08 June 2007


Our modest office has a supply of coffee that tastes absolutely perfect. It is something to look forward to each morning. I’ve heard Lao is supposed to have some of the finest coffee in the world and this could be it. This coffee is probably from a farmer that earns little for their work has no idea what their produce is worth. Most people drink their coffee with condensed milk. I have my coffee black because condensed milk it’s bad for the teeth and the coffee is smooth enough to not need milk. The coffee beans have been crudely ground- they look like they’ve been mashed with a blunt object, perhaps ground with a mortar and pestle. You simply put the coffee in a cloth net and pour water through. It comes out rather well for such simple technology.

Another popular use for condensed milk is to put it in Ovaltine and add sugar.

In Lao they banned the ‘R’ sound in their alphabet... just like that. This happened some decades ago when they decided it was too foreign in a time they didn't feel friendly towards foreigners. Therefore the ancient capital of Luang Prabang is technically supposed to be Luang Pabang, but people still say it the old way.

Recently I was granted a visa to stay in Laos for a year. They let me stay because I am a 'foreign expert'- I have a yellow card that says so.

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