Yesterday, we picked up a consultant at the airport. While waiting for him to collect his bags, I met two friends whom I had not seen for a long time. These chance meetings reminded me of the old days, when the telephone system was severely limited. We had three digit phone numbers and because phones were not available, we had to either make calls at the Dept of Helath or go to the downtown post office and line up before a crowd of other people trying to call their relatives in the US. It was often easier to drive over to make appointments than to try to call to make them - and half the time you ended up meeting the person you wanted to see, so in a strange way, it did make things easier.
The most effective way of meeting up with people for a short meeting was to go to the airport. If the person was not flying or returning from Vientiane, they might be picking someone up. Sometimes I'd go to the airport three times/ week. The discussions were helped with a bottle of Beer Lao.
The picture above is the current Thong Hai Hin Airport. May not look like much - but the old air terminal was made of wood with woven bamboo matting for walls.