Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Lao Trip 10.5 - Another Visa

I was still reeling from the excitement of the night before, as I ventured forth on this fifth day in Lao. I had already covered so many kilometers and done so much!

Paying for a final night at Nongsoda, the attendant gave me an outside room with queen size bed for the same prices as my previous place back in the dungeons. It was a much better room, but I think that the next time I’m in Savan, I’ll be renting a room from that other place I checked out yesterday. I guess you could say that my standards are rising, but I’d say it’s mostly just to cover all contingencies.

I got on the internet, completed tasks there and also got in touch with Thip to find out how Bann Nah was going. We had to spring for an air compressor and nail gun, but that was about the most exciting thing going on there.

Making my way back to the Savan Khaim Khong, I made sure my bill from the night before was all paid (which it was) and then made it over to the riverside vendors for an early lunch and a Beer Lao.

Beggars came came by – one amazingly attractive young one (had her parents put her up to this, or?). Times like this are always a little awkward when I don’t have small change, so I gotta do a better job about that, going forward.

I met Bas, a local school teacher, and we are now friends on Facebook – the popular social media platform of these days. We talked about English language construction and then he offered to take me to the consulate to pick up my visa. I took him up on his kind offer.

At the new Thai Consulate in Savannakhet, I received my new one-year Thai visa, then rode back to the riverside. Actually, I got in a tuk-tuk with a group of Westerners who were going to the bridge crossing and the samlor driver hadn’t understood where I said I wanted to go; just assumed we were all together. So, he drove me back to Nongsoda after dropping the Falang off at the Friendship Bridge. I think the Westerners were a bit surprised I seemed so non-plussed about the detour and the time the ride had caused me. My attitude is: I’m retired and on vacation. There’s no rush.

I ate again at the riverside vendors, always trying to patronize a different one. Here I stayed for a couple of hours, admiring the Mekong and having a couple of Beer Lao’s. Then, I went back to Savan Khaim Khong as they were starting up for the evening. I knew I had no hope of repeating my success of the previous evening, so I just basked in the memory of Jittzy and her friends, enjoyed the karaoke, and slowly drank two more Beer Lao’s.

Calling it an early night, I retired to the Nongsoda. Next day, I stamped out of Lao as early as I could, entered Thailand with my new one-year visa, and rode the long bus ride home, making it before sundown.

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