(This remembrance was sent to me by a reader, Orestes Gonzalez, following my recent posts on Luang Prabang and Vientiane. In addition to making a few minor typographical edits, I've omitted the name of "the lady," to protect her privacy.)
Thanks for the memories of Laos.
I was there in 2000, coming from Siem Reap. I got there on a Friday night, with $5 in my pocket (couldn't find any money changers in transit). The airport, newly remodeled, had no money changers open, as my flight was the last one (and had been delayed several hours).
The hotel I stayed at wouldn't change traveler's checks (I walked the ten blocks to get to it) or accept credit cards, so I was basically stuck for the weekend, without cash, until the banks opened on Monday. I guess I would eat fried caterpillars for the next two days.