While at the Savan Khaim Khong, occasionally beggars would come in; usually parents with their kids. I always gave each kid some little money; not a lot, but something. I’ve never really thought that begging was a good idea and I’ve certainly seen more beggars who didn’t have to than those that were more or less forced to do it by their circumstances. While I’ve gotten pretty low in my time, I’m fortunate never to have had to beg, so my heart has to go out to those who feel they must.
One Lao woman came in with a pan suspended on a pole. The pan contained hot charcoals with a grill over it. Upon request, the woman would heat up some dried pah-merk (squid), which is a tasty treat that goes great with beer. I had several.
I had a good view of the sundown and then things started picking up. The karaoke singers gradually got it in gear and when they did so, I noticed what few other falang around, left for the exits.
It wasn’t long before I was pulled into a birthday party at the table next to me. The birthday boy in question – a young Lao man in his late 20s – just would not take “no” for an answer, so I celebrated with he and his buddies and a couple of their girls, contributing four bottles of Beer Lao. It was fun.
On my way back to the Nongsoda, I was again pulled into – this time a family celebration of some sort. One of the men (Konsing) spoke very good English, so, for the first time since meeting Miss Ott that morning, I had a chance to converse and fully understand what was being said. Usually, my conversations with Lao people are a mixture of guesswork, interspersed with words that I knew, laughs, and a good deal of apology from me:
“Wao Lao nit-noy” (speak Lao very little)
Well, I guess this is an improvement from the days when I would say:
“Wao Lao bo dai!” (speak Lao cannot!)