As far as I’m concerned, the center of PL2 is Khoun Ten. So many great times have taken place here and I visit it often in my dreams. It is definitely my most preferred place to hang out. So, the last day in Lao, on this trip, I spent just hanging out at the new Vardsanar.
Beforehand, I stopped in and thanked Savath for a fine day, yesterday. He had one of his sons fetch me my traditional plastic bottle of Lao Khao and I said goodbye: pope gahn mai (see you later).
At the market, I bought a small travel bag and some food, then made my way to the Mekong.
I was absolutely the first person to walk aboard Khoun Ten. The night guard stirred a bit and later other family members started to filter in.
Soon, the young boys of the family and their friends started swimming and messing around in the water. I was happy to see this and fondly remembered when I had joined in with them two years ago. It had been hot that day and even though it wasn’t really what a patron of the restaurant/bar would do, there’s a lot I can get away with by being a Westerner. It helped that my nylon shorts can also double as swim trunks. So, I cooled down, had some fun with the kids and also attracted Nuey’s attention. That day was my best day so far on this floater; possibly my best day of my five years retirement in Southeast Asia.
I was surprised that Khoun Ten was so quiet on this Sunday afternoon; only less than a dozen of us all afternoon. But, I’m not complaining. It’s exactly what I wanted.
I had hoped to link-up with Sone. She had said that she would cook me up a meal at her place and I could meet her father, just back from the Lao capitol (Vientiane), and who is the same age as me. But, her contact information didn’t work for me, which is another lesson learned: never have anyone else put in your contact info for you on your phone and if they do (or you do), always verify that it works while they’re still in your presence.
I left Khoun Ten after the sun had set, closing the book on my 15th sojourn to Lao.