Author: A Ou

Coming Full Circle

Photo courtesy of BiiG Travel Laos I’m standing in front of the door of the place I’ve always wanted to be. Less than two inches of wood stands between me and my dream. It took awhile to get here but I finally made it. The journey has been turbulent and full of twists and turns. I’m thinking back on when it all truly started. It’s the summer of 2012 and my family and I are in Laos. I have this strange feeling my dad is conditioning us to the Lao life: Everyday is filled with wonder, every alley a chance for exploration, and every new face an opportunity for casual exchanges to reflect on the wonders of life. One day, my aunt, an associate working for a non-profit in the city, asks me if I want to go with her. I agree, having had enough of my old routine of meaningless meandering. We hop into her white, Chinese compact car and make our way to her workplace. The drive is short, as the destination is …

Lao Life: Food is the Ultimate Social Experience

It is a blessing to be able to appreciate youth at a young age. It is a blessing to be able to taste good food while your taste buds are still fully functional (assuming you have stellar ones to begin with). I spent my wonderful teen years in Laos; living the life of a poor vagabond, rich in experiences. I knew a life where happiness came from the company of good friends and a table decked with good food. Everything was cheap and simple because we were all broke and bumming off of our parents, anyways.  We were truly happy. In 2017, $10 could feed a group of at least five! We did not have shopping malls filled with brand name shops or the money to spend in “hi-so” (expensive/luxurious) restaurants but we had sunsets on a river’s bend and heaven at a roadside food stall. My friends were an eclectic bunch: from humble farm boys to business owners, from the very young to the very old; my requirements were not age or background specific, …