Hello again friends,
My 10 days in Laos has wrapped up faster than I expected. It’s been one crazy trip that has had me experiencing and tasting and feeling and smelling things I never expected to–some of which I’d gladly try out again, others … not so much. For example, I can now say that I’ve eaten the delicacy of rotten fish paste. I’ll let you figure out which category that falls into. =P
Currently, I’m writing this on a night bus on the way from the Thai border city of Nakhon Phanom to Bangkok. People say that the mountain roads we’ll be going through are prime places for ambushes and hijackings. In between mustering all my strength not to throw up from the endlessly windy roads, I’ll try to keep an eye out for bandits in the dark. No promises, though I wonder if vomit gives you a +3 defense bonus. Barring any sneak attacks, in about 12 hours we should be pulling into the city just as the sun rises over the horizon.
It’s amazing what happens to you once you put yourself in the path of adventure. To give you a sample, since I woke up this morning …
* I watched a chicken lay an egg … in a child seat.
* avoided a sudden downpour, only to have a Vietnamese girl accidentally dump a huge bucket of water on me and my camera bag while I was peacefully walking on the street. Neither I nor my camera bag is waterproof.
* while crossing the Mekong River on a ferry, I watched dragon boat races held in celebration of the Buddhist Lent festival.
* a hungover Lao guy tried hitting on me, even following me in the tuktuk all the way from the border to the bus station. I made up a story about a girlfriend waiting for me at home, but it didn’t quite deter him. It’s already hard enough trying to communicate with someone who doesn’t speak much English. But hungover + smelling of alcohol + friends with the tuktuk driver (why did he let that guy on board??) + gay + persistent = …… interesting??
* a baby elephant strolled through the station. Nobody did a double-take, so I suppose that’s what baby elephants do over here all the time.
* I spent half an hour chatting with a friendly Thai worker who was telling me about the mother he had not seen since she moved to America. That was 30 years ago, and all he has of her now is an address in North Carolina. Will you ever go to visit her? I asked. He was silent for a moment, and then replied, America is too far away. How can I visit?
* a Jehovah’s Witness missionary from Korea came and struck up a conversation. In a smattering of English, he encouraged me to travel and learn as much as I can while I am young, before the body starts breaking down and the mind becomes slower. He also told me how, when he was my age, he too looked younger than his age and hated it. But now that he is 50, people guess his age correctly, and that makes him very happy.
* While I was walking by, a beautiful Thai girl smiled at me. I smiled back. Should I have walked by a second time? =P
Over the next few days, I will be in Malaysia and Singapore to visit friends and family, do a couple photoshoots, eat some good food, and head back to the States. It’ll be good to be home again, if only for a week. =D
Alright I should wrap this up now before my stomach decides to release the contents of today’s mystery lunch. If you’d like to follow me on some of my (mis)adventures, go ahead and add me on facebook! I hope all of you are doing well! I feel like I have been away for so long. How much of your lives have I been missing out on?? Let’s catch up. :)