Vomiting, Machine Guns and Attempted Kneecappings. And some sightseeing

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July 11th 2006
Published: August 2nd 2006
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Cookery courses are a newfound hobby of mine, and today was a chance to practice that hobby. The course here was a very different format - I just went in and we started cooking. No recipe sheets, tips and techniques or anything. This is probably becuase the instructor spoke no english other than the word yes (showing her to be a girl worth getting to know ;-)...). But I did kind of learn to make some Lao food.

Of course the more observant of you will have realised that the great thing about a cookery course is that you get to eat what you cook, which left me pretty full but geared up ready to see some sights.

First I got a tuk tuk to Patuxai - a sort of good from afar but far from good arc du triumph. The views from the top were pretty uninspiring - Vientiane isnt the most visually impressive capital in the world. As I was walking away from Patuxai I bumped into a lost Thai girl, Charmy. She wanted someone to see some sights with her, so I agreed to go. I abandoned the idea of walking and we got a tuk tuk to see some of the more famous parts of Vientianne. I really dont know why I keep falling into this trap - I HATE TEMPLES. But I keep going. You learn more about a city by walking the streets that seeing the sights, so WHY DO I KEEP GOING TO THE SIGHTS!!! Arrrrr!!!!

Charmy left a few hours later, and I wandered around Vientianes downtown area (where I managed to find a place selling PINTS of iced coffee for about $0.5) before heading up to the bus station.

Machine Guns
I paid about 75%!m(MISSING)ore to get a 'VIP' bus to Luang Prabang, so I was not entirely amused when I arrived to find the bus already overfull. There was one seat available in the very back row of the bus, so using the gear lockers as handholds and the arm rests as foot holds i climbed back the 7 rows from where the isles began to be full with suitcases, bags of rice, random bundles of stuff and gos knows what else. At least I had a seat. The man sitting next to me was looky a bit sketchy to say the least, and at one point he moved to go and sit on some sacks of grain further down the bus. By this time the isle all the way to the front was filled with assorted junk. AS he got up to move I noticed how much the thing he had hidden under his jacket looked like a machine gun. The I realised why it looked like that. This guy had an AK47 kidden inside his jacket. Not hidden very well I must say - as he climbed down the isle the barrell kept threatening to hit people in the face. But no one said anything. I got to wondering why he had the gun. Was he an undercover policeman with a cronic inability to be inconspicous? Was he a potential bandit? Or was he just a fasion victim. I kept having nightmare visions (which never materialised) of him holding the bus up as two people climbed back to take his seat.

No sooner had the bus started moving again as one of the two people (sitting in one seat I hasten to add) started throwing up into a bag which would have overflown if a kitten had vomited into it. And then the aircon stopped working, and the smell of vomit started to circulate the cramped bus. This really was going to be the road to hell. I opened the window, turned my mp3 player up and closed my eyes.

Attempted Kneecappings
And then the bitch infront of me decided to test the laws of physics. My legs are long, and solid. Therefore her chair, also solid, can not recline through my legs without first breaking them. Its common sense. But she tried. Oh she tried. And the vomiting continued. And the chair reclining continued. And I started to fantasise about murdering the travel agent who sold me a 'VIP' ticket for this bus journey.

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12th July 2006

Oh Alex...I feel that pain. Come back soon I miss you and have gossip. Silly gossip. xxxxx

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