Like Lao Trip #5, this one was not intended to be very long. I just wanted to hang out in PL2 for a while cuz I feel welcome there. Also, I wanted to do a “sanity check’ on my internal comparisons with West Central Lao, which on Lao Trip #6, I found to be not as friendly as Western Lao.
I slept unusually late, did my laundry, took a shower, had a little coffee and watched some Lao TV; making journal notes for later expansion of which this writing you’re reading now is a result.
Right after noon, I hit the ATM machine over in Pak Lai and strolled through the clothing market there. Most all the stuff is imported from
and thus a little bit more expensive than it would be in my host country. I
bought a new backpack and some small notepads. My old backpack was only two
years old, but already the plastic strap holders were busted and at critical
points, the fabric was unraveling. I haven’t seen a well-built backpack in Southeast Asia yet.
Using my Lao sim card, I called Thip, checking to make sure all was alright back home. Then, I bought some BBQ chicken on bamboo stick, nok (a favorite fruit of mine) and some sweet bread. I ate my makeshift lunch on a small shaded bench on the way to Khoun Ten.
Arriving at the beer bar, I was quickly befriended by Pem, who is a Lao guy of 21 who wanted to improve his English. As the demographics of the floating restaurant/beer bar/karaoke spot tilted towards males (like yesterday) I was happy to have someone to talk with and maybe pick-up some more Lao language, myself. If there had been a lot of girls around that I could’ve talked with, it would have been a different story. I wouldn’t have wanted Pem to monopolize my time at the expense of meeting some girls is what I’m basically trying to say.
(looking down The Mekong)
After four bottles, which I of course shared, I moved on to Heun Phair. Again, the place was virtually empty and I had the place to myself, just like yesterday. I didn’t mind. I was well received and the views were, as always, spectacular.
I ended the day much earlier than yesterday in what seemed a bit like a carbon copy of the later part of the previous day. At Khem Kong I had a small dinner of spicy beef, rice and another Beer Lao. Say Khong is the other main restaurant in the village, but I did not patronize it this trip.