This week is sort of a holiday in Laos. Wednesday is the day of the Boat Racing Festival. Wednesday is the only official government holiday, but my students had the class president call me on Monday to tell me that they didn't plan on comming to class on Tuesday, so that became an unofficial holiday. That is how things work here. At least they are honest.
On Monday night I went out to eat near the river where the boat racing festivities take place, and the street was already lined with tons of booths: games, stuff to buy, food, even a stage and an animal freak show. It is a real "county fair" kind of atmosphere. I went in the animal freak show. It cost 30 cents to enter. I actually went in 2 years ago too, and alot of the animals were the same, including "The Dog With 6 Legs and 2 Wieners", and several ducks and chickens with more than 2 legs.
Anyway, part of the fun of living in Laos is that Jonas gets alot of attention as a foreign baby. While we are eating in a restaurant, usually someone on staff will play with him and carry him around, leaving the adults to eat in peace. On this particular night, I was amazed that another patron at the restaurant took him outside to the "fair" and came back about 10 minutes later with a teddy bear and a HUGE balloon (one of those punching bag type balloos filled with heilium and encircled by 3 of those long baloons clowns make stuff out of). That is the first time a random stranger has ever bought gifts for my son. I have to say I like it. She said that he wanted those things. I don't know how she divined that being as how he can't talk and he doesn't even really point at things very often.
If you have a cute baby, you should definitely consider moving here.