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Published: April 25th 2012
Une réunion à Vientiane (23 March 2012)
Following a hot and confusing day in Tong’s village we needed some time to relax and get our breath back. We went back to our guesthouse, Sala Inpeng, and refreshed ourselves. Then we went searching for some French relatives who were to meet us in Vientiane. We found their hotel, but they had not arrived. It turned out their flight from Hanoi was delayed so we left a message at their hotel so they could find us later.
We took a walk to find a cool restaurant for a few drinks and dinner. We came across Makphet Restaurant not that far from our guesthouse. It is run by a charity called Friends International. We got a table overlooking the street, with a fan and ordered drinks. The menu was very interesting, the service very friendly and the food was great – we highly recommend the place.
Not long after ordering dinner Jean, Beatrice and Michele arrived at their hotel, so we took the liberty of ordering for them. Within half an hour they were seated with us and enjoying their first Lao meal.
It was wonderful to see them, even
Tanoy, Lorenza & Care
one too many cocktails
though it was a brief get together. They were off next day to Vang Vieng while we continued our project with Tong. Luckily we would had arranged to all meet again in a few days in Luang Prabang.
I don’t think I will ever forget the sight of Jean farewelling us from the back of a tuk tuk. He was bowing with his hands held together like a Buddhist, with a cheeky grin and a gleam in his eye. Vientiane Night Life (24 March 2012)
After our day trip to the AEK Hospital in Udon Thani (see Team Tong Update #1) we had dinner at one of the street food places along the Mekong River road. They are reasonably cheap and the grilled Mekong fish and the Lao sausage are fantastic, washed down with plenty of Beer Laos.
After dinner we took a stroll along the Mekong road and glanced inside a few night clubs. At the window of one of them the bass player in the band was beckoning for us to come inside. We looked at each other and thought “why not”. This turned out to be a good decision on many levels.
Rather than simply playing dance music, we were entertained by a modern cabaret show. It featured a number of local singers who did renditions of some western pop songs, but mostly Lao pop music. They put on a really good show and gave it their all. One young guy exploded onto the stage with such energy and vigour he had everyone cheering. A look around the mostly Lao crowd also confirmed he was very, very popular with the young ladies. The Chick(en) Magnet
At the nightclub, I was impressed with my pulling power too. Two attractive young ladies had sat themselves at the table next to us. Within a few minutes they had struck up a conversation with me, with the great opening line “Do you speak any Lao?” I ran through my huge Lao vocab, which had them in fits of laughter.
The girls could speak very good English and were happy to get a chance to practice with us. Forget the fact that these lovely young ladies approached me because I was with my lovely wife and I looked a very safe bet for some English practice – I would prefer to keep my deluded
opinion that they could not resist my debonair looks! (Lorenza just slapped me again).
We had a hilarious time explaining a simple joke to them …. James Bond was visiting Vientiane. While wandering along the Mekong he cam across a chicken. The chicken asked James Bond “what’s your name” the reply being “I am Bond, James Bond”. James Bond then asked the chicken “So, what’s your name” the chicken replied “I am Ken, Chic Ken”. So, if two young ladies approach you in Vientiane armed with some bad English language jokes you know who to blame!
The ladies gave us a lift back to our guesthouse and we all found it very hard to try and stop laughing in the street out front. They kept repeating the James Bond joke to themselves and it must have drove the neighbours mad - sorry. The lame joke sure sounded a lot funnier with a Lao accent, following a few too many cocktails.
We said good night to Care and Tanoy – who we found out are sisters. As they left they offered to pick us up next day and take us on a tour of Vientiane. Lorenza and I
agreed and went off to bed wondering would they remember they promised to collect us at 10am next morning. A Day on the Town (25 March 2012)
While eating breakfast I mentioned to Lorenza that the girls may forget what had been arranged. I was wrong; they arrived ten minutes early, full of smiles and good humour (though Tanoy looked a little seedy early on). We had a great day seeing the sights with them, aside from the main tourist spots we also took in a local temple and lunched at a great Pho restaurant. This was followed by a visit to the girl’s house, then we decided to visit a spa for a massage before meeting again for dinner.
We had a great time with these lovely young people. Care proved she had a very cheeky side to her by fooling me into eating a whole green chilli at lunch time. She was eating them, after dipping them in a sauce and when I asked did they taste ok she promised me “they are not hot at all, you should try one”. Looking at her innocent face I believed everything she said and dipped one in
the sauce and munch … “oh no, call the fire brigade!” my mouth was on fire. I was coughing and my tongue felt like it was swelling up … Care was almost falling off her chair laughing!
Tanoy had us in stitches over dinner, she was losing her voice but kept talking, her voice was getting worse and we had to apologise she sounded so funny. Then her and Care teamed up to try and tell us some Lao jokes. This had us all in stitches – the jokes (sorry girls) were lame but the process so trying to translate them to English was absolutely hilarious.
Thanks for such a great day! We hope to meet again in the nearr future.
You can find details of the restaurants run by Friends International here http://www.friends-international.org/shop/restaurants.asp
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