vietnam-laos border crossing
the nastiest border crossing yet. 'us 1 dollar stamp' was the best english they cld muster haha. bloody corrupt. our smiles very much belies the baptism of fire we just surmounted.
vientiane proved to be a genteel introduction to laos. having not expected too much of the place after the countless anecdotes we heard of; about being the most heavily bombed country in the world and stuff, we werent too up for it except for the fact that we needed to get thru' vientiane to bangkok to fly home. but as with the rest of the trip hitherto, we were beckoned and embraced with such ardor that vientiane is a place i soon came to be enchanted with. it truly is the most laid back country in all of southeast asia; with the pace of life so deliberate and languid you are inclined to feel so zen. some people detest it for the scarcity of sights and attractions, i fancy it for exactly that reason. one man's meat is another man's poison i suppose. with the sweltering heat sizzling at a nasty 40degs, it wasnt the most dainty of climates after the 15 of hanoi. the city really is a sleeping giant, and it only ever is really functioning in the day and at night. so i spent my vientiane days honing my parental instincts; with andy coming under the weather
zen-like buddhist calm
and terence headed up north slightly to vang viene for a short escapade. time wasnt quite an ally of ours this time so we couldnt do vang vieng and luang prabang. but i'd definitely be back before long; and i'd know better than to write laos off cos i know better.
there isnt much to appraise or critique about the place, and i'd be lying if i said to miss it at your own peril. if you need to abscond and seek an exodus, it pretty much is the place. no lakes like in hanoi or phnom penh, no heavyweight museums of epic proportions, just you and being at complete ease with the milieu. choruses of 'sabaidii' that suffuse the air and ignites a pleasant discourse between local and foreigner is more than enough to warm the heart and tug at its seams. am reading a book i found in my hostel about aung san suu kyi, i might just end up in burma when i next leave home. speaking of which, it really is materializing and taking shape soon enough. it'd be bangkok on an overnight sleeper and then home sweet home. im quite the homebody so haha
lost in translation
champs elysees..arc de triomphe? haha NOT! we're in vientiane. this is very much a laotian parody of their parisian counterparts. and...the monument was misappropriated using donated cement frm the us for an alledged airport runway haha! havok!
i do miss home.
while on that same note of closure, this'd very likely be my concluding post on the travelblog. muchos gracias to you folks who've been fine travel accomplices on the road with me; inundating me with shout outs and love from home, however digital. it has brought good cheer to me. we'd make the transition over to bangkok soon enough; and i reckon it'd be most jarring and cacophonic, having to countenance the neon lights of brash bangkok. its quite staggering to finally arrive on home soil; and the multiplicity of decisions that await our precise thought and execution. i suppose thats the way we've all been hardwired to think and function; and im still very much the local city boy afterall. for the forseeable future at least, it'd prolly be some work to recoup the losses on this trip, well under one grand, and hopefully get piqued and fomented to set foot again. life's greatest education is on the road.
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