Live and let live - by team Mee (Khmu)

  This play is the sequel to 'Country girls come to town' (see drugs stories)
  Scene 1 - Back in the village
  In the family shop, Tjik, the father is waiting for his son and daughter to return from town. When they arrive, he asks them about their trip. Bouachan tells him that her girlfriends from the village, Noi and Dockeo, are now working in a night club in town and that her brother got into a fight with a drug dealer. The father is worried about his son, who still has a black eye. He reasons gently with him and tells him to take better care of himself and his sister. Nock is surprised and glad, that his father isn’t shouting at him. He feels sorry enough for himself already as his face and ribs hurt.
Noi arrives back in the village and comes to see Bouachan at her shop. She explains that she doesn’t feel well and her eyes fill with tears. She is worried that she has caught HIV from unprotected sexual intercourse with customers at the night club. Bouachan’s father advises her to have a blood test at the hospital. Bouachan offers to accompany her. Tjik and Nock go to work together in the family field.
  Scene 2 - At the district hospital
  Bouachan and Noi go to the district hospital so that Noi can have a blood test. Noi stops at the gate and refuses to go in. She asks Bouachan what would happen if she really had AIDS, how would her friends, relatives and neighbours treat her? Bouachan tries hard to persuade her that knowing is better than not knowing and finally Noi agrees to go in. Dockeo, the other bar girl, worried by Noi’s illness has decided to go for an AIDS test too. She arrives at the clinic, while Vieng is inside seeing a doctor.
Bouachan and Dockeo talk to each other. Dockeo is very brave and says she is sure coming for a test is the right thing to do. When Noi comes out, she is comforted by the fact that her friend is also having a test. The doctor tells them to come back in three days for the result. The three friends go drinking and laugh and joke about their childhood.
  Scene 3 - In the field

Tjik, the father, and his son, Nock, are working happily together in the field. Tjik sings songs from the past to make his son laugh. He is proud because his son is no longer taking drugs and is trying hard to make a new start. He helps his father in the field till late evening, comes back home, has dinner with his father and goes to sleep early. But he can’t sleep because his father’s loud snoring. So he gets up, walks around a bit, and thinks about taking some yabaa (amphetamines). He is torn because he is really craving them, but he promised his father he would not. Finally, when he decides go out and get some, his father wakes up and catches him.

  Scene 4 - In a bar in town
  In the meantime, Bouachan and her friends are very drunk, they want go home but still want to drink, they dance and sing songs till the early morning.
  Scene 5 - At night in the village
  Nock has a nightmare. He dreams that a lion and a king cobra are chasing him. He cries out in his sleep, and his father comforts him. He tells him to try sleep to save energy for their hard fieldwork next day.
  Scene 6 - At the hospital
  Bouachan and her friends go to the hospital and get the blood test results. Dockeo is HIV negative, but Noi tests positive for the virus. Bouachan comforts Noi and tells her not to give up hope. She must make a new start and not get depressed. She suggests giving her a new job, working together in family shop. Dockeo says she will also return to the village and try to make a living sewing clothes from silk.
  Scene 7 - At the clothes shop
  Dockeo is very busy in her shop. Her small business is going quite well. She has also found a real lover, one of the doctors she met at the district hospital. He wants to marry her soon.
  Scene 8 - At Bouachan’s shop
  It is the first day for Noi working in Bouachan’s shop. Bouachan tells her about the prices of the goods and then leaves her to sell things alone, while she goes to the market.

Nock comes to the shop and sees Noi working there. He is afraid of being near her, now that the whole village knows that she is HIV positive. He insults her, calling her dirty, and tells her to get out of the shop. Just as Noi is leaving, Bouachan arrives back and demands to know what’s happening. Nock asks her what she is thinking of, letting Noi work there, when they could catch AIDS from Noi, when she touches the goods in the shop or drinks out of the same glass as one of the family. Bouachan laughs at him and tells him that you can’t catch AIDS in any of those ways and that it’s perfectly safe for them to work together. At first he is not prepared to accept her word for it. But she shows him a poster she got at the clinic with pictures explaining the ways of transmission and non transmission of AIDS.

The pictures show that you cannot catch AIDS by:
• Shaking hands, kissing, staying in the same house, eating together, using the same toilet...

You can catch AIDS by:
• Having penetrative sexual intercourse without using condom, needle sharing, mother to child transmission and having unscreened blood transfusions

Nock agrees that he had no idea about how you could catch AIDS before, and admits that he was scared. He agrees to let Noi work in the shop and offers to help her. They hang the poster on AIDS in the shop for everyone to see.

  Scene 9 - Village wedding
  That evening, the village chief announces the wedding of Dockeo and a doctor from the district hospital and invites all the villagers to join the celebrations.

The play ends with a playful Khmu song about village life.