10 + 1 in 10 {it’s been a while}

1. A neighboring Lao puppy decided we would be his owners.

2. Craig and I negotiate the lease for a yoga space (working on the interior excites me very much).

3. Experienced my first Hmong new year at a Hmong village close to where we live. This festival takes usually takes place before the end of the twelfth lunar calendar month, when the harvest is finished and foods are abundant. Men and mostly women dress in elaborately colored and embroidered outfits.

4. Our first visitor, Nikki, spent over two weeks here. In that time we traveled to what I call the “emerald town” (Nong Khiaw). Pure enchantment.

5. Bananas are baked over coals on the streets in Laos. Finally tried one. It tastes like, uh, a dried out banana. If it were dipped in chocolate, I’d be more excited.

6. Some expat friends play tennis on a regular basis and invited me. Hadn’t played since my pops and I would rally around at the Victory Park courts in Pasadena when I was 11 years old.

7. Cashed in a much needed and coveted raffle prize, massage for two at the Amantaka Hotel. Let me just say this…bliss.

8. I’m a birthday person. Being new here, I wondered if there would be much of a celebration. A table of 12 at my favorite restaurant said otherwise. Loved that night.

9. A visit to Vientiane (Laos capital) was the small dose of city we needed. Our lovely hostess created a African dinner for us during our stay.

10. A 25km ride through some dusty, bumpy roads was considered my last initiation as scooter driver. I wish I could say I was graceful about it.

11. FINALLY had my first Lao language class. Koi mak khao niow. (I like sticky rice.) Impressed?

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16 comments
  1. sue said:

    i like sticky rice too! useful phrase indeed… lovely to hear your updates… one day you’re going to look back at this and be amazed by what you’ve accomplished! belated happy birthday ;)

  2. I love imagining you there. I really look forward to when I can come over and share. xoxo

  3. Monica said:

    I loved this post. Your writing transports me there. Thanks for sharing. What you guys are doing is AMAZING!

  4. Kathleen Hojnacki said:

    I do so love this post. And can find some joy within me, to see what you folks are doing “following your dream”. Bless!

  5. Rick said:

    Nice update and super photos. Keep it real.

  6. marcy said:

    Fabulous amiga…..what a wonderful way to kick off 2013. Hope we can skype soon so i can hear all about Laos.

  7. thank you, Sue. i’d like to learn how to make sticky rice. will have to enroll in a cooking class soon. ;)

  8. Hi Kathleen, thank you for stopping by. Appreciate your thoughts.

  9. Thank you, dearest. Your support means a lot to me.

  10. Will Liu said:

    Happy belated birthday. Laos sounds so lovely this time (at least on your blog). Are those cube shaped meat ball on your birthday cake. They look delicious!

    As for the grilled banana, yours mirrored my first experience exact. I wonder why people would prefer banana dried out than fresh. But I figure try everything twice. So the second time, the banana was probably on the grill not too long. The outside was grilled but inside was slightly gooey, sweet and sour, like fried banana fritters.

  11. Liam said:

    Christine – greetings from Kabul my friend. I enjoy reading about your adventures. Things here are a bit more gray, Beijing like air pollution, monthly car bombings and suicide vest wearing insurgents blowing themselves up against our castle walls. But as I drive around the city in my armored SUV I see westerners, journalists, NGOs, or even tourists I imagine, and see those people as my soul mates, but for certain roads taken or not taken in my life that could have been me, with a beard and no sign of camouflage. Hopefully if I show up with Meghan and my two daughters to Luang Prabang, or whatever exotic location you may be living, we can catch up. I regret missing your wedding, and not making it to Tunisia when I was living in Spain. But my little ones are good travelers, so one day we will connect. All the best to you and Craig (who I also regret not meeting yet, but it will happen!!)

  12. Liam,it means so much to me to see you here. I can’t begin to imagine what you’re experiencing there but am glad to know that these descriptions encourage a desire for a much needed reunion. Of course, our doors are open to you and your girls…always. When will you return home? Sending you much love.

  13. Ah…well Will, you give me banana hope. No, not cubed meat on my cake. Those are profiteroles. Except mine are covered, slathered in chocolate, as is only right. So nice seeing you here. Thanks for the bday greetings. Any chance you’ll return?

  14. Will Liu said:

    So…someone already named what I nicknamed “That Delicious Custard filled Puff”? Outrageous! Enjoy reading about the Adventures of Buddy. Maybe you should create a Facebook account and a Blog for him? As for future travel plan, Laos and Myanmar now are my top two countries to revisit in Southeast Asia. So watch out!

  15. Awesome, Will. Look us up, for sure.
    And, hmmm, a Buddy FB page. Perhaps.

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