, a mixture of ground beans and pork into a banana leaf tube. The tube is tied up with thin bamboo strips and the whole thing is steam under the rice expands, the pork is cooked and the whole thing has the weight of a brick. It's really dense food and the sticky rice is very sticky. In spite of the weight, you could press it to the wall and it would stick there...forever.
But it is really delicious. I enjoy eating a slice or two, especially if I don't have to eat anything else.
Anyway, when I arrived at the party, I sat down with several women whom I didn't know. They barely talked to me, or to each other, but they went through a whole plate of the khao tom, drank a bottle of beer each and devoured the other dishes. And when they're mouthes were not full, they keep commanding me to eat more.
I was so stuffed that I made my excuses and went home early, well earlier than midnight. I heard the sounds of the firecrackers from my house. I guess I didn't auspisicize any houses this year - but when I explained this morning, all my friends understood. One stifled a yawn. "We were up till 3 am. The party just went...forever."