The day of my departure from Lao, Mr. Loi drove me one last time to the Savannakhet bawkawsaw -- kiu lott, in Lao. I got another chicken sandwich baguette and can of Savan Beer at the same place where I’d met crazy Jan Dee Buapon a week before, then boarded the International Bus for the cross-river border run and drop-off at the Mukdahan, Thailand, bus station.
It’s always a long, full-day bus trip back home from Mukdahan -- made even longer this time by my getting the west/north route bus to Nong Bua Lamphu, from Khon Kaen, instead of the normal northern one. But, the very full day gave me plenty of time to doze off and think back on the eleven day trip -- my longest in Lao, to date.
Despite getting “traveller’s diarrhea” in Don Khon and becoming somewhat demoralized by it, I was able to regain my strength and positive attitude, and enjoy the rest of my time in Lao. So, I had turned the situation around.
The changes at Savan Khaim Khong had been a disappointment, but that just reminded me that things are constantly in flux and change over time. More important was the question: has the place changed or is it me? If it’s both, to what degree?
I was also a little disappointed that there had not been any “standout moments” as there are sometimes on these trips. Well, you can’t just order up a special time and have it delivered to you. It is one of those things that just happens -- or not.