3 days in Laos and totally in love with it!
17.01.2008 - 19.01.2008
Borders are strage phenomenons. you pass a totally artifical line (although in this case a pretty real huge mountain pass) and suddenly the world around you changes completly. Here is what changes when you cycle from Vietnam into Laos at the just opened Dien BIen Phu border:
- Tarmac changes to dirt road, or should we say dust road? anyway; losts of deep sand and loose stones; slows you down uphill to a speed so slow that staying on your bike is a major balancing act achievement in itself. Slows you down downhill because you need to hit those brakes occasionally even though you really don't want to.....
- Football gives way to petangue. Yes the old fachioned jeu de boules is totally fachionable here. It was the first thing we saw at the Laos border building; 3 guys playing petanque. Obviously in this region it is played for hard cash and no betting is no fun.
- Rice certainly gets sticky.... grab it, mould it, dip it and eat it.
- The food anyway changes completely....... suddenly it is more Thai with spices and curies. NICE.
- Instead of "Hello" we now reply "Sabadiii" to everyone , literally everyone on the road. And yes this does add up to a couple of thousends sabadiiis per day.
- Instead of vietnamese dong multimilionnaires we are now Laos kip multimilionairs. Kip is by the way the dutch word for chicken and this leeds to interesting conversations: "how many chickens did you pay for that? oh....only 50 000."
- Dogs are suddenly all chilled and relaxed again. Shame.... we were getting pretty good at stone throwing.
- We cannot read a word anymore. Laos looks like Thai. Unreadable. We also cycled off our map and are now completely in the dark. very often literally by the way as most villages here are not connected to the powergrid and lights are off at 10pm stricktly but that's another story.
- We changed our poison from Bia Hanoi to Beer Lao. the product of great national pride. And great taste too by the way.
- And yes, keeping in touch is going to be difficult. Villages with 3 houses, 5 pigs and a guesthous generally don't have internet connections......don't worry we are probably chilling out in a hammock somewhere on the riverside sipping a beer lao. Life is good. especially in Laos.