Week 2: Lunch Time in Laos

In Laos, sometimes we take long lunch breaks. And for these first two weeks,  I have just been going with the flow.

Since starting work at the office, everyone has been very nice and welcoming. We eat lunch together, have mid-afternoon snacks of unripe mangoes with spicy sauce together, and even sing karaoke after work together. There is a lot of positive and warm energy in the office and I really enjoy getting to know my coworkers more. So when the other interns and I are asked if we want to go somewhere during our lunch break we always say yes.

This Thursday, we were having lunch with the office outside and we mentioned to our coworkers that we wanted to get coffee and go to the ATM after lunch. Being the kind coworkers they are, Soy and Lily offered to drive us to get coffee. Soy was going to pick up her daughter to take her to play rehearsal, so she was already heading out. When it was explained to us, Soy was going to pick up her daughter, take her to school and then take us to a coffee shop that had an ATM outside. That is not exactly what happened.

On our drive to the city center to pick up Soy’s daughter, we asked Lily to play popular Lao and Thai songs so that we can learn a bit more about them. When Soy’s daughter got into the car she was very surprised to see us all in the back of her mother’s car but proceeded to invite us to her school’s rendition of Shakespeare’s Midsummer’s Nights Dream that would be the following night. Unfortunately we were planning to go to Luang Prabang for the weekend and did not think that we could make our bus on time. So, when we arrived at Soy’s daughter’s school we were asked if we wanted to stay for a little bit to watch their rehearsal. We said yes and were able to watch high school children practice their Shakespeare prose and wave around rulers in fake fights and overly dramatic falls. After watching this for ten minutes, on our way back to the car, Soy’s daughter told us they were having a dress rehearsal at 6 that we could come to. We said we could come and went on our way to our next adventure.

But it turns out, our next adventure was not a coffee shop and an ATM like I had thought. It was a juice bar where you could mix a variety of fruits. There Lily and Soy treated us to some of the best fruit shakes I have had in awhile. Although, getting fruit smoothies and watching a play rehearsal were not what we had planned to do for our lunch break, this interaction gave us a great opportunity to engage with the people we work with in a fun an unexpected way. It also gives us a look into the everyday lives of lao people. Instead of going to our usual restaurants for lunch, we get to do something different and see life through the eyes of our coworkers. This has not been our first extended lunch break and I do not imagine it will be our last, and I cannot help but look forward to the next adventure of the VFI office.


  1. cgpoteet says:

    So cool to see what happens when you are open to adventures!