The peaceful village of Lakkang is just a stone’s throw from Makassar. I was to have a cooking class there in a family home. To get there you take a little ferry which departs not far from the university campus.
The guide had accompanied me to the fish market and the general market in the morning to make sure we had all the necessary ingredients. We had purchased tiny fish, a bigger fish, some corn on the cob, lots of chilli and small shallots, some kind of spring onion, a large number of bananas, just to mention a few ingredients. The fish was the first thing we bought in the morning, and I was a little concerned: would it cope in a warm plastic bag while we took a ride on a becak (three-wheeled cart, motordriven in this case) to the general market, strolled around the market under the scorching sun, took a rather long ride in a very crowded bus and rode on the ferry? Apparently it did, I suppose because it was really fresh. We all arrived safe and sound at our destination.
My host and teacher looked at me with some apprehension, let me harass her with my camera and quickly understood I wouldn’t be of much help in the kitchen. She seemed to use a magic wand to get things done while I was desperately trying to keep up with my photos and note-taking.
What eventually appeared on the lunch table was absolutely delicious, in particular the corn, which had turned into very tasty fritters. A truly memorable experience.
It wasn’t until after lunch that I discovered that a young man, one of the sons in the house, had been asleep while the rather noisy cooking had taken place and while the television was on at top volume a few inches from his head. Some people do have the gift of being able to relax.