Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Life as a routine

We have had been living an enjoyable, but routine life for the last few weeks.

Last week we had a fleeting visit from Tony & Jane.  It was a bit of a contrast for them from Central Otago snow to our tropical humidity.  But we had a great time showing them around town.

Luckily the pool at the apartment, and BeerLao wherever we go, helps most people cope.  (Not sure what the expression on Andrew's face is all about)

One place we have not taken any of our guests yet is a local outdoor bar.  We sometimes go around for a beer later on a Saturday afternoon.  At that time lots of factory workers from 3 or 4 nearby garment factories finish for the week.  [ There was a report in the local paper recently the average garment factory worker earns about NZD75 per month! ]  Many of the girls live in dormitories attached to the factories, while others get picked up by trucks and taken back to their villages.

Sometimes there is a hive of people activity, so it is an interesting people-watching spot.   Some of the locals talk to us and maybe enjoy watching us as something different in the neighbourhood and we are becoming recognised as semi-regulars and we always sit at the same table. 
Andrew's charm doesn't always convince the little girls he isn't too scary as they run away giggling.

Every time just 10 metres from the bar a lady cooks bits of chicken.  Standing in the smoke taking her work very seriously.  We finally actuallt took a photo of her. 

We did a quick visa run on Saturday morning.  We used to grab a tuk-tuk to the bridge across to Thailand when we first arrived.  Now we have progressed to flagging down the local bus.  This time there were no spare seats so people rearranged themselves to give the falang (foreigners) a seat.  The shopping bags full of vegetables from the market got moved around and I sat in the backseat.  Meanwhile Andrew folded himself into a small ball and managed to climb over two rows of seats while the bus was moving and sat beside the driver and another passenger.
Only the good boys get to sit beside the driver

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