Thursday, July 18, 2013
A number of people have asked about our house in Laos. I started taking pictures of it over a week ago, and then we lost internet during a torrential downpour, and it was just restored today, so here they are.
The front gate. It slides to the right to allow a car to drive through. For those walking or riding mopeds, only the small gate on the right is opened.
So, there you have it. It is a very big, beautiful house. The company chose it for us and we are very happy with it. It is actually stipulated in the rental agreement that you have a housekeeper and a guard, so I'm also very happy that I am not in charge of cleaning it! because it is very big. Lots of wood floors to sweep and mop. There is not "central" air conditioning, but there are wall units in almost every room, so we have the air going in the bedrooms and the living room all of the time, and then we turn it on in the dining room or kitchen as needed. We're hoping that means our electric bill will be somewhat reasonable. We should find out tomorrow. Let me know if there's anything I left out that you were curious about. I know a lot of the pictures have bad lighting and I'm sorry for that.
You're welcome to visit whenever you're in the area!
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
We left Seattle around 7pm and landed in San Francisco at 9:30pm.
We had to check our luggage again to make sure it went all the way to Laos and didn't stop in Singapore and we got a little scare at the ticketing desk. They said we weren't allowed to fly into Laos without purchasing a return ticket to the United States. You're technically not allowed to stay in Laos inevitably... even though Matt is kind of a special case since he's working here. So, Matt had to call his company and have them pay for refundable flights (since we don't have that kind of cash just laying around in our bank account) for us back to the U.S. that we will never use. It was a very tense half hour while we waited to see if we could go to Laos at all... But it all worked out.
We hung out in the business lounge until our flight to Hong Kong left at 1:15am or thereabouts. I have never flown business class before, and have therefore never had access to the business lounge... They had showers and toothbrushes and teeny-tiny tubes of toothpaste and fruit and juice and soda and wifi and ice cream and sandwiches and a buffet, etc. Weird, but cool. We flew from San Francisco to Hong Kong for 13 hours. Here are some pictures of the airplane seats/beds we flew in. Absolutely incredible. I couldn't get over the accommodations.
Here's the menu... (This is for Nancy, who took pictures of every meal she ate with us in Hawaii.)
Even the peanuts were fancy!
The supper... I had STEAK on an AIRPLANE. What?
Scott and Bobby both slept really well on the airplane.
Bobby fell asleep with his hand in the bag of peanuts...
Those noise-cancelling headphones were complimentary.
Is that not an amazing airplane seat??
We landed in Hong Kong at heaven knows what time of day... Each time we landed, we had to go through security again. With five carry-ons, two kids, and a stroller. We loved it.
We flew for 3 hours from Hong Kong to Singapore and then another 3 hours from Singapore to Vientiane, Laos. So flying for 21 hours from a time zone that's 14 hours ahead of where you started has its benefits. You've slept and been awake and eaten at such weird times that you really have no starting point for "your time zone" anymore, so adjusting is not as hard as you might think. We landed at 3pm and waited at the airport for about 2 hours filling out paperwork for visas and then waiting for a car to take us to Matt's work to pick up our car so we could drive to our new home, so by the time we went out for a few groceries and some dinner, it was time for bed anyway and we were ready to sleep. It all worked out.
My best piece of advice from this trip: never eat pork and century egg congee. Blech!