Posted by: Richard | November 14, 2009

A brief discourse on our use of funds to further the Laotian economy…

ok the constant question is how do we spend our money here in asia.  is it cheap is it expensive what do we do all day.  to answer all questions, here is what we do…

Daily spending:

$40 – guesthouse (we pay extra for a/c and a shower – both of which take the edge off)
$6 – breakfast (coffee, baguette, fruit salad, croissant)
$12 – two day long trips on the mekong in a dodgy narrow boat
$3 – entry to buddha’s caves
$4 – 4 waters on some lays (yes, they sell lays) sour cream and onion crisps
$11 – two dodgy pizzas, 4 fruit smoothies (it’s sooo hot, dont question the smoothie)
$8 – Lao meal with a big beer
$14 – french wine at a lovely little wine bar lit by candle light and playing only covers sung by french / lao cover singers

Total spend today: $98.  Not too bad for two people, but obviously we are not living the hippie dream of Laos on <$10US a day.  More realistically, we are not living the Laos reality of life on $1 – $3 US a day.  Very privileged are we.

Other than the above, both Lynn and I got hit pretty hard by the heat, retreating this afternoon to our A/C and basic room to ride out the afternoon is +/- 25 degree heat as opposed to 35 degree heat.

The Mekong cruise today was lovely.    The stops were average, but being on a big river (with some fast water) made me wonder what a long canoe on the river would be like.  My guess, heaven.

Tomorrow I get to be a pretend Mahout. Yes, I will be responsible for training and supervising an elephant.  I wonder if this is appropriate?  A dozen pink foreigners in charge of a dozen 3-ton elephants.  While I’m not suggesting we are going to get these big beauties to run amok and terrorize the countryside, I’m also not saying we won’t do this….

On a side point, the meat issue continues to rear it’s head.  Lunch had us eating ham (don’t ask, long story).  Dinner renewed our faith, as the server came back and said “the broth in the pad thai is chicken stock…do you still want it”.  I wanted to cry, finally somebody understood.  While both Lynn and I have resigned ourselves to eating meat (and have partaken in buffalo, fish and pork in the past 36 hours, it is so nice to have the option to opt out….We tipped handsomely (which on a $6.50 meal means only $1.50)

Finally, I am in perfect recognition that since I have left Calgary, the Flames are nigh unbeatable.  I’ll be raising a collection soon to keep me away….

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