Monday, 10 October 2011

sabaai-dii! welcome to laos...

Welcome to need tuk tuk?

After 2 days traveling on a boat along the Mekong from Huay Xai (where we crossed the border from Thailand) to Luang Prabang, what we really, really didn't need was a tuk tuk. Luckily the drivers were understanding and undemanding.

Luang Prabang is a lovely little town, with a small peninsula, a lantern-lit night market and lots of cafes, restaurants and street food. We whiled away a little of each evening at the market which was a pleasant stroll as most of the vendors were too busy eating, lounging or laughing with their friends to bother uninterested passers-by.

Luang Prabang is a town for relaxing and certainly no place to we didn't. We hired bicycles and rode around to some temples where we spoke to a novice monk with excellent English and got totally ripped off by 3 cute, little girls selling bracelets. We had 'traditional Lao' massages (that, if I'm being honest, were not really relaxing at all...more like the feeling you get when you are being beaten up I wold imagine) and we visited book shops and French cafes. We also took part in a cooking course where we learned to make banana soup and stuffed bamboo shoots and lemon grass. Then we stuffed our faces with the fruits of our labours.

There were tour operators all over town advertising trips to a nearby waterfall, but having an unfavourable view of group tours we decided to rent a scooter and drive out ourselves. It being monsoon season the falls were even more impressive than usual...

On the way back to town I decided it must be my turn to drive the scooter as I had never done it before and thought it looked like fun. Everybody who knows me well will be shaking your heads right now, at the truly terribe idea that this was. And you would be right to do so. And Will knew this as well I think, but he also knew that I would get very cranky if I wasn't allowed to have a turn so he hoped for the best and gave me control.

Everything was going spectacularly well...until a giant butterfly (it was like a small bird, honestly, I'm not even lying) flew into my chest and I stopped concentraing on the road in order to make sure the butterfly wasn't on me anywhere. Perfectly reasonable. And it wasn't. But we also weren't on the road anymore, we were driving through the scrub and in the confusion I forgot that I had to remove my hand from the accelerator to stop and tried dragging my feet on the ground. So then I had to do this...

That and I am no longer allowed to ride scooters or motorbikes (by the rule of a worried boyfriend). But that is ok with me.

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