26 July 2007
The people at work were discussing words for friends. One of the words is 'very socialist' someone was saying. I'm guessing this word mai translates to comrade.
There is a Lao word for a friend of the opposite sex which isn't your boyfriend/girlfriend- kikh. This can mean- just a friend or a mistress. There are some other useful Lao has that English doesn't have.
fen- the word for boyfriend/ girlfriend which is good because it's not gender specific
lao- a word for he or she which is also good because it's not gender specific
puak jao- a plural of 'you'. I think yous or youse is a word but unfortunately most people don't. I use it anyway.
hottie- someone on the side! Not the same meaning as in 'strain- I did try to explain
23 July 2007
I thought this museum was quite good. The prehistory section contains artifacts such as pots, drums and tools. They also talk about what happened between the 14th and 18th centuries.
The modern history section talks mostly of the
The most odd thing about the museum was the display from the Lao Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. They had a bunch of drugs they claimed they had confiscated. There were some crumbled tablets they said they said was amphetamines. There was a bag of leafy green material they labeled as marijuana. They had a couple of wrapped up bricks they said was heroin and opium. Surely it wouldn’t be real- but in this country I cannot be sure. Another funny thing was a cabinet of gold and silver buddhas with a sign that read ‘From the 14th to 18th century found in 1998 at the
I learnt that today in
Definitely not as polished as other museums I have been to, but they do have some interesting facts and photographs. Some displays look like something that I did in year 4, but that’s ok. It is also interesting to see the way they present their history- not as much propaganda as I thought it would be.This is located on
A’s parents came to visit during the weekend. We hired a minivan and driver to take me to Udon Thani to pick them up. On Saturday we just had lunch, watched
On Sunday we went to the Morning Markets and did some shopping. I love those markets, so I had a lot of fun. We had lunch at a Chinese restaurant. It was good because A’s dad was able to explain the
A’s family came to visit our house in the afternoon. They are the first people from home to see our house! We had dinner at Xayoh restaurant. They do a Sunday roast there which some of A’s family ordered and seemed to enjoy.
19 July 2007
Since the Hmong people in the US threatened to overthrow the government, the government they have made a step towards improving security. They are re registering all the foreigners in Laos which involves submitting a photo, address, passport and visa details.
I spent just over 4 days in
I found it less of a culture shock than I imagined because it seems just like much bigger, crazier, tidier Lao. Also, I managed to pretend to know some Thai from the limited knowledge of Lao because its nearly the same language. I just substituted some key words and hoped for the best for the rest. Also I heard Cantonese for the first time for months and my brain couldn’t process it properly. All I could say was ‘ko tod’, ‘sorry’ in Lao, when some Cantonese speaking girl grabbed the underwear I was holding because she wanted to find the same thing while I was in the store.
The Socceroos looked a much better team than during the Iraqi game. It was like they were a different team. My friends had calculated that
I didn’t bring over many clothes to
There is a massive 9,000 stall weekend market called Chatuchuk market that has everything. I spent two hours there and probably didn’t even see half of it. I’m glad I missed the live monkey section my friends came across. Not the cheapest for clothes, but the prices aren’t bad and they do have some really nice clothes. Like Paddington markets in
Pratanum markets, Platinum and
I recommend doing the three in that order as they are along the same road. Start with the cheapest and go up otherwise you’ll probably find the same cheap clothes at higher prices in the department store. Pratanum markets has lots of wholesale outlets where the clothes are really cheap and good, probably before being labelled, shipped off and sold in Australia for up to 10x the price. You can’t try some of the clothes on though, and for some reason some clothes are ‘free size’ and tend to be on the very small side.
Platinum is one step up from Pratanum these markets. They are cheap clothing stalls arranged in a compact air- conditioned mall. Easier to navigate than Pratanum markets but prices are probably slightly higher. Here you might not be able to try the clothes on.
Central World Plaza This is new and has lots of shops and a couple of Japanese department stores. It is seriously nice, probably nicer than Bondi Junction back at home but things are affordable. You can try on the clothes there.
I’d heard people talk about doing ‘buckets’ in
I did experience a small range of drinking establishments. One was set up at a derelict Shell service station. Another was tables and chairs set up with drinks served out of a van. I also experienced another couple of backpacker hangouts.
We really got into the food courts in
12 July 2007
Sengdara Fitness does look like a nice gym though ie it has a pool, massage, sauna and a restaurant. They have a guard to look after the bikes too. I think it's another foreigner hangout.
11 July 2007
When my workmates asked me this, I told them that I wasn’t sure. They said that after someone dies their spirit will still be around the house for three days. All this talk of ghosts in
A guy at work went to
Alternative afternoon tea- chilli hot green papaya salad. Some guy at work said he ate it to wake himself up. I tried a bit and he had it made very hot. Seems a few people eat it in the afternoon. People sweat while they eat it but they keep pushing on.
My housemate went to a North Korean restaurant for dinner last night with her South Korean friends. Before she went, we had concluded that it would be South Koreans with recipes from the north. We were wrong. This was a genuine North Korean restaurant run by the North Korean government. She said the food has simpler flavours than South Korean food and had the opportunity to try North Korean style dog. The most interesting thing about her experience was that the waiters and waitresses went and got changed and put on an hour long show involving singing.
I stopped at the lights on my bicycle on the way to dinner tonight. I saw a woman get off her motorbike and angrily snatch a bag of shopping from a foreigner guy on a motorbike stopped next to her. I think she took the keys out of his motorbike too. She slapped him on the face, though not too hard because he was wearing a half- face motorbike helmet. He hit her back. I can only assume he had taken the shopping from the basket of her motorbike. He did have a beer in his hand. This happened next to one of the police booths around town. She called the police to come over. You go girl!
My housemate and I spent the Saturday riding our bicycles around town visiting the textile shops and galleries around town. We are now experts! We were looking at woven fabrics that can be used as scarves, wall hangings or over furniture. There are patterns in the fabric. I can’t really describe the designs- geometric? The most expensive ones are dyed using natural dyes, made of pure silk, have the back and front looking equally neat and take up to three months to make. The most expensive weaving we saw was around 3x1m and was $3900 US. This was in a gallery was on the road that comes off That Dam on the
If you would like to see what Lao textiles look like, click on the link below:
Last night I went the party of an Australian that works in
Looking forward to meeting some friends from home in
05 July 2007
I came across the website of the Lao disabled women's development centre today. They sell a range of bags and other accessories at reasonable prices. Some of there stuff looks gorgeous!
Apparently it's located on Tha Deu near the Friendship Bridge. I might catch a bus there sometime or stop there on the way home from Thailand.