Sometimes you just need to let the universe sort everything out for you.
I was staying in an extra room of a place that two ex-pats lived in. See, in Luang Prabang you need to stay in guesthouses unless you have a work permit. There are a few ways around this policy but not many. Get caught breaking the rule and a fine can be levied, or worse they can make you leave the country (or so we're told). But the thing is, guesthouses are expensive, relatively speaking. A cheap guest house with very little frills but still clean will set you back 6 or 7 usd a day. Maybe not that much for US standards but ex-pats living here pay a lot less. So if I could stay with some people and save some cash, then why not? It's a risk but I think a pretty safe one.
Well, unfortunately their lease ran up and their new place has no extra room for me. Tough tootsies for me, right? So what was I too do. I talked to an acquaintance who had an extra room but he sort of blew it off as both him and his other roommates girlfriends were in town and it may have been too much happening in the house. So it was back to the guesthouses for me… or was it?
On my last day before move out day from the house in Ban Navieng Kham* (the house with the ex-pats) I get an email from a friend here who's in Bangkok. They'll be out all week and for a few weeks in September and wondered if I knew of anyone who may be able to house sit and dog sit. Hello Universe, thank you for listening and arranging for me.
I'm now house sitting at her beautiful house which sits on a pond (reading a book in the morning over looking a pond is a great way to start the day). There are fun local neighbors who introduce me to new foods (dog was better than I thought and who knew turtle could be so tasty!) There is also a pétanque** court in the back if I get the urge to play. A kitchen to cook in, (made some dinner for friends last night. First time cooking in a while) and most importantly a fun and loving dog to play with. I really enjoy coming home for lunch and playing fetch with Leon (the dog). At nights I sleep and he lies next to me in bed and he's become a good friend. who knew how much fun an empty pepsi bottle could be? (with a lack of pet stores in town you need to make your own doggie toys!)
I've always thought to myself that if I lived anywhere besides a city I'd want to have a dog. I'd want one in a city as well but it's pretty tough to find space for them, and time as city people get so wrapped up in it all. But spending my time here at Ban Mano with Leon has been a great experience and maybe just what I need. I'm constantly thinking to myself that I need more time to myself, less being social or chasing meaningless tail. Well, reading on the porch or playing with Leon seems to fill that spot pretty well. Now if only I can tie some meditation into it all, though meditating while a dog licks and bites you may be very challenging.
*for reference Ban in Lao means village. **and pétanque is a french game that is extremely popular in Lao. Similar to bocce but with metal hollow balls. Goes great with cold beer Lao.