Towards sundown, I checked out the area near where I had met Eric and then re-met him again, in search of barbeque. But, the street shops were mostly all pho, so I decided to try the Lao Derm Savan, which is a bit upscale for me, but on the river, which I always like.
Most of the supporting structure was formerly the vehicle ferry between Savan and Mukdahan,
Thailand (directly across
The Kong). This was before the Friendship
Bridge made it obsolete in 2006. It’s the biggest floating restaurant I’ve
ever been on and quite beautiful; most all natural materials; wood and bamboo.
The grass thatch is massive and must have cost a small fortune all on its own.
Here I ate a small chicken dish prepared in the traditional Lao way and had two Beer Lao’s; befriended by the manager who made sure I was well attended to.
On the way back toward my guesthouse, I wondered whether I should check into the Savan Khaim Khong? What about that lost mojo? Despite my tentativenesss, the music drew me in and I set up at a better location than yesterday; a spot closer to the large screen so I could watch the videos better. I was still on the edge of the groups of tables, so I also had a good view of most all of them. This is important in a karaoke bar, because you want to see who’s singing. Sometimes, when someone does a good rendition or even is enthusiastically trying, you might want to lightly clap at the end of the performance and/or raise a glass. To do these things, you really need to know where to direct your recognitions.
After a while, I was drawn to a group of girls, two tables over who were having such a great time. The most beautiful among them occasionally caught my eye and we would smile to each other or raise a glass in the Lao equivalent of “cheers!” She was far too beautiful and young for me, so I didn’t think too much of it at first.
Later on, though, I fell in with these girls who were all quite different from one another and all in their early 20s. After a while, they invited me to go with them to another bar where there was live music. We went and had a great time, Jittzy being my companion and I helping fund the operation.
(popular at Savan Khaim Khong, March 2015)
As I wrote earlier, it was another one of those great moments in Lao. At age 66, it was so refreshing to be in with a group of Lao girls – Lao sao – more than 40 years younger than me. What they were doing with an old guy like me? The cynic would probably say they just wanted me to help them defray their party costs, but, I remember what my hero Woody Brown once told me about age differences: “If they don’t mind, I don’t mind!”