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Published: July 19th 2006
For the first time in a while I allowed myself to awaken naturally, before going out for some Foe (noodle soup). Ive decided i will miss it immensely, so I may have to start making it at home. Watch this space.
I set of for a wander in the direction of some caves. I didnt particularly want to see the caves, I just fancied a wander. As I was passing I decided to look in. This turned out to be an unwise decision, as a collapsing bamboo ladder almost left me plummeting to my death. Ok, thats an exaggeration. One rung broke a bit, and the effects were negligable... but it needs to sound like i'm having an adventure!
From the caves I walked onwards past vast rice paddies and through villages, all the time overshadowed by the cliffs above. The village children were adorable, and in one town a group of 5 wandered along chatting with me while I desperately flicked through my phrase book. They were absolutely fascinated when I took their photos and then showed them on the screen of my camera - but this was nothing comapred to their reaction when I videod them and
played it back! My Lao was truly appaling, but smiling and generally acting silly seemed to make them not realise. Begging wasnt really common at all compared to other similar situations in asia, although one group of children did ask for 'pen'. The fact that english is so poorly spoken suggests to me that even in the high season the flow of visitors through these villages is pretty low.
I am really enjoyiong the climate here. It rains constantly, but that keeps it lovely and cool. In Hanoi I couldnt function without air conditioning, but here I'm fine in rooms without fans. It makes the whole day to day existence far less tiring, even if you are always wet, and smell bad because of it!
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