“My name is Ster, Lob Ster”
There were two Australian tourists wandering the streets of Luang Prabang, a local came up and asked “What’s your names” the tourists responded “Rob and Lorenza”. The local repeated the names “Nice to meet you Lob and Loz-enz-da”, the tourists corrected the local “No, that is Rob and Lorenza”.
After going through this many times the two tourists changed their names. From then on when approached by a friendly local they introduced themselves as “Lob and my darling wife is called Ster”. This is how we will be known forever more throughout South East Asia.
After a few Beer Lao’s most locals got the joke. Cousins Reunion(s)
Of all the places you could pick to teach English as a second language I think Luang Prabang would be one of the best. That is where my cousin Phil has found himself doing exactly that.
We caught up with Phil and spent the next few days eating, drinking, playing silly games and meeting lots of lovely Luang Prabangians. We did not get to meet Phil's girlfriend as she was away working in the countryside (she is a school teacher). We were
soon joined by our fun loving distant cousins from France and life was good. There are plenty of things to see and do in Luang Prabang. The French Connection took in the sights, while Phil, Lorenza and I mostly chilled out (this being our second visit to LP).
We took a boat tour to Pak Ou cave (the home of retired Buddha statues in Laos). Rob left his token behind in the cave. The worst tourist food in Laos is served up across the river form the cave. But, the friendliest and most informative Lao whiskey maker is over that side of the river also. As a wine maker and casual distiller, Jean found the process very interesting. As a wine making hobbyist I was intrigued also. The guy managed to distil a good drop of rice whiskey that was about 45% alcohol. He also made some other versions that were about 15% and tasted more like a Port wine. All this made via an alembic still made form a 44 gallon drum. Lao BBQ
The culinary highlight of our stay in Luang Prabang was an evening at a Lao BBQ restaurant. It was a favourite place
of Phil’s and located out of the tourist area. The charcoal burner was placed in a hole in the table that looked like it had been carved out roughly one night during a drinking binge.
The BBQ was great, various meats, vegetables, etc. As always washed down with iced Beer Lao. We were joined by Phil’s housekeeper, Miss Xay and some friends. The group grew as people dropped by as the night progressed.
This countries greatest asset is its friendly, happy, open people. They have a great sense of humour and every Lao person we met went out of their way to converse with us and make us feel very welcome. No wonder Phil loves this place so much.
We also caught up with a cousin of Care and Tanoy – we invited her to the BBQ but she could not make it. She gave us a gift of some green tea to take home. Over the Bamboo Bridge to Play Silly Games
We spent the last day of our stay in Luang Prabang on the other side of the “Bamboo Bridge”, eating and drinking while playing silly games. We also shared a bottle of
wine that Jean had brought along from home.
It was a great way to spend our remaining hours in LP. For me, relaxing with good company, nice food and an enjoyable drink really sums this place up in my mind.
That afternoon we were off to Hanoi.
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