Kyla and Nick Around the World travel blog

The main Wat, Wat Xieng Thong, in Luang Prabang

A hall of old buddha images and statues in Wat Xieng Thong

Looking down the Mekong river

Luang Prabang was full of neat streets and shops, and interesting architecture.

We saw a traditional performance of the Ramayana, the main Hindu epic....

After the Ramayana performance, there were some traditional dances. Here a dancer...

Our friend Somboun's Luang Prabang "mother" (a family friend) has a stall...

We did not, however, buy the flying squirrel skin the little girls...

Out for dinner with Somboun, Chue Yang (our two friends from the...

Getting ready to kayak. Who knew that the waterproof bag and life...

We paddled towards the pyramid mountain for most of the day.

Nick swimming with some local kids at our lunch spot on the...

Posing on the Nam Ou river.

What a million kips look like. Stacks and stacks of money from...


We're still here, still having a great time, and not ready to leave anytime soon. Updates will be forthcoming; we'll talk about our kayak trip (coming up), our cooking class (already happened), and our book party with Big Brother Mouse (coming up).

CNN International on the road - (Nick writing)

Every time we check into our guesthouse room and are pleasantly surprised to find a television, we both do the "We Hope It's BBC World" dance to the satellite TV gods. More often than not, though, we are somewhat disappointed to discover only CNN International. With BBC World, we can be assured of mostly unbiased reporting on situations and events affecting the world done at a respectful volume. With CNN International, we can be assured of loud brash reporting about storms in Iowa that caused a family on vacation to skid off the road. That is clearly not International, unless your definition of International is "Things that happen in the world that affect Americans". Which, now that I think about it, is a pretty accurate tag line for the station.

And their accents are painful as well. They seem to delight in taking newscasters from different parts of the globe, shipping them back to the US to an undisclosed underground mine and beating almost all of their natural accent out of them until they speak in some horrible hybrid of Entertainment Tonight-speak. And it's always at about 110 decibels too.

But the one thing that amuses me the most about CNN is Jeanie Moze (or Geeny Mose, or Genie Moze, or whatever. I'm learning to love these other languages that only spell one sound one way. Way to go English!). You may not know her by name, but I'm sure you know her by voice. The poor woman seems doomed for the rest of her life to report on somewhat cutesy human interest stories that involve a lot of irony. She's the one who starts of every news segment with some mildly funny question-statement coupling like "Did you ever stop and thank your pancreas? Recent evidence suggests that the Democratic hopefuls should start." or "Never has papal footwear had this kind of scrutiny." (The second quote is an actual quote. You could not invent that kind of cutting edge journalism.) I will be sitting on the edge of the bed, wondering what the situation in China is like, hoping that CNN Intl may actually try and live up to its name, and her voice will come on, grating down my spine, starting some story about a couple in New York that split up but still share custody of their pet goldfish with some almost humourous introductory line.

Ah well. At least CNN International isn't as bad as Fox News, which was the only English station we got when we were in Krabi for a night. Fox News made CNN look like the Encyclopedia Britannica. Here's hoping that slice of hell doesn't happen to us again. Oh, and for the record, Jeannie Moos is the correct spelling of her name - once again, I'd like to voice my support for some sort of spelling reform for English, especially given the number of people learning English as a second language, and who ask Kyla and I why things are spelled a certain way.



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