'Why doesn't Lao doesn't have an entrant into the Miss Universe competition'
'Lao girls are too short?'
'Is there an English word for short nose?'
Apparently it is not considered beautiful to have a short nose.
If you would like government officials to attend a conference or training session you are holding, most organisations will pay a 'per diem' ie a daily payment of a few dollars directly to the person attending. This is quite a lot of money as they would otherwise be paid $1 per day. Some foreigners think that people shouldn't have to be paid extra to do their job. I'm not so sure. Where I used to work at home, some people hated attending training courses because it meant they had to work twice as hard when they returned to catch up. They probably weren't interested in the course anyway. If you were being paid $1 per day why would you be bothered going if you did have to work harder later? I'd consider the extra payment as a bonus for having to be more productive!
This week I've had a couple of dinners with people for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade who have come to visit. We just went to a couple of local joints serving the usual Lao food, with some Thai in the mix too. I overdosed on MSG, chicken stock and salt but I'm over it now. The thing that stuck out in my mind that was particularly unfortunate was that the Myanmar government behaves so badly it's hard give aid to them there. Australia does give some aid, but it would be just through big international aid agencies such as the UN. Myanmar extended the house arrest on their leader of opposition Ms Aung San Suu Kyi last Sunday, boo.