Make Lemonade… in Luang Prabang

An okay night’s sleep in Luang Prabang has me a little more positive again. I still was trying to get out of the country ASAP, but wouldn’t you know, all the flights are full until the 28th. I saved myself a few days, though — going to Bangkok then. Strangely struck by a disinterest even in lying on a beach in Rai Leh (the real spelling of what I called “Ryleh” in my last post, since nobody called me on it) and Ao Nang.

Anyway, I am in Luang Prabang for a few days. Trying to decide whether to bus it down to Vang Vieng, spend a night (but not go river tubing or kayaking, that’s SO not me) and then bus down to the capital. I want to check whether the Lao/Russian circus is actually doing anything in the next few days, because, hey… and there’s also a restaurant called Pyongyang I was thinking of going to, for obvious entertainment-value reasons. And there is a bizarre sculpture garden I would be happy visiting. But Vientiane is not such an interesting place, as capitals go.  We’ll see, I guess.

Am I old? My hankering, weird as it is to me, is to be in the cold and snow now. Not necessarily in Bucheon, but somewhere familiar. Maybe it’s just my health, the self-preserving function — that old pain in my side is in again, and I know I need to start doing real exercise to deal with it. And, of course, there’s the fact I miss Lime. I’d rather be traveling with her, to be honest. This schedule of hers prevented it, but I think I’d be happier in general if she was only here with me.

But we’ll see. Maybe the warm, sunny beach will sort me out? I sort of doubt I’ll want two-and-a-half weeks of that, though.

Oh, one more thing I can’t help but note: white people — me included — are huge animals. Huge. Being in a place like Luang Prabang,  you see giant Westerners and small, willowy, Lao people. Seeing Westerners out of their element. The young people get it, but I saw a bunch of idiot Brits in Luang Nam Tha who ordered like they might in Liverpool. The poor server did her best, brought something that hadn’t been ordered (one coffee in place of a tea) and when the woman who received the wrong thing apologized, her husband said, “No, no, don’t apologize. They need to learn.” I was thinking, “No, you fucker, you need to learn how to order clearly across a language barrier. She’s doing the best she can with your damned language, so make it clear, asshole.”

I haven’t seen younger people who were quite so back-at-home mentally, though you see dolt backpackers occasionally. The Aussies I hung out with on the bus and for dinner last night weren’t dolts, though they were more backpacker than me, and they commented on that story when I told it, pretty much like I did above.

Anyway, I’m in Luang Prabang for tonight, at least. I guess I’ll make lemonade, and see about tomorrow. More of the same? or Vang Vieng? It’ll probably depend on when I wake. So if it’s more Lao singing and screaming at 7:00am in the hallway of my new guesthouse, like what I woke to this morning in last-night’s guest house, I’ll probably be leaving.

Time to go find some food.

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