Saturday, 25 August 2007

Its like your always stuck in second gear

I'm not sure how the whole thing started, but here in Vang Vieng its like some sort of Friends groundhog day. Almost all the resturants on the main street are constantly showing reruns of the fairly annoying (esp in the latter years) show and everyone seems to be watching them. Its all very strange. Especially when there are much better things to do. The scenery here is simply stunning, among the best I've seen in SE Asia, loads of limestone karsts, caves and pretty little villages. It looks a bit like what I expect Gullin to be like in China. Its a great place to zip around on motorbikes, the traffic is light so you can just cruise slowly checking out the scenery.

And then theres the fabled tubing, a bit of a Laos institution. Your taken upriver a few Ks and launch onto a fairly fast flowing river in a big rubber tube. But within seconds you arrive at the first "bar" where if your not inclined to approach, a kid swims out and helps you in. A beer Lao later and a few tricks performed on the trapeze wire (you get better with each bar) and your on to the next stop. I went with Karin and Caroline from Austria, Corrina from Switzerland and Christian, another Austrian, and we met a bunch of people on the way, expecially during the marathon volleyball session during which I sustained a badly bruised toe and a nice lump after a clash of heads. It was all tremondous fun. Finishing the trip floating down on the river under an almost full moon while being pleasantly sozzled was specially memorable, we had no idea where the end was until we heard splashing in the water and an army of kids descended on us to haul us out for tips.

I arrived here a few days ago having eventually completed all my Oz visa stuff in Vientiene. I had been there so long I recognised most people - the Ozzie girl researching the next edition of the footprints guide, the (very cute) Italian photographer doing an article on Mekong village life, the crazy Laos woman who sits at peoples table and grabs their beer when there not looking, the german guy who seemed to be doing an impersionation of the minisry of silly walks. And I'm sure people noticed the Irish guy running around with a stack of papers in a plastic compression bag going to medical clinics, hospitals, all kinds of ministerial offices, post offices, stationary shops, internet cafes and various embassies. It was an interesting 9 days or so.

1 comment:

Mary said...

glad you're still out there...Joey and all well