Thursday, December 27, 2012

Two short stories from Vientiane

My friend Noy is a Meban (maid) in an apartment building, and I got her another job at a foreigner house to clean 3 times a week. Her husband is a painter and a handyman. They do have a simple small house outside Vientiane, one dog, two kids and some chicken. And they had an old cheap pick-up car, that was broken down many times and barely running. Since it is a bit difficult to get the car to their house (its more a walkway then a road), they park the car sometimes on the main street. Three days ago, when they came to the street in the morning, the car was gone. Stolen. It was worth a lot, but for the family its a nightmare. They do have insurance, but only third part liability. They always went by car to the city, dropped the kids at kindergarden and school, Noy at the apartment building, and then her husband went to work, having his equipment (and his co-workers) on the back of the car.
They make enough money to pay for the school for the kids and have enough to eat. But they can't save a lot, if anything. Now, they have to borrow money for a car, but no bank gives them any loan. So they either have to go to a loan shark, or ask family. Lets hope the latter works.


Today I saw a lot of police between the VIS and the small Japanese restaurant. They were even blocking the street for a while. I was think about something bad happend. When I passed by later, the street was open for traffic again, but police were still sitting there, but not doing much. I was thinking about some serious crime, like murder. But when I asked my Lao neighbours, they told me that a house owner could not pay his debt with the bank, so the bank took over the house and later in the afternoon, crews started demolishing it. Sounds like a horror story from a capitalist country.

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