Daily Archives: 2010-01-29

A Blast from the Past – Luang Prabang, Laos

I ended up finding a cute guesthouse that was just built and though it would normally be out of my price range, I splurged. I decided since it would be my birthday tomorrow, I had better enjoy it. One of the many presents I was planning on giving myself.

I wandered around town and noticed it was quite small. I liked all the activity and the market stalls that were spouting up all over the place. It seems that at night, this place comes alive. I went for a massage and ended up giving the girl at the front desk my lip gloss. She was so enamored by it and explained to me that they cannot get such things here. I wondered how different it would be to live in a culture that so values modesty. The petite young lady wistfully revealed her secret wishes to wear short skirts and makeup. She explained that Australians and Canadians were well known for our sense of style. Really?

I wandered home that night through the quiet streets and realized that this town seems to be stuck in another era. Sure there are cars and electricity but the attitude seems to be from a simpler time. I think I would trust the honor system here more so than most other places I’ve been. I tested it a few times when I had to promise to come back and pay later having run out of Kip (the local currency). Every single time they just smiled with eyes brimming trust, nodding their heads with understanding. They didn’t even want me to leave anything for insurance. My Word was sufficient.

I meandered down the main street which turns into a huge market at night. The atmosphere was subdued yet delightful and children were visible at every other stall. I admired the colorful handmade wares and their impressive attention to detail. After having asked a few prices, I was sure I would not be escaping Luang Prabang without a few reminders of my time here.

Grateful for honor.

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