12.01.2019 - 13.01.2019
I grabbed a bunch of bananas and got thrown onto a truck. Nobody told us what time we were leaving, so everyone was waiting and angry. While they waited, I also had to fill my water bottle up still. I would’ve rather walked down to the pier by myself. It was probably 500 meters away. Stupid.
Lynne found me a few minutes after I sat down on the boat and I was glad she wasn’t tired of me from yesterday. We had another luxurious day watching the scenery slide by.
On the way there, we saw the Chinese construction sites for the "Belt Road Initiative". Something I had seen lots and lots of propaganda about in China. I was amazed and astounded at the scale of it all.
Finally we disembarked at Luang Prabang. Another pickup truck took us to Gustav’s guest house, where he was waiting for us with a big exhausted hug. We sat down with Reiko and Masao and I explained that I had to go on my own now. I explained that my style of travelling was very different from theirs and yaddayaddayadda. I felt this was quite obvious but it took a long time to explain. I guess they didn’t want to hear it.
Later, Gustav took me to the night market and we had dinner near the hotel. Many laughs ensued. I learned that the moon in southeast Asia is happy or sad, unlike the moon in Sweden, Canada or Jilin, where it is a crescent.
January 13, 2019
We went to town in the morning, but I forgot that you have to wear a long skirt or pants in the temples.
We walked all the way back to get it, but Gustav was sick, so I left him there while I ambled around on my own. The Lao temples are a lot more delicate than the Chinese ones, so I really enjoyed looking around there.
I poked around a few more, and then found myself turned around heading back. Our bus to the waterfall Kuang Si was leaving at 1:30 p.m. and I had time to pick up some art (done by a seemingly crazy homeless person) and snacks. I found him painting with his fingers, so I talked to him in Chinese for a while which confused him quite a lot. I bought a little painting, so that was my souvenir shopping done for the entire trip. I felt very accomplished at that moment.
After I bought some longan, Gustav found me on my way back to the bus station. We ate some lunch on the street and caught our minivan to the waterfall. A guy in the back seat was flipping out because we were driving too fast for him.
There was a small bear zoo at the front of the park, I guess they have been rescued by poachers and now they live in a small enclosure.
We hiked up the flooded stairway to the top and came down and jumped in the pool at the bottom. The water was cool, crisp and clean, but there were fish swimming around my feet, so I didn’t stay in too long. The water cascaded down in many layers which were more beautiful than I had expected.
Refreshed, we headed back to the van where that weirdo from before was. He ended up being an alright guy, and we chatted about Canadian politics all the way back.
When we got back to the guest house, I wasn’t hungry, but Gustav met a very good looking young Swedish lady, so I pressured him to eat dinner with her and leave me to sleep. He went, but I didn’t sleep. I ended up at a party with one Russian guy and five Japanese people, including Masao and Reiko. I asked the Russian a lot of questions about life in the USSR for three hours while the Japanese got drunk. He was a technician at a nuclear power plant way up in the Arctic Circle, so we talked about northern life too. It was great.
When Gustav came back, he found out I didn’t lock the door and he got mad at me. This was the beginning of times I would make him mad at me. Later, he was OK with me not locking the door and I joked that I would literally puke if I had caused him to lose his passport. I almost peed my pants laughing when he pointed out that this would only make the problem worse. Not only would he not have a passport, but there would also be puke to clean up.