We left Talat Sao Mall Food Court and went outside to Talat Sao, which is under construction at the moment. There are still enough stalls selling anything and everything from clothes, electronic goods, and home appliances. Shopping for a washing machine and a water heater took longer than I anticipated, especially when you have to bargain with the shop owner. The first shop wanted 15,000 Baht for the washing machine we were looking at so we decided to go across the street to an appliance store with good reputation and provides a good warrant for their merchandises.

I saw a store along the way selling Lao clothes and souvenirs along with khene that I wanted to buy for my younger brother. He wants to learn how to play khene and asked me to get him one while I am in Laos. Aunt Phone did the bargaining and we ended up with two khene at the end. I wanted to buy some little kids clothes for my niece and nephew but Aunt Kian thought they were too expensive, even though each piece is less than 20 Euros. I didn’t want to argue with either Aunt Kian or Aunt Phone about the prices of the things I want to purchase so I suggested to them we should just move on to look for that washing machine and a water heater.

By the time we arrived at that reputable appliance store I was breaking out in fever. It was getting so hot and I felt like I was about to faint. The search for the perfect washing machine took more than an hour of looking, touching, checking, and comparing prices. The prices were in the range of 9,000 Baht to 11,000 Baht for the first group, 12,000 Baht to 13,000 Baht for the second group, and 14,000 Baht to 15,000 for the last group.

While Laos is a third world country, the prices for good home appliances are in dollars and euros and they take cash only. Aunt Phone asked me which one she should buy since I am paying for everything. I told her to pick the one that she will be happy with and will not regret and complain later that she should have bought something else. She wanted a Toshiba washer that can handle ToTo blanket easily. The price was over 300 Euros and we had to go exchange more money in order to buy a water heater as well.

For some reason the shop owners had no problem taking dollars but they were not so sure of the rates for Euros and want to give us such a low rate. I knew the rate since I walked pass a money exchange booth inside Talat Sao Mall earlier. We decided to go back to the mall to exchange some money. Fortunately we saw an exchange booth at Talat Sao Market and found out the rate for the Euros is higher than inside Talat Sao Mall. That is how things are sometimes in Laos.

We eventually went home by 2:00 PM. I was so tired and ready to call it a day but the relatives thought it would be fun for me and the teenagers in the house to attend a free concert at the cultural hall. Everyone knew how much I like to take photos and I couldn’t say no. I packed my medication and we all left for a night of Lao music.