Where can I buy a donkey? Such with sharp teeth.
Tears of amusement come to my eyes. Sign language translation has failed, therefore my present traveling companions, Chirag and Andrew reached for hidden weapons that is google translator and create more and more meaningless sentences. Night had fallen, we are tired and the only thing that interests us is to put up our tents and fall on the sandy soil in the school area, but not, no whip, a group of teenagers and barely holding the fatigue man do not think to go. Especially one resolute young girl keeps on talking to us, probably asking questions, but none of us have no idea what's all about. Having no better option we begin to answer each in their own language. Something like that as jammed recorder responds to each question Andrew, Chirag seems to recite poetry in Hindi and I repeat the multiplication table in Polish. And besides it everybody is feeling well I thought to myself. Apparently, however, our wordcap probably seemed interesting, because after a while we see a flashlight on English textbook. Now we have the full range of possibilities - you can even explain our family status. I take then the role of mother (a beautiful and fat), Andrew becomes father and Chirag, whose face is surrounded by quite a long beard is our daughter. Yep, yes, and everyone is feeling good.
March. No, in this part of the world it does not rain and no grey skies . From day to day the sun is scorching more, and the nights in the tent leave you more tired than give you a rest afer a long day. Hot season starts and I slowly come to the conclusion, that from all the3se cycling I most like to sit in the shade. Pedaling towards the equator does not give it the prospects for improvement - there will just get worse - hotter, wetter.
When to this Thai doing nothing comes innocent proposition from Chirag, bicycle traveler from India I met a few weeks earlier in Thailand , to change the azimuth, and join him on his way through Laos to Vietnam at the beginning do not take it seriously .
– after all, I'm going in exactly the opposite direction and was heading towards Malaysia (at this point, I refer more interested to look at a map)
– I was already in Laos
– I've never really wanted to cycle Vietnam (a lot of people, lots of motorbikes, insistent horns, frequent scamming. )
– I basically travel SOLO , that's it!
Then the bubbling in my mind began.
And so, laying on empty Thai beaches for the first time since I left home I felt that, my GOAL has misplaced somewhere. Because even in the futility of my traveling there's always a goal. And that sometimes being alone I feel a bit lonely . And that somehow my planning does not go well. And then, Chirag that is a very interesting young man was traveling with GOAL (his motto is to Learn, Live, Love) and it would be nice to have a chance to talk with him a little longer , because after the last conversation left me unsatisfied. And so to justify the sprouting decision in my head, I thought that after all I haven't been in southern Laos yet. And maybe I should try Vietnam, to build my own opinion. And that Vietnam is one of the best places, where you can work and earn as an English teacher and my next leg of the journey is a hook somewhere to work, to replenish funds. At least that's the plan for today.
And, therefore, two night trains and a few days pedaling later
– I am in Laos
– I'm going in a duet with or a trio, because Andrew joins us
– and I have just made my visa to Vietnam and it is where I am heading now
I wonder only, is everything alright with me.
Laos is lazy. Laotians definitely do not take as much time for anything else then for sitting in shade. It is, however, a different type of laziness thanthe Thai doing nothing. And although the people are nice I feel, that the local laziness results in mediocrity. I did not find the door, which would close properly, latches, which would work, sinks, which would not liquid. Although the terrain is similar to Thailand I almost do not see the crops. "The Chinese are buying up everything," I hear. Well, this nation knows, how to make business.
We adapt to local customs, the season and to each other. Chirag promised me a transition from his cycling "fly mode", which characterizes his speed of cycling to more moderate mode which in practice meant riding half his usual distance. Andrew fortunately like myslef can not cycle in the heat, therefore I can enjoy a daily rest break around noon. Me myslef I'm trying to speed up the in the morning, It is not working properly always, but believe me, that I try.
We roll together investing a large amount of energy in responding to children's ubiquitous greeting "Sabadee", picking-up water from the vending machines on gasoline stations and look for food ....
There is nothing good to eat. No Sabadees, give me food! Chirag is shouting to burning their lungs with greeting us children. The only available dish seems to be omnipresent here, hated, nearly uneatable, not tasty, Non-caloric, immortal "noodle soup" (that is a handful of rice noodles in hot broth, with a few pieces of meat and a pile of greens ). We can not look at it any more, and the price also does not encourage the purchase so for the first time since I've been in Southeast Asia we start making our meals. How much joy it gives me to have scrambled eggs with tomatoes on instant noodles! Heaven in my mouth! Working (yes, But sometimes it happens, someone is working here) workers approach us and look into our pots with envy.
We tend to spend nights camping at the schoolyards, coming mainly at dusk and trying to roll up bags before children come, which is not easy, because they sometimes appear before 7 am (School starts at 8 am) and then they watch the spectacle of rolling our camp in silence. And that in the morning to schools also "Mrs Noodle soup" is coming, to feed the children we often share the space and meal with local students, which has the undeniable advantage, that is cheap, in contrast to everything else in Laos. Laos simply is an expensive place.
The monotony of the landscape of southern Laos (mainly plain) enrich the efforts of my travel companions, who will do everything, to kill boredom. Standing on a moving bike, Road karaoke singing (Chirag, I will pay you, to stop), bicycle racing teams, slalom training as a preparation to cycling in India and generally talking things is a small portion of their repertoire. No, I am not bored to say the least, and although the road is sometimes monotonous I do not lack emotions. Happiness, joy, excitement, sadness, anger, ... the whole palette is sweeping through my mind snatching the senses that were put to sleep as I am single.
Laos. Learn. Live. Love.
Laos. Learn, live, Love.
It is all about "L" in Laos..