Getting ready to leave on my last day in Lao for 2015/2558, I was careful to pack Savath’s bottle of lao khao. It had become somewhat of a tradition between us, now, as he knew my brothers-in-law liked rice whiskey.
(my favorite sandals of all time)
Lu (aka “Lou”) fortuitously called. I had lost his number, as it had been on the old sim card that I had replaced in Ken Thao. His timing couldn’t have been better. Soon afterwards, he picked me up and drove me to Pak Lai’s southern kiu lot (Lao; baw kawsaw, Thai); 10k Kip, worth one bottle of Beer Lao.
All during the sawngthaew ride to Ken Thao and then, in
the sawngthaew ride to Muang Loei, I was in the proximity of a short,
cute Lao sao (young woman) of around twenty years of age. She gave me
some great smiles and on the ride to Loei, I gave her my jacket so she could
rest her head – most everyone in the back of the truck was asleep or half
asleep, this early afternoon.
The question once again arose in my mind, as it always does in these situations: should I ask this girl for her telephone number? I’m sure she would have given it to me and I even got the feeling she wanted me to ask her for it. But, I’d been down this road before and had come to the conclusion that, no matter the temptation, there was no use in pursuing a friendship unless the girl knew at least a little English. Besides, as I keep reminding myself: I’m “too old, too tired, too married.”
So, I didn’t make a move on her. Some people would say that I’m finally acting my age, but I look at it as choosing the boring path rather than the more exciting one.
I saw her one more time in the Muang Loei bawkawsaw as I was paying for my ticket to Nong Bua. She was looking my way. I glanced away for a second and she was gone.