Scene-setter: The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman follows the story of a Hmong baby struck by seizures and the culture clash surrounding her treatment. It’s MacKenzie’s favorite work of nonfiction (besides the Bible, obvi), and we think it should be required reading for all medical professionals, parents of children, children of parents, immigrants, and non-immigrants. It’s also a particularly insightful read if you’re traveling in Laos, as the Hmong are a major minority group within the country.
Pound-the-table recommendation: Even when what’s on offer is watered-down juice and pizza pockets (holla, Arietta Hotel in Osaka), free hotel breakfasts make us feel like we’ve hit the jackpot. But when the breakfast is actually good, that’s that good Old Money feeling. The Apsara in Luang Prabang is one of Blake’s favorite restaurants of the trip so far, so our breakfast each morning was a total treat. We’re talking fresh-squeezed OJ, coffee or tea, tropical fruit salad, warm baguette with butter and homemade jam, PLUS the breakfast entree of your choice. No need for lunch.
Back-pocket fact: From 1964 to 1973, the US bombed Laos at the rate of one bomb load every eight minutes. Twenty-four hours a day, every day, for nine years. This is what that looks like: