I also scoured Goa for colonial Portuguese food and sausage, got sick in Java, ate great Chinese food in Kuala Lumpur, gambled for pork links in Taipei, cooked hairy crabs with my grandmother in Shanghai, made tofu in Lombok, got silly in Seoul, learned what its like to dine in exile in Taiwan, headed to Dharavi for a little Oscars celebration, roasted water buffalo and set off rockets in Yasothorn, and got straight up gluttonous in Sydney.
That's just a sample. A lot can happen in a year.
One thing I did do that most people probably didn't this New Year was kick it with some tobacco farmers in Isaan, who happened to be cooking a boar in a thicket on the side of a dirt path. Isaan is a remarkable place to get off the road and explore, as the people there are some of the most generous on earth. And they like a good party... See?
So we're dancing a little, and we have a few swings swigs of rice whiskey, and they invite us for a bite to eat. From, um, there:
Which was an enormous pot of bubbling water filled with tough bits of boar. Which, when washed down with warm whiskey, felt like an especially festive treat on a hot winter's day.
And in the end Chris and I even got kisses for the road...
Here's to happiness.