Boom

So we’re walking outside our hotel tonight, and we see this…

Rice Cannon

Now we’re not even sure what we’re looking at. With nearby construction sites, I’m thinking he’s doing some weird cement mixing or something. If not that, he’s doing some odd pottery baking. He’s cranking this blackened pot around and around in a fire. Like I said, we have no idea what he’s doing. Logically then, we have no idea how long whatever he’s doing is going to take. So we walk away.

And that’s when things went up a notch.

We turned our backs and walked away. We’d taken no more than six steps.

And then a CANNON went off right behind us. No joke. The sound rattled off of every building in the street and set off car alarms in the area.

My wife is normally cool and composed in nearly every situation. But in that moment, it sounded as if an unnamed Sesame Street character was trying to escape from her throat. I’ve replayed that squeak-cry-yell-yelp-scream-squawk several times since the boom… and it makes me laugh out loud every time.

In fact, the moments after the blast were some of the best on our trip.

We laughed.

And laughed.

And laughed.

We replayed the whole thing over and over, laughing so hard that we had to stop and bend over several times.

If you could have seen the crowd, I’m sure you’d have seen an old guy (the blast-causer) amused at the two foreigners he’d just caused to pee themselves. The rest of the onlookers would have thought we were drunk from how hard we were laughing at ourselves.

So I never finished…

What WAS the noise?

You won’t believe the answer.

As we walked around a nearby park, we heard the noise several more times, so we knew it hadn’t been an accident. As we returned, we heard it again, and noticed that some product of the blasts was actually being bagged and sold to customers. And there was a familiar smell in the air.

I mean, a really familiar smell.

He was making popcorn.

Yeah, he was using some “I’ve-never-seen-that-before-what-the-heck-is-it-and-what-planet-am-I-on” method to make a snack.

Orville would be proud.

PS: We’ve since learned that it was actually rice instead of corn. So Snap, Crackle, and Pop are technically the fellows who would be proud.

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