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Tuesday, December 17: Day 239 – The Night Market

We slept late trying to eat a late breakfast followed by a late lunch since we do not eat dinner until 9:00pm after the English school lets out.

For lunch I had some delicious pumpkin soup spiked with a few cocktail shrimp. It was yummy, and I would like to make it when I get home.

Can you guess what this dish was?


This restaurant also had wooden spoons. My son-in-law, Nathan Miller, makes wooden spoons as well.

We walked to class and saw a different side of Luang Prabang. It is often hard to break out of the tourist mold so this is an added treat.

We are honored to work with the students and teachers. Ironically, our words are the gold standard and both students and teachers are repeating our pronunciation.

Hard to Pronounce Words for the Lao

Clean was cream, green, or queen.

“Teeth” brings lots of giggles as it is rude to stick out your tongue in Laos.

“Sh” is a challenge as well.

English Class

One of the classes was preparing for a field trip. They were going out to the night market where they were to practice their conversational skills on tourists. The night market starts around 5:00pm and ends about 10:00pm. Most of the things for sale at night markets are t-shirts, purses, dresses, hair ornaments, etc. We don’t see much that we want to buy nor do we have room in our suitcases.

The only customers are tourists and there are a lot of them. We walk through here at the end of our day at the English school. There is so much trash.

We don’t see any trash during the day. I wonder who comes to clean it up?

The class practiced what they might say as a first contact at the night market.

“Hello, my name is ______. I am learning to speak English. May I practice with you?

I told them that most people would be happy to do so…unless they were running late.

Then have three questions ready to ask them.

1) What is your name? (Repeat and maybe even ask them to spell it.)

2) Where are you from? ( Repeat it.)

3) How long have you been in Luang Prabang? (Repeat it.)

“Thank you for speaking with me and helping me practice English. Goodbye.”

Then approach another person and repeat the process. You will be more confident with each time.

I marched up to one of the students so that he could practice. He totally freaked out and forgot the script.

“I should be an easy to person to approach.”

Amidst lots of classroom giggles, we struggled through it.

These questions were suggestions. They could add or change as they wished. There is one novice monk in the class. He seems to be the most advanced, has great pronunciation, and confidence. So I approached him, and said hi.

(Sadly, the novice monks don’t go to the night markets due to the crowds. They cannot touch a woman and it would certainly happen in a crowd.)

He responded to my greeting with a wide smile and said, “Do you come here often?” Hmm.

Not only would this be viewed as a pick up line…coming from a monk, it was certainly out of character. I told him that he might not want to say that as it had two meanings, and I left it at that.

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