I lived in Laos for one year and was very surprised to find out this week that there is a roller skating rink in Vientiane. Learning about it from social networking, the details of its location are:

“it’s just past the Talat Thongkamkan Chao Anou intersection on Chao Anou, to the left as you head from town towards Russian Circus. Just past the traffic lights.”

One more thing to add to the list of fun activities available in Vientiane, to which I would include the shooting range, go karting, bowling and Mekong aerobics.

Last week I met up with a friend and is Thai-Isaan partner. The north east region Thailand is known as Isaan. It borders Laos and is culturally very similar too. Their languages are the same, and I felt really good to use my Lao language skills to speak with her. I’ve realised my minimal skills are quite good at meeting new people with questions like “do you have children? how old are you? have you ever been to Vang Vieng?”, but not very good in more substantial topics discussed when you get to know someone better.

A really interesting this girl told me was “I think I am Lao. I speak Lao, I eat Lao food, but my country is Thailand.”

My general impression is that many Thai-Isaan people are quite fond of Laos and think of it with nostalgia as the old Thailand.