I walked into a little art studio, on a side Soi between the Market and River Sts., and saw a couple of people working in the yard out back. Those streets have names, but I never remember the. Elliotte does, for some silly and no doubt arcane reason.
But as to the people I spied, well, of course, I went to investigate.
One fellow was hand carving a sign for some soon to be opened guest house somewhere. It’s a particularly nit-picky skill, I think, and one that probably does not garner the awe and admiration that it should. How much does a guest house pay for a hand-carved sign, anyways? And compare that to the price of a computer carved product that we’re more likely to see back home.
This guy – Phai (I’m guessing on the spelling here) – was repairing a big tangled mess of a fishing net. Perhaps he’s also a wood carver – you can see the producs in the background.
Lao are a friendly, welcoming people. Quick to smile, and always happy to let me take their photo. That’s a good thing (to coin a Marthaism), since they’ve taken their fair share of photos of Elliotte.
I am continually amazed by the work ethic displayed by the average person in my travels. They do (sometimes) amazingly boring work and for such (seemingly, to us) little profit…
We set Elliotte loose on our last day here with “fifty thou”. That’s Lao Kip, and 6500 of them make a Canadian dollar. (We laughed the other day when she asked for “fifteen thou” for a drink. It was so casual; I hope she appreciates how much that means to some people, in other denominations.)
We made dammed sure that she understood that this amount (about 16 CAD) represents a few days of hard (or worse, boring) labour here. I think (hope) she was suitably impressed by the fact.
Here’s another pic of the nets, which will become an LGV300 pic for the book.
This is a beautiful land, and with a beautiful people. I shall desperately miss it.