Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Office Work

Andrew has been given a desk by the window, with a good view over the city and an Internet connection.  I, on the other hand only go to the office periodically and get to sit at a long table and have no Internet connection. 

And Andrew has taken to telling people we are working on this project together – but that HE is the boss.

Andrew Office

It’s a brand new building in its 1st 12 months so everything is new and shiny and it even has an electronic ticker tape across the top of the building. 


What you cant see from this angle are the concrete elephant statues in the grounds, congregating around a watering hole.


Also not in picture is the grounds man we watched from the window.  He spent a good 3 or 4 minutes throwing his coolie hat into the air and doing magnificent soccer goal-keeper dives onto the grass.  Bored with that, he then went back to cutting the shrubs.

PS.  In case you were wondering what sort of building is required to house a stock exchange which only has two companies on it – here is a picture below. 

It is also brand new and purpose-built within the last two years.  The exchange trades from 8:30am to 11:30am. 

According the stock exchange report in the paper on Friday the previous day saw 10 trades in one stock at total value of NZ$1,600 and the other stock had 146 trades worth about NZD$25,000

Stock Exchange Building

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Vientiane Apartment

We couldn't get back into our old apartment, which would have been ideal as it was just around the corner from the company Head Quarters.  So instead we are located 3km away on the other side of town near the Patuxay Monument.  So it’s a 10 minute tuk-tuk ride to get to and from work.  On the other hand its only a 5 minute bike ride into town.

The apartment is in a complex with 2 blocks of about 16 apartments each.  We haven’t really seen any of the other residents. 

AB Apartment VIentiane

We have a one bedroom apartment and the rooms are relatively modern and spacious. 

Apartment Bed Bath
Apartment Living Kitchen

The access driveway down to the apartment is typical Laos rough dirt road, with potholes filled with broken up building materials from the building site next door. 

Apartment driveway

We have a miniature balcony which one of us at a time could sit on and look at the view of….a large truck/machinery storage yard.  It doesn't look great, but it’s really quiet.  No truck noises, just men with non-power tools banging away at engines – so you hardly hear them.  The large building to the left of the truck yard, is a very large school, and they do make some noise but only during school hours.

Apartment View

Monday, June 17, 2013

Back in Laos

After a day and a couple of nights in Bangkok we are back in Vientiane.  Lots has changed, but at the same time nothing has changed here.  We are here to do a short review project for one of the TWO companies listed on the Laos stock exchange, before heading back to NZ in August.

We couldn't go back to our old apartment, so we are staying in a different area this time.  Sadly it doesn't have a pool, but it is much closer to town being just behind Patuxay – the Laos Arc d’ Triomphe.  This is good, but the company head-quarters are just around the corner from our old apartment – so there will be some daily travelling across town.

We have hired a couple of push-bikes again as our personal means of transport.  It takes a strong man to choose the pink & lavender bike, but Andrew showed no hesitation.  Note also the pink t-shirt, red toning hat and cargo net.  Mine is a standard around-town shopping bike also ridden by school children.

blog bike

We have already revisited some of our old favourites –

1. Lao Kitchen for lunch and at $3.50 per plate for a delicious stir fry, its a steal!

blog LaoKitchen

2. Outside bar in the tourist quarter for a beer (or more than one beer) and the old lady still remembers Andrew – although with a face like this it is hard to forget it!

Bloag beer garden

3. Highland bar to watch the test, catch up with a couple of kiwis, and a couple more beers. Dehydration is always at the back of the mind and under a $1.50 a bottle its almost as cheap as water