Sunday, February 18, 2007

Lazing about in Luang Prabang...
It all seems like a distant blur now but not that long ago we were lazing about in Luang Prabang for five days with Tim and Pauline. We soaked up the night market, checked out some waterfalls, tried some different places offering massage and ate in as many different restaurants as we could.

Our accommodation was perfectly positioned on the main street with a balcony over-looking the night market. Perfect for sitting with a gin and tonic, eyeing of things to buy and watching the numerous people as they wandered through the stalls.

Like last time, I was overcome with excitement at the number of beautiful, hand-woven silk hangings and antique Hmong patches of clothing. It took several days of looking at every stall/shop imaginable before selecting what to purchase...not easy when you pretty much want to buy it all.

I was also very excited to stumble across a gallery exhibiting work of an artist I have fallen in love with (his work that is...not him...although I'm sure he's a lovely fellow). I came across him and his work in an inflight magazine on a previous trip to Bangkok...and taking the copy with me (it said it was free) I was aware that a gallery had opened in Luang Prabang...but it was situated off the main road down a side it took me a chance encounter to find it. I excitedly walked through looking at the works and dreaming that I could afford the $18,000 price tags...there were some drawings for $1,200 but even still...I don't think Ben and I are quite in the income bracket yet to be affording such purchases. Besides which, my favourite painting of his...worth about $60,000 is owned by the Glenbowen Musuem. It's stunning...and since I can't buy it...I have copied it instead on canvas. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery is it not? Highly annoying for the person being copied though...but I artist that I am writing about but for some reason not mentioning his Thep Thavounsouk. If you're keen to check out his work...or buy me an artwork of his online...then go to:

Also, I have finally got round to posting some photos of our trip to Northern Thailand last year, as well as this recent trip to Luang Prabang. Head to

Next weekend see us head home to Oz...we both can't wait.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

It doesn't get better than this!!
Last night was a special one here in the Bodge. As you know, we have Khmer family - Ming Yim, her niece Gim Lee and co. Add to this - Hagar (the NGO that Ben works for), which now has a restaurant...and in the last few months - a raffle competition to help promote their opening. Add to this the major prize draw - a brand new Honda Dream motorbike...and you have yourself a winning combination.

And the winner is??????

Gim Lee!!!!!!!

Ben called me excitedly last night from work to tell me that Gim Lee had won the draw. I couldn't believe it. He then went on to say that Hagar management were wanting Gim Lee to go around and have photos taken with the bike but Gim Lee said she couldn't go. Caught up in the excitement of it all I drove my moto around to the house and in the meantime Ben called her employer to convince him to let Gim Lee to go. I then bombarded their house and perhaps overwhelmed them with my excitement because I somehow managed to get the whole family to pile into their car and follow me to the restaurant, where Gim Lee was presented with her brand new motorcycle. Amazing!!

The happiness and excitement was contagious. There were many hugs, many photos and many smiles. There was also an obligatory dinner. Ben and I were trying to get home, as Tim and Pauline had cooked us a yummy green chicken curry but Ming would not have a bar of it. So we stayed for another hour for dinner...and I have to say it was truly special to sit there with Ming and Gim Lee and see the joy as they called their family in the provinces and informed them of their good luck.

This good luck came about with the help of some thoughtful foreigners. Christine, who Gim Lee cleans for, who had entered Gim Lee and Tim and Pauline, who had entered Ming and our tuk tuk driver Gogo, even though they didn't win it was a lovely gesture all the same.

Anyway, I wanted to blog about this special moment quickly...but as it is Tim and Pauline's last night with us...I must head to dinner.

Stay tuned for a post on our recent trip to Laos...