Saturday, April 26, 2008


Ostensibly we came back to Luang Prabang after Vietnam because we had some unfinished business here. We had yet to see the cave of 1000 buddhas, hadn't bathed any elephants, hadn't yet been to the waterfall. But the real reason is I think we may have landed on a place to live and we need to check into the possibilities.

Some years back my mom sold her house in Berkeley and left the Bay Area for the peace and quiet of Humboldt county. She said the rat race made her an angry person. At the time, I didn't
quite get it, but now I understand completely.

In laos, I am much happier than I have been elsewhere on our travels. I haven't been the complaining and grumpy-old-man-child that has been known to come out in places like Vietnam and India. Sure, it's hot and humid, but there is little traffic and the tuk tuk drivers and
street vendors aren't aggressive or annoying- they generally just say Sabaidee and leave it at that. The watts, traditional Laos houses on stilts, and French colonial architecture is gorgeous, and there are tropical flowers, kittens and cute little naughty children everywhwere. Luang Prabang, despite all the tourists, is a peaceful sanctuary. To get an idea check out Valerie's pics at

Unfortunately, Luang Prabang is also a bit of a one horse town, so it's lacking in things one would want if one were to live here. We've already exhausted most of the restaraunt choices, which are tasty but limited in scope and housing is in short supply. There are a few colleges where perhaps Valerie could teach, but the real action is in Vientiane, which is still mellow, but has more going on. With all it's NGOs and embassies, there is a sizeable expat community and the infrastructure to support it. And there are four clubs I could play there vs. two here. But alas, Vientianne is just not as beautiful a city as Luang Prabang. We'll see, I'd still like to check out Berlin as well, but that's another story.

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