This is a rather impromptu post, but it has been sparked by last night’s encounter with a rather interesting fellow by the name of Señor Miguel. I was eating dinner in a burger joint called Ray’s Grille (more on that one in future posts) which serves probably one of the best burgers I have had in all of Asia. To quote Samuel L. Jackson’s character Jules in Pulp Fiction “Mmm-mmmm. That is a tasty burger”. And it really was a damn tasty burger! This goes back to what I was saying in my last blog post – Vientiane has some of the best western food I have eaten in all of Asia.
Anyway, enough of the taste of the USA, we’re heading south as this post is all about a taste of Mexico. An icy taste, that is…
Señor Miguel’s Mexican Paleta Pops
So to cut a long story short, it turned out that Señor Miguel was sitting at the next table across from us. So we got chatting and he told us how he had started a business in Vientiane producing these Mexican Paleta Pops and was supplying them to restaurants (including Ray’s), mini-marts, etc. These paleta pops are frozen fruit treats made with fresh fruit and juices using quality ingredients and traditional Mexican recipes – with no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. But not just that, he also makes alcoholic versions as well…a perfect way to cool down in the Asian heat whilst simultaneously getting a little tipsy in the process.
So after talking them up for so long, it turned out that Ray’s didn’t actually have any in stock, and wouldn’t for at least a month…what!? But I wanted my paleta pop fix right now! Carrot and stick comes to mind.
But fear not! Señor Miguel to the rescue! He agreed to go home and get us some from his personal batch. What a nice gesture. And so as he rode off into the darkness to fetch these icy, fruity treats we wondered if we would actually see him again. But we put our faith in the word of a man who just 30 minutes earlier was a complete stranger, and no surprise he came back with a bag of about 30 (yes 30!) paleta pops for us to feast on. And not just that, these were the ‘adult’ versions – alcoholic!
Of all of the flavours that he personally delivered (free of charge!), the ‘Pina Colada’ and ‘Margherita’ flavours were, in my opinion, by far the best of the bunch.
I probably wouldn’t have posted this up if Miguel (this may or may not be his real name!) hadn’t been such a decent bloke. It just constantly amazes me how many different types of people from all corners of the earth, who are on completely different journeys you meet when you travel. This isn’t just a post about a man who produces ice lollies in Laos, it is a reminder that when you travel, you never know who you will meet, what you will learn and what new experiences you will come across from one day to the next. When you travel, you see just what a tiny place you occupy in this world. We are all just a tiny speck of dust in the universe and we must remember this to stay humble, modest and to further open our minds.
So if you do decide to open your minds in Vientiane, there’s no place better than at Ray’s for a burger and then forget the shots, just get a round of ice pops in. Second childhood, here I come…
Right, I’m off to get drunk on ice lollies.